Digital Media BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


September 2018


Be part of the digital content revolution. Digital advertising agencies, online businesses and social media need people who can design engaging and innovative digital content. Use industry standard software to explore the creative capabilities of interactive design, video, digital photography, web design, mobile apps, sound design, user interfaces and digital animation.

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Full description


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The skills and knowledge you will gain from completing our BA (Hons) Digital Media course will help you succeed in the Digital Media industry in a whole range of roles including web design, social media analysis and content writing, videographers, motion graphic artists, online marketing, advertising, graphic design, interactive designers, project management and perhaps even roles that you invent for yourselves.

Our employability advisers organise and run workshops, seminars, networking events, portfolio reviews as well as design challenges and work experience that mean our graduates are equipped with the skills and confidence to enter the creative workplace. Our links with major companies in Cambridge, including Sony and Jagex, mean that you will be engaging with ‘live’ clients and exciting competitions that will enhance your portfolio.

Find out more about working with the creative industries.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Introduction to Creative Digital Processes
    This module introduces you to the central skills and processes of Digital Media at the point where visual skills and digital technology meet. This requires you to balance technical concerns with an appreciation of what makes compelling digital content. You will be introduced to the potential and scope of digital media through a series of short design exercises and tasks. The fundamentals of this process are idea conception, research, drawing and experimentation.
  • Photography: Post Production Workflow
    This is an intensive practice-based module designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of the post production workflow, giving you the means to control and manipulate your photographic images. The module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of digital hardware, and Photoshop software. You will explore the use of digital imaging techniques and processes in a series of lectures, practice-based workshops and discussions, where you will be actively working on projects and activities, individually and in groups. The relationship between techniques, methods and ideas will be explored through assigned projects, class activities and self-guided learning. Peer group reviews and one-to-one tutorials will support the development of your work throughout the semester. Assessment is through the submission of a portfolio of a sustained body of practice-based outcomes, supporting research and development material. The portfolio will evidence your knowledge and skills in digital imaging workflow and postproduction, your level of engagement with experimentation, and your exploration of ideas and contexts.
  • Digital Media Design
    You will develop your competence in the use of digital media software and will apply this to more challenging project briefs. The module examines the creative and interpretative decisions that determine content creation, using multiple elements such as type, text, and colour. You will then apply to a range of short projects, including data visualisation, short videos and interface design.
  • Introduction to Web Design
    This module will introduce you to web design and the informed use of professional web design software. You’ll acquire the technical vocabulary necessary for the description and analysis of web material, and a working knowledge of industry-standard web design tools. You'll be introduced to the mark-up language XHTML and the principle of cascading style sheets (CSS), and you'll undertake a series of short projects designed to explore and demonstrate your understanding of web design processes and media, presenting these in a portfolio for assessment at the end of the semester.

Year one, optional modules

  • Contextual Studies
    This module will introduce you to valuable skills that you’ll use throughout the rest of your course. You'll cover how to research, analyse and write about art and design, and gain an overview of some of the major developments in art and design relevant to your specific course, considering issues of both industry practice and critical theory in relation to the social, cultural and intellectual climate of their times. The module may draw on examples from graphic design, interior design, fashion, industrial design, architecture, product design, media communications and fine art, but is taught with a particular emphasis on your own discipline. A constant question for us therefore concerns the possible definitions of 'design' itself. As well as this subject-specific content, the module also includes a series of workshops and exercises which will introduce you to the skills of library research, critical analysis of visual imagery, essay writing and academic referencing, providing a foundation for your later studies. For your assessment, you will demonstrate these skills by submitting an essay on a thematic subject.
  • English for Study 1 & 2
    You'll focus on the advanced writing and organisational skills necessary for essays and other written assignments, including planning, paragraphing, and developing an argument. Your studies will have a particular emphasis on the importance of good academic practice, especially accurate referencing and the use of bibliographies. You'll also practise extracting key points from a variety of spoken or written texts and writing summaries, and develop your discussion skills so as to contribute confidently to seminars and tutorials. You'll also receive guidance about independent learning using the wide range of resources available in our University Library and Language Centre. These two modules are worth 15 credits each.
  • History of Digital Media
    The module examines the key theories and practices of Digital Media from its inception up to the present day and beyond. Lectures will address the rapid technological advances that mean our consumption of media is screen based and digital, and how this transformation is impacting on society. The module will also include the way in which Artists and Designers have utilised digital technology to produce new work and the visual and aural languages that have resulted as a consequence. In this module there is an emphasis on developing academic skills that will prepare students for contextual studies in art and design at higher levels. This will focus on basic research skills that will enable students to acquire relevant source materials and knowledge in these specialist areas. Assessment will be by means of an essay.

