The Digital Media degree has been designed in consultation with industry to create a course which meets the practical, technical and theoretical demands of a career in the fast-moving creative industries.
Providing a balance between theory and practice, with creative work informed by theoretical contexts, is a central focus of this degree. The course teaches a broad range of the latest content production techniques alongside the cutting edge contemporary academic debates and methodologies surrounding digital media.
Taught in the University's cutting-edge digital media suites, practice-based work includes video production, web design and HTML programming, data visualisation and smart environments. Great emphasis is also given to the management and analysis of social media platforms, with APIs and other sources used to present and assess social data.
Theoretical topics of study include: Gender, identity and new media, spatiality and new media, blogging cultures, open and collaborative cultures, immersive and smart environments, social, locative and mobile media.
Practice-based work includes: Video production, website design, information design and editing using Abode Creative Suite, Avid and Apple software, visualisation and informatics, smart environments design.
Throughout the course emphasis is given to producing creative works of a professional, industry-standard and high-quality finish. Projects and briefs, tools and facilities provided meet these standards.
Students will acquire a broad range of creative skills during the degree, including:
Each year is made up of four 30-credit modules. In Year One students receive an introduction to Digital Media with four compulsory modules – two theoretical and two practical.
In Year Two students can choose one optional module alongside three compulsory, with one of these options providing the chance to do an industry placement.
During Year Three all students undertake their individual project and dissertation alongside two additional compulsory modules, with the fourth an optional module.
The module is concerned with discussing and analysing the shared meanings produced and circulated in a range of traditional visual media, as well as new media, online media and social media. The content will comprise foundational theories drawn from media and cultural studies and their application in relation to carefully selected case studies. Students will consider how power, authority and cultural value are mediated through different forms of representation. This theoretical understanding will inform the creative and critical media practice that is central to the study of media and communications. The module aims to equip students with the key skills for academic study in their programme and to introduce students to processes of meaning production in the media alongside developing a critical understanding of issues and concepts of cultural representation.
This module examines the relationship between culture and society and new media. It explores the history of networked cultures and their impact on the development of culture and society. The module introduces key theoretical frameworks and approaches in cultural studies which students are encouraged to use and apply to the analysis and examination of popular culture and network cultures in particular. The module aims to introduce students to issues concerning the study of popular culture and its historical approaches and contexts – with a focus on digital and networked cultures. Case studies include: mobile phone culture; activism, SMS and protest; mobility and social theory; critical analysis of trends and fashions such as the Selfie; open cultures, such as open source cultures, copyright and CC incensing; blogging cultures. Content in lectures, seminars and workshops explores the local and the global dynamics of networked cultures and their intrinsic connection to contemporary debates about the market, consumer culture, globalisation, hybridity and cultural identity.
This module introduces students to the principles of information design for print and online publications. The module explores the history and theory of typography and the ways typography can be used to communicate meaning. Utilising a range of desktop publishing tools for the creation of visual information designs, the module offers technical skills in the processing of digital images for print and online and introduces students to methods for the visualisation of data sets. This module focuses on the design, presentation and communication of information for print and online publications. Students will gain detailed understanding of the history and practices of information design for both print and online publications. Students will be required to use this knowledge to gather, analyse and present information in order to create and communicate meaning effectively. The module focuses on design and layout principles and establishes a good understanding of desktop publishing rules and conventions. The module introduces both industry standard software as well as freeware software for the creation of layout designs online and in print.
This module includes 70% of practice-based knowledge and skills and 30% knowledge in theoretical frameworks and historical contexts. The module reviews the history and theory of the internet from its early development to today. It explores contemporary theoretical frameworks, debates and critical discourses on social media and online media. Media production skills include: applied knowledge in social media promotion (rich, buzz and marketing); video production; blog publishing; HTML programming; creating and disseminating content online using a variety of platforms and as appropriate to target audience/community.
The module presents key theoretical frameworks with which to examine past, current and emerging practices in digital media. The module reviews technological developments from the history and development of the internet to the rise of social media today. The module introduces students to some key debates surrounding digital media practices and to examine contemporary examples of digital media cultures. The module takes special focus on theoretical tools and empirical methods for reflecting upon personal and everyday experience of digital cultures.
The module reviews: the history of the internet; user generated content; new emerging paradigms of social media in politics and activism; critical debates on issues of privacy in social media and emerging culture of surveillance; the relationship between authorship and audience participation in New Media; past, present and emerging cultures of Mobility; Gamification; game addiction, and ethnicity, gender and race in games; Net art and software art; Cyberculture; free cultures; race and gender; labour; fandom; piracy and other practices shared and intertwined with the internet, personal devices and digital media dissemination and participation. The module draws on a range of case studies from popular culture (for example, cinema, video games, media art, social media platforms) in order to explore digital cultures and the role of digital technologies in the shaping of cultural production, popular culture and everyday communication. The module offers a good understanding of political, economic and ethical considerations pertaining to digital cultures.
