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.

This 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. The programme will equip you 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.

This programme offers three pathways:

  • Pathway 1 is a Theory programme where you learn about developments in digital media and technology.  This pathway draws on media theory, critical theory, continental philosophy, science and technology studies, gender studies, critical race studies, the posthumanities, software studies and cultural studies to diagnose our present digital condition.
  • Pathway 2 (Image Making) is a theory and practice programme. Alongside engaging with digital media theory you will work with one or more of the following – animation, photography, video and other forms of moving image – to create installations, apps and single/multi-screen work that is responsive to a continually changing, and conceptually understood, digital landscape.
  • Pathway 3 (Data Visualisation) is a theory/practice programme. You'll learn how information is structured, gathered, sorted and figured into new knowledge. During the course, you'll develop investigative methods to explore data, using art,  installations, workshops, graphic design, scripting, critical making and critical technical practice. The pathway also draws on theory from the posthumanities, software studies, machine learning and data analysis and the history of data modelling.  The pathway is aimed at helping you to create innovative methods that reveal new knowledge inherent in a data-rich society.  

Acclaimed academics and practitioners

 

Benefit from the experience and expertise of one of the world’s leading media and communications departments. The programme is convened by Prof. Matthew Fuller, and key modules are delivered by Ms. Alice Dunseath, Dr. John Hampson, Dr Graham Harwood, Dr. Daniel Rourke. In your options modules you will be taught by theorists and practitioners of international standing.

Funding your studies

There is a £6,000 bursary available for UK students studying this course. Find out more about the Stationers' Postgraduate Bursary Scheme on our departmental awards page.

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
  • creative skills in image making, data visualisation, (photography, video, animation, graphic art, scripting, critical making, installations )

Graduates have gone on to work in the digital media industry in start-ups and established global firms. They have pursued careers in academic research, art and design, and in the public and NGO sector.

The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies has been ranked 2nd in the UK for 'world-leading or internationally excellent' research (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and 12th in the world (2nd in the UK) in the 2022 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.

Banner image: 'Moon Mama Wants You to Dance' (2022), Zinha

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

Overview

The programme has 3 different pathways.


Pathway 1: Theory Pathway, is comprised of one 30 credit compulsory module, one 30 credit recommended option and options to total 60 credits and the dissertation.

Pathway 2: Theory and Practice Pathway (Image Making), is comprised of two compulsory modules, options to total 30 credits, digital media practice and the practice/theory project.

Pathway 3: Theory and Practice Pathway (Data Visualisation) is comprised of two compulsory modules, one option to total 30 credits, digital media practice and the practice/theory project.

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 three 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.

Pathway 3 also combines theoretical analysis and practical work, offering students the opportunity to explore new media theories and concepts in Data Visualisation. No advanced prior knowledge of computation is required, but a willingness to learn about technology and media on a theoretical and practical level is.

Pathway 1 (Theory) modules

For the Theory pathway, you'll take the following compulsory module:

Module title Credits
Digital Media: Critical Perspectives 30 credits

You'll also choose one option module from the following:

  • Digital Culture: Critical Theory
  • Software Studies
  • Photography and After

You'll also choose 60 credits of option modules from a list provided annually by the Department. View examples of recent option modules.

Pathway 2 (Theory and Practice: Image Making) modules

For the Image making pathway, you'll take the following compulsory modules:

 

Module title Credits
Digital Media: Critical Perspectives 30 credits
Photography and After 30 Credits
Digital Media Practice: Image Making 30 credits

You'll also choose 30 credits of option modules from a list provided annually by the Department. View examples of recent option modules.

Pathway 3 (Theory and Practice: Data Visualisation) modules

For the Data Visualisation pathway, you'll take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Digital Media: Critical Perspectives 30 credits
Software Studies 30 credits or 15 credits
Digital Media Data Visualisation 30 credits

You'll also choose 30 credits of option modules from a list provided annually by the Department. View examples of recent option modules.

Dissertation

Students across all pathways are required to produce either a 12,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor, or a practice/theory project. The length of the practical element is dependent on the media and form used, and will be agreed on 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 subject to 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 one of the practice/theory pathways 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.

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

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

What our students say

Kanishka

My favourite part about my degree was its diversity. Having people from all around the world really widened the experience.

The importance of diversity

My favourite part about my degree was its diversity. Having people from all around the world really widened the experience. Anyone coming to Goldsmiths or any other University in general, must keep their mind and heart open to accept people and changes that they might experience in their lives.

Studying in London

The best part about studying in this part of London is that everything you need is nearby and you can access anything anytime.

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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2023/2024 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9720
  • Home - part-time: £4860
  • International - full-time: £19210

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

MA Digital Media applicants may be eligible for funding through the Stationers' Company Postgraduate Bursary Scheme.

Scholarships

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 academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • 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

When applying, please specify in your personal statement which is your preferred Practice Pathway (2 or 3).

Applicants to Pathway 2 (Image Making) need to demonstrate the relevant experience and expertise via the submission of a portfolio of their creative work (still and/or moving image, using any techniques – including some digital ones). 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. Please make sure you include your application reference number (which you will receive when you enter your online application) and the MA degree title.

Applicants to Pathway 3 (Data Visualisation) don’t need to submit a portfolio. No advanced knowledge of computing is required of them. However, they are requested to explain in their personal statement their interest in Pathway 3, the state of their current technical knowledge and their wider experience with technology and computing so far, as practitioners and/or users. These applicants will also need a relevant first degree as above.

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

AR Planet by Yujin Yun/Moon Jung Hyun/Sam Oh

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.

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