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MCH3169 : Digital Communication for Cultural Institutions and Organisations (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Areti Galani
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module introduces the domain of ‘cultural sector’ and examines how cultural sector organisations and groups (e.g. museums, archives, art and performance organisations, festivals, theatres, community groups etc.) engage with digital platforms, tools and practices to support the creation, appropriation and communication of cultural content. What constitutes ‘cultural content’ is explained though examples and specific case studies. The module also questions how cultural sector organisations communicate with their audience(s) digitally. It aims to encourage students to consider the challenges and opportunities of digital communication for both non-for-profit and for-profit cultural organisations. It particularly examines different organisational motivations for digital communication, for example audience development, accessibility to content, PR, and crowdsourcing. 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, international online projects, and professional practices are used throughout the module.

The module aims to provide:

1. An introduction to the specific domain of ‘cultural sector’ and its relation to digital communication

2. An introduction on how the creation, appropriation and digital communication of cultural content is understood and practiced within cultural organisations (e.g. museums, archives, art organisations, performance groups, community organisations etc.)

3. Skills and experience necessary in understanding and analysing the use of digital media for communication purposes among cultural organisations and groups from a theoretical, empirical and professional perspective.

4. An introduction to digital audience segmentation in the ‘cultural sector’ domain.

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 representation of indigenous cultures and contested knowledge in the digital realm.

Outline Of Syllabus

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

- Introduction to digital communication for the cultural sector
- Introduction to cultural institutions and organisations and how they communicate cultural content
- Digital audience segmentation: audience’s motivations to engage with cultural organisations through digital means
- Debates and practices around authorship and ownership of digital cultural content
- Cultural communication and engagement through digital crowdsourcing
- Issues related to contested cultural knowledge(s) in the digital realm, such as the representation of indigeneity on digital platforms
- Metrics of digital cultural engagement
- At least one real-life case study of a contemporary cultural institution/organisation
- 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
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 study1100:00100:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MCH8169Digital communication for cultural institutions and organisations
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 study2M301,000 words; analytical writing from a recent cultural digital media initiative, project, and activity related to module content.
Essay2A703,000 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