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    2022 start September 

    Digital Culture and Communication

    The Digital Humanities Institute, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

    This MA will help you better understand the contexts of digital media developments and the use of cultural data. Choose this course if you're interested in the theory and contexts of digital culture.
    Students sat around desks with laptops

    Course description

    Explore the ways in which digital technologies are transforming human experience and artistic and humanistic practices. On our MA you'll  investigate how digital material and methodologies are used in culture and heritage, and you’ll receive practical training in digital methods to prepare you for creative leadership roles in the digital sector.

    The course draws on historical and aesthetic perspectives, with a focus on cultural artefacts and organisations. You don't need a background in information science, programming or mathematical competencies. The course investigates the contexts of cultural data – you'll explore digital data about human culture and society, past and present, such as ancient documents, artefacts and environments as well as present-day social media, digital arts and virtual worlds.

    Digital culture is about the emergence and use of information technologies – for example networked computers, personalised technologies, digital images and sound – and their relationship with the ways culture is created and consumed. Cultural data draws on a diverse range of digital and computational methods for its management, analysis and communication: from data standards, citizen science and web apps, to computational linguistics, machine learning and user-centred design.

    Video introducing the MA Digital Culture and Communication


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Introduction to Digital Culture

    This module examines the theory and history of the interaction between culture and information and communication technology (ICT). ‘Digital culture’ refers to culture shaped by the emergence and use of digital technologies, their practices and artefacts. This module focuses on the changes wrought by the widespread adoption of networked computing, personalised technologies and digital images and sound, for the way we think about culture and cultural data, the contexts in which digital culture exists and is made, and their impacts for the creative/cultural industries. You will learn about the characteristics of digital culture including types of cultural forms and experiences, technical processes, and about digital practice and computing as a cultural activity, including its history, socio-cultural context, aesthetics, epistemologies, its ethical problems and critical debates. This will enable you to understand current forms of digital culture, critically contextualise your own and others’ digital practice, and anticipate future developments, as appropriate to knowledge-based careers in the cultural sector.

    30 credits
    Managing Digital Projects

    This module examines project management in the context of developing data products and digital performances. Data products might be websites, databases, apps, or virtual environments which use cultural content. Digital performances might include music, art, video or digital exhibitions in which the practices and/or the outputs are digital. The module will teach the skills and tools necessary to manage the design, planning and execution of a digital project, including: developing ideas; understanding user requirements; developing specifications for design teams; planning; choosing the best design and development methodology. The module does not require the product or performance to be executed.

    30 credits
    Digital Culture and Cultural Data e-Portfolio

    This module enables you to design a digital product, service, performance, installation or artefact which uses cultural data. The design might be to address a problem or a need, or to communicate ideas, and be of value to people in academia, business, arts, heritage or the community. You will create an e-portfolio of written pieces, drawings, designs, and example data, and you can also include practical work (such as a music composition or software code). You will be able to demonstrate self-directed learning, critical judgement, ideas and creativity, building on knowledge acquired throughout your MA, as evidence for future employers.

    60 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours


    • 1 year full-time
    • 2 years part-time


    This course capitalises on over 25 years of expertise and an international reputation in digital culture at the Faculty of Arts’ Digital Humanities Institute (DHI). The DHI is the UK’s leading centre for the development, analysis and communication of digital culture and digital humanities. DHI colleagues deliver modules that draw on their knowledge, expertise and track record.

    Your career

    This course will give you the transferable skills and intellectual training you need for a career in the information, media and communication sectors, the creative industries, and the cultural heritage sector, including galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. It is also excellent preparation for a PhD.

    Entry requirements

    You'll need a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Relevant disciplines might include History, Music, Archaeology, Languages and Cultures, English, Philosophy, Sociology and Information Studies.

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

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    Dr Seth Mehl

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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