The module is designed as a 50% theoretical/50% practical course that prepares students for their Level 6 Independent Project – whether that takes the form of a work placement, an extended essay or practice-based work. The module is specifically designed to teach students how to devise and develop independent research projects within the framework of digital media and to train them to use the latest tools and programmes to do research on digital media.
The course will instruct students in the design of a research project, including budgeting, basic project planning and management skills, calculation of expenditures, and will guide them across the learning of the new and cutting edge techniques and methods for digital data analysis, such as: data scraping and API extraction, data visualization, basic social network analysis, digital ethnography, social media content analysis, big data analytics, and how these interface with more traditional media research methods such as interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. The module enables students to learn, evaluate and experiment contemporary techniques and approaches in digital media research and apply this knowledge to the design of a research proposal, the development, planning and execution of a research or practical project.
This module offers 100% media production skills. The module focuses on media production formats such as: video production (DSLR cameras, lighting kits, two-camera interviews); Sound recording and mixing; advanced image processing with Photoshop and InDesign Adobe; Advanced post-production and video editing with Premier and Final Cut Pro (industry-standard editing software packages). Web design with HTML; live media campaigning; conceptualising and building smart phone applications.
This module requires to produce practice-based work that is creative and self-reflexive and adaptable to multiple platforms (on and off line). Project outputs include but are not limited to: viral video, live campaign, games, forums, platforms, exhibitions and applications for the smartphone. Skills acquired in this module include: responding to a set brief; budget keeping; advanced video production; advanced online and social media publishing techniques and promotion.
This module requires to complete a work-placement in a selected sector in the industry. The module runs in cooperation with the Employability Support Services. The work-placement must take place either from January to May or June to August. The module offers an alternative option in the event that a work-placement is not secured, in which students must complete a self-promotion portfolio including a professional practice-based project and a critical reflection on present and past professional experience.
On the first half of the module from October to January, students will have the opportunity to learn about, consider and discuss the nature of contemporary work in the media and cultural industries and in related fields. This part will explore how people organise their working lives; what types of employment are on the rise, and which are in decline; what exactly are 'the cultural industries', and why are they the subject of so much discussion.
The module examines the broader factors surrounding and shaping the types of organisations and industries that students will do their work-placement at and ultimately acquire employment in. Most employers recruiting for interesting graduate jobs nowadays want graduates who are knowledgeable problem-solvers (with equal knowledge in technical production skills), and the lectures and seminar-based part of this module will help develop these skills. The module provides fundamental employability skills in CV writing, Letter writing, job hunting and interviewing.
This module provides students with a range of discourses for thinking about visual cultures that will deepen their understanding of other modules and professional practices. This module aims to develop students' communication skills and self-discipline by meeting regular essay deadlines throughout the year. The module is designed to combine analysis of texts with a diet of relevant theoretical material to enable students to engage in sophisticated textual analysis. It will draw upon a variety of different primary texts with both general ideas about visual culture drawn from media studies, cultural studies, critical theory and film theory and specialist academic materials on the specific examples given.
The module will be divided into three blocks: introducing visual culture and more specific blocks looking at particular "visual cultures". In the first block, students will be given a brief overview of the history of visual media. This block will then go on to introduce key academic ideas about the uses of still and moving images in culture. The second two blocks will focus on discrete areas of study. These will all be from a critical rather than practical perspective. Examples of the sorts of topics that could be included are: sculpture; the gaze; graphic design; self-portrait; outdoor advertising; photo-journalism; Roland Barthes; trauma and the image; aesthetics of games; calligraphy; the western; manga and anime and so on.
The independent project module requires students to engage in the development and execution of a sustained project (written or practical) that is relevant to the field of digital media and the study of digital humanities. The module offer skills in professional practice and research with an emphasis on self-directed and independent learning. The module requires to engage critically with theoretical discourses and debates, as well as practical applications of media and technologies - encountered in the course. The project takes one of two forms: a written dissertation project of 7,000 words or a creative, practical industry-standard project accompanied by a sustained critical reflection of 3,500-4,000 words (detailing the process of development and execution) and a business plans (including budget and promotion strategy).
This module prepares students for a professional career. The module requires the production of a 'live project' working with a client. This means that students must produce a live project in response to a real-client brief. Through the Media department's industry links, contacts and collaborations with companies from the industry will be encouraged. The module gives strong emphasis on employability skills and includes specialist workshops for CV writing, letter writing, interview training, as well as gives access to technical production resources such as the sound recording studio, post production suites and use of the TV studio. Students will develop a professional portfolio including business cards, CV and professional profiles on online networking tools and platforms. Students will be required to contact clients, agencies and work in close collaboration with professionals from the cultural and creative industries. This module will have the direct support of the University's Employability Support Office.
