2019 start

Digital Media and Society

Department of Sociological Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

Develop a broad understanding of the interweaving of digital media and society from a sociological perspective. You'll think about digital media developments in terms of a range of social issues, such as gender, race, intimacy, surveillance, science and cultural theory, and use visual, qualitative and quantitative methods.
Postgraduate students from the Department of Sociological Studies in lecture theatre

Course description

Drawing upon staff expertise in digital media and digital society, this programme will give you a grounding in aspects of digital media, allowing you to specialise in a specific area, or develop your understanding of all of the following: Researching digital society, digital practices, and digital methods.

As a student within the Faculty of Social Sciences, you will also benefit from the research and training activities of both the University’s Sheffield Methods Institute and the faculty-wide Digital Society Network. The latter brings together interdisciplinary researchers engaged in research at the cutting-edge of society–technology interactions.

Applying for this course

We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now


Core modules

These include:

  • Perspectives on Digital Society 
  • Digital Methods 
  • Social Media, Data and Society 
  • Dissertation in Digital Media and Society
  • Researching Society 

Optional modules

  • Advanced Social Media Research
  • The Sociology of Surveillance
  • Digital Health
  • The Sociology of Culture and Identity
  • Visual Methods for Social Scientists
  • Digital Practices
  • Multivariate Methods in Social Research*
  • International Childhood and Family Studies
  • Global Challenges in the Digital Society
  • Media, State and Society in China (EAS)
  • Information Governance and Ethics (INF)
  • Digital Advocacy (INF)
  • Digital Identities
  • Current Challenges: Sociology of Brexit
  • Media, Culture and Society in East Asia (EAS)
  • Theory and Debates in Food Security and Food Justice (GEO)

*Only available to students with previous experience (e.g., at undergraduate level) of SPSS and basic statistics.


Assessment varies across modules and will include a combination of coursework (essays, portfolio and practical work). Formal examination may be required for some optional modules. Students are also expected to complete a dissertation-length project equivalent to 15,000 words in length.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time
Sociology MA Digital Media and Society student

The course has enabled me to learn practical skills and think critically. I’ve learned to use different tools for data scraping, data mining, data visualisations and to conduct research using qualitative and quantitative methods. I then analyse the results from a social and cultural perspective.

I am going back to China after the course ends. My plan is to find a job that is related to the media so I can use the skills I have gained.

Yuqian Chen
MA Digital Media and Society

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Professor Helen Kennedy, Department of Sociological Studies

I've been studying and making digital media since they came along in the mid-1990s. I love using and engaging with digital media, from apps and social media platforms to data visualisations, but their place in society is not straightforward. They can be a force for the good, or not. They’re shaped by the world from which they emerge, and this isn’t always a good thing.

I’m passionate about understanding this relationship between digital media, society and everyday life, and about sharing that learning journey with my students.

Professor Helen Kennedy
Professor of Digital Society


We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.