Module
descriptions

for MA Media & Digital Communications

Core Concepts in Media and Communications (20 credits)

Media and communications is a widely interdisciplinary field. This course introduces you to the development of media and communications, from their historical origins to leading approaches used to study media (such as power, representation, political economy, audiences, gender, politics, screen studies, everyday life, alternative media, digital, participatory, and convergence culture etc.). Upon completion of this course, you will be well versed in the interdisciplinary concepts and theories used within the field to understand media and their relationship to society, to individuals and to everyday life.

Social Media & Digital Culture (20 Credits)

The rise of social media and digital technologies have led to a massive shift in the way people communicate and live their lives. This course provides a theoretical and practical foundation for understanding the nature of that shift and the impact of digital technologies and social media on people, on communication, on media industries, and on culture. You will examine top social media platforms alongside internet studies and digital culture. In addition to the theoretical and conceptual foundations, this module also examines particular social media platforms and aspects of digital media from a practical perspective. You will examine, explore, and create content for these platforms in computer labs, collaborative workshops, and other relevant exercises.

Media Research Design and Methods (20 Credits)

This programme covers the fundamentals of research design, research ethics, established traditions for using and developing quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, along with analysis and research interpretation. You will learn basic research principles, along with a wide range of research techniques used in media and communications for understanding media, audiences, users, content and technologies (e.g. interviews, focus groups and participant observation, surveys, content analysis etc.). You will also be expected to apply their learning through practical and applied research exercises. You will need to develop and demonstrate research design skills, methodological knowledge and ability to use those methods, as well as some digital research skills (e.g. qualitative and quantitative software analysis tools).

Research Innovations and Digital Methods (20 Credits)

Social media and digital tools have introduced new kinds of data and many new rapidly changing research methods and tools made available via data scraping, and data analysis software. This programme builds upon the research methods course and focuses on equipping you with the skills and techniques to use leading and emerging digital research tools and methods (such as social network analysis, metrics, and data visualisations).

Dissertation (60 credits)

This is the final module in the MA and is designed for you to demonstrate independent learning to create an original dissertation. You are expected to consolidate and apply knowledge through research or practice into a media topic of interest. Alongside this, you will attend a series of sessions related to their future plans after graduation. You are expected to choose dissertation topic related to media and digital. The dissertation requires you to undertake original research and to submit a complete 10,000 word dissertation synthesizing theory, methods, analysis, and a conclusion – or equivalent structure depending on approval. You are expected to demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate research and practice self-direction in identifying and tackling problems

Project (60 credits)

This is the final module in the MA and is designed for you to demonstrate independent learning to create and project. You are expected to consolidate and apply learned knowledge and skills through selection of topic and a research or practice based project. Alongside this, you will attend a series of sessions related to their future plans after graduation. While the project must be equivalent in scope and depth to 10,000 written words, it can include a wide range of formats such as film, video, a campaign, web-site, portfolio, foresight analysis, business plan or any other agreed upon format. The project must be original and incorporate both conceptual learning and applied skills or methods related to any aspect of the degree.

Placement (60 credits)

The module is designed to create an alternative to the dissertation or project by offering you the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience and insights into a field relevant to the degree studied and the career that you may wish to pursue after graduation through a work placement. The work is intended to challenge you, as well as to provide the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge and skills that you have developed during the degree. It will allow you to acquire new knowledge, ideas, cultural awareness, teamwork experience and other professional skills, in a structured and supervised environment. Through a combination of theoretical application and practical tasks, your learning will be enhanced and consolidated. The work required for the placement will fulfill the same aims and learning outcomes as that of on the dissertation or the project.