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Digital Media: Critical Studies MA

MA Digital Media: Critical Studies is for students who wish to investigate the significance, impact and interpretation of digital media and technologies. It explores the theories and practices of digital media in societies by providing critical insights into the social and cultural implications of digital technologies. The range of topics include the Internet, social media, digital games, big data, mobile media, posthumanism, digital ethnography and much more.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Please note:

This programme is now full and no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry.

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Application dates

Notification
We are sorry, but this programme is now full and no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,750 (FT)
£5,435 (PT)
Overseas:
£24,470 (FT)
£12,470 (PT)


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

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

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

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

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

Students will explore contemporary digital media practices in relation to the questions of culture, politics and representation. They will critically examine the transformations in digital culture and society focusing on, for example, mobile media and communications, digital screens and the body, and digital games and player cultures. 

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).

The degree includes two compulsory modules (30 credits each); two optional modules (30 credits each); a 20,000 word Dissertation (60 credits); or a 10,000 word Report (30 credits), allowing an additional 30 credit module.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Digital Media: Critical Studies.

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.

Compulsory modules

The two compulsory modules are: Digital Media Theory, addressing theories of the media in society; and Digital Media Enquiry, providing training in research methodologies including textual analysis and ethnographic practice.

  • Digital Media Theory
  • Digital Media Enquiry

Optional modules

Optional modules are: Mobile Media and Place (mobilities, locative media, location-based apps, surveillance); Bodies and Digital Media (physical, virtual and technological embodiment); Digital Games and Play (digital games, player cultures, basic game design); or other modules in the MA Digital Media programme, subject to availability.

  • Mobile Media and Place
  • Bodies and Digital Media
  • Digital Games and Play
  • Gender and Digital Media

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake a research project culminating in a 20,000 word Dissertation (60 credits) or a smaller study leading to a 10,000 word Report (30 credits). Both may be part-practice based, with practical media production replacing half the word-count.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered by face-to-face lectures and seminars, and practical workshops combined with online-learning support. Students are assessed by coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words, plus practical or portfolio work for some modules.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

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

Accessibility

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.

Funding

Ten bursaries are offered to UK applicants across the three routes of the 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 programme team on the same criteria as all other applications, with the added requirement that the applicant is eligible to pay UK fees.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Note:
Deadline Monday 25 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Value:
Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Note:
Deadline: Monday 18 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Value:
Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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

Careers

This programme will equip students with skills, knowledge and experience related to the rapidly-changing worlds of digital media cultures. It will therefore support career development in a variety of media contexts, as well as further postgraduate study.

Employability

Graduates of this programme will gain critical insights into digital media: into the nature of production, consumption and uses of the media in contemporary society. They will be experienced in the analysis of media texts, media audiences, and media technologies across a range of traditional and current media industries. 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 including content, users, and technologies. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

MA Digital Media at the UCL Institute of Education 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 is to understand and develop digital technologies to support and transform education and beyond. Based on research evidence, the Knowledge Lab devises new pedagogies, designs and implements innovative digital media and smart technologies for teaching and learning, and informs policymakers and educational stakeholders.

The programme team belongs to the DARE research centre. With a track record of funded research in the digital media, we offer students a chance to learn from direct research experience.

Department: Culture, Communication & Media

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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

Application deadlines


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

In addition to why you want to study digital media on a postgraduate level, what particularly attracts you to this programme, how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme, and what you would like to do after your study, we would like the learn about your interest in digital media and your potential report/dissertation topic. 

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020