MA Digital Media, Culture and Society

Please note that this course is subject to approval.

Year of entry: 2023


Degree awarded
Master of Arts
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities or social-science based subject area.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Develop skills and knowledge that allow you to engage critically with key debates and issues in the study of digital media and technology.
  • Become an informed, culturally aware and competent stakeholder in digital technology and culture, with in-depth understanding of issues including social media, identity, artificial intelligence, data, platformisation, and surveillance.
  • Learn from an interdisciplinary team, drawing on ideas and methods in digital media studies, digital humanities, science and technology studies, visual studies, history, geography, sociology, and the arts.
  • Enhance your employability through critical and technical skills that are applicable in a wide range of careers.
  • Benefit from opportunities to engage first-hand with the people, projects and organisations that shape the digital transformation of culture and society.
MA Digital Media, Culture and Society

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2023, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £13,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
PG Taught Admissions
+44 (0) 161 275 3098

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities or social-science based subject area.

English language

Candidates for whom English is not their first language must submit the following:

An overall grade of IELTS 7.0 with 7.0 in writing and no skill below 6.5 is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25 and no skill below 22.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

Please note that due to the volume of applications received, we will only assess applications with an English language test result included.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

As there is a high demand for our courses we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year. Due to the competition for places and high quality of applications that we receive, we give preference to students from high ranking institutions and with grades above our minimum entry requirements.

Please ensure you submit all supporting documentation with your application before the application deadline to avoid a delay in processing.

Applications for 2023 entry:

Stage 1: Application received by 9th December 2022 ; Application update by 23rd February 2023

Stage 2: Application received by 10th February 2023 ; Application update by 6th April 2023

Stage 3: Application received by 31st March 2023 ; Application update by 25th May 2023

Stage 4: Application received by 29th April 2023 ; Application update by 29th June 2023

Stage 5: Application received by 1st July 2023 ; Application update by 27th July 2023

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

Please note: All places are subject to availability and if you apply at one of the later stages, some courses may already be reaching capacity or be closed to further applications. We, therefore, recommend that you apply early in the cycle to avoid disappointment.

How your application is considered

Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.

Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here:

Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.


Applicants may defer entry for 12 months provided they contact before September 1st. Please note that applicants are subject to the fees for the entry year they will start the course.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

The MA in Digital Media, Culture, and Society offers advanced interdisciplinary study in the critique and use of digital media and technology with a particular focus on their cultural and societal implications.

The emergence of digital artifacts is a defining challenge of the twenty-first century, with transformative effects on our cultural production, our social bonds, our economies, and our political systems. Digital media make possible new modes of intellectual pursuit, artistic expression, and civic engagement which students will study through critical analysis and active engagement. At the same time, technology enables novel forms of surveillance and inequality: from the erosion of privacy to algorithmic bias, this course empowers students to recognize digitally mediated threats to civil society. Students will also learn how digital technology transforms the way in which we interrogate and curate the cultural record: students will have the opportunity to learn a range of digital skills, such as data analytics and visualisation.

The course brings together a diverse student body from different backgrounds in a research-led, seminar-based, interactive curriculum that prepares them for leadership roles as critical thinkers and practitioners in the technology sector and the cultural and creative industries.

Throughout the course you will learn to critically engage with the cultural and societal impacts of digital media and technology; evaluate digitally-mediated forms of intellectual pursuit, artistic expression and civic engagement; and conduct independent research on and with digital technology and media.

Special features

State-of-the art Facilities

Our teaching takes place in the Digital Humanities Lab, a dedicated, state-of-the art teaching and research space with large screens, flexible seating, and high-performance laptops. Our research-led teaching combines theoretically informed study and critique of digital media and technology with training in creative digital skills that are transferable in a wide range of roles, such as data analysis and visualisation.

Work Placement

Students may benefit from at least 20 days industry experience on a relevant project or programme, subject to availability, hosted on site and remotely by a relevant business or organisation, supported by the host supervisor and an academic supervisor. There is potential for students to develop their own industry placement, subject to the approval of the course unit convenor and programme director. Find out more on the work placements page .

