Study Abroad and Exchanges



MCH3169 : Digital Cultural Communication and the Cultural Sector

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module examines how the cultural sector engages with digital platforms, tools and practices to support the creation, appropriation and communication of cultural content. It particularly questions how cultural organisations communicate with their audience(s) digitally. It aims to encourage students to consider the changing nature of communication in the cultural sector in a digital context. It particularly examines how different organisational motivations (e.g. audience development, access, PR, deep engagement, communities of interest etc.) shape the choice of digital tools and communication platforms; it also considers how emerging digital engagement behaviours among digital audiences shape organisational communication. The module aims to engage critically with practices around digital cultural communication as well as its effect on how cultural memory, contested cultural knowledge(s) and cultural value are constructed through digital means. A range of contemporary and historical digital communication paradigms, case studies, online projects, and professional practice are used throughout the module.

The module aims to provide:
1. An introduction on how the creation, appropriation and communication of cultural content is understood and practiced within cultural organisations (e.g. museums, archives, art organisations, performance groups, community organisations etc.)
2. Informed ways of accessing, researching and comprehending multi-layered and multi-platform acts of digital cultural communication.
3. Skills and experiences necessary in understanding and analysing the theoretical, professional and experiential significance of such communication.
4. An understanding of different approaches to capturing and measuring digital cultural engagement for a variety of audiences.
5. Familiarity with debates and theory about digital cultural communication, participation, engagement and active citizenship.
6. The opportunity to reflect on how digital tools and platforms affect the construction and representation of cultural memory, indigenous cultures and contested knowledge in the digital realm.

Outline Of Syllabus

Teaching and learning activities will include the following themes (indicative):

1.       Introduction: digital cultural communication: What is it? Who is involved?
2.       Introduction to the cultural sector and the role of cultural institutions in communicating cultural content
3.       Changing paradigms in digital cultural content creation, appropriation and communication: the social/political, technical and professional contexts
4.       Digital audience segmentation: audience’s motivations to engage with cultural organisations through digital means
5.       Case study – institutional perspective
6.       Authorship and ownership of digital cultural content – debates and practices
7.       Contested cultural knowledge(s) in the digital realm: representing indigeneity on digital platforms
8.       Cultural memory practices on digital platforms
9.       Digital crowdsourcing as a cultural communication and engagement strategy
10.       The metrics of digital cultural engagement
11.       Understanding the value of digital cultural communication
12.       Module recap/assignment surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice12:002:00Guided participation to online cultural crowdsourcing activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity14:004:00Self-directed study visit to a cultural organisation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study198:0098:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MCH8169Digital Cultural Communication and the Cultural Sector
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module will introduce students to key concepts, debates and ideas.
Small group teaching will enable these theoretical issues to be discussed and explored in a more informal setting, including the presentation of case studies and readings relevant to the themes of the module.
The presentation of case studies by external speakers will also provide awareness around up-to-date practice and will allow students to consolidate theoretical concepts, methodological approaches and practical implications related to media and communication studies in cultural settings.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M301,000 words; analytical writing from a recent cultural digital media initiative, project, and activity related to module content.
Essay1A703,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first part of the assessment is the undertaking of a case study analysis, written in up to 1,000 words. The case study should be from a recent relevant example of a digital cultural communication project, initiative, activity, intervention publicly available and clearly relating to the themes of the module as well as the theories. Examples will be provided by the module leader, or in exceptional cases students may select alternatives following the prior approval of the module leader. The second part of the assessment involves the writing of a 3,000 word essay to be selected from a list of questions relating to key topics and themes addressed on the module. Critical thinking will be assessed across both assessments as will academic research, writing and referencing skills.

Reading Lists