Digital Media and Society (MA)

This course explores the role of new digital media in shaping and transforming society. It investigates how media audiences become producers, how citizen journalism and digital culture change established norms and practices, how social media and peer production affect politics and business and how technology is related to power and social change.

The emergence of new digital communication platforms has had significant impacts. Audiences are transforming into media producers; new business models are emerging; social media campaigns create new forms of politics; digital culture highlights practices of sharing and participation; and data collection and analytics affect an increasing part of our lives.

This offers new possibilities for digital citizens, but it also raises new questions regarding classic notions of privacy and freedom of expression, and it renders information and digital infrastructure a key resource.

The MA Digital Media and Society addresses current challenges of online communication and internet studies. It enables you to develop specialist knowledge in areas such as social media, big data, citizen journalism, digital culture, the creative industries, internet governance, and digital rights. It also provides a theoretical and methodological grounding in media and communication studies.

This course provides you with a thorough understanding of the current transformations and with the analytical skills to investigate digital media in the context of social, political and economic change. We ask how online communication is shaped by users, states and businesses, and how our society is, in turn, affected by digital media.

This course draws on the strength and diversity of Cardiff University’s staff, giving you a unique opportunity to work with academics whose research explores issues such as citizen journalism, online activism, big data, internet surveillance, internet governance and digital rights.

You can get involved in our Research Group Digital Media and Society and thus become part of a dynamic research environment.

Please note this course focuses on academic research and does not provide extensive practical training.

Distinctive features

  • Enables you to develop an in-depth understanding of digital media and their implications for the social, political, economic and cultural environment.
  • Conveys specialist knowledge that addresses current areas of concern, such as social media use, big data, the sharing economy, privacy and surveillance, internet governance, digital rights, and citizen journalism.
  • Empowers you to assess how technological change is linked to forces of globalisation, political institutions, and historical developments, and how it affects democracy and social change.
  • Equips you with a thorough theoretical and methodological grounding in media and communication studies.
  • Allows you to apply up-to-date research skills to carry out your own original research for the dissertation and beyond.
  • Produces reflective and well-trained graduates who understand the multiplicity of social, cultural, political and technological complexities of digital media and who will be able to solve complex problems and make informed decisions in their future careers.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

You will need to complete an online application form which will then be considered by an admissions tutor.

Applicants will normally be expected to hold a UK higher education degree of lower second class Honours or above, or a qualification recognised by the University as equivalent. This requirement may be waived for students with appropriate alternative qualifications.

Applications must include a personal statement that outlines the applicant’s reasons for applying, and at least one reference letter from a previous tutor or person in charge of a past professional experience.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a British Council IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum subscore of 6.0 in each component), or an equivalent English language qualification. However, applicants with an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum subscore of 6.0 in each component) will be considered provided they undertake and successfully complete the University’s eight-week pre-sessional English course. This requirement may be waived if the applicant can furnish sufficient evidence that they are suitably proficient in the use of English.

You will be asked to provide references in support of your application, one of which will need to be from previous academic study.

Applications are considered throughout the year.

 

This is a one-year full-time course, combining core and optional modules. Over the course duration you will study modules totalling 180 credits.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars, which complement the academic nature of the course.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who is available when needed to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance.

You will be supported by the Student Support services in the school and through wider university resources.

You will have regular tutorials with programme directors/personal tutors as well as the opportunity to meet with module co-ordinators on request.

Feedback

Feedback is provided at each assessment point for summative assessments. Formative feedback is provided in practical sessions and throughout teaching.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a range of formative and summative assessments throughout the course. The main method of assessment on this programme is course work.

What skills will I practise and develop?

In addition to a thorough understanding of media and communication studies, and specifically the current trends of online and digital media, you will acquire research skills that are applicable for academic study and other professions.

These include:

  • skills in content and discourse analysis
  • social network analysis
  • interviews and focus groups
  • relevant digital analytical tools.

You will develop competence in undertaking rigorous analytical work, producing well researched essays to deadline, and engaging with key contemporary debates.

Graduates of MA Digital Media and Society are employed in a range of occupations, including the non-profit sector, digital business, online journalism, and regulatory institutions. They take on leading roles in social media campaigns, internet policy, human rights organisations, journalism, and creative industries.

As an academic course focusing on critical analysis, this programme also provides a perfect starting-point for PhD research and prepares you for careers in research institutions, both at university and other public or private institutions.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.