Centre for Digital Humanities

You will be taught by an interdisciplinary team based at the Centre for Digital Humanities , which brings together staff, students, and external partners promoting cutting-edge research at the intersection of the humanities and technology. MA students will be encouraged to contribute to the Centre's research community by attending invited talks and methods training.

Culture and Technology in Manchester

Manchester is increasingly becoming one of the UK's most important cultural and technological hotspots. Now positioned as the engine room for the Northern Powerhouse, the city is benefiting from massive investment in its technological and cultural infrastructure such as MediaCityUK, the award-winning Whitworth, the Sharp Project and HOME.

Additional course information

The course is part of the Centre for Digital Humanities which brings together staff, students, and external partners working at the intersection of the humanities and technology. Its research has particular strengths in the spatial humanities, digital media studies, science and technology studies, digital visual culture, distant reading, data visualization, and heritage digitization.

As part of a wider university expansion in digital research and data science, Digital Humanities is leading a number of cutting-edge projects. Digital Humanities maintains close collaborations with key partners across the university, including the School of Computer Science, The John Rylands Library, the University of Manchester Library, Research IT, and the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Together with its PhD students, Digital Humanities coordinates a vibrant research community, with seminar series, workshops, and project development and methods training.

The Centre's state-of-the art Digital Humanities Lab hosts a range of interdisciplinary courses. The School launched an undergraduate Minor in Digital Humanities in September 2019 and made major investments to prepare the launch of the MA and BA programmes in Digital Media, Culture, and Society. A combined focus on technical skills and criticism enables our students to bridge the gap between creative and technical work and places them in a uniquely powerful position in the digital economy.

Teaching and learning

Students on this course will be taught in a variety of formats, including:

  • in-person lectures and seminars
  • blended teaching
  • student group and project work
  • discussions on conceptual and critical questions; individual office hours; as well as hands-on tutorials with state-of-the-art digital technology in our new state-of-the-art labs.
  • independent research by students
  • individual office hours

Coursework and assessment

Students will encounter a wide range of assessment formats including: academic essays, creative reflections, Storymaps, visualisations, and practical portfolios.

Students will have the opportunity to submit digitally-enhanced or practice-based dissertations. They will also have the option to undertake an industry placement, co-supervised by their host organisation and with an academic tutor.

Course unit details

This MA course consists of core and optional course units and a dissertation, made up of 180 credits.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Digital Media (30 credits)
  • Digital Methods (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules

  • Data, Culture and Society (15 credits)
  • The Digital Self: Living in Networked Times (15 credits)
  • Social Media and Platforms (15 credits)
  • Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Society (15 credits)
  • Spatial History: Mapping the Past (15 credits)
  • Producing Digital Projects (15 credits)
  • Digital Heritage (15 credits)
  • Placement (15 credits)

Optional units build on the knowledge and understanding you have gained in the core units, and enable you to develop expertise in a range of domains. Please note that optional units can vary from year to year.

Full-time students take 60 credits of optional course units. Part-time students take 30 credits of optional course units each year.


You will undertake a 15,000-word dissertation during the summer, with individual supervision by staff members. Your choice of course units and dissertation topic will enable you to specialise in areas such as social media, data studies, artificial intelligence, digital humanities, and others, depending on your preferred career paths and/or research interests.


The University of Manchester has world-class facilities.

Students will benefit from their own dedicated teaching space: the Digital Humanities Lab, a state-of-the art teaching and research space with large screens, flexible seating, and high-performance laptops.

As a student of the Graduate School, you will have access to excellent training within a dedicated postgraduate space where you can meet with each other, access resources, organise events and participate in a thriving academic community. Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:

CPD opportunities

Each year, a number of mid-career professionals take our MA degrees on a part-time basis and find that the University provides a valuable space for reflection, as well as for further learning.


Career opportunities

The MA prepares students for careers in the growing digital technology, cultural and creative sectors, including marketing, data analytics, journalism and publishing, digital media and communications, design, visual arts, fashion, think tanks, NGOs, education, project management, consulting, and policy.

Students can also progress and further develop their skills and interests in PhD study. You will benefit from a wide range of CV-building opportunities on the course, and your supervisor provides you with personal and career development support.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability.