Digital Cultures

About the major

Digital Cultures critically investigates the internet, new media and digital technologies and the roles they play in contemporary society, culture, business, politics, the arts and everyday life. Throughout their progress in the Digital Cultures major, students explore the interface between emerging new media technologies and cultural practices involving information, communication, knowledge, identities and power. They build a rich understanding of how new technologies are generated, circulated, regulated and consumed. Topics covered in the Digital Cultures major include the web, social media, computer games, online identities, mobile media, social networks, virtual communities, theories of technology and culture, digital research, and media arts.

The Digital Cultures major places intelligent, interactive, mobile and networked technologies in context, taking both a critical and interdisciplinary approach that draws on sociology, history, philosophy, media studies, cultural studies and new media studies to understand the dramatic changes emerging as digital media proliferate. Our teaching combines face-to-face coursework with online exercises and practical work in computer labs. Graduates in Digital Cultures are skilled communicators and critical analysts of new technologies and the latest developments in digital media across Australian and global contexts. They are well positioned to develop careers as communicators, producers, strategists, innovators and leaders.

Requirements for Completion

A major in Digital Cultures requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000-level core unit
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project unit

A minor in Digital Cultures requires at least 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000-level core unit
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level selective units

First Year

Students engage in critical theoretical debates surrounding media and communication, both on their role in society and their place in industry. The first year Digital Cultures student’s experience offers an overview of the core issues in media and communication, and the transformations towards digital ecologies and economies. Digital Cultures students in their first year can choose from an array of complementary units that support digital cultures, such as those in film, cultural studies, literature, anthropology, performance or sociology. The first year of a Digital Cultures Major provides students with the necessary skills to explore the digital transformations of media and communications in their second and third year.

Second Year

The second year experience for a Digital Cultures student enables them to begin specialising in their field. They undertake core units that develop their understanding of the networked communication environment across the web, social and mobile media. They explore the changing experiences of space, sociality and power in digital environments. These core units work well in conjunction with complementary areas established in first year. Students hone their researching and writing skills in preparation for their third year of their major.

Third Year

In the third year of the Digital Cultures Major, students further develop their researching and writing skills as they explore the contemporary issues and advanced theoretical approaches within the digital media and communication landscape. They focus on areas of specialisation in Digital Cultures through their personalised selection of units from the Major Table. They develop high level competencies in researching digital cultures. The third year experience also enables the Digital Cultures student to integrate their digital media expertise with their chosen second major.

Honours

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to honours requires a major in Digital Cultures with an average of 70 percent or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018: Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Digital Cultures with an average of 70 percent or above, as well as a second major. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units, prior to commencing honours.

In the honours program, students enrol in two honours seminar units. All students will submit a thesis of 18,000-20,000 words on an approved topic, with a research proposal submitted to the honours coordinator by December of the year prior to enrolment. Additional assessments will focus on research design, methodology and critical readings undertaken in first semester. Mid-year enrolment is not available. Part-time enrolment is available with permission from the honours coordinator.

Advanced Coursework

Our Advanced studies programme connects Digital Cultures students with the industry: researching individual organisations, analysing industry sectors and developing authentic projects. Students examine digital cultures practice in fields such as information technology, traditional media, marketing, public relations, community management, web and app development, education, games, libraries, art, publishing, and galleries, and apply this to projects, with guidance from supervisors and industry partners.

The requirements for advanced coursework in Digital Cultures are described in the degree resolutions for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

24-36 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Contact and further information

Department website: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/

School of Literature, Art and Media website: sydney.edu.au/arts/slam/

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr Jonathon Hutchinson
Phone: +61 2 9351 2821
Email:

Honours Coordinator: Dr Fiona Giles
Phone: + 612 9036 6272
Email:

Example Pathways
Digital Cultures major
Year 1 Sem 1

MECO1001
Introduction to
Media Studies

1000 level unit 1000 level unit 1000 level unit in another
major/minor from
Table A or S
Sem 2 MECO1002 Media
and Communications
Landscapes
1000 level unit 1000 level unit 1000 level unit in another
major/minor from
Table A or S
Year 2 Sem 1 ARIN2610 Internet
Transformations
2000 level unit 2000 level unit/OLE 2000 level unit in another
major/minor from
Table A or S
Sem 2

ARIN2620 Everyday Digital Media

2000 level unit 2000 level unit/OLE 2000 level unit in another
major/minor from
Table A or S
Year 3 Sem 1 3000-level
Interdisciplinary
Project unit
One 3000 level unit
from the Digital
Cultures major table
3000 level unit in
another major from
Table A or S
2000/3000 level unit in
another major/minor
from Table A or S
Sem 2 ARIN3620 Researching
Digital Cultures
One 3000 level unit
from the Digital
Cultures major table
3000 level unit in
another major from
Table A or S
3000 level unit in
another major/minor
from Table A or S