Digital Media BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: P479
International Code: AHU096

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

The Digital Media BA course focuses on creative production in the field of media using digital tools in 3D modelling, code as a creative medium, immersive technologies, and audio and video production among others.

The BA Digital Media offers a space for students to experiment with a range of digital technologies, practices, processes, and theories.

  • Our responsive, creative curriculum allows students to address the rapid developments concerning the impact of new, emerging and future media technologies and broader changes to the media and networked communications landscape.
  • Our project-led approach supports students in becoming adept with a range of critical and creative media equipment and interactive technologies to inform their practice and understanding.
  • Students will benefit from a course that sees critical digital theory, immersive skills development, and professional practice as mutually exclusive, along with a university-wide commitment to collaborative learning and supporting sustainable global citizenship development.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • Our course explores a mix of creative and technical skills and knowledge development through a range of modules that will take students through the entire software development workflow from concept to user testing.
  • You will have free access to a wide range of high standard, professional media equipment via our Media Loan Service, with technicians who can support you and give advice and instructions for ease of use4.
  • Past staff and students have a strong track record of collaborative applied projects with organisations including Genesys, Uber, Google, The United Nations (Mission 1.5) Jaguar Land Rover, Coventry Telegraph, Rolls-Royce, BBC Big Screens, The Gallery of Living History and BT2.
  • In the past students have had the opportunity to attend talks from expert guest speakers such as Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, Venom: Let there be Carnage), Luke Richards, CEO and Creative Director, Black Cat Entertainment and Simon Wright, Director of Genesys Creators, Genesys (subject to availability).
  • On this course, you’ll be taught by staff with expertise in immersive technologies and 360 video, music and digital composition and sound recording, user interface design, digital marketing, and digital culture. (Staff may be subject to change.)

We live in a world today where we breathe the digital. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep at night, it’s everywhere. The digital has become a membrane between us, and our idea of what reality can be. Digital media as a course explores this new digital reality and tries to pierce through the digital membrane to explore how reality has been changed and transformed by these creative technologies. We approach it at creative professionals and researchers who want to understand this new reality and unleash its potentials. We first understand it and then we play with it. Whether it’s through an immersive production, a digital marketing campaign, or a transmedia narrative experience.

- Dr Darren Berkland, Course Director, 2022
A student in the media room, using a video production suite.

What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first year courses

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Digital Media BA (Hons)
  • Games Art BA (Hons)
  • Games Design and Development BA (Hons)
  • Visual Effects (VFX) BA (Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.

Modules

  • This module aims to develop your skills in a range of specialist fields through applied practice. It will introduce you to analogue and digital tools and methods used to produce artefacts in the creative industries. You will receive specialist skills training in their field of study.

    Compulsory

  • This is an intensive real-world simulation module where you will address a live industry brief (either commercial, artistic, social or cultural) with a problem to solve. By the end of the module, you will create a ‘rapid prototype’ solution that can be presented to the client or wider public. You will learn project management techniques, working to a creative brief, collaboration and problem-solving, while applying specialist skills within a larger project.

    Compulsory

  • This module explores complex specialist skills developed in the creative field of study. You should develop an understanding of professional approaches to processes through the application of skills. The focus of development will be on 2D and 3D visualisation and their application. You will also be introduced to personal development planning and supported to become reflective learners through seminar work.

    Compulsory

  • This module will investigate the effects of evolving forms of media and technology on storytelling across creative industries. It will examine traditional approaches to narrative in the context of new and emerging forms of storytelling such as games, virtual production, interactive web experiences, and immersive production. This module should enable you to think about the way that networked culture has enabled new forms of storytelling and creative design.

    Compulsory

  • This module will introduce you to the contemporary creative industries landscape, exploring theoretical and professional foundations in the practice of digital design and development in games, digital media, animation, VFX, and related fields. The module will explore approaches to production within the context of the creative industries, focusing on roles and responsibilities, production processes, and pipelines and workflows.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to encourage you to explore ideas development through practical exercises. This module will introduce you to problem analysis, including brainstorming, the use of genres within the creative industries, prototyping, virtual production, design elements and the synthesis of these skills within visualisation techniques and the presentation of these concepts to the given audience.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will continue to develop the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt. We do this by embedding the following four principles into the curriculum and developing your:

  • Technical skills - digital fluency, backed with the right academic knowledge
  • Study skills - to be an adaptive, independent and proactive learner
  • Professional skills - to have the behaviour and abilities to succeed in your career
  • Global awareness - the beliefs and abilities to be a resilient, confident and motivated global citizen

You will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: how digital media impacts society, digital media formats and content creation, amongst others.

Modules

  • Understanding how the digital has impacted the social, cultural, political, and economic landscape in contemporary society is crucial for digital media practitioners. This module aims to provide a broad introduction to contemporary issues underpinning digital media and digital technologies and theoretical approaches to their study. It is both concerned with the traditions of cultural studies enquiry and informed by more recent theoretical developments, all the while underpinned by a material, 'skills-informed' approach to research.

