Digital Media and Society MA

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Full-time:
1 year
Part-time:
not available
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
£7,750
International fees:
£17,100
Location:
Loughborough

Achievements

1st

1st in the UK for Media & Film Studies

Guardian University Guide, 2018

Top 40 in the World

for Communication and Media Studies

QS Rankings, 2017

Ranked 2nd

nationally for research quality

REF 2014

Overview

Our Digital Media and Society MA offers a comprehensive understanding of current developments in digital media and their wider social significance.

Digital media has become an integral part of contemporary life. The internet and mobile technologies are inseparable from everything we do. Our Digital Media and Society MA programme is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of current thinking and debates on the implications of these developments.

You will benefit from a mix of traditional lectures, seminar-style teaching and one-to-one support through the personal tutor system.

In addition to this, we have designed a bespoke package of study skills support including using and interpreting academic literature, referencing, critical thinking and developing your own writing style.

In the second term you will take a Media Landscapes class as part of the dissertation module. In this class visiting speakers from across the media and creative industries will give guest lectures, providing insights into the sector and roles in which they work.

In collaboration with the English Language study Unit we have designed a bespoke package of study skills support. This is run through the dissertation module in the first term. It will support you in using and interpreting academic literature, referencing, critical thinking and developing your own writing style. This is also an excellent networking opportunity.

Also there is the opportunity to undertake a four-week placement over the Easter vacation (April) – this experience can be recognized as part of your dissertation research project. If you take up this opportunity, you can have this recognized through their degree if you wish. If you take a placement, you will be put onto a special ‘placement dissertation’ module. You will be able to use your placement experience as part of your dissertation research project and will in (in part) be assessed on the quality of your reflection on the placement experience.

Our MA in Digital Media and Society is delivered by a diverse interdisciplinary team with a strong profile in, for example, digital culture, media, sociology, anthropology and communication studies. All of our world-leading scholars are research active and use their research to develop and deliver cutting-edge teaching.

The centre's facilities for media and communications research include the Loughborough Qualitative Digital Research Lab (LiQUiD Lab).

You will have the opportunity to get involved in the Loughborough Student’s Union media centre, which houses television and radio stations, a magazine and photographic editing facilities.

What makes this programme different?

  • Opportunities for work placements
  • Taught by world-leading researchers
  • Gain vocational media skills

Who should study this programme?

Our Digital Media and Society MA would be suitable if you are interested in the historical expansion of communications media, the institutionalisation of media systems, various audiences uses of the media, and the implications of new media for cultural life.

Minimum of an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a wide range of subjects. In exceptional circumstances an applicant may be admitted to the degree who does not possess the requirements mentioned, but who has substantial relevant work experience.

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all elements.

What you'll study

The modules on our Digital Media and Society MA are designed to help you gain a systematic and critical awareness of current issues and debates in communication and media studies, and related disciplines.

Modules

Our MA in Digital Media and Society covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

Semester 1

The aims of this module are for students to develop a critical understanding of a range of online methods and textual media analysis research techniques; develop a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties and possibilities of doing research on and using both traditional and digital media; and to apply this understanding in independently designed research. This module introduces the principles of research design in relation to the online research and media analysis. In the first part, it explores how we can use digital media for research purposes and how emerging technologies enhance and pose problems for social research. In the second part, it covers conventional methodological approaches for media analysis, such as frame analysis, critical discourse analysis and content analysis. The module covers quantitative and qualitative approaches and the use of software packages for analysing data.

The aim of this module is to consider contemporary approaches to the economic, social, political and cultural impact of digital technologies. An indicative list of topics covered in lectures includes: models of change: the information society; the 'surveillance society'; cybersociety; Digital communications and the economy; Digital communications and political organisation; Digital communications and social life.

This module aims to examine the relationship between new social practices and old economic structures; it offers students an introduction to the economic sociology of digital media. The Internet is playing an increasing role in the lives of people around the globe and in the process is transforming many aspects of the ways in which we interact; yet this is a landscape that is contoured in other respects by the structure of the global economic system. The material will be approached by examining the variety of roles that are implicated in the creation, delivery, and consumption of cultural/media products over the Internet, and by examining the symbolic struggles that have occurred over legitimacy in digital culture: for example, we can trace a continuing tension and indeed interaction between the growth of the digital market economy and advocacy of the Internet as a de-commercialised space. While the primary focus will be on contemporary cases, the module will also seek to relate these back to classic issues in economic sociology.

Optional modules

The aim of the module is to outline the major conceptual and empirical questions raised by work on the political economy of the cultural and media industries and on the sociology and anthropology of cultural and media production, to examine the changes that have taken place in the cultural and media industries under the impact of technological change and marketisation since the 1970s and to explore the questions these changes raise for public policy.Students will be introduced to the major themes and arguments in the political economy of culture and media, the sociology and anthropology of cultural and media production. Changes in the organisation of the cultural and media industries over the last 25 years will be explored.

The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of current debates and advanced research about the politics of representation and to develop the skills relevant to the analysis of the involvement of media and cultural forms in social inclusion and exclusion. An indicative list of topics covered on the module includes discourse, power, knowledge; Stereotyping and the Other; Spaces of identity and belonging; Nationalism, racism and imperialism; Orientalism; Migration and the media.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the marketing of politics by exploring and analysing election campaigns from a contemporary as well as an historical perspective. A major focus is on appreciating and understanding the increasingly important role of advertising, public relations and market research techniques, approaches and personnel in attempts to win and maintain voter support for candidates vying for public office. This will be done through close analysis of developments in countries with some of the most high profile elections, notably the United States and United Kingdom. The US hosts a large and globally influential industry of campaign consultants and their impact both at home and abroad will be reviewed and scrutinized. Here particular consideration will be devoted to the ethical and democratic consequences of the growing use of this kind of 'packaged politics'. The module will include learning on the following topics: theoretical and empirical approaches to political marketing; the selling of the US president in historical perspective; the evolution of British election campaigns; ethical and democratic consequences of 'marketization' of democracy.

