Digital Cultures

Course Outline
Life is being transformed by digital technologies - are you equipped to understand, to contribute to and indeed to make the changes happening around you? The MA in Digital Cultures will prepare you to understand the transformation in our society, identity, and culture; to develop digital literacies in using and in creating digital artefacts in a range of media and to provide innovative and creative leadership in the digital age.

The accelerating velocity of digital transformation: the explosion of social media since Facebook (2004); the widespread adoption of smartphones (2007) and tablets since 2010 - devices now outselling traditional PCs, demonstrate the digital revolution that is reshaping our society. These tool and platforms are enabling profound social and political changes from the Arab Spring to how we interact in our families and communities. These societal transformations raise new questions for the Arts and Social Sciences, and demand graduates who can not only effectively employ these tools, but more profoundly leverage them through critical appreciation of the profound ways they are transforming our everyday lives.

The UCC MA in Digital Cultures operates within and about the digital moment, developing knowledge, skills and critical awareness through praxis. The MA in Digital Cultures not only develops practical skills to flourish in the digital age, but also to explore the impact of the digital on culture, power and identity in society. The programme fosters new literacies for the contemporary world - of digital consumption, literacy of digital production, of digital creation. Most importantly, the MA in Digital Cultures considers the moral and ethical implications and social, cultural, political and economic impacts of technology on human organisation.

This MA encourages a truly transdisciplinary engagement that is creatively enriching for students within a scholarly atmosphere. We offer a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for participants in a distinctive synergy within Digital Cultures. The programme offers an introduction into how digital tools and methods can be used in research and it combines innovative elements of theory and practice in Digital Cultures.

The programme will provide a grounding in how digital tools can be used to capture social and cultural data sources in digital form, using standards-based tools (TEI, XML, SQL amongst others) to frame research questions, collaborate on research using social networking tools, and present results both in print and on the web using current standards-based presentation technologies. Students will be encouraged to and facilitated in the creation of digital artefacts individually and in teams. International engagement and participation is expected and encouraged – led by the teaching team.

The DC MA is geared towards introducing graduates to the use of appropriate digital tools to address research questions in their 'traditional' disciplines. It lays the foundations for work on capturing, reading and writing sources in digital form, and using them for analytic and creative work.

Students take 90 credits.

Why Choose This Course
If your career and interests drive you to engage with cutting edge concepts and tools to forge new knowledge and practices in the digital age, then this course will provide a fresh challenge. It will appeal to those interested in the performing arts, telecommunications, information technology, philosophy, law, language, literature, and education, and provide a structured perspective on contemporary digital culture. You will engage with a group of like-minded students in a framework designed to foster the skills of self-directed, life-long transformation and development for the 21st Century.

This course is provided by a diverse team experienced in teaching, development and research in the digital arts and humanities at every level from undergraduate to PhD.

This experience has been demonstrated and delivered using blended and online learning tools to foster student-centred, research-based learning.

It is the only online masters programme that engages with digital cultures in a critical manner.

Entry requirements

The entry requirement is an honours primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (or equivalent) in any discipline.

Candidates who hold an honours primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 will also be considered subject to the approval of the programme selection committee.

Some applicants who do not fulfil the usual entry requirements may be invited for interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme.

All applicants are required to comment on the following statement:

Please explain your interest in the MA in Digital Cultures. Briefly outline the narrative extent and analytic issues which you may be interested in as research topics for the MA Thesis. As this programme, requires engagement with digital tools for research, you should indicate your experience and aptitude for working with digital tools (750 words approximately).

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Assessment Info

Modules in the programme require students to work 'hands-on' with current and emerging tools and interact with standards based ICT. This will include assessments requiring engagement with both theory and practice of inquiry in the digital age. It is expected that students will create digital research artefacts in the course of their research. Assessment may include practice and/or performance based elements where appropriate.

Subjects taught

Core modules:
DH6013 Getting Started with Graduate Research and Generic Skills (5 credits)
DH6016 Digital Humanities Institute (5 credits)
DH6022 Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship (10 credits)
DH6023 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts and Humanities (10 credits)
DH6024 Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies (10 credits)

Elective modules - students select 20 credits from the following:
DH6006 Teaching and Learning in Digital Humanities (5 credits)
DH6007 Models, Simulations and Games (5 credits)
DH6012 Contemporary Practices in Publishing and Editing (5 credits)
DH6018 History and Theory of Digital Arts (5 credits)
DH6026 Principles of Game Design (5 credits)
DH6028 Narrative and System Design (5 credits)
DH6031 Game User Research (5 credits)

DH6029 Digital Cultures Dissertation (30 credits)

For further details of the programme content, please see the Postgraduate College Calendar.

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.


1 year full-time online.

Additional Teaching Mode Information
This MA in Digital Cultures programme will be delivered in a blended fashion: predominantly online, and in conjunction with three (3) intensive on-site workshops that will reinforce and provide effective direct instruction in digital skills. Online delivery in our case also offers online, synchronous, face-to-face tutorials to support the other online material accessed by the student.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
The UCC MA in Digital Cultures will equip you with a range of tools and methods to provide the digital element now essential for careers in education, heritage and the 'cultural economy', in digital content creation and management, in web content creation, editing and management in a variety of domains.

Digital Cultures is a field that equips practitioners with the conceptual awareness to apply digital tools to research problems in the Arts, Humanities and related fields. It produces digitally literate interdisciplinary graduates who may fill a variety of roles in the "knowledge economy.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


  • Apply to