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Digital Media Culture & Technology BSc

UCAS code P304
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
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 Computer Science and Department of Media Arts, this three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree will introduce you to all the key elements of digital media culture and technology, with a focus on the technical, computing elements 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 work in media production and harness the power of emerging trends in social media, and a solid grounding in 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

Introduction to Programming

Computer Lab (Games)

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.

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.

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

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.

Data Visualisation and Analytics

Internet Services

Mathematical Structures

Year 3

Advanced Digital Media Communications

Advanced Digital Media Communications - Project

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

Screen Documentary


Producing Film and Television

Post-Classical Hollywood

Creative Industries

Human-Computer Interaction

Software Design

Year 3

360˚ Cinema

Digital Culture

TV Histories

Transnational Cinemas 1

Semantic Web

Team Project in Human-Computer Interaction

You will study the equivalent of four full units each year with approximately half of your courses in Media Arts and half 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 full unit in Media Arts and three half units in Computer Science with a range of optional courses, including half unit in Media Arts and one full unit in Computer Science
  • Year 3: a double unit in Media Arts, and a range of optional courses in Computer Science to the value of two units.

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 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 grade B,B.
A selection interview is required 

Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels, where one 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. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education. A selection interview is required

Other UK qualifications

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

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

IELTS with 6.5 overall, including 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies, please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

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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