module specification

SM3103 - Foundations of Digital Media (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Foundations of Digital Media
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School Franchised Course at City and Islington
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   A critical blog
Coursework 20%   A 1000 word case study
Coursework 40%   A digital portfolio
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module is an introduction to the field of digital media as an area of practice, as culture, and as a set of structures. It is a theory and practice based module providing students with foundation knowledge and skills to effectively analyze but also produce simple digital artifacts. It allows students to develop an understanding of the wider context of digital media production but also to apply key ideas in their own production.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to:

• Introduce students to digital media history and culture providing a foundation for further study

• Encourage the development of critical and analytical skills through the exploration of digital practice

• Aid the development of digital production skills through practical workshops and assessments

• Prepare students for the practical study of digital media at Level 4.


An indicative programme of study covers the following areas:
• The history of the internet, networks and the world wide web
• Old media and new media
• Media convergence
• Hard- and software
• Coding
• Digital media culture
• Social media networks
• Digital aesthetics
• Digital design practice (for instance web design, app design, games)

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered by a variety of teaching strategies, putting emphasis on student-centred learning. Teaching will involve a combination of modes, including short lectures, computer workshops, tutorials, assisted reading sessions and study of specially prepared online resources. Visits to relevant exhibitions, followed by discussions, analysis and presentations will also be included. Comprehensive, specially designed, online up-to-date support resources will be made available on VLE and updated weekly. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities, facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials. A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of digital media practice and culture (LO1).
2. Demonstrate basic knowledge in analysing and evaluation digital artefacts. (LO2)
3. Create simple digital artefacts following set briefs. (LO3)

Assessment strategy

A) A critical blog with at least 15 entries (between 150 – 250 words each) reflecting on digital media practice and culture discussed in weekly lectures and workshops. (Weighting 40%) (LO1)

B) A 1000 word case study analysing a digital artefact (Weighting 20%) (LO2)

C) A digital portfolio of at least 10 simple digital artefacts answering set workshop briefs (Weighting 40%) (LO3)

Students may pass on aggregate.


• Castells, M. (2010) The Rise of the Network Society. The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture Volume I Oxford: Blackwell, Second Edition.
• Dewdney, A. and Ride, P. (2013) The Digital Media Handbook. London: Routledge. (core)
• Fuchs, C. (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage
• Fuller, M. ed. (2008) Software studies: A lexicon. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press
• Lindgren, S., (2008) Digital Media and Society: London, Sage.
• Lister, M., (2008) New Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge
• Manovich, L. (2001) The Language of New Media, Cambridge: MIT Press. (core)
• Manovich, L. (2013) Software takes command. London: Bloomsbury
• Nayar, P. K. (2010) An introduction to new media and cybercultures. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
• Wardrip-Fruin, N. and Montfort, N. Eds., (2003) The New Media Reader, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
• Tribe, M. and Jana, R. (2006), New Media Art, Taschen.

Software guides should be added according to actual digital media practice.