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Digital Media Culture and Technology BA

Digital Media Culture and Technology BA

BA
  • UCAS code P300
  • Option 3 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021

The course

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.

An ideal start to a career in digital or social media, 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 courses 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 enables you to learn how social media works on a number of levels that form the 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 media arts or related fields if you decide to progress within academia.

Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more

  • Emphasis on project-based learning.
  • Alternative BSc (P304) pathway available taught in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science.
  • Study how social media works on both aesthetic and technical levels.
  • Industry involvement from our outstanding networks.
  • Use our 24-7 media arts facilities.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • 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 the use of classes and inheritance.

  • 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 use of vectors in these techniques. You will also examine the fundamentals of game physics, such as collisions, gravity and ballistics.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of film, television and digital media history. You will look at how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms, examining media from the late 19th century through to the present. You will consider how even 'old' technologies were 'new' at some point, and analyse the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of interactive digital projects and reflect 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.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of digital narratives and cultures with an emphasis on audiovisual storytelling. You will learn skills in the creative practice of audiovisual media for digital platforms, producing a three to five minute short film. You will work iteratively and gain weekly feedback on your ideas and work-in-progress. You will learn how to shoot stories on mobile phones and lightweight cameras, how to edit these on Final Cut Pro, and key sound design skills.

Year 2
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the elements of exploratory data analysis. You will look at standard graphical visualisation methods and 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 examine the tools for devising valid and eloquent presentations of data as part of a journalistic story.

  • 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 a critical analysis of the project and your own contribution to it. You will produce a social/digital media campaign demonstrating an awareness of the aesthetic cultural and practical possibilities of non-linear narrative forms. You will examine the digital culture and consider the socio-economic, cultural and regulatory forces that shape online experiences.

  • 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 underpin 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 archaeology and sonic architectures. You will examine the systematic challenges brought about by digital change and critically interpret and analyse digital phenomena.

You will take one from the following:
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • Creative Digital Arts
  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Creative Social Media
Year 3
  • 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.

  • 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

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules 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
  • All modules are core
Year 2
  • Directing Screen Fiction
  • Screen Documentary
  • Cinematography
  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Screenwriting
  • Producing Film and Television
  • Creative Digital Arts
  • Creative Post Production
  • Film Theory: Hitchcock and Point of View
  • Post-Classical Hollywood
  • Television Histories
  • Modern European Cinema
  • Contemporary Chinese Cinemas
  • Exotic Cinema: Encounters with Cultural Difference
  • Modernism and Avant Garde Film
  • Beyond Bollywood: Indian Cinema in a Transitional Frame
  • 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 underpin 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 archaeology and sonic architectures. You will examine the systematic challenges brought about by digital change and critically interpret and analyse digital phenomena.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of how creativity is constrained and enabled by the industrial logics of the creative industries. You will focus on film, television and digital media, exploring issues such as economics and financing, pitching and commissioning, policy and regulation, copyright, formats and global trade, ratings and audience measurement, branding and marketing, digital production logics, and production cultures. You will also consider a number of important industry-oriented research skills, such as interviewing, market/demographic analysis, locating and interpreting legal documents, and archival research.

Year 3
  • Directing Screen Fiction
  • Screen Documentary
  • Advanced Screenplay- Major Project
  • Producing Film and TV
  • Cinematography
  • Transmedia
  • Creative Digital Arts
  • Creative Sound Design
  • 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.

  • Contemporary British Cinema 1
  • Digital Cultures
  • Film Aesthetics 1: Issues of Interpretation and Evaluation
  • Psychoanalysis and Cinema
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of how the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 has been represented and responded to across a range of both fictional and non-fictional media. You will look at the specific theoretical debates surrounding how the Holocaust can or should (or should not) be represented in art and popular culture. You will consider the role of mass media in constructing both popular and elite relationships to historical experience, and in documenting history.

  • Media Technologies
  • See This Sound - Audiovisuology
  • Cinephilia
  • 360º Cinema
  • Political Cinema: From Eisenstein to Youtube
  • The Poetics of Contemporary Television
  • Contemporary British Cinema 2
  • Film Aesthetics 2

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.

A Levels: ABB-BBB

Required subjects:

  • At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C or 9-4, including English and Mathematics.

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.

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.

The scores we require
  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.

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, you may 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 department 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 digital media and the creative industries more broadly.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

EU and International students tuition fee per year**: £17,700

Other essential costs***: £50 to £350

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loansscholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2020/21, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2021/22 has not yet been confirmed.

**The Government has confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2020/21 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course. For EU nationals starting a degree in 2021/22, the UK Government has recently confirmed that you will not be eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2021, we will award an automatic fee reduction which brings your fee into line with the fee paid by UK students. This will apply for the duration of your course.

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. Fees shown above are for 2020/21 and are displayed for indicative purposes only.

***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.

5th highest average graduate earnings

Source: 5 years after graduation, Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018

10th in the UK for Film Production

Source: Guardian University Guide, 2020

7th in the UK for research quality

Source: Complete University Guide, 2020

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