module specification

SM7P02 - Digital Media Research Project (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Digital Media Research Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 600
58 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
510 hours Guided independent study
32 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   A 3,000 words Proposal
Coursework 80%   A Digital Media Dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) or a Digital artefact accompanied by a 6,000-word Evaluation Report.
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon
Summer studies North Monday Evening
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will enable you to develop postgraduate research skills and to research, plan and develop your final Digital Media Research Project. The module addresses issues about the research tradition in digital media, which might include the design-led research tradition in digital media production. You will acquire research skills, including research project planning, evaluation of relevant literature, research and project evaluation methodologies, data analysis and, when relevant, planning of the production of digital research-led digital projects and the process of managing research and development in digital media productions.

Module aims:

  • To enable students to research into a particular topic or issue within the chosen field of study.
  • To enable students to acquire research methods skills, which might include research methods skills applied to a practice-led project.
  • To enable students to produce a research project proposal and plan for their research project.
  • To consolidate and advance skills and knowledge in the research, execution and presentation of a Digital Media Research Project.

Prior learning requirements



This module aims to enable students to research, plan and develop their Digital Media Research Project. The module addresses issues about the research tradition in digital media, including the design-led research tradition in digital media production, the process of planning and managing research and the appropriate theoretical, as well as design-led, research methods to investigate Digital Media topics.
The module enables students to develop theoretical and practice-based research skills in the area of interactive media and digital communications.

The module also covers methodology issues and research methods.

The module is delivered via scheduled Digital Media Research Workshops as well as one-to-one dissertation tutorials.

The Digital Media Research Workshop syllabus covers the following:

  • The theoretical and practice-based framework for Digital Media research.
  • Digital Media-specific research issues, including design-led research traditions.
  • Digital Media Research Project structure and requirements.
  • Identifying suitable research topics for a Digital Media Research
  • Project and formulating research questions.
  • How to produce a Digital Media Research Project Proposal
  • How to research and write a Literature Review and, when applicable, a Product Review.
  • Identify and evaluate research methodologies and research methods, as well as evaluation methods for practice-based research projects.
  • Selecting and evaluating the appropriate research tools
  • Data gathering and data analysis techniques.
  • Production processes for practice-based projects.
  • Research ethics and digital media production ethics.
  • Presenting the research findings.
  • Managing the research and evaluation process.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered via timetabled workshops, tutorials and online resources.
The scheduled workshops will cover the full cycle of research design and management, including research methods. Students are also expected to manage their own learning, not only by defining their own topic, but also by managing their own time and resources in the process of researching, producing and evaluating the Dissertation Media Research Project. They will receive support and guidance from an allocated supervisor and will be required to attend individual and group supervision tutorials. 
Formative activities and related feedback support the teaching and learning strategy throughout the module delivery. Formative feedback will be delivered, depending on the nature of the formative exercise, via a number of channels including: in-class feedback, individual feedback in tutorials and online feedback.
Summative feedback is delivered online.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module post-graduate students will be able to:

LO1 Research, develop and implement the proposal for the Digital Media Research Project.

LO2 Plan, organise and manage the Digital Media Research Project process.

LO3 Critically evaluate relevant literature and, when relevant, best production practice.

LO4 Select and justify chosen methodologies, appreciate research ethics issues.

LO5 Effectively present the research findings and, when relevant, analyse and critically evaluate the production process of practice-based projects and the final outcomes.

Assessment strategy

A) A 3,000 words Proposal for the Digital Media Research Project (weighting 20%). The proposal should include: aims and objectives, a review of available literature on the chosen topic, the selected methodology and, where applicable, the technologies and platforms for a practice-based project, a feasibility study.  This part of the assessment will test the students’ ability to evaluate the current debate and research trends on the chosen topic, analyse and investigate the feasibility of the proposed project.
Due in week 14 of the first Semester.

B) Digital Media Dissertation (12,000-words) or a Digital artefact accompanied by a 6,000-word Evaluation Report (weighting 80%). The topic will be determined by the students in consultation with the tutor. This part of the assessment is designed to test the students’ ability to research, plan and present a digital media research project.