Master of Arts in Digital Economy
We will study what happens to the digital in each of these spheres and why the ‘digital’ artefact is changing how we work, transact, collaborate and control labour, institutions, and markets around the world. It will be a journey of tracing the digital artefact as it evolves and shifts, followed by an understanding of the societal implications of the change wrought by the growth of digital phenomenon. This programme offers students a unique and compelling mix of theory and practical knowledge of the digital economy.
This programme focuses on digital where digital implies digital products, process, services, business models, monetization and even orchestration.
- Research-led teaching by faculty specialized in digital innovation and digital economy
- The ability to analyze the strength and value of innovative business models underlying digital companies and the public sector
- Case-study based teaching to bridge theory and practice
- Highly interactive and engaged teaching styles
- A focus on participation and presentation to empower students
- The ability to articulate your ideas both verbally and in writing
- A grounding in how digital innovation needs to be managed and coordinated
A minimum undergraduate Bachelor’s degree
If you have a lower degree classification, or a degree in an unrelated subject, your application may be considered if you can demonstrate significant relevant work experience, or offer a related graduate qualification (such as a Masters or PGDip).
In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the marking scheme.
Please note: Meeting the minimum requirements for your application to be considered does not guarantee an offer as applications for this programme are very competitive.
Teaching methods –
what to expect
The teaching on this programme will offer you cutting edge scholarship through research-led teaching. You will gain:
Knowledge and understanding of the effects of digital artefacts on contemporary society.
Knowledge and understanding of the main critical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of digital at a macro level.
Knowledge and understanding of the main critical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of digital at a micro level.
Knowledge and understanding of how digital artefacts are unique and lead to innovative forms of products, services and indeed processes too.
Knowledge and critical understanding that can be applied to practice with regard to managing digital artefacts at a micro level.
As a the programme is delivered for part-time student, we will give you 90 hours of teaching through lectures and seminars in your first year and 50 in your second year. We will expect you to undertake 720 hours of independent study in your first year and 954 hours in your second.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include essays, reports and projects. Coursework contributes approximately 100% to your final mark.
You are required to take:
- Micro Perspectives on the Digital Economy (30 credits)
- Macro Perspectives on the Digital Economy (30 credits)
- Research Dissertation (60 credits)
In addition, you are required to take two modules (total of 60 credits) from a list of optional modules that may typically include:
- Artificial Intelligence & Society (15 credits)
- Global Digital Audiences (15 credits)
- Digital Innovation (15 credits)
- Social Media, Marketing and Platforms (15 credits)
- Management for Digital Content Industries (15 credits)
- Digital Media, Digital Marketing (15 credits)
- Web Technologies (15 credits)
- Digital Publishing (15 credits)
Micro Perspectives on the Digital Economy (30 Credits)
This module provides an introduction to what we mean by the digital economy. We look to the digital – be it a digital product, process or service – and make sense of how it has begun to change the nature of companies, communities, what we mean by crowds, and how this has in turn affected society at a broader level. This module will draw on different theoretical ideas that will help us to understand how the use of digital has changed how we evaluate people, data, information etc. Starting with the basics of what it means to be ‘digital’ we will journey through to how this can help to create resonance amongst people leading to community growth and end where we can see ecosystems growing with and because of digital artefacts. This module will explore different theories of Commons Based Peer Production, Orders of Worth, Transaction Cost Theory and more. The module will equip students with the basic knowledge to develop and implement digital initiatives and to critically analyse existing innovation strategies. The ethics of digital creation will also be explored, particularly as these come into dialogue with technology-facilitated transformations in contemporary work and consumption practices.
Educational aims & objectives
The aims of this module include:
- Building critical skills of students so that they can understand and analyze different micro level theories of digital change, digital products and digital business models.
- Develop a scholarly discussion about digital artefacts such as open source software, and their implications at the community, company, company and community and finally, ecosystem levels.
- Enhance and deepen understanding about how digital products, services and processes affect and change our society through community level movements
Macro Perspectives on the Digital Economy (30 credits)
This module provides a systematic and critical reflection on the digital economy. With digital technologies becoming central to every aspect of the global economy, and with tech companies dominating the commanding heights of our economies, an understanding of our world today requires grappling with the changes that the digital economy is bringing about. This module will aim to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out that task.
We will discuss current issues around the rise of tech companies, with a particular focus on their political economy. Should platforms like Facebook or Google be broken up? Why do companies like Uber and Airbnb tend towards a winner-takes-all model? What role does data play in the current economy and how do we value it? Why is addiction so prominent amongst social media apps? Why are Google and Amazon buying companies that have nothing to do with their core businesses? These types of questions will be examined and set in the context of larger political economy dynamics.
The political economy perspective will also allow us to highlight the role of power in the digital economy, and the ways in which new inequalities of power are emerging between the major platforms and everyone else. Students will be given the conceptual tools necessary for explaining these changes and for drawing out the systematic connections across the digital economy.
Educational aims & objectives
This module will provide a foundational understanding of the digital economy from a macro perspective. It will guide the students through the major current debates in the field, as well as discuss the most significant theoretical perspectives. There will be a particular focus on developing critical analysis of the digital economy.
The first half of this module will provide an understanding of key theoretical frameworks, situating them in their historical contexts as well as reflecting on their limits of analysis. This will include theories such as cognitive capitalism, autonomist Marxism, platform capitalism, and vectoralism. Students will gain a series of different perspectives on the digital economy and learn how to use these frameworks for their own analyses.
The latter half of the module will turn towards current major debates in the field. This will include discussions of addiction and attention, surveillance capitalism, data colonialism, and issues around competition policy. These are all ongoing debates within policy circles, the media, and academia, and students will be given the tools to adjudicate between different claims and to develop their own perspectives on these topics.
Artificial Intelligence & Society (15 credits)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a widely applied technology from conversational interfaces (Siri, Alexa, chatbots) to self-driving cars, from medical apps to assisting in policing and social care. By mapping a broad range of applications, issues arising, and key debates, this module will equip students with a deep and systematic understanding of AI and an overview over current developments of AI. By studying applied AI in context, students will also acquire the ability to critically and ethically evaluate applications in their own substantial investigations.
The module contextualizes artificial intelligence from the following three perspectives: students will evaluate applications of AI in different fields and learn about the technical concepts driving these applications; students will systematically learn about the challenges AI poses for society; and last but not least, the module will also reflect on potential responses to curb AI including policy answers and regulations.
Educational aims & objectives
- To provide students with a deep and systematic understanding of the concept artificial intelligence.
- To introduce students to key developments and major debates in contemporary AI.
- To deliver a comprehensive overview of applications of AI in everyday life.
- To teach students to evaluate complex societal and ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence.
- To teach students to independently undertake a substantial investigation into the potential and the challenges of AI applications including the development of alternative approaches.
Our graduates will follow a broad range of career paths. The skills you develop are likely to be particularly transferable to work in digital companies and positions that need skills in digital business models, ecosystem strategies, social media management, analytics, CRM management, digital advertising, market research, and platform scaling and growth analysis.
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