This module offers a balance between theoretical frameworks and practice-based applications of locative media. The module explores the notions of spatiality, temporality, mobility and urbanism through practical applications of locative-media tools and applications. The first half of the module will explore the analysis of theoretical frameworks concerning the changes in spatiotemporal perception brought about by ICTs. The second half will explore hands-on practical applications of contemporary location-based technologies, tools and applications.
The module will review the history of locative media movement from 2001 to 2008, before the introduction of the smartphone and examine pioneering projects that created interactive environments inside the city. It will also review and examine up-to-date and cutting-edge applications and tools from today's industry.
Theoretical frameworks and approaches include: impact of ICTs in everyday life and perception of time and space; critical understanding of arguments surrounding the Smart City rhetoric, inclusion and exclusion; citizen centric approaches to Smart cities; and smart environments design.
Devices, tools and project outputs include: the smartphone; environmental sensors; ibeacons; alternative applications of commercial tools such as location sharing; examination of latest industry trends as these develop, these may include Virtual Reality helmets and Peripheral visions displays; practical application of Open Data sensors; location-based applications for consumer products; contextual-art based projects using augmented reality tools and location-based guided tours. `
The module examines the debates surrounding digital media in relation to the frameworks of "openness" that pertain to digital media cultures, and specifically looks at the cultures of sharing and collaborative work, tools and practices. The module builds on prior knowledge acquired in Level 4 module Network Cultures and Level 5 Digital Cultures. The module focuses on advanced contemporary debates in media cultures and takes special focus on the current practices of collaboration and sharing in relation to consumption, work and the creative economy, which stem out of the latest technological developments.
The module offers the framework for a cultural understanding of the current notions of openness, sharing and collaboration in the digital media industry and the professional skills required for this kind of practices. Students will be introduced to a range of case studies with which to analyse and critically challenge trends and phenomena of openness, collaboration and sharing in relation to a variety of instances, such as collaborative practice for work and labour, co-creation, commons-based peer production, co-design and co-living, and be able to reflect upon their own professionalisation in the digital industry.
This module explores key arguments and debates concerning subjectivity, consumer culture and digital media. The module aims to develop knowledge and understanding on the role of new media in shaping cultural identities and especially in relation to the development of global consumer culture. The module develops advanced skills in ethnographic research methods. Since the Enlightenment the way in which the self has been understood and experienced has been central to the development of consumer culture. In recent times it has been argued that it is consumption, rather than any other social factors, that shapes our identities. The purpose of this module is to examine digital media promotional practices under this premise and explore debates regarding the relationship between identity (collective and individual) and consumer culture.
Direct teaching contact in Media modules combines a number of forms – mainly lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and online activities.
For all students taking a module – lectures are a useful way to discuss key material or approaches, deal with issues, explore questions, concepts and theories, or introduce case study material such as videos, films and other artistic works. In lectures, note taking and listening are essential. Alongside lectures in modules, you will have the opportunity to attend lectures with guest speakers form the creative industries.
For small groups – these are structured, student-led sessions in which you might explore ideas in discussion, carry out practical tasks such as devising or analysing a media product, or practice your research skills. All of these sessions are intended to provide forms of space in which you can discuss and share ideas; as well as develop skills and materials in preparation for assessments. In seminars, reading module materials, note taking and participating in discussion are essential. Actively participating and engaging in seminar discussion enhances presentation skills and the articulation of arguments and ideas and helps you prepare materials for assessment tasks.
Similar to seminars but with a focus on practical activities and skills, including: creative group tasks, demonstrations of software packages and media production tolls such as inductions to using DSLR cameras, tripods and sound recording. Active participation, prior preparation, and guided independent study time are required.
This includes blog, forum, and wiki participation and is focused on developing writing and communication skills as well as IT and online collaboration skills. These activities aid further development of independent learning skills.
Include structured, formal and informal feedback from your tutors on work in progress or on your ideas for a specific module assignment or project task.
Much of your learning at university takes place outside class sessions. This encourages autonomous learning, providing you with the opportunity for critical self-reflection or space for self-directed reading or research. An example might be a research or practical project linked to a module's learning outcomes that you undertake independently or with a small group supported by your tutor. This might then form the basis for a seminar presentation.
Typical offers for this course:
A Levels minimum two, maximum three subjects
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma minimum two, maximum three subjects
Access to HE Diploma
Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 , of which all 45 must be Merit or higher
Applicants without normal qualifications but who have extensive experience in digital media related areas may be considered through the University’s policy and formal process of Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL)
If you are unable to meet the entry requirements for this course you may still be eligible for our Foundation year course. This is an extra year of study to prepare you for the full degree. For more information see our Foundation Year in Media page.
Our entry requirements are displayed as grades. Please use the UCAS calculator to find out the equivalent tariff points.
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country. For details of other equivalent requirements that Middlesex accepts see entry requirements.
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components).Middlesex also offers a Pre-sessional English course that ranges from 5-17 weeks depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements.
After completing the degree in Digital Media graduates will have a wide range of skills which make them suitable for various roles within the creative industries, such as: