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Digital Media Culture and Technology BA

UCAS code P300
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Media Arts »
Computer Science »

 

Instagram created new visual cultures, LinkedIn created new employment spheres, and Twitter has changed the way we discuss politics. The creative industries are the UK’s fastest-growing economic sector, worth £71.4 billion a year and making up 5.6% of the work force (Department of Culture, Media & Sport, 2014), and within the creative industries, digital media looks set to grow the fastest over the next few years. Opportunities are everywhere.

A unique collaboration between the Department of Media Arts and Department of Computer Science, this three-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree will introduce you to all the key elements of digital media culture and technology, with a focus on the creative and cultural aspects in your course options for years 2 and 3. It will equip you for an exciting career in this ground-breaking field, giving you the critical and creative skills to excel in media production and an appreciation of the technologies that make it all work. The programme's modular structure gives you the flexibility to tailor your studies to your own interests.

We don't just teach surface readings of today's social media, we give you an understanding from the ground up. We will help you to harness the power of digital media cultures and work with the latest, emerging forms of social media. This degree is an innovative collaboration between the Department of Media Arts and Department of Computer Science to enable you to learn from the experts in coding, design and data analytics that form the technical basis of today's digital communications. We put heavy emphasis on project-based learning and regular industry involvement. Our broad curriculum will also prepare you for more advanced study in either media arts of computer science, or related fields if you decide to progress within academia.

  • Be a part of two exceptional departments. The Department of Computer Science ranks 11th in the UK and the Department of Media Arts is in the top 10 for research quality (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Thrive on our creative campus – we have regular industry visitors and close contact with other arts departments and student societies.
  • Learn the story-telling and the science: you will study how social media works on an aesthetic and social level, as well as on a more data-grounded, technical level.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to tailor your degree according to your interests and graduate with either a BA or BSc, depending on your choice of courses.

Core modules

Year 1

Computer Science: Introduction to Programming

In this module you will develop an understanding of how computers can be used to solve problems. You will start by considering variables, types and simple data structures such as strings, sets, lists and dictionaries. You will learn to use control flow mechanisms such as conditionals, while loops, and for loops, and examine functional and recursive techniques. You will see how to perform input and output to and from the command line and files, and implement simple algorithms. You will also examine key concepts surrounding objects, such as use of classes and inheritance.

Computer Science: Computing Laboratory (Games)

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic concepts of 2D game design and apply them to the development of simple games using an objected-oriented approach. You will look at the nature of graphics, animation, and motion, considering the usage of vectors in these techniques. You will also examine the fundamentals of game physics, such as collisions, gravity and ballistics.

Media Arts: Film, Television and Digital History

This module introduces you to film, television and digital media history with a particular emphasis on how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms. The module spans the late 19th century through to the current epoch of convergence media. You will consider how even ‘old’ technologies were ‘new’ at some point, exploring the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms. This broad historical sweep provides you with a chronological knowledge to complement and contextualise the bespoke theoretical emphasis of other core modules in either Film and Television or Digital Culture.

Media Arts: Introduction to Digital Media 1

This module introduces you to creating interactive digital projects and reflecting on them in the context of digital media culture, history and theory. You will develop the ability to work iteratively between coding and critical understanding of digital culture. Lectures and practical sessions will revolve around key concepts and practices to obtain a sound understanding of the basics of digital media culture and technology.

Media Arts: Introduction to Digital Media 2

In this module you will develop an understanding of digital narratives and cultures with an emphasis on audiovisual storytelling. The key aim of the module is to produce a 3 to 5 minute short film, and provide you with an essential level of knowledge and skills in the creative practice of audiovisual media for digital platforms. You will be encouraged to work iteratively and gain weekly feedback on your ideas and work-in-progress. You will learn to shoot stories on mobile phones, lightweight cameras and how to edit these on Final Cut Pro. You will also learn key sound design skills.

Year 2

Computer Science: Data Analytics and Visualisation

In this module you will develop an understaning of the elements of exploratory data analysis. You will look at standard graphical visualisation methods and consider how to qualitatively evaluate the significance of results. You will consider choices of representational mode, glyph, and colour design for presentation graphics and conduct simple exploratory analyses, assessing the relevance of apparent patterns and trends by devising basic randomisation tests. You will also consider examine tools for devising valid and eloquent presentations of data as part of a journalistic story.

Media Arts: Digital Media Communications

In this module you will learn the theoretical and practical skills to create content for a range of digital and social media, combining the ability to respond to a series of briefs, with skills in working as a team to execute an online media project. You will be required to reflect on, and offer critical analysis of the project and your own contribution to it. You will be required to produce a social / digital media campaign that evidences an awareness of the aesthetic cultural and practical possibilities of non-linear narrative forms. This module will help you to develop a deeper understanding of digital culture and the socio-economic, cultural and regulatory forces that shape online experiences and to be able to reflect on how these impact the creative possibilities explored on the course.

Media Arts: Digital Aesthetics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the core concepts of the digital age, looking at how today's computer networks, devices and infrastructure undergird nearly all forms of aesthetic, cultural social and political life. You will consider the concepts of technicity, affective turn, digital subjectivity and extended mind, creative expression and participation in the digital era, amateur production, free software, fun and politics, self-organisation, media archeology and sonic architectures. You will examine the systematic challenges brought about by digital change and critically interpret and analyse digital phenomena.

Year 3

Media Arts: Advanced Digital Media Communications

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theoretical debates around digital media. You will examine the use of various publishing platforms and strategies for digital and social media, assessing non-linear narrative forms and interactive story-telling from a creative and critical perspective.

Media Arts: Advanced Digital Media Communications Project

In this module you will design, develop and execute a substantial original piece of digital media, combining still and moving image, sound, text and code. You will prepare and write a project proposal and budget and present your ideas in public. You will reflect on and critically analyse your work, showing an advanced understanding of the aesthetic ethical and technical issues involved in digital and social media.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Computer Science: Human-Computer Interaction

In this module you will develop an understanding of the principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) and the approaches that can be used to create interfaces matching users' needs and expectations. You will evaluate the usability and suitability of user interfaces, and build simple prototypes using different media and technologies. You will consider how perception and cognition influence HCI, and examine tests, such as web experiments.

Media Arts: Animation and VFX

 

Media Arts: Creative Social Media

 

Media Arts: Creative Digital Arts

 

Media Arts: Interactive Storytelling

 

Media Arts: Directing Screen Fiction

 

Media Arts: Documentary

 

Media Arts: Cinematography

 

Media Arts: Screenwriting

 

Media Arts: Producing Film and Television

 

Media Arts: Creative Post-Production

 

Media Arts: Film Theory - Hitchcock and Point of View

 

Media Arts: Post-Classical Hollowood

 

Media Arts: TV Histories

 

Media Arts: Modern European Cinema

 

Media Arts: Chinese Cinema

 

Media Arts: Exotic Cinema

 

Media Arts: Modernism and Avant Garde Film

 

Media Arts: Beyond Bollywood

 

Media Arts: Creative Industries

 

Year 3

Computer Science: Team Project in Human-Computer Interaction

 

Media Arts: Directing Screen Fiction

 

Media Arts: Documentary

 

Media Arts: Advanced Screenwriting

 

Media Arts: Producing Film and TV

 

Media Arts: Cinematography

 

Media Arts: Intractive Storytelling

 

Media Arts: Creativel Digital Arts

 

Media Arts: Creative Sound Design

 

Media Arts: Contemporary British Cinema 1

 

Media Arts: Contemporary British Cinema 2

 

Media Arts: Digital Culture

 

Media Arts: Film Aesthetics 1

 

Media Arts: Film Aesthetics 2

 

Media Arts: Psychoanalysis and Cinema

 

Media Arts: Holocaust Cinema

 

Media Arts: Media Technologies

 

Media Arts: See This Sound

 

Media Arts: Cinephilia

 

Media Arts: 360˚ Cinema

 

Media Arts: Political Cinema - From Eisenstein to YouTube

 

Media Arts: Poetics / Politics of TV

 

You will study the equivalent of four full units each year with approximately three-quarters of your courses in Media Arts and one-quarter in Computer Science, plus optional modules from departments across the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

  • Year 1: three full units in Media Arts and two half units in Computer Science

  • Year 2: one and a half full units in Media Arts and two half units in Computer Science with a range of optional courses, including one full unit in Media Arts and two half units in  either Media Arts or Computer Science

  • Year 3: a double unit in Media Arts, one half unit in Computer Science and a range of optional courses in Media Arts, Computer Science and from elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials, screenings, practical workshops and live media practice exercises, including location work, use of our purpose-built TV studio and multimedia and computer labs, group work and guided independent research and study. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and our comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. You will also be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your studies.

Assessment is both dynamic and innovative, designed to test your creative and critical skills across a wide range of communication platforms. This could include assessed blogging, short film submissions, programming tasks, PR exercises and responding to live briefs, alongside more traditional written assignments such as essays, scripts or production papers, extended essays, written exams, assessed coursework, and a portfolio of practical work.

Outside the tasks and assessments required by their curriculum, you will be encouraged to take full advantage of our technical facilities, which are available on a 24/7 basis, to build a portfolio of creative work for your future career.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • Your performance at a selection interview
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
Required/preferred subjects  A selection interview is required at which you may provide an optional portfolio of work .  We also require at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall. A selection interview is required
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject. A selection interview is required
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in related subject plus 1 A-Level grade B.  A selection interview is required
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A-Levels grades B,B
A selection interview is required
Welsh Baccalaureate

A non-subject specified A Level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher Level plus Higher requirements. A selection interview is required
Scottish Highers AABBB at Advanced Level plus Advanced Higher requirements.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level. A selection interview is required
Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit. The Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if there has been a considerable break from education. A selection interview is required.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below



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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall
  • with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

By the time you graduate you will be able to walk into an interview with a thorough grounding in the history and theory of digital media – invaluable for companies who look ahead to future trends – along with expertise in programming, analytics and data visualisation. You will also have a portfolio of creative work and transferrable skills such as written communication, presentation, time management, teamwork, research, problem solving, critical analysis and advanced IT skills.

During your studies you will have the chance to hear from practising professionals in lectures, and to make connections through our staff and alumni industry networks. We also run a micro work placement scheme, where you can gain first-hand experience in the world of work and learn about what employers are looking for, before you apply for a job.

Graduates from our Media Arts and Computer Science departments can be found in almost every area of the media industries, from TV production to directing, writing, shooting and starring in films, software engineering, PR and brand management, through to games development and web design. With a BA degree you will be particularly well prepared for more creative career paths.

  • Benefit from networking opportunities and hear from practising professionals during your studies.
  • Open doors to a wide range of exciting job opportunities, in both digital media and computer science, and the creative industries more broadly.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: TBC

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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