Digital Media: Critical Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to investigate the significance and interpretation of digital media. Students explore theories and methods relevant to the analysis of media texts, audiences and digital cultures. Optional modules offer students the opportunity to focus on specific topics in more depth. During their final term, students undertake research on a relevant topic of their choice with the support of a supervisor.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. media studies, cultural studies, art, education, digital media, interactive media, English. Applicants with a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a non-relevant subject and at least one year's experience within the fields of education, media and/or the cultural industries will also be considered.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Students will engage with perspectives from the interdisciplinary fields of Media Studies and Cultural Studies, to critically examine digital media and digital cultures, online practices, fandom and audiences while exploring questions of power, subjectivity and representation.

Who this course is for

The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to investigate the social, textual and cultural aspects of digital media. It will be suitable for those interested in the fields of Media Studies and Cultural Studies, and in a professional or academic career in culture, the arts, communication or media. 

What this course will give you

The Digital Media programme at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society is one of the longest-established postgraduate media programmes in the UK. It is based at the UCL Knowledge Lab, a leading interdisciplinary centre whose mission includes researching digital media and developing digital technologies. The Digital Media programme team are active researchers. The team's research experience directly informs the design and teaching of the MA.

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this programme will gain critical insight into digital media and digital cultures. They will gain experience in the analysis of media texts, media audiences, and media technologies. They will acquire critical insights into the nature of contemporary digital media, such as mobile media and digital games. They will gain experience of researching digital media using Media Studies and Cultural Studies approaches. 


This programme will equip students with knowledge and experience relevant to a critical engagement with digital media texts and cultures. It will support career development in a variety of related contexts, as well as further postgraduate study.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face lectures, seminars, presentations, tutorials and workshops. Students are generally assessed by coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words. 


The degree includes two compulsory modules (30 credits each); two optional modules (30 credits each); with a 1520,000-word Dissertation (60 credits); or a 710,5000-word Report (30 credits), allowing an additional 30-credit module.

You will follow one module per term over 2 years.

This includes:

  • two compulsory modules (30 credits each, one of these taken in each Autumn term)
  • two optional modules (30 credits each, one of these taken in each Spring term)

and either a 1520,000-word Dissertation (60 credits) starting in the Spring term OR a 710,5000-word Report (30 credits, allowing an additional 30-credit optional module also taken in the Spring term).

There is also an option for students to complete the MA over a period of time, between 2 years (part-time) and 5 years (flexible mode). 

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits including compulsory and optional modules and write a dissertation (20,000 words) or report (10,000 words). Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Digital Media: Critical Studies.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Event: Digital Media, Technology and Education

Watch the presentation from our programme team and find out what it's like to study programmes in Digital Media, Technology and Education at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report or dissertation.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Ten bursaries are offered to UK applicants across the three MAs on the Digital Media Programme, to the value of £5,000 for full-time study, £2,500 per year for part-time study, and pro-rata for flexible study. They will be evaluated by the faculty and programme team using the same criteria as the MA application, with the added requirement that the applicant is eligible to pay UK fees.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Digital Media Programme Bursary

Now closed for 2022/23
Value: £5,000 (One year)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Value: Full tuition fees and some allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees and a stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

The personal statement is your chance to tell us why you are a good match for this MA, and why this MA is the right programme for you. Explain briefly what attracts you to this programme and what you would like to do after graduation. Tell us something about your expectations and your research interests, and perhaps your potential report/dissertation topic. In your statement we recommend that you outline: Why you want to study Digital Media: Critical Studies at graduate level Why you are interested in the fields of Media Studies and Cultural Studies. What kinds of digital media topics, texts, issues and problems interest you How your academic and/or professional background have prepared you to meet the demands of this programme What this MA will help you to achieve Why you want to study at UCL

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

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