MA in Digital Cultures


Visit NUI Galway's Courses Page for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

We live in a world where digital technologies shape our lives in increasingly profound ways. The new MA in Digital Cultures focuses on the ways in which digital technologies are increasingly applied to both creative practice (such as augmented reality, e-literature, digital gaming) and to humanities research (such as text-mining, big data analysis, multimedia editions, and the creation of digital archives and heritage resources). It offers students the opportunity to acquire advanced skills in the tools of digital arts and humanities, while at the same time reflect critically on the wider cultural effects of digital technologies on our social and creative practice. This programme is part of the university’s Digital Cultures Initiative.

WHY STUDY THIS PROGRAMME?
This is a one-year fulltime Master’s programme, with the option to be delivered as a two-year part-time programme if required. It introduces students to concepts, debates, tools and practices related to the application of digital technologies to both the creative arts and humanities research. It therefore offers students scope for both reflective analysis and advanced digital skills acquisition. The programme is interdisciplinary and will allow students to follow ‘research-focused’ or ‘practice-focused’ streams, provided through a menu of core and optional modules. The programme offers a combination of themes and skills unique among Irish third-level institutions. For some graduates the programme will provide a stepping stone to a PhD project; for others it will provide a foundational skill-set for employment in the fields of ICT, cultural heritage, and the creative arts.

PROGRAMME OUTLINE

Semester One

Module Title

ECTS

 

Introduction to Digital Humanities
This course will explore a range of topics from the intersection of computing and the humanities, with a particular emphasis on literary studies. Topic and questions to be addressed include: the history of computing in the humanities, and how computers can augment traditional analytic methods in the humanities. Classes will be divided between in-depth discussions of assigned readings and more hands-on exploration and use of pertinent digital tools and platforms.

10

Core

Digital Literature, Arts and Creative Practice
The course will explore the ways in which new technologies have been used in the creation of “born-digital” works of literature and other arts, and the impacts of these developments on ideas of creativity, publishing and creative practice.

10

Core

Digital Tools
The course will be conducted as a series of workshops that will introduce students to basic skills in digital tools including database construction, programming and coding, data visualisation and digitisation.

10

Core

Semester Two

(30 credits to be acquired; 10 from Core and 20 from a list of Optional modules).
The list of available modules may vary from year to year.

Module Title

ECTS

Core/Option

Culture Society Technology
A postgraduate introduction to issues and problems in the relationships among culture, society and technology. The course will examine the impact of technologies, especially digital technologies, from cultural, political, ethical, legal and other points of view.

10

Core

Digital Analytics and Visualisation for Arts & Humanities
A specially-tailored introduction to the analysis and visualisation of data for arts and humanities research. Students will be introduced to basic visualisation applications and tools, and to the wider issues of the design and purpose of data visualisation.

10

Option

Text Technologies
This course provides historical, theoretical, and practical training in text technologies for the postgraduate student in the humanities. The course is comprised of two major parts: first, students will learn about the history of texts and text technologies from the creation of writing to the present day, and study a variety of theoretical perspectives on textuality and the interpretation of text. This forms the basis for the second part of the course, where students will learn a range of practical computational corpus linguistics and text analysis procedures for the preparation, manipulation, analysis, and exploration of digital texts. Students will write basic programmes to count the number or words in a text file, and move from there to more complex analytical investigations of text. This course will be of interest to humanities students who work with texts of all kinds, and will empower those who wish to use computational techniques for working with texts.

10

Option

Digital Editions and Digital Archives
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of digital archiving and digital scholarly editing. Students will gain hands-on experience creating digital editions and archives, and understand the theoretical and practical issues involved in the creation and use of these digital forms. The course will be co-taught with staff from the James Hardiman Library.

10

Option

The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive
This course involves using content from  NUI Galway’s Abbey Theatre Digital Archive as the basis for an independent project using digital archiving / digital editing / visualisation / data-mining skills, under the guidance of a staff member.

10

Option

E-Literature
This course is an exploration of the theory and practice of electronic (born-digital) literature. The course will examine its major genres, the challenges it poses to traditional literary theory, and the complex issues at stake in this emerging field of creativity.

10

Option

Introduction to GIS
This course covers the basic concepts and applications of a geographic information system (GIS). The topics of GIS data concepts, modelling, attribute management, input and analysis are explained. GIS software ArcGIS is selected as the main training software package for computer practicals in this course. Students will get general knowledge of GIS and acquire the basic techniques of GIS software to independently produce professional maps and carry out spatial queries and basic GIS analyses.

10

Option

Digital Play and Practice
This module introduces students to creative problem solving, creative process and designing strategy for digital media experiences. In the module students will explore techniques for short-form content creation and basic practical skills for the production of a piece of film / content for the Internet. The module will also introduce emerging technologies in digital arts such as Virtual Reality (Film/ Animation/Gaming/Experiences), Augmented Reality, Holography, 3D Projection.

10

Option

Digital Film and Culture
This course provides a critical understanding of the relationship between film and digital technology, assessing the impact of digital filmmaking on film production and film theory. Through task-based learning, students will be asked to consider the impact of digital media on our relationship to visual culture. The course will consider what the place of film (and cinema) is in the digital age and the impact which digital technology has on our relationship to visual media.

10

Option

Data Journalism
In this module students will learn a range of techniques for sourcing, analysing, and representing data-based stories through practice-driven learning.

10

Option

Digital Cultures Workshop & Final Project
Independent research project in digital arts and humanities. Students will design, plan and complete a practically-based digital project or a dissertation in a relevant area, under direction of a member of programme staff. Workshops supporting the research project will be held during Semester Two.

30

Core

NUMBER OF PLACES: PART-TIME STUDENTS
Students taking the course part-time will take 90ECTS worth of modules over two years.
16 places will be available on the fulltime programme.

 ENTRTY REQUIREMENTS
Applicants will require a NQAI Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours, or equivalent, with a 2:1 in a related subject. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy.

FURTHER STUDY OPPORTUNITIES

Depending on subjects studied at undergraduate level, graduates of the MA in Digital Cultures will be eligible to apply for PhD in a variety of arts and humanities disciplines, and will also have opportunities for doctoral studies in areas of ICT and practice-based research.

 CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATES
Graduates will be able to follow employment opportunities in areas such as information and communication technologies; creative arts; cultural heritage; media; teaching and research.

Contact: Prof Sean Ryder