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Digital Media Culture and Technology BSc

Please note that information shown below may be subject to change.

UCAS code
Year of entry
Course length
3 years full time
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

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 Visualisation and Analytics

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 significante of results. You will consider choices of representational mode, glyph, and colour design for presentation graphics and conduct simple exploratory analyses, assessing the significance 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.

Computer Science: Mathematical Structures

In this module you will develop an understanding of the formal resoning for sets, relations, functions and cardinality. You will look at the structures for program data and representation and learn to write and reason recursive definitions and prove results by induction and contradiction. You will consider the representation and reasoning of problems using graphs and the use of vectors and transformations for defining and manipulating graphical objects. You will also examine the usage of probability and statistics in analysing data.

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.

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.

Computer Science: Software Design

In this module you will develop an understanding of software design and engineering processes, including the Waterfall and Agile methodologies. You will learn how to identify common software requirements and see how these have been considered in existing systems. You will look the techniques of software design and how software engineers communicate their design ideas. You will consider the importance of documentation and the usage of current industry-standard notations such as user stories and the unified modeling language (UML). You will also analyse and critique the design of existing sotware looking at the user experience as a measure of its fitness for purpose.

Computer Science: Introduction to Information Security

In this module you will develop an understanding of how information security may be influenced by real world design and implementation decisions. You will will look at the different cryptographic algorithms, considering their use, advantages and disadvantages. You will use these cryptographic primitives to review and evaluate cryptographic protocols, and examine the rational decisions in the design of tokens and secure elements.

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: Advanced Data Communications


Computer Science: Semantic Web


Computer Science: Digital Audio and Applications


Computer Science: Functional programming and applications


Computer Science: Information Security


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 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 ABB-BBB

How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects

 We require at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9-4, including Maths and English.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 5,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject. 
Distinction, Distinction in related subject plus 1 A-Level grade B. 
BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction plus A-Levels grades B,B.

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 ABB-BBB. 
Scottish Highers AABBB  
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level. 
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining 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.

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. 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 2018/19*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2018/19**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: £50 to £350

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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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