You should have a degree of at least upper second class standard, or an experiential background, in a relevant subject, and an ability to engage with cultural theory.
Months of entry
This Masters offers you equal opportunity to develop theory and practice-based research about how information systems are embedded in the technical, cultural, aesthetic, and political structures of society.
Developed by the Digital Culture Unit, the MA Digital Culture programme primarily takes place in the Centre for Culture Studies Media Lab, a hack hub and maker space that is flexibly re-created by each year's intake of students. In the lab we explore and interrogate the techno-cultural issues of the day using python, Linux, physical computing, Raspberry Pi, mobile phones and different forms of networks. This lab-based degree provides consistent and thorough support for you to create a self-directed approach to these and related materials. Students do not necessarily need to have a technical background and each year we have students with prior experience in the arts, humanities, sciences, making a very lively mix.
What you study
We use art methodologies alongside those from computing and cultural theory. A key method adopted in the Lab is to make the space between theory and practice ambiguous. The class makes and explores things, attempting to explain the phenomena being looked at or thought about. Explanation in this context is not necessarily a reduction of phenomena to literature or a system of logics, but can instead be thought of as knowledge incorporated into a thing that we create, look at or point to, through figuring out a proposition.
In practice this means we may:
- Learn MySQL databases and explore how their integral model of entities and relations create new forms of governance and aid in the performance of different scales of power.
- Build simple telephony systems while taking inspiration from early/current data networks and their relationship to cultural change, resource wars and political insurrection.
- Explore systematic failure within computation by exploring hacking and security issues such as creating fork bombs, doing penetration testing and reviewing the need for cryptography post-Snowden.
We actively work with cultural theory in a world with computation as a central pillar. The Digital Culture Unit in the Centre for Cultural Studies, under whose auspices this programme is run, has been a pioneer of practice-led theory. This method pursues a form of working on projects that at the same time undertakes research and writing that incorporates contemporary cultural theory, philosophy and cultural studies. The Masters, therefore, is also ideal for students with primarily theoretical interests who wish to ground these with concrete knowledge and experience.
Building on the Digital Culture Unit's research excellence in software studies, media philosophy and digital art, students will learn to employ cutting edge research and practice-based methodologies to enhance their own skill set. The programme gives you the opportunity to develop critical and speculative theoretical and practice-based research on the ways computational media technologies are embedded in the technical, cultural, aesthetic, and political structures of society and how we interact with them. The applications of such work are highly diverse. The degree helps students to prepare for or to create a bridge towards a critical career in the cultural, creative, educational, analytical, and computational sectors.
Information for international students
If your first language is not English, you normally need a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS, or equivalent'.
Fees and funding
UK/EU students may be eligible for AHRC funding.
Qualification and course duration
|Assessment||What kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)|
|Written/ formal examinations||25|
|Written coursework / continuous assessment||25|
Course contact details
- Course Enquiries
- +44 (0)20 7078 5300