Why study a Digital Culture BA?

Dana is a 3rd year Digital Culture BA student from Saudi Arabia.
Dana is a 3rd year Digital Culture BA student.

The world is undergoing a serious digital transformation. The economy has gone digital—from e-commerce to digital currencies to data-driven marketing. In politics, big data has become a way for governments to develop new ways of governance and control—from smart cities and e-government to facing cyber security and online activism. On a social level, personal devices and smartphones have become daily assets to our day-to-day activities—whether it was wearing a traceable Apple watch or fabricating a digital presence on the Internet. This is what Digital Culture is all about.

Digital Culture offers a fresh, unique learning experience for students. It is a new field that studies the current digital transformation—from a political, economic and social stance—and the new opportunities as well as challenges it is bringing to the world. Whether it was looking at how Internet companies implement the same addictive techniques as the gambling industry and make profit out of our time and personal data to learning about how Donald Trump hired a big data analytics company to collect personal data from over 200 million American citizens to help him win the election, this programme offers a refreshing yet enriching perspective for students to understand the digital era.


The degree is quite broad in a sense that it begins the first year with giving students a background and history of technology—from understanding the basic differences between analogue and digital to the Internet of Things. In the first year it covers topics such as new media, knowledge representation, history of the Internet and technology, digital methods, digital economy and digital politics. In the second year it then advances to the politics of social media, contemporary debates in digital culture, subcultures in digital culture, cultural heritage, digital textuality and readership, introductory programming and management in the digital domain. Finally, the third year covers topics such as contemporary trends in digital culture, big data, management, taking part in an internship, digital journalism, digital advertising and cultural analytics.

Apart from engaging with academic literature and theory, the degree offers students some technical skills that are emerging in several industries. From data visualisation and analytics to introductory programming in R and Python, students get to learn the value of big data and data manipulation from a more practical view with no prior experience required. And of course, there are the times we had opportunities to go to the Houses of Parliament to learn about ‘digital parliament’ and parliamentary data and the chance to meet countless guest lecturers from different industries to come and personally give us talks about the digital transformation in their environments. And did I mention the opportunity to study abroad in second year? That’s right, students can choose from a few universities to study at a different country for one term.

This degree offers both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience. With the opportunity to take part in an internship module or the option to do a dissertation that is either a 10,000 word thesis or project with 4,000-6,000 words, students have the choice to shape the pathway of their degree. That’s because this degree has a place for everyone. Everybody is facing this digital transformation which is why it is both interesting and relevant to all of us. The degree is one of those unique programs that can be shaped by the students themselves. Whether you were more interested in the creative side of things or on the more practical side, you are able to shape your own experience and create your desired path based on the modules you choose and the job pathway of your choice.

Speaking of jobs, it is important to know where this degree can take you… which is why, as mentioned, there is room for any kind of job depending on your liking. Whether it was digital advertising, social media analytics to digital journalism to working with big data or to digital consultancy, the world is heading toward a digital transformation, which means ample opportunities for jobs to be involved with technology, innovation and adapting to such a transformation.


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