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.
This programme is now full and no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- Deadline Monday 25 May 2020 (5pm London time).
- Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Deadline: Monday 18 May 2020 (5pm London time).
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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