How do social media influence us? How do digital technologies constrain (or liberate) social practices, influence communities, or transform organisational and workplace contexts? How do digital technologies shift our understanding of production, conception, commerce and organisation? This MA focuses on how digital technologies are used in everyday life. Students on the programme have the opportunity to consider how we might design better futures by exploring the intersection of networked sociality, organisational practices, and IT design.
The programme has multidisciplinary components. Internationally established professors in digital-culture studies give insights into the social impact of digital technologies. Computer scientists work to develop hands-on student knowledge of design and programming of digital forms of communication and interaction. Professors from information studies and media studies build a strong grounding in the political, social, and economic structures of twenty-first century organisations and institutions. The courses are designed to build students competencies to engage with a digitally saturated life and to become active citizens and critical consumers in the digital world.
Course projects allow students to design and build interfaces, study digital contexts empirically, and explore how new e-business models work. These experiences provide practical skills training in development as well as in research methods. They also enable students to understand many of the behind-the-scenes infrastructures that influence the way people use these technologies.
Projects could include, for example, building digital media apps to give the individual citizen improved access to public administration; researching within health care IT as an intern (for example, researching solutions to enable those with chronic medical conditions to live at home); conducting guided qualitative or quantitative analyses of social media to trace patterns of use, identify new trends, or critically examine a range of digital cultural issues and concerns; and applying data-mining techniques to marketing and/or information management.
The sociological strand of the programme consists of courses on Digital Identities, Social Media, and Digital Organisations. The constructing strand introduces students to the principles and practices of programming in two courses on dynamic web design. The entrepreneurial strand comprises courses on Digital Economies and on Innovation and Project Management. These courses are taught in the first two semesters. In the third semester, students can choose between an internship, a digital-living project under supervision, or an academic profiling course.
The programme aims to arm its graduates with skills for innovation and a strong understanding of the complexities of digital technologies in cultural contexts. Graduates will be well qualified for careers in both public and private sector that are based on the development of social media as part of internal or external infrastructure. They may find themselves working with teams developing social media services for clients and their customers, or incorporating digital media as a part of organisational change-management. They may be conducting research to identify trends that can be used to build more effective market analyses. Graduates will also be well equipped to enter a PhD programme in media studies, information studies, communication studies or internet studies, where digital media and technologies are studied from multidisciplinary perspectives.
A BA in Arts or Social Sciences is required for admission to the MA programme. Exceptions may be granted. International students with a BA or BS in any degree programme are encouraged to apply, particularly if their background or specific interests align with this Masters programme.
Full-time studies are equivalent to 60 ECTS. The first two semesters, students will each semester take 3 courses each equivalent to 10 ECTS (see table). This includes courses on digital identities and social media which, together with a course on digital organisations in the third semester, comprise the sociological strand of the programme. The constructing strand introduces students to the principles and practices of programming in two courses on dynamic web-design. Lastly, the entrepreneurial strand comprises courses on digital economies and innovation and project management. In the third semester, students can choose between an internship, a digital living project under supervision, or an academic profiling course.
Among a range of options, students might build digital media apps that provide citizens with improved access to public administration; do intern-based research within healthcare IT for example to enable those with a chronic illness to live at home; conduct guided qualitative or quantitative analyses of social media to trace patterns of use, identify new trends or critically examine a range of digital-culture issues and concerns; practise applying data-mining techniques for appropriate marketing and/or information management.
Full time studies are equivalent to 60 ECTS. The first two semesters, students will each semester take 3 courses each equivalent to 10 ECTS (see table). This includes courses on digital identities and social media, which together with a course on digital organizations in the third semester, comprises the sociological strand of the program. The constructing strand where students are introduced to the principles and practices of programming are found in two courses on dynamic web-design. Lastly, the entrepreneurial strand is comprised of courses on digital economies and Innovation and project management. In the third semester, student might want to either engage in an internship, a digital living project with supervision, or take an academic profiling course.
PROJECTS AND THINGS STUDENTS MIGHT DO
Among a range of options, students might:
DESCRIPTION OF INDIVIDUAL COURSES
The aim of the course is to explore, analyse and reflect upon subjectivity and identity in digitally saturated everyday life. Qualitative and explorative methods and relevant theoretical concepts will be introducedto enable students to investigate and explain the role of the individual in digital cultures. The course will explore different conceptions of identity and subjectivity, as well as the new questions and challenges that arise in digital context around ethics and responsibility, interaction, interpersonal communication and power.
The course focuses on the new economic and business opportunities that digital technologies provide, and on understanding the societal dynamics, which form and change digital developments. Main focus is on the new business opportunities and models that present themselves to businesses and organisations for advancing through internet and mobile technologies.
Dynamic web design: Mobile clients
The course introduces students to central concepts about IT and client-server interaction as well as to central tools and techniques in working with computers and social media. Especially, an introduction to programming and concepts on variables and control structures. The goal is to learn methods and techniques sufficient to go through a development process with a small social media system as the end product.
The course introduces to a number of digital tool for, for example, data collection, data analysis and data visualization and reflects upon such tool in relation to classic explorative and qualitative methods. The goal is to understand social media in relation to overall communicative context. Especially, the course will focus on social media in relation to identity formation, social interaction, community and as a information filter. This could concern data patterns, privacy, personal data, social exploration and social filtering.
It-project management and innovation in practice
The course provides tools and concepts with IT project management and innovation with a special focus on practice and organization. It introduces to the field of IT project management and innovation and reflects on the interaction between theory and practice and projects as organisational form.
Dynamic web design: Servers and databases
In continuation of the previous course Dynamic web design: Mobile clients, this course focuses on the client aspect. It introduces to central tools and techniques in working with server based systems and the web, and students will work with web services and server-support of dynamic web pages and data bases.
The course focuses on the new forms of cooperation, communication and organisation that emerge around digital media and IT such as virtual teams, digital organisations, and translocal projects. The course provides insight into digital work and digital work places as well as processes of organization and social movements based on digital media and IT.
Digital media project
A course where students work independently on their own projects under guidance. Projects must focus on the theme of digital living but are otherwise free for students to define. The project should demonstrate students knowledge and ability to work with opportunities of digital media with creation of identity, communication, organization, business or innovation. Students must demonstrate that they can plan and carry through a project applying relevant methods, theories and concepts under guidance.