School of Society and Culture

MSc Digital Culture and Society

Programme code 7550

1 year

Course type

Full-time, Part-time route available

Study location Plymouth

Digital culture and advancing technologies are shaping every aspect of our lives. This programme provides a unique opportunity to critically examine the impact of digital technologies on culture and society and gain an in-depth understanding of current theories and debates. You will investigate how digital technologies are affecting a range of contemporary aspects of social life including: gender and the body; health; race and nationalism; the workplace; the environment and politics.

Digital Culture and Society

Careers with this subject

Knowledge and skills in digital culture and society responds to one of the fastest growing areas of employment today. Whether it is marketing, communications, human resources or even health, employers increasingly need experts who understand the growing impact of digital life on society. 
This MSc equips you with a range of highly sought-after skills including digital literacy, data analytics, web design, ethnographic analysis, critical thinking and project management skills. 

Key features

  • Benefit from our new state-of-the-art Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Labs where you can gain access to cutting edge technology.
  • Learn from a team of internationally recognized research-active staff who are leaders in their field.
  • Combine a solid conceptual foundation informed by leading research with hands on practical training.
  • Gain insights into highly topical contemporary developments and benefit from a programme of external industry speakers.
  • Enrich your experience from a learning environment that brings together today’s most valuable subjects from the social and political sciences and performing arts and humanities to empower you to expand your thinking, realise your ambitions, and pursue your passions.
  • Benefit from flexible placement opportunities with the opportunity to have a placement tailored to your career interests.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Examine how digital technologies are affecting the most pressing issues of our time. Gain an understanding of key theoretical, ethical and philosophical debates. Learn how to use ethnographic and visual methods to study online worlds and become skilled in digital analytics including analysing big data. Draw on a wide range of teaching methods with an emphasis upon hands-on experiential learning including VR technologies.Access cutting-edge technology in our new Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Labs, giving you the edge when applying for jobs in the cultural sector.
    This programme trains our students to be employment-ready, resilient global citizens who are empowered to make a difference in society.

    Core modules

    • Dissertation (DCS700)

      In this module students will be expected to operationalise an appropriate research question relating to digital culture and society, identifying strengths and limitations of the methodological approach. This will require attention is given to the selection and use of appropriate research methods, and relevant ethical issues. Students will demonstrate an ability to design and conduct an independent research project; analyse, evaluate and report findings effectively, and identify potential application in policy or practice settings. There will be a requirement for critical reflection on strengths and weaknesses of the research.

    • Introduction to Digital Culture (DCS701)

      This module examines the impact of digital culture and critically assesses technology’s role in society. It explores how cyberspace challenges traditional notions of identity, community, the body, politics, and personal relationships. It probes the major debates and theoretical frameworks of the analyses of digital society and identifies and analyses key epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying social research.

    • Researching Social Life (DCS703)

      This module examines the role and value of social science in understanding the social world and social problems and prepares students for undertaking their dissertations. It develops students’ knowledge of methods and strategies employed by social science researchers. The emphasis is on empirical techniques of gathering and interpreting social data. Through case studies, the module examines the particular ethical challenges posed by researching digital life. It covers formulating research questions, philosophy and methodology, research design and sampling, data analysis, writing up, and using social media to disseminate research.

    Optional modules

    • Digital Culture and Climate Change (DCS704)

      Social science approaches play a critical role in understanding how some of the most pressing issues of our time such as climate change are communicated and addressed. This module examines the role of digital media in communicating climate change and debates concerning impact and influence.

    • Digital Analytics and Marketing Research (MKT7003)

      In this module you will learn how to deploy and evaluate data analytics and develop expertise to be able to engage in effective market research.

    • Social Media Theory and Practice (MKT7004)

      This module exposes students to key concepts and theories relating to online communities and social networking. The module will provide the academic and conceptual basis for the development of effective social media engagement strategies such as, social media user behaviour, online community and personalisation.

    • Game Studies (MAGD7201)

      Students research and analyse game design theory concepts, investigating topics such as gamification, serious games, playbour, ludology, urban gaming, non-linear narrative, representation, realism and simulation, as well as critical research methods. The module culminates in an essay examining a particular game design concept and critiquing its use within a range of game texts.

    • Immersive Media and XR (ADA7102E)

      This module will provide students with the creative and technical skills to develop their projects based on experimentation with immersive media and extended reality (XR) technologies. Through a combination of technical inductions, workshops, lectures, and self-directed work in our Immersive Media Lab, students will be able to experiment with 360 Video, sonic environments, AR/VR, sensors, and game engines.

    • Spatial Storytelling (ADA7103E)

      Students will explore using narrative space to create emotionally engaging audience experiences by experimenting with a range of spatial storytelling methods and technologies. The development of skills as narrative architects and storytellers in immersive, interactive, locative, game, sound, art, film and/or performance-based experiences and installations will result in the creation of a spatial storytelling project.

    • Interaction Design (ADA7106E)

      This module will provide students with the creative and technical skills to apply interaction design strategies to develop and support their practice across a range of disciplines. Drawing from the technologies, techniques and tools typical of the Smart City, ubiquitous, mobile and wearable computing and Internet of Things (IoT), students will design and develop prototype systems that allow them to explore key issues relating to our lived environment.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Digital Culture and Society programme specification_7550

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (first or second class) or equivalent. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
International students: IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,500 £9,700
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £530 £530
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.


Our team produce internationally leading research that addresses key challenges facing contemporary society
We have an established tradition of national and internationally recognised excellence in research and strengths in the fields of health policy; digital media and culture; nationalism; religion; food cultures; sustainability; and well-being of vulnerable and marginalised groups. 
In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, 86% of our research outputs were judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading, and we are ranked 8 out of 76 institutions nationally for research impact. 
Our themed research groups are: ‘Health, Vulnerability and Inequality’, ‘Environment, Culture and Society’, ‘Global Instability and Justice’ and ‘Methodological Innovations’.
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