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MCH1001 : Introduction to Digital Cultures

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Rush-Cooper
  • Lecturer: Dr Tom Schofield
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• To introduce students to theories and issues relevant to Digital Cultures, related technologies and media, and their contexts.
• To equip students with the critical and analytical skills to enable them to examine the sites, practices, materials and contexts of Digital Cultures.
• To promote and develop scholarly and practical strategies for self-supported learning, including in an interdisciplinary context.

This module serves as an introduction to the study of “Digital Cultures”. Digital Cultures is understood to include (but is not limited to) digital and online technologies and platforms, their everyday use by individuals, their use by companies, organisations, government and other groups, the communities, art cultures, media, formed with and through digital and / or online technologies. Throughout there will be a critic focus on questions of power, politics and social relations in relation to digital technologies, media and cultures.

This module serves to provide students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary theoretical, conceptual and analytical approaches used to critically examine Digital Cultures, their sites, practices, materials, politics and contexts.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is aimed at students who are new to the field of digital cultures and/or who have some initial knowledge of related fields. The module will encourage students to critically engage with some of the key terms, concepts, ideas, and approaches in the study of Digital Cultures.

Contexts refers to the social, cultural, political, economic and geographical contexts. These might be everyday contexts, labour contexts, institutional and government contexts, professional contexts, legal contexts.

The module (and programme) is committed to emphasising the presence of marginalised voices and endeavours to iteratively reformulate its cannon. Questions of power are central to the critical understanding that will be developed, examining thje complex intersection of digital technologies, culture, politics, economies, power and spaces can both reproducing and reinforce forms of exploitation and oppression, and also provide sites and practices of resitance.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study143:0043:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present relevant theories and concepts in the area of Digital Cultures

Small Group teaching and Workshops will developing lecture topics and practising critical application of theories and concepts. Sessions will emphasise the relevance of theories of Digital Cultures by exploring contexts.

Grounding students’ future capacity to integrate theory and practice by presenting a range of relevant theoretical approaches and developing their ability to compare them.

Directed research and reading will increase students’ familiarity with core texts and relevant projects supporting their knowledge of sites, contexts and futures in Digital Cultures. This will include set readings, accompanied by reading guides to familiarise students with academic texts and to develop reflective and critical approaches and suitable note-taking practices.

One day of field work will take place in Newcastle. This will consist of group tasks examining the role of digital technologies in everyday urban spaces.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A100Critical essay, 2500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MPlan of proposed final essay to be submitted for staff feedback. One side of A4.
Reflective log1M500 word reflection on an aspect of the course (e.g. key reading, fieldtrip)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The short essay requires that students reflect on and offer a critical response to an issue in Digital Cultures with reference to and the application of relevant theories and concepts they have encountered as part of the module. The short essay will require that students draw from lectures, workshops, the fieldtrip and readings.

The final, critical essay requires that students construct an argument around an issue or theme covered in the module. Questions will be provided.

Reading Lists