M.Sc. Digital Media & Culture

The University of Edinburgh

Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This is a one year research-based degree that examines theories and philosophies of digital media, technological change, the mass media, computation, artificial intelligence, and the social and cultural contexts in which such developments take place. It is a research degree, with some coursework, and can be completed in a year, or the course content can constitute the first year of PhD study. The degree can also be taken part time over two years.

Students of this programme will be part of a dynamic community of researchers exploring many aspects of computing: its social ramifications, the world of e-commerce, e-entrepreneurship, e-learning, project-based composition and artistic works, digital architecture, links between vision and sound, non-place, and more.

The MSc/Dip by Research in Digital Media and Culture admits students from cultural theory, philosophy, fine art, design, architecture, urbanism or other fields in the humanities. It also welcomes applicants with an interest in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, interaction design, composition, and art/design practice. The core of the course is Media and Culture (P00175 20 credits), supported by a series of optional lecture-based courses and reading courses.

The programme provides an opportunity for students to pursue research in theoretical and reflective aspects of digital media and culture. Students take a minimum of 100 credits as research project work, dissertation or research methods courses. There is no mandatory design or technical component to this programme, but students can elect to take courses from the MSc in Design and Digital Media and the MSc in Sound Design.

The progamme aims to

* develop specific knowledge and provide a broadly-based foundation for research into theories of culture and design in the context of digital media. (Digital media primarily, but not exclusively, covers considerations of the Internet, information systems, digital film, computer games, mobile and distributed computing, ubiquitous computing, haptics, e-commerce, e-learning, digital art practice, immersive environments, artificial intelligence, artificial life, generative systems, and computer-aided design.)
* develop understandings of digital technology´s complicity in reconfigurations of identity, spatiality, communication, the local and the global, and narratives of social and cultural transformation
* encourage critical responses to developments in digital media
* develop critiques of commentaries on digital media that appear in the academic and popular literature
* examine critically the cultural and social contexts in which technological change takes place, through theories of urbanism, spatiality, globalization, non-place and cultural landscape
* provide intellectual support for digital media design and art practice, installation design, composition, architecture and other practice-based applications
* compare critically the relevance to digital media studies of theories drawn from phenomenology, analytical philosophy, positivism, romanticism, various schools of thought within philosophy, psychology, perception, aesthetics, ethics and language, critical theory, hermeneutics, deconstruction, post-colonial studies, semiotics, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism
* provide an analytical framework to enable students to develop scholarly and informed thinking in their chosen area of research
* provide a foundation for advanced research


Semester 1

* Postgraduate Research Methods P00487
* Media and Culture P00175
* 1 course, or half course, from Option List A


* Research Reading Course A P01818
* Semester 2
* Digital Media and Culture Research Report


* 1 course, or half course, from Option List B
* Research Review


* 2 courses from Option List B
* Research Reading Course B
* Final project
* Digital Media and Culture Dissertation P01822

Option List A

* Introduction to Design Media P00174
* Interactive Design Media P00176
* Sound Design Media P00185
* Sonic Structures P00188
* Film Theory and Criticism LC0002 [Semester 1]
* This course is offered by the School of Literature, Languages and Cultures (LLC), and enrolment on the course is subject to the availability of places. Note that this course is worth 40 credits and runs over 2 semesters.
* Other postgraduate courses offered by the School of Arts, Culture and Environment subject to approval from the Programme Director

Option List B

* Dynamic Web Design P00177
* The Digital Marketplace P00178
* Digital Media Studio Project P00179
* Interactive Sound Environments P00189
* Sound and Fixed Media P00190
* Digital Media Studio Project P00179
* Film Theory and Criticism LC0002 [Semester 2]
* Note that this course is worth 40 credits and runs over 2 semesters.
* Other postgraduate courses offered by the School of Arts, Culture and Environment, subject to approval from the Programme Director


Normally a 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent if outside the UK, in a relevant subject.

English Language Requirements:

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

200 (Grade A)

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