Elective
Modules

for MA Media & Digital Communications

Emerging Technologies (20 credits)

Drawing from information and communication based technologies, this module provides a comprehensive overview of media emerging from the horizon and not yet in the mainstream. Although topics are likely to change, you will examine technologies like the internet of things, augmented reality, social virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, as well foresight methodologies (e.g. foresight analysis) in order understand the future of media, eventualities, and the contours of digital life.

Transmedia Storytelling (20 credits)

The concept of transmedia storytelling has grown in use since the publication of Henry Jenkin’s Convergence Culture in 2005. But what precisely is transmedia? This course provides a theoretical and practical basis for understanding transmedia culture in both contemporary and historical terms. As many media conglomerates move towards inclusive transmedia storytelling attributes, such as Marvel Studios, Disney’s Star Wars, and BBC’s Doctor Who, this course will also provide a foundation for understanding contemporary shifts in the new millennium by historicising the concept as it emerged during the late 19th and early 20th century through authors, companies and transmedia pioneers, such as Frank L. Baum (Wizard of Oz), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan) and DC Comics’ Superman. You will examine a range of transmedia narratives over a century of media production towards an understanding of convergence as not a new phenomenon, but a concept with considerable historic vintage.

21st Century Media Law and Regulations (20 credits)

The main purpose of this module is to offer participants a firm grounding in the concepts of media law and the regulation of media communication. Accompanied by a historical perspective, the module aims to develop participants’ understanding of the various mechanisms impacting upon the operation of the media and introduce them to the variety of ways in which the law shapes current professional dilemmas in the media sector. While the content of this module is western-centric, it also connects to other parts of the world: it is supplemented by a comparative cross-border analysis, with an emphasis on new technologies like the internet and social media. This module introduces you to the particular laws and principles that underpin both traditional and social media. You will gain awareness through case studies of the various legal issues that affect media practice and be able to apply their knowledge more widely and persuasively to cases occurring in the digitally connected world.

Global Media and Creative Economies (20 credits) 

The global media and creative industries are crucial for the international economy and political information. Broadly, these include a wide variety of artistic endeavours in such diverse areas as the arts, architecture, film, video games, music, theatre, global news organizations, commercial media and many others. This programme introduces you to the economic and symbolic value of these industries, in order to understand how they work as global systems, as well as their socio-economic importance and influence. Based on the study and analysis of complex global media systems, you will examine the production, distribution, and consumption of global media. Theoretical foundations for this module will draw from politics, international communication, comparative media, media infrastructures, platform studies, globalisation studies, and other key traditions.

Mediating Sex, Gender and Identity (10 credits)

Sex, gender, and identity are critical aspects of contemporary life and inform vast inter-disciplinary scholarship and media related research. Understandings of sex and gender impact regulation, policy, law, social norms and cultural values – all of which shape individual ideas and experiences of their own identities, as well as of those around them. This module provides a conceptual and theoretical foundation for understanding current debates and issues related to sex, gender, and identity in, through and on the media. 
Starting with the emergence of feminism, intersectionality, and mediation, you will learn and reflect on the meaning of sex and gender as lived experiences on and off the multi-platform screens. This programme will take you through core thinking around femininity, masculinity, and trans-identities. You will be introduced to contemporary issues like rape culture, activism, trolling, celebrity cultures, and other culturally relevant topics. Following completion of this programme, you are expected to understand the representation of gender in and through media, as well as apply analytic tools in order to make sense of complex lived and mediated experiences.

Love in a Digital Age (10 credits)

Media have long been used in courtship rituals from lonely hearts ads to Tinder hook-ups. Indeed dating apps are influencing intimacy and dating practices, including specific and digitally mediated behaviours to the rise of the hook-up, ghosting, and the normalizing of sexting and nude pictures. While these cultural practices around intimate relationships may change with the dominant communication technologies used for romantic interaction, larger questions about the nature of love, intimacy and interpersonal relationships remain. This course examines the increasingly digitized nature of human connection and communication. 

Specialist Topics in Media and Communication (10 credits)

Media and digital communications include a broad range of disciplines, approaches, practices, and events – all of which are subject to current events – as well as the broader media landscape’s rapid growth and constant change. In addition, media sectors and industries are under immense pressure to adapt to new technologies, innovation, and increased competition. As a result, this module is designed to accommodate change or the rise of unforeseen issues which impact media and digital communications as a field, as a practice, or as an experience. This is an open module specifically developed to allow for advanced study of current, emerging or historical topics relevant to the media and communications – as they may unfold or become publicly important. 

Fashion Cultures: History, Theory, Creativity (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to allow you to develop your knowledge of fashion history from the late 19th century to the present day. Balancing this are lectures on the fashion industry – how it works and how it is changing, including retail, manufacturing and the luxury sector. You will also learn how to analyse creativity in styling, photography and digital innovation as much as in fashion design. The scope is global and broad-minded, exploring how trends evolve and how fashion interlinks with many other creative sectors, for application to fashion and broader lifestyle journalism.

New Ideas in Digital Media (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce and encourage you to explore the dynamic and fast-moving world of fashion digital media. Entrepreneurial instincts and a willingness to experiment are encouraged in this module, which works at the cutting edge of new media. The very latest digital media are analysed and discussed in intensive and free-form seminars, giving you the confidence to work in digital media in its many forms. The ability to practice convergence journalism, working across a variety of different skill sets, is explored.

Brands, Ads and Aspirations (20 credits) 

Consumer behaviour is influenced by visual, auditory, even olfactory media, from advertising, film or music video, the representation of life styles in film and soap operas or the sharing of information via social media. The “Brand” is an important concept in marketing and in consumer psychology. The notion of the Brand as a ‘friend’ and a symbol of status is an increasing phenomenon. The aims of this module aims to introduce you to some essential principles of media psychology and to explore and examine aspects of product category involvement, loyalty and the notions of desire and aspiration and how these impact on consumers and how these aspects are targeted in marketing, notably advertising. The module aims to increase your experience in working with psychological literature and research in relation to exploring the consumer product Brand relationships. This includes consumer relationships with film and fashion, as well as counterfeit products.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation (10 credits)

This module enhances your business and life skills, contributing knowledge and understanding to other modules. This module draws upon the philosophical aims of the MAM programme by helping students harness their innate talents that will help them to succeed in the global business environment. This module combines ideas and concepts from the fields of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to create a learning environment that allows students to deconstruct taken-for- granted tools, theories and practices by thinking-out-of the box, to create proactive solutions to contemporary business problems as well as develop the ability to stretch boundaries in an attempt to identify innovative entrepreneurial solutions. By stretching your thinking, intellectual, creative and innovative skills, it is hoped you will make better entrepreneurs, managers and leaders.

Social Media Marketing and Analytics (10 credits)

Marketing communications play the vital role in supporting and maintaining a brand. This once one-way street then moved to dialogue and has now become multilogue with the exponential growth in Word of mouth (WOM) social media marketing. This module will introduce you to the key concepts of social media marketing. You will learn how to understand, critically evaluate and apply conceptual social media frameworks, theories and approaches relevant to their marketing and promotional mix. You will discover how social media networks are used as part of the marketing strategies of a variety of different organisations. You will appreciate and be able to harness the key metrics tools of social media marketing in order to listen, monitor and manage communications through such tools. The module also aims to develop your strategic understanding of how to build and manage social media marketing communications campaign which impacts on the identified target audiences and integrates with all other relevant media.