Semester 2

The aim of this module is to become familiar with a range of methodologies for the analysis of media and cultural production and reception. An indicative list of topics covered in lectures includes: approaches to social research in media and cultural analysis; standardised questionnaire design; methods of random sampling (simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling); methods of non-random sampling (quota sampling, theoretical sampling, snowball sampling, typical case sampling, critical case sampling); conducting focus groups; conducting semi-structured informant interviews; analysing quantitative data using SPSS; analysing qualitative data through thematic analysis; developing multi method research strategies.

 

Optional modules

The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of contemporary arguments and advanced research on the nature of modernity, the role of media and communications systems in its constitution, and the relations between social change, media and culture. An indicative list of topics covered on the module includes the idea of modernity; multiple modernities; postmodernity and the media; modernity, memory and the media; the public sphere; cosmopolitanism.

The aim of the module is for the student to become familiar with the different theoretical perspectives underpinning the study of the media in the international environment; analyse and summarise existing arguments and critically evaluate evidence provided in course material on global communications; acquire knowledge of key concepts, issues and debates within the literature. An indicative list of topics covered in lectures includes: the media, democratization and political culture; global news and news agencies; global politics of human rights; transnational communities and media consumption; the media and transnational social and revolutionary movements; conflict and communication; the global media and the challenge to the nation state; the struggle for a New World Information and Communication Order.

The aim of this module is to acquire an understanding of the major conceptual and empirical questions raised by research of media and cultural work; the changes that have taken place in media and media cultural work under the impact of technological change, marketisation and internationalisation since the 1970s; the extent and nature of inequalities and discrimination in media and cultural work. An indicative list of topics covered in lectures includes the growth in employment in media and cultural industries; the changing character of that employment; the internationalisation of media and cultural labour; the extent and nature of inequalities and discrimination in media and cultural work (for example, on the grounds of gender and ethnicity).

This module fosters students' ability to critically analyse current research and advanced scholarship about digital cultures. It familiarises students with major debates, theories and latest studies on issues, such as young people and digital media, social networking, identities, communities and relationships and online consumption. An indicative list of topics covered in lectures includes the internet and identity, online communities, mobile media, social networking, digital media and romantic/sexual relations, digital media and consumption.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the politics of cultural memory and cultural heritage in the modern period. The module examines debates around the temporal structures of modernity and the manner in which the past is used as a rhetorical and commercial resource in the cultural industries. The module will critically evaluate the rise of the heritage industries from national and global perspectives. The module will include learning on the following topics: theoretical and empirical approaches to mediated/cultural memory, key debates in memory studies, the structure of the heritage industries from a national and global perspective, the communicative practices of heritage industries (film, television, new media, museums), the impact of digital technologies on cultural memory and heritage industries, the politics of commemoration.

Semester 1 and 2

The aim of this module is to introduce students to key popular, economic, regulatory and political debates and issues relating to the role of digital media in society. The module will consider some of the challenges and opportunities that digital media afford social groups and organizations by taking current issues as case studies for exploration. This involves (but is not limited to) exploring and discussing new policy documents/frameworks, current debates and arguments about digital media as featured in news and other media, and analysing popular and emerging new digital platforms. The module will include learning on the topics such as: digital media and privacy; debates relating to the changing digital economy; changing forms of personal digital communication; access and exclusion in relation to digital culture; emerging digital socio-economic practices; commercialisation and digital culture.

The aim of this module is for the student to develop employability and academic skills relevant to conducting an individual research project and to undertake a piece of research on a communication or cultural topic of their choice, and pursue this research in depth and with rigour. The final project should build on methodological skills developed in earlier projects. The module comprises of different components 1. Study and Employability skills: This is a series of ten lectures running in term one. 2. Media Landscapes: A series of guest lectures from media professionals running in terms 2 and 3 (Feb-June); 3. The Dissertation project conducted in Term 3. Taught sessions will include topics such as referencing, plagiarism, critical thinking, academic writing, research design, finding employment, applying for work, using academic skills in the workplace. Weekly seminar sessions will include regular visits and talks by people working in media industries. The dissertation itself will be based on a topic proposed by the student and subject to the approval of the programme team.

How you'll be assessed

The Digital Media and Society MA programme runs for a full calendar year across three terms. Terms one and two contain a mix of compulsory and optional taught modules and in the third term you will undertake your dissertation project under the supervision of an academic supervisor.

How you'll study

Seminars
Lectures
Tutorials
Independent study
Group work
Field trips
Supervision
Workshops

Your personal and professional development

The Department of Social Sciences is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

The degree is designed to develop specialist understanding of contemporary developments in digital media and culture. You will also acquire research and media analysis skills which are crucial to both careers in the media industries and in academic careers.

Employability is an important part of the curriculum across all of the MA programmes. You will take taught employability sessions which cover finding employment in the media and cultural industries, finding placements, writing CVs and preparing covering letters.

Graduate destinations

While many of our students go into careers in media production, analysis and management, a significant number of our students go on to undertake PhD programmes.

Your personal development

In the second term you will take a Media Landscapes class as part of the dissertation module. In this class visiting speakers from across the media and creative industries will give guest lectures, providing insights into the sector and roles in which they work. This is also an excellent networking opportunity.

Fees and funding

UK/EU:
£7,750
International:
£17,100

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our academics

Our master's programmes in the Department of Social Sciences are delivered by an internationally renowned interdisciplinary team, through the use of contemporary case studies and research-informed applied teaching and learning.

Explore