Year two, core modules

  • Interactive Narratives
    Storytelling is a key human tool that helps us to explain and understand the world. The traditional linear approach to storytelling has been disrupted by digital media; where the interaction of the end user can change the outcome and direction of a story, explore character, environment or motivation of the central narrative. These are the ideas you will be exploring on this module, using storyboarding, animation and interactive design.
  • Interactive Environments
    Working in a team, you will conceive, plan, make and then exhibit digital content that explores ideas based on ‘physical computing’, sometimes known as the ‘internet of things’. Examples include wearable technologies, augmented reality, and computer controlled environments. In this module, you will be exploring how interactive design can be used outside the computer, tablet and mobile screens. The module will culminate in a public exhibition to showcase the work you have created.
  • Debates and Practices
    On this module, you'll explore the links between critical studies and practice, enriching your knowledge and developing your articulacy about your specialism, as well as drawing on wider perspectives in relation to your own work. You will focus particularly on debates about contemporary practice. Your studies will be seminar-based and, where appropriate and possible, held in the studio. In discussions, you'll engage with theory and history alongside your own developing ideas about contemporary production, with an open agenda that will respond to current events, work and interests.

Year two, optional modules

  • New Media Design - Graphic Design for Screen Based Applications
    You’ll explore the role of graphic design across new media and screen based contexts including web design and application interfaces, and to consider the implications and possibilities of new communications phenomena, social networks and viral marketing for the graphic designer. Workshops address the design of motion graphics and digital animation through Flash and After Effects software, and the development of web design skills introduced in the Introduction to Web Design module. Lectures and presentations identify both the creative opportunities and technical constraints of new media and motion graphics for broadcast and interactive applications. These include references from film and TV titling, web graphics and advertising, and consider the use of ambient, viral and guerrilla strategies. A series of individual and small group projects explore both the technical and conceptual issues involved in each of these aspects of practice, addressing the use of new media across a range of both practical and speculative contexts. These projects explore the emerging communication possibilities of new technologies, as well as providing detailed technical instruction on the presentation of the word and image on the screen. Individual and group tutorials throughout the module address the development of you practice and the progress of each project.
  • Time Based Media
    In this module, you'll receive a thorough introduction to video as a Fine Art medium, while leaning heavily on your established practice to provide subject matter and direction. You'll be expected to expand your practice through experimentation with digital video acquisition, digital video editing and televisual presentation. You'll start by presenting and discussing your work to date with your classmates, to establish relevant starting points and a group dynamic. You'll also be inducted, as a group, in the use of digital video cameras and Final Cut Pro HD. Once you have gained confidence, your individual projects will be supported as needed, with the group dynamic being maintained through critiques. You'll identify and engage with the formal properties of video and explore how the additional properties might be employed to expand your established practice. For example: time, sound and screen-based presentation. You'll be supported in this by presentations and discussions of historical and contemporary time-based art. The presentation of your final work might incorporate single-screen, multiple-screen, projection and sound.
  • Building an online Audience
    As a Designer or Artist you must have the knowledge and skills to get noticed amongst the vast quantity of content online and with increasingly shorter attention spans of audiences. This module is an excellent launching pad for mastering the digital marketing skillsets you will need and to provide content that will further your career goals. It requires a unique combination of social intelligence, creative problem solving and analytical thinking. Part of this module will focus on creating a professional online presence; identifying and then utilising content management systems (CMS) to create a professional profile. Since the web is highly networked you will identify ways in which social media, peer to peer file sharing, and search engine optimisation (SEO) help drive traffic to your content and connect you with potential employers / clients.
  • Business for the Creative Arts
    This module will introduce you to the practical tools needed to set yourself up in business in the creative arts, as a company, a partnership or a freelancer. You'll explore a sector of the creative industries, identifying potential opportunities within it and producing a basic business plan. Your emphasis will be on self-reflection, innovative thinking and communication skills, while the subjects that you'll cover include: the creative industries; developing and analysing a business idea; types of business model; assessing your market; ideas behind marketing; basic accounts; tax and legal issues; and planning for start-up. You'll be asked to translate these into practice by applying them to your own ideas, which will then become part of your own business plan. The module will be delivered through lectures, seminars, student presentations, critiques and workshops. Your formative assessment will involve presentations, while the summative assessment will be based on your critical evaluation of employment opportunities in a sector of the creative industries and your portfolio of work, including a business plan or employment strategy and supporting documents.
  • 3D Computer Generated Imagery
    This module will give you the skills and knowledge needed to devise and construct 3d models and objects using Industry standard software. You will also consider how these modules might be used and applied in a range of situations and outcomes; games, animations, motion graphics, architecture and interior design. Practical workshops, inclusive lectures and critique sessions will present, examine and address the contextualisation of 3D modelling and you will be researching and analysing current trends and developments. You will also be introduced to some of the most important concepts in 3d modelling such as interpretations of space, composition, lighting, texture and colour and will explore traditional drawing to plan and enhance your work. Sessions will explore and address: conceiving of, planning, making and reflecting upon a range of 3D models and you will be challenged to meet a series of project briefs that will help develop both your creative and technical skills. Ongoing critiques will formatively assess, analyse and evaluate your development; the emotive quality, technical competency and appropriateness for purpose-within the given briefs requirements. Your coursework, including all ongoing research, analysis and development work and the design solutions/outcomes to the short tasks and projects, will be summatively assessed at the close of the semester.
  • Cross-Platform Production
    On this module, you’ll examine and experiment with means of creating and disseminating programming for contemporary media outlets, maintaining high values in terms of production and narrative. You'll engage with current debates about the nature of media, and become able to predict (to an extent), explore and potentially exploit changes in the interactive media industries, whether such changes are technical, cultural or commercial. You’ll become familiar with software used by technical directors. You’ll look at podcasting, interactive television, video-sharing websites like YouTube, online publishing. You'll examine the many business models emerging as the digital landscape expands and evolves, and consider ways in which content might be aggregated and monetised. You’ll also meet outside experts in the fields of digital production, web development, and the economics of digital delivery. You’ll work in production groups, creating programming designed for digital delivery, on which you will be assessed.
  • Graphic Design for the Web
    You’ll develop your understanding of web design through a series of projects addressing a range of professional applications. Within these contexts, you’ll look in specific detail at the contribution of graphic creativity and visual analysis to the technical discipline of web design. A series of individual and small group projects addresses the use of web graphics across a range of commercial and self-initiated contexts including promotion, publishing, art-editorial, photographic and fine art applications. Through these projects you’ll explore both the technical and conceptual issues involved in each of these aspects of web practice. You’ll also conduct a detailed investigation of web layout and typography. Lectures address issues of navigation and legibility. Workshops provide instruction around topics such as workarounds and preparing images for the web. Seminars explore current developments in web design practice in relation to your projects, and examine the role of the designer. Individual and group tutorials throughout the module address the development of your practice and the progress of your project.
  • Contemporary Digital Approaches
    You’ll explore new possibilities in image creation and articulate ideas about them through this integrated approach that uses digital imaging software in conjunction with fieldwork and research. You'll be expected to have at least a basic knowledge and level of skill in Photoshop at the outset and you'll also generate all your own source images through fieldwork and/or photography studio practice. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the integration of technique and practice to explore ideas and concepts. By examining the imaging workflow, from capture through to output, you'll experiment with different aspects of image construction to enable a clearer understanding of the processes and skills involved. There will be assignments and technical workshops to illustrate these points, as well as tutorial guidance to help develop your practice and research. You'll share your assignment outcomes and research with the rest of the class through participation in class crits. Your assessment will consist of a portfolio of practical work together with research and development journals.
  • Writing for Images
    This module will allow you to explore the relationships between texts and images through your own creative practice. In the contemporary world of art and design, the practitioner is often called upon to accompany images with texts written in a variety of voices. This module will prepare you for these professional expectations, as well as informing and complementing your work in studio specialisms, such as illustration, photographic and digital media, video, animation and fine art. The process of writing for images will be addressed in a series of seminars and writing workshops led by a professional author. You will also have the opportunity to combine your writing with moving image, and to use short films - both live action and animation - as a starting point for your writing. Your assessment will centre on a project that combines text and image, as well as a selection from the pieces of written work produced during the module. Please note that this module is intended to develop your skills in creative writing, not a study skills module to improve basic written and spoken English.
  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Year three, core modules