    Compulsory

  • Content creation in digital media spans formats, from traditional cinema and video games to new and emerging technologies such as extended reality (XR). This module will explore how the intersection of media forms has created new ways to tell and circulate stories. You will analyse a range of approaches to contemporary storytelling, looking at how ‘official’ narratives are remixed, retold and circulated by fans. You will focus on narrative and discursive theory in relation to diverse storytelling forms, drawing on processes and examples from film, interactive media, gaming, immersive and participatory media.

    Compulsory

  • Digital technologies have changed the way that marketing, communications and campaigning function, and have introduced new and evolving digital media approaches to these fields. This module will enable you to explore and use a range of concepts and practices from the area of digital marketing and campaigning. You will engage with live industry or community briefs for local, national, or international collaborators, and will explore the potential, pitfalls and possibilities of how the content creation industry has informed, changed and developed digital marketing within a contemporary digital society.

    Compulsory

  • Immersive content creation across both traditional and experimental formats is a growing area of practice. This is an intensive real-world simulation module where you will build an extended reality (XR) cinematic or interactive experience from a mixture of original and acquired 3D assets, animations, captured audio and video footage, and recorded sound for programming within game engine for VR, AR, or projection mapping.

    It builds on the skills acquired in your first year of creative technologies by enabling further development of your creative, communication and design skills and applying them to a real-world project. You will apply your accumulated experiences from your second year of studies to the planning and production of various artifacts within a specified timescale and in response to a specified brief. You will use this experience to further develop the skills – theoretical, contextual, practical, research and creative - that you have developed over the year to prepare for enquiry-led work that you will be undertaking in your final year.

    Compulsory

  • Engaging in Professional Practice offers you the opportunity to develop skills and to foster flexible and adaptable approaches towards employment and professional opportunities. Where appropriate, you will be encouraged to start your digital media practice as the first step towards your professional career. You will be offered support in this process and will learn about managing yourself as a professional in the future, which will require you to adopt a portfolio career. You will develop your self-presentation skills including CV writing, effective interview techniques, and personal portfolios. You will explore organisations in creative industries and your preferred fields of practice.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will work with students from courses across the School of Media and Performing Arts and/or industry collaborators, external groups or organisations to respond to an issue in the local, national or global community. You will work collaboratively with fellow students in defined roles that reflect industry practice in your area of study but will also develop skills in management and organisation by taking an active role in the project from start to end.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. You could also work on a large final project in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor and your Academic Personal Tutor.

You will have the opportunity to choose between two optional modules in your final year, ‘Immersive Production and Experimental Praxis’ and ‘Creative Application Design and Development’ to total 120 credits.

Modules

  • This module enables you to deepen your critical understanding of the specificities of cultural, communication and media forms and the discourses surrounding them. The module focuses upon the relationship between the production and consumption of cultural, communication and media texts and explores the often-complex relationships between these 'texts', the determinants of their production, the narratives they convey and the meanings their audiences read into these narratives.

    Compulsory

  • This is where you refine your identity as a digital media practitioner. In this module, you will build on the skills and reflection developed earlier in the course and the trajectory of your current practice. You will examine the breadth of possible digital media opportunities including organisational employment, freelancing, and writing creative grant applications for careers in digital media and creative technologies.

    Compulsory

  • This module develops the research and development skills necessary to ideate, develop and propose a creative digital media project. Building on knowledge and skills acquired during the course you will use this module to develop a research proposal which will form the basis for your final media project.

    The speculative futures are where these projects aim to exist, while being informed by creative, experimental and at times radical project development.

    Compulsory

  • This module allows you to fully realise the role immersive technology and experimental praxis plays within digital media. This is a laboratory-style module designed to allow you to experiment with the latest immersive and interactive digital media technologies to facilitate cross-cultural and socio-political communication. The module takes advantage of resources from the university’s new immersive studio laboratories featuring the latest expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modelling, and simulation.

    Optional

  • The Creative Application Design and Development module should prepare you for entry into the exciting and rapidly changing field of app development for a variety of platforms (mobile, web, other). You will bring to life a proof-of-concept experience that takes advantage of the growing technological advances within the mobile space such as WebGL, and augmented and virtual reality. The module allows for creative exploration in a variety of spaces such as multiplayer connected experiences, locative audio, augmented reality, immersive storytelling, 3D web design, pervasive medium, and interactive creations.

    Optional

  • This module gives you the opportunity to gain and produce substantial practical and professional experience in one or more areas of digital media research and practice. You will further develop and realise the ideas generated within the Research: Speculative Futures and Digital Histories module. Your digital media project will culminate in an extensive body of work or practice using your chosen form, or forms, of specialist digital media practice and theory.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Your course will focus on areas such as immersive, transmedia, and digital storytelling, creative coding, web design, web coding, animation, digital marketing, and digital culture.

