Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

The MA Digital Media is unique in its combination of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary media and technology.

The established and exciting degree is designed to help you understand digital transformations in media, culture and society and apply this understanding in practice, in the media and creative industries and in further research. You will be equipped with skills that can be applied to current and future developments in digital media, social media, computing and other aspects of technology.

The MA Digital Media educates aspiring media practitioners and academics as well as early and mid-career professionals who seek to reflect on their roles in a structured and stimulating learning environment designed to give all students up-to-the-minute knowledge of digital media and the skills to apply that knowledge to future developments.

The MA offers two pathways:

  • Pathway 1 is a theory programme where you learn about developments in digital media and technology from a wide range of perspectives
  • Pathway 2 is a theory and practice programme where you can explore transformations in media, culture and society through the practice of contemporary digital communication. You will work with one or more of the following to create installations, apps and single- and multi-screen work that's responsive to the continually changing digital landscape:
    • Animation
    • Photography
    • Video and other forms of moving image
    • Software and web design
    • Hybrid forms of image making

Acclaimed academics and practitioners

Benefit from the experience and expertise of one of the world’s leading media and communications departments. The programme is co-convened by Professor Joanna Zylinska and Daniel Rourke, and you will be taught by theorists and practitioners of international standing.

Work placements and internships

The MA Digital Media regularly attracts offers of work placements and internships. In the past these have come from Google, The Science Museum and N1creative.com. There is also £6,000 bursary available for UK students studying this course. Find out more about the Stationers' Postgraduate Bursary Scheme on our departmental awards page.

Facilities

Our students have access to state-of-the-art facilities including well-equipped lecture and seminar rooms, exhibition spaces, computer facilities and digital media suites.

An established record

The MA Digital Media has been redefining media theory and practice since 2004. Our students become proficient in:

  • the history, sociology and philosophy of digital media
  • the application of critical conceptual skills to specialist areas and future forms of media
  • multimedia skills in image making (photography, video, animation, graphic art) script writing, journalism and documentary 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Daniel Rourke

What you'll study

Overview

The programme consists of:

  • Two compulsory core modules (totalling 60 credits)
  • Pathway 1 - between two and four option modules (worth 60 credits) OR
  • Pathway 2 - a two-term practice block (worth 30 credits) and either one or two option modules (worth 30 credits)
  • The dissertation or the practice/theory project (60 credits)

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Digital Media: Critical Perspectives 30 credits
  Technology and Cultural Form: Debates, Models, Dialogues 30 credits

Optional modules

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Please see our list of modules that are currently available for more information.

Assessment

Seen take-home paper; essays; dissertation or practice/theory project and other production work for image-making.

Programme overview

This is an exciting programme which offers a critical, contextual and practical approach to digital media and technology. It problematises approaches to the 'new' media in academic and professional debate, especially those that overemphasise the potential for radical social change led by a homogenised technology itself.

The programme is defined by its resistance to technological determinism and its insistence on the importance of addressing the social and historical contexts within which a range of media technologies are employed. In order to provide a contextual framework and facilitate the conceptualisation of digital media and technologies as fully cultural forms and processes, the programme will draw on a range of disciplines including: media and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. However, the programme will remain focused on key contemporary concerns about the potential role of digital media in society and on refiguring the contours of the 'new' media debate.

The programme offers two pathways:

Pathway 1 addresses central theoretical and conceptual concerns relating to digital media.

Pathway 2 combines theoretical analysis and practical work, offering students the opportunity to explore new media theories and concepts in image making. This Pathway is primarily aimed at students who already have some practical experience. It is meant to appeal to media industry professionals who are keen to reflect critically on their practice within a structured learning environment and graduates of practice-based courses.

Programme structure

The first compulsory core module is Digital Media - critical perspectives and this is taught in a small workshop format in the Autumn term. This module functions as a foundation for the second core module and offers students a map of the key debates in digital media. The module is taught in ten two-hour workshop sessions and is supported by the provision of one-to-one tutorials.

The second compulsory core module is Technology and Cultural Form - debates, models, dialogues and this develops questions of technology, power, politics and subjectivity which were introduced in the first core module. The first part of this module highlights the key conceptual concerns of a contextualised approach to digital media plus the relevant debates and models formulated by key figures in the field. The second part aims to generate a dialogue between theoreticians and practitioners around some of the most intellectually stimulating, contentious and contemporary ideas in the field without necessarily seeking a resolution. This module is taught in ten two hour workshop sessions during the Spring term and is supported by the weekly provision of one-to-one tutorials.

