MA Digital Media and Society banner

Start date: September

1 year full-time
2 years-part-time

Programme code:

SCST88 (full-time)
SCST89 (part-time)

MA Digital Media and Society


Want to find out more about the MA Digital Media and Society?

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday 5 December 2017 (11:00-12:00 GMT UK) with Dr Stefania Vicari (Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Digital Sociology), Dr Kate Weiner (Admissions Tutor) and Laura Towers (former MA student in the Department of Sociological Studies) to hear more about the course, entry requirements and what it's like to be a postgraduate student in the Department.

Register for the webinar

Apps, social media platforms, e-books, personalised advertising and ad blockers, data mining and data visualisations – there’s no denying that digital media technologies are core to our everyday lives. But what are the implications for society of our increasingly digitised world?

Apps, social media platforms, e-books, personalised advertising and ad blockers, data mining and data visualisations – there’s no denying that digital media technologies are core to our everyday lives. But what are the implications for society of our increasingly digitised world?The MA in Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield is unique in offering students an opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the interweaving of digital media and society from a sociological perspective.

Drawing upon staff expertise in digital media and digital society, this programme will give you grounding in four 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;
  • Digital methods.

The programme offers you the opportunity to think about digital media developments in relation to a range of social and cultural issues, such as gender, race, intimacy, surveillance, science, health, advocacy and the production of news. It covers cultural and sociological theory; traditional qualitative and quantitative methods, and new methodological techniques for digital research like data mining.

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 of which brings together interdisciplinary researchers engaged in research at the cutting-edge of society-technology interactions.

Picture of Professor Helen Kennedy“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 the relationship between digital media, society and everyday life, and about sharing that learning journey with my students.”

Professor Helen Kennedy, Professor of Digital Society

Helen Kennedy speaks to Hotcourses Abroad about student life in the Department of Sociological Studies and discusses the exciting new MA in Digital Media and Society. Read more...

Is this course for me?

The MA in Digital Media and Society is aimed at graduates from a range of undergraduate subject areas. It is ideal for graduates from sociology and other social sciences who are interested in developing their understanding of the digital. Similarly, the course will appeal to communications, media studies and new/digital media graduates, who are looking to develop their knowledge of the social contexts and consequences of digital developments. The programme is also relevant to mature students, either from the digital media industries or from social sectors, wishing to reflect on and further develop their skills.

This course provides an excellent grounding for a range of careers within social and public sector organisations that require an understanding of digital media. It will also provide students with an excellent foundation for future doctoral study of specific topics relating to digital media in society.

Course structure

The programme, delivered by a team of academics with expertise in digital media and digital society, is conducted through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, small-group work and problem solving.

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.

The course is based around three main aspects:

  • The first is a series of core modules that are worth one third of your marks on the Masters degree;
  • This is then built upon through optional modules, also worth one third of your marks on the course;
  • The course culminates in the dissertation module, which is worth the final third of your marks. This provides the opportunity, under one-to-one supervision, to focus in depth on a topic of individual choice.

Each module is assigned a credit value: 180 credits are required for graduation. 60 of these are core modules, 60 are optional and finally 60 credits are allocated to the dissertation.

Students who take this programme part-time will have a period of two years to complete. The part-time route is structured in the following way: students will take 90 credits in the first year and the remaining 90 credits in the second year. The dissertation, which is worth 60 credits, must be taken in the second year.

Core modules:

Module title: No. of credits:
Researching Digital Society 15
Digital Practices 15
Digital Methods 15
Qualitative OR Statistical Methods 15
Dissertation (theoretical, empirical, work-based or practical) 60

Students can take four modules from the following. Please note that module information may be subject to change:

Module title: No. of credits:
Social Media, Data and Society 15
Researching Social Media 15
Information, Governance and Ethics 15
Media, State and Society in China 15
Digital Advocacy 15
Digital Health 15
The Sociology of Surveillance 15
Visual Methods 15
Intimacy and Personal Relationships 15
Sociology of Evil 15
Sociology of Whiteness 15
Sociology of Culture and Identity 15
Men, Masculinity and Gender Relations 15

The example course structure listed above may be subject to change in future years. 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.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. A relevant Social Science degree is defined as:

    Relevant Social Science Degrees

    Architecture, Comminocation, Digital Media/Digital Media Studies, Economics, Education, Geography, Humanities, International Relations, Journalism, Language, Literature, Law, Management, Media Arts, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Recording Arts, Sociology, Town and Regional Planning.

    Applicants with a 2:1 degree in a subject not listed above who have relevant professional experience and good academic potential, we would encourage you to apply via our formal application process:

International students

We have wide experience of a range of international qualifications. Please visit our website for international applicants for specific advice on the entry requirements for your country.

Select your country from the list on this page

If you do not meet the entry requirements for our postgraduate taught Masters degree programme, you can still be considered for our pre-Masters programme. Please find out more about our Graduate Diploma and our relationship with Sheffield International College.

Graduate Diploma

English language requirements

Our minimum English requirement is:

For more information on other acceptable English language qualifications with variable requirements, please visit:

Fees and funding

There are a variety of ways to fund your postgraduate study; find out more here.

How to apply

The application process can be completed through the quick and easy online form, or it can be completed by hand and posted.

Find out more...

What our students say

“It was a fruitful experience to study the MA Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield. I had lots of opportunities to learn, from the discussions with my classmates and the various modules delivered by highly qualified lecturers, to the opportunities to hear from guest speakers who were from different backgrounds over the world.”

- Wadhha Al Busaidi, MA Digital Media & Society student 2016-17

View our other taught Masters programmes.