Students successfully completing the first two years of the course can opt to spend a year out between the second and third years on placement or study abroad2.

Your personal tutor will regularly review and discuss your progress on the course. We aim for you to develop through activity-led learning, with an emphasis on live projects, industry briefs, real-world working simulations, experimentation and play. You will also have the opportunity to take part in international trips2 where you will be able to develop your knowledge and skills through fieldwork and group projects. Previous students had the opportunity to participate in creating and hosting an immersive experience enhanced by augmented reality in Hong Kong together with students from the Hong Kong Design Institute2.


Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 10-12 contact hours per week in the third and final year as you become a more independent learner.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/24 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include

  • Practical or project work
  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Presentations and posters

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


International experience opportunities

We aim to encourage students to broaden their horizons by taking advantage of either study abroad or placement opportunities2. Our students may also have the opportunity to go on field trips or international trips2. Past trips have included Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Barcelona. These are often combined with industry or community projects on location in the international destination. Last year a group of our previous final year students had the opportunity to work on the AR Prison Break project and present this immersive experience using augmented reality at the Spark Festival in Hong Kong.

I like the Digital Media course because we are given a lot of opportunities to experiment with a wide variety of technologies in different fields, which I find helpful in figuring out the industry I want to work in after I graduate. There are also a lot of opportunities outside the course which are helpful in terms of applying the skills and knowledge from the course to a real-life project and expanding your professional network of contacts.

Kostadin Vasilev, second year Digital Media student, 2022
A student in the mac studio.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 4 / C including English and Mathematics
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)

Facilities

Coventry University is home to superb facilities4 and our new Arts and Humanities building is planned to fully open in 2023. We also have a well-stocked Media Loan Shop so you can borrow an extensive range of specialist, professional equipment, including 4K and HD video cameras, DSLR cameras, tripods, audio equipment and lighting.

  • Hyperstudio
    The Hyperstudio is designed to be an experimental space where staff, students, community, and industry can collaborate to solve real world problems. It is a cube with high-speed connectivity and power, that is both a making and showing space into which, an array of physical and digital technologies can be brought to support project needs.
  • Immersive media studio
    The immersive media studio is a studio space designed to allow design, collaboration and testing of immersive experiences that combine audiovisual elements in diverse ways. It is centred on performance capture and high-end XR capabilities, and includes capability for immersive audio integration.
  • Hacklabs: Electronic and Digital
    The two hacklab spaces are experimental spaces on the bleeding edge of emerging technologies and processes where students and staff can be guided in their exploration of new and emerging practices in an array of fields. A library of resources such as sensors and other physical computing solutions, and software for experimentation will be available.
Two male students presenting in a TV studio to a camera in the foreground.

Television Studio

You’ll have access to our on-site television studio The Tank, offering specialist equipment such as large cameras, mixing facilities and fibre-optic wiring throughout.
 

Male student setting up a photography light in a studio.

Photography Suite

This specialist facility is available to media students to take and process photos in a professional environment. There is also support for printing, high-end scanning and film processing.

 

Exterior front of the Ellen Terry building.

Media Loan Shop

Our media loan shop provides you with access to all the equipment and support you need to excel in your studies – from basic audio recorders to professional cameras and expert advice from our technicians.


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: the various processes and practices that combine towards the production, circulation and consumption of media, communication and cultural texts.
  • Generate ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity.
  • Appreciate the cultural and social significance of the emergence of new technological forms of media and communication practice and how these shape the lived experience of everyday domestic and professional life.
  • Undertake a variety of forms of research appropriate to different forms of study and analysis and be able critically to reflect on the appropriateness of each form of research.
  • Critically reflect on the chosen processes of production of media artefacts and products.
  • Engage in creative, innovative and imaginative work.
  • Analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation of digital media practices.
  • Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, demonstrating self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity.
  • Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral and other forms.
  • Produce work which shows an effective manipulation of web, design, sound, image and/or the written word, demonstrating competences in operational aspects of digital media technologies, systems, techniques and professional and academic practices.

This course places your future employability at its core, so you will be well placed to go into several industries that require multi-skilled digital media professionals on graduation. Throughout your studies, you will develop your own Professional Practice Portfolio which you may use when looking for work.

Roles could include Digital Artists and Designers, Digital Project Managers, Creative Technologists, Web Developers, Content and Platform Developers, Digital Researchers, Learning Technologists, Digital Marketing and Business Professionals, as well as more traditional areas within the creative media industries.

We are committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. Our Talent team can offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to seek employment or discuss professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

Where our graduates work

The School has a very long and impressive history of previous graduates who have gone on to establish themselves in extremely high profile media and cultural employment, examples of which include: executive producer for many highly prestigious Hollywood films, director for BBC documentaries, DJs for national radio stations such as BBC Radio 6 and Virgin Radio, developer at a customer experience company, digital marketing executive at a full-service agency, planners and creatives for a number prestigious London-based advertising agencies.

Further study

You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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