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Digital Media Communication

Overview
Strategies for success in the digital age.

Summary
The purpose of this programme is to enable both practising and aspiring professionals in the business, communication and information technology sectors to better understand the changing nature of the digital era and how to leverage digital media technologies and platforms to achieve competitive advantage.

About
In contrast to traditional methods of communication, digital media channels facilitate greater consumer interactivity and empowerment. In a highly competitive and connected global marketplace the unique properties of digital media communication can therefore present both opportunities and challenges for firms. Increasingly, communication professionals are expected to embrace digital media to encourage customer and partner engagement. Equally, professionals in technical roles are now required to apply their knowledge of digital media more strategically to drive business value.

Recognising the vital role of digital media for effective organisational and business communication, and the growing importance of open, collaborative working practices, this course combines expertise from both technical and communication disciplines to provide an enriching and multidisciplinary learning environment.

Specifically, this course will provide you with the opportunity to:
- critically assess the changing communication and technology landscape to establish strong foundations and confidence in decision making in an ever changing digital environment

- compare and contrast a variety of online digital media communication tools and techniques

- apply the latest online digital media communication tools and services to achieve business communication objectives in support of organisational goals.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University's General Entrance Requirements.

Entry Requirements
You will normally be an Honours or non-Honours graduate with an undergraduate degree in, for example, Communication, Business or related studies, Information & Communication Technology or a related technical area. The course is also suitable for those already in employment, or who have work experience in a cognate area, and who wish to enhance their existing skills.

The closing date for 2018-19 applications is Tuesday 11th September, 2018

English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment
Learning and teaching will take place through a series of lectures; seminars (both face to face and online); industry guest speakers; group work and case-integrated learning.

Duration

Attendance
Full-time students normally complete between two and three modules per semester. Modules are normally delivered in intensive block sessions, from 1.00pm until 9.00pm. The maximum number of intensive block teaching days per module is 5 (although not always on consecutive days), plus approximately 2 days x 3 hours seminar attendance. You will also be expected to engage in group and team work in some of your modules and so will need to have further meetings outside of class time. In addition, you are also expected to dedicate adequate time for independent study. Part-time students normally complete between one and two modules per semester.

Careers or further progression

Career options
This course enables both practicing and aspiring professionals in the business, marketing, communication and information technology sectors to better understand how to leverage digital media technologies and services to achieve competitive advantage.

Key aspects of the course that will help to equip you for a career, or support your continued professional development in the communication or information technology sectors include:

Ongoing input from leading practitioners, ensuring exposure to the experiences and insight of professionals working in the digital arena.

The use of case studies, enabling the identification of real-world business problems, and the design and defence of appropriate solutions.

Enhanced ICT skills, through first-hand experimentation with a range of online digital media tools.

Activities and assessment which require the application of learning to an employer or an equivalent organisation.

The opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary setting indicative of today's more integrated and collaborative corporate culture.

Further enquiries

Contact
Course Director: Dr. Valerie Purchase
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6723
E: vc.purchase@ulster.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Course structure and module summaries below:
Year One
Semester One
Core Principles of Digital Media Communication COM702 (30 credit points)
Strategic Adoption of Digital Media Communication CMM743 (30 credit points)

Semester Two
Developing Integrated Digital Campaigns CMM744 (30 credit points)
Effective Implementation of Digital Media Communication COM703 (15 credit points)
Research Methods COM916 (15 credit points)

(You may exit at this stage with a Postgraduate Diploma)

Semester Three
Dissertation CMM808 (60 credit points)
(Leading to award of Master of Science)

Module summaries
Core Principles of Digital Media Communication COM702 (30 Credits)
In an increasingly competitive, connected and cluttered marketplace, organisations must pursue new business models and seek to communicate with consumers in a way that engenders trust, loyalty and cooperation. The unique properties of online digital communication technologies and services are considered more conducive to fostering consumer dialogue and relationships than traditional mass media tactics. Drawing upon academic theory and best practice models, this module establishes an effective multidisciplinary foundation for evaluating effective digital communication to support strategic business goals. Students will critique the online presence of organisations in a variety of contexts and will understand the interrelationship between communication, design and technology in maintaining and an effective online presence.