  • Digital Media Specialised Practice
    This module is designed to set you challenges that primarily involve experimentation and exploration within digital media practice. This could involve specific media types and platforms looking at new ways of creating content or how a variety of media could be combined to form an entirely new approach. This is an opportunity to develop your individual specialisms or to explore new areas of content delivery, in preparation for the Major Project in your final semester.
  • Research Project
    The Research Project will foster your independent study with the guidance of a tutor. You'll devise your own project which will reflect on/co-ordinate with/enhance your own studio work and interests, encouraging your self-reflexivity and critical distance. Seminars will give you a forum to learn from each other's research. You will also be supported by individual tutorials with a member of staff. The Research Project may include a variety of relevant topics, including reporting on your own work experience. You can illustrate it with photographs, drawings or video, discussing your approach with your assigned tutor.
  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


Our modules allow you to demonstrate your progress by producing coursework to set projects, and formal briefs. At the end of each semester you’ll submit design work for practice-based modules, and a written document for contextual/theoretical modules. These will then be graded and you’ll receive written feedback.

You’ll also receive on going feedback on your design project concepts and develop your learning in taught sessions, one-to-one discussions, project reviews, peer to peer feedback and group critiques.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, as well as nine international research clusters, such as the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)


International students, 2018/19 (per year)


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Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Entry requirements

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You will be required to attend an interview of around 20 minutes, at which you will also discuss your portfolio (see below). For more information please visit our interviews page.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to evidence your work by submitting a portfolio or, if you are resident outside of the UK, an e-portfolio. For more information and guidance please download the relevant portfolio pack below and visit our portfolios page.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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