Students are required to take options from the lists provided by the Media and Communications. Each student's option profile is discussed with the programme convenor in order to ensure that the balance of subject-specific topics is appropriate for the individual concerned. Option modules are taught primarily through lectures, seminars and tutorials and take place in the Autumn or Spring terms.

All students are required to produce either a 12,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor or a practice/theory image making project. The length of the practical element is dependent on the media and the form used and will be agreed in advance with the supervisor. Students undertaking the practice/theory project will also be expected to submit a 3-4,000 word analysis of their practice which locates it within the theoretical debates explored in the MA as a whole. This essay may be presented as a separate document or as an integral part of the project depending on the nature of the project and by agreement with both theory and practice supervisors.

Programme outcomes

The programme's subject specific learning outcomes require students to analyse and contextualise developments in digital media and technology with reference to key debates in the history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of the media. Students who opt for the practice/theory pathway will also be required to produce material of publishable standard and to evaluate the ways in which theoretical and practical insights intersect. All students will develop a wide range of transferable qualities and skills necessary for employment in related or unrelated areas. These are described by the Quality Assurance Agency as: 'the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development'.

By the end of the programme students will be able to:

  • Map and critically evaluate key debates in the field of new media
  • Analyse and contextualise current and future developments in digital media and technology
  • Evaluate and articulate key historical, sociological, anthropological and philosophical approaches to the study of digital media and technology
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of at least four differing areas of inquiry
  • Demonstrate an advanced level of conceptual knowledge and (where relevant) practical skill appropriate for a sustained piece of work in the field
  • Prepare and deliver clearly argued and informed work
  • Locate, retrieve and present relevant information for a specific project
  • Manage a complex array of competing demands and work effectively to a deadline
  • Work resourcefully and independently
  • Think critically and/or work practically within a given context

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. If you're applying to the practice pathway you'll also need to submit a portfolio of work. Further details are in the 'How to apply' section.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies regularly offers fee waivers for this MA

Stationers' Postgraduate Bursary

There is also £6,000 bursary available for UK students studying this course. Find out more about this scheme on our departmental awards page.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

           Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

When applying, please specify in your personal statement which is your preferred Practice Pathway (1 or 2). 

Applications for Practice Pathway 2 must be accompanied by a portfolio of work. When submitting your application, please also submit (upload under 'additional') an example of your recent work in a related field, or include links to a page hosting that work. Failing which, please post an example of that work to: Admissions Office, Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK. Please make sure you include your application reference number (which you will receive when you enter your online application) and the MA degree title.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from 1 October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Find out more about applying.

Careers

Skills

We provide graduates with skills that are cutting edge: in the critical analysis and/or creative production of digital media; in the disciplinary knowledge and conceptual frameworks necessary for current and future forms of media and technology; in the awareness of how digital media and technologies are re-shaping society from the ways we communicate (through social media and web 2.0) to the increasingly ‘smart’ environments in which we live.

Careers

Our programme provides a theory and practice pathway and prepares students for work in the following areas:

  • media and creative industries; advertising, marketing and PR (graduates of the MA Digital Media have found work with Virgin Media, Google, the BBC and other leading organisations worldwide)
  • research and academia (graduates from this programme have gone on to study for PhD degrees in higher education institutions around the world and also here with us)
  • media production and new media art (graduates have exhibited, published and produced work in photography, journalism, TV, documentary, film and multimedia)

Graduate Ekaterina discusses her career:

"I work for a company, called Visual DNA, which already sounds like life happening After New Media. The company is the largest data provider in Europe and is totally multinational. We actually try to analyse human visual DNA, you memories, feelings, thoughts about the future, anticipations, etc by creating personality quizzes where instead of verbal answers we tend to use images.

My role is as Creative Developer. It involves working with images from concept to finding/shooting and post-production. My qualifications perfectly matched what they’ve been looking for, Digital Media rocks!

My tip for the new-to-be-graduates is this: physically go to places and companies and talk to people. It really opens up loads of possibilities, and when I tell someone where I’ve graduated from they look impressed, and there is some sort of respect coming from them."

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

Mind the Gap by Sebastian Melo (Pathway 2 Documentary)
AR Planet by Yujin Yun/Moon Jung Hyun/Sam Oh

What our students say

Carmen

"Applying for this course has been the best decision I made in a long time."

Applying for the MA Digital Media programme at Goldsmiths has been the best decision I made in a long time. Our lecturers are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the course material. They transmit their passion effectively and clearly, and are also very helpful.

Studying at Goldsmiths is a great experience. It will provide you with skills and most importantly, with the will power to succeed. From here you can become anything you like. 

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