This module addresses the following core themes:
Individuals and Organisations Online:
Individuals Online
Online consumer behavior
Organisations in a networked economy
Value propositions
Branding online
Electronic word-of-mouth communication

Technology landscapes:
How the web works
Optimising content Digital analytics Design issues

Strategic Adoption of Digital Communication CMM743 (30 Credits)
In this module students will develop capability in digital communication strategy formulation and presentation. Students will identify organisational needs in their employer (or equivalent) organisation and develop an online digital communication strategy to address those needs. They will assess the appropriateness of the existing business model, competitiveness, brand and value proposition, communication channels and customer relationships, and organisational readiness, and make recommendations for improvement through a digital strategy based on rigorous analysis.

This module addresses the following strategic themes:
Disruptive innovation and emergence of new business models
Strategy development - understanding the process
Customer assessment and the offline and online value proposition
Operating in a data rich ecosystem, and
Organisational readiness including resources and roles, culture change, policy and crisis management
Legal and Policy issues

CMM744 Developing Integrated Digital Campaigns (30 Credits)
This module offers theoretical and practical insight into the principles underpinning integrated digital campaigns. Emphasising the need for strategic underpinning, it provides students with a practical understanding of the range of online digital media tools, services and techniques which may be used to effectively engage and communicate with customers and other stakeholders. Students will develop a digital campaign proposal, clearly identifying organisational objectives, assessing the appropriateness of a range of digital tools and platforms for the achievement of organisational goals, and recommending methods for assessing campaign effectiveness. This module provides students with best practice in relation to planning, developing and evaluating digital media campaigns.

This module address the following themes:
Strategic approach to digital media communication:
Strategic alignment
Strategy and experimentation
Campaign management

Social media strategy:
Definitions, culture, purpose and execution
Content strategy and Tone of Voice
Online advertising strategy, formats and effectiveness

Email marketing strategy:
Campaign integration and effectiveness

Effective Implementation of Digital Communication COM703 (15 Credits)
In this module students will have the opportunity to directly apply relevant academic theory and leverage online digital media tools and techniques in support of organisational goals. Operating as a digital consultancy team students will develop, execute and evaluate a designated digital campaign in a real-life business context. The designated campaign for the whole year group will focus on one of the following areas – social media, display or Pay Per Click advertising and will require assessment of tangible and appropriate results for the client company.

This module address the following themes:
Organisational assessment and development of appropriate campaign goals and indicators of performance
Knowledge development in the designated campaign area
Campaign planning and pre-campaign reporting
Campaign execution and real time monitoring
Campaign evaluation and post-campaign reporting

Research Methods COM916 (15 Credits)
This module will introduce students to fundamental problems, principles, approaches and tools for designing and managing research. The module will facilitate the development of skills for acquiring, combining and assessing evidence to support findings and hypotheses. It will enhance their understanding of legal, professional, ethical and societal concerns related to scientific research. The student will understand key processes involved in designing, managing and reporting scientific research. The student will learn fundamental skills and techniques for critically assessing research outcomes.

This module address the following themes:
Foundations of research
Identification of research resources and information gathering
Formulating and developing a research project
Selecting and designing a methodology
Primary Data Collection and Analysis
Reporting research, the peer-review process and research funding
Professional, Societal and Ethical issues

Dissertation CMM808 (60 Credits)
The dissertation aims to enable students to design and carry out an independent piece of research. It is intended that this will strengthen their ability to interpret and apply research data to a work environment. The research will focus in-depth on one area of digital media communication.

Assessment method

100% coursework which includes: class presentations; group work; critical analysis, strategy development, and campaign development reports.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2018.

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University's online application system.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!