module specification

SM5F52 - Digital Culture (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Digital Culture
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Critical Blog
Coursework 50%   Digital Media Artefact
Coursework 20%   Critical reflection (1500wds)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module will deal with a range of subject matter related to aspects of digital culture. It will explore various forms of digital media within a historical and cultural context. It will also examine the production practices, texts and audiences of digital media, paying particular attention to social debates surrounding the emergence of these technologies and their political influence. The module will also pay attention to the debates surrounding the responsibilities of digital media producers, and the relationship between media and society.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to
1. Inform and engage students in the historic and current debates surrounding digital media.
2. Encourage students to develop a more critical awareness of their everyday experience of digital culture, and the relationship between media producers and audiences
3. Establish links between theoretical, social and ethical issues and students’ own practice as media producers


An indicative programme of study covers the following:
• Digital and analogue culture
• Media bias and ownership
• New media - new audiences
• Voyeurism and exhibitionism
• Representation of the Other
• Value of participation: user labour
• Collaborative forms of culture
• Social networks and Virtual communities
• Regulation
• The economy and business of digital culture

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery. Weekly lectures and seminar sessions will introduce a range of subjects and students will consider their existing knowledge and experiences. These will be followed up with contributions to online blogs drawing on academic reading, personal experiences and illustrative examples. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to e-books. The mixed-mode module delivery will used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning.
In the latter part of the module students will have the opportunity to produce a digital media product that engages with one of the issues discussed. This will contextualise the theme into the students own practice, or communicates an informed opinion to another audience.

Learning outcomes

knowledge and understanding:
1. Research key theoretical approaches relating to digital culture
cognitive intellectual skills:
2. Outline and analyse the social, political and ethical debates surrounding digital culture on the basis of examples
transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice:
3. Develop critical awareness of everyday experience of digital culture
subject-specific practical skills:
4. Create links between digital media theoretical social and ethical issues and their own practice

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to let students demonstrate the level at which they have engaged in debate through contribution to online discussion. Students will then interpret one of the issues raised into the production of a digital media product that will connect theory to practice.

1. Critical blog relating social, political or ethical debate to own practice. 30%
2. Digital media artefact that communicates informed opinion on an issue related to digital culture and society  50%
3. Critical reflection 20%


Bowell, T and Kemp, G  (2010) Critical thinking: a concise guide (3rd ed.),  Routledge
Firth, L (2010) Censorship issues, Independence
Fiske, J  (2010) Understanding popular culture (2nd ed.),Routledge (ebook)
Qualman, E  (2011) Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business,  John Wiley
Storey, J (2009) Cultural theory and popular culture : a reader (4th ed.), Pearson Longman