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Digital Media Culture and Technology BA

Digital Media Culture and Technology BA

BA
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If we make you an offer for this course for 2022 entry, we guarantee to confirm your place even if one of your final A-level results is one grade below those you have received in that offer. Equivalencies and exclusions apply. Full details here.

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Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: P300

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees: £9,250

International/EU fees: £18,100

Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: P304

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees: £9,250

International / EU fees: £18,100

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The course

Digital Media Culture and Technology BA (BA)

Our lives are shaped and mediated by the digital. Social platforms, streaming and viral media, personalisation algorithms, gaming and creative digital content have changed what it means to be a human today. This innovative degree will allow you to become an expert in the practices and cultures of digital media and to understand how they have transformed almost every industry. It will also give you the industry-standard skills to create the best digital media content in the world and prepare you for a flourishing career in the creative digital industries.

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), and within the creative industries, digital media looks set to grow the fastest over the next few years. Opportunities are everywhere and this degree 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 go round.

We want you each to define and go in your own direction. Our students graduate to work in communication and social media, video games, music, TV and film, events, academia, journalism and many other fields. With digital skills–the richest currency in the world of employment today–you can take your degree in any direction you want. With that in mind, we create bespoke tailored degree pathways so that you can study the things you love and care about and develop the skills you want. Our first year gives you a taster of everything, from interactive storytelling, film-making and digital journalism to creative code, web and game design and media theory. In years two and three you can choose from a wide selection of modules to tailor your degree to your interests.

Our degree enables you to learn how 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 and as a member of our community you can take advantage of our vast network of connections. Our broad curriculum will also prepare you for more advanced study in media arts or related fields if you decide to progress within academia.

  • Emphasis on project-based learning.
  • Alternative BSc (P304) pathway available taught in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science.
  • Study how digital media works on both aesthetic and technical levels.
  • Industry involvement from our outstanding networks.
  • Immersion in 24-7 state-of-the-art media arts facilities.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module introduces you to the creation of artistic and experimental digital projects based on computer code. The first part of the module critically interrogates ‘code’ as a medium in digital arts practices, with reference to the history and politics of computing. The second half of the module explores how we can creatively and critically rethink human-computer interaction beyond familiar controllers such as the mouse, keyboard, and touchscreen. Under the umbrella of creative code and software art, you will view, interact with, and discuss a range of projects, and draw on their form and content to develop a portfolio of digital artworks.

     

  • This module provides a history of the innovations in digital storytelling that have developed over the last several decades, and teaches you the technical skills to produce your own innovative digital stories. From hypertext novels to contemporary video games, we look at how storytelling has changed since the invention of the internet. Then, we learn the skills needed to produce several forms of digital narratives including text-based games, interactive video, location-based experiences and social media storytelling. Students develop a portfolio of both creative and written work.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Year 2
  • 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.

  • This module explores the aesthetics, function, and politics of ‘data’ as used in news media through the development of an original creative data journalism and visualisation project. During the early phase of the module, you will develop an understanding of selected key figures and projects in the practice and theory of information visualisation, and their respective relationships with their social, cultural, and political contexts. You will also examine contemporary data journalism and related artworks, learning about the frameworks and tools used in their prototyping and developmental processes, and present examples for discussion in class. The second phase of the module focuses closely on the initial design, prototyping, and development of an original web-based data journalism project, organised around a series of technical workshops in mapping, moving image, text, and interactive graphics tools. You will draw on a combination of the coding, design, and presentation skills attained earlier in your studies, while learning new processes and more advanced techniques for information visualisation, with a particular focus on how to publish projects online.

     

You will take one from the following:
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • Creative Digital Arts
  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Creative Social Media
Year 3
  • This module aims to give you as real an understanding and experience of working in the digital industries as is possible within the context of a university. This module will help you to gain an understanding of digital business modelling; from both a value building perspective, and also a relationship building perspective which is vital to your ongoing success.

     

You must choose one of the following modules:

  • Media Arts Dissertation
  • 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. Here it is your chance to pursue your own passions and our students produce everything from digital magazines, interactive films, 2D and 3D animations, music videos, interactive and immersive websites, digital art installations and curations and augmented and virtual reality.

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
  • This module will examine, through the employment of practical methodologies, the work of significant avant-garde sound/noise practitioners throughout the 20th century analogue and digital eras. It will examine the relationship between significant artworks and the technology of the era. For example, in the acoustic era of music capture, before the electrification of the signal in 1925 that allowed electro-magnetic microphones and soundboard input mixing, the capture of sound was facilitated through a static condensing horn. In order to create a mix balance, the musicians would physically move closer or further away from the horn. We call this kinetic mixing. One of the first exercises will be to recreate this process and then develop the concept digitally, within an installation paradigm, employing a multichannel sound source and a range of Bluetooth speakers, allowing the different sounds to be physically moved within a defined space – 21st Century kinetic mixing.

     

  • This module aims to give you as real an understanding and experience of working in the digital industries as is possible within the context of a university. This module will help you to gain an understanding of digital business modelling; from both a value building perspective, and also a relationship building perspective which is vital to your ongoing success.

     

  • 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. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.

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.

Undergraduate Pathways

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, the International Study Centre offers the following pathway programmes:

International Foundation Year - for progression to the first year of an undergraduate degree.

International Year One - for progression to the second year of an 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 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**: £18,100

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 2021/22, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2022/23 has not yet been confirmed.

**The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer 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 2022, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 60% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more

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 at Royal Holloway during the 2021/22 academic year, and are included as a guide. 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

14th in the UK for Film Production

Source: Guardian University Guide, 2021

7th in the UK for research quality

Source: Complete University Guide, 2021

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