About This Course
This innovative new MRes programme explores the governance of digital media technologies and how to have more of the benefits of technology and less of the negatives. When urgent questions are being asked about how to control the power of companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, and how to deal with emergent new applications of Artificial Intelligence, the content of this programme has never been more relevant.
The programme asks students to think critically about emergent media technologies in relation to social values, culture(s), creativity, ethics, law, human rights and other governance means. Importantly, it enables students to become effective researchers with key research methods skills needed to address real world problems and issues in emergent digital media and governance.
The programme draws upon existing research strengths and is delivered first-hand by our experts. These include world-leading researchers in the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence (AI), digital creativity, digital journalism and disinformation.
This research links to two cross-university research initiatives: the Emotional AI Lab and the Network for Media and Persuasive Communication.
What will you study on this course?
This MRes offers taught modules in the following topics:
AI: Futures, Governance and Ethics
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being rolled out across all sectors of society, including media. This module gives students the conceptual tools and contemporary examples to understand the centrality of AI, and the ethical and practical issues that it raises in its governance – not just how it is regulated, but also the underpinning ethics, norms and values.
Students will be exposed to contemporary thinkers from media, cultural and communications studies, sociology, science and technology studies and ethics. Through real world case studies, online calls with governance actors, and assessments that include responding to real world policy briefs, students will be exposed to practical, policy and regulatory issues involving AI ethics. This will include topics such as:
- How to analyse and make sense of emergent AI technologies (e.g. Emotional AI) in relation to social values, culture(s), ethics, law, human rights and other governance means.
- How to understand emergent AI technologies and governance concerns in relation to global, European and US frames of reference.
- How to critique emergent AI technologies and governance in relation to questions of social bias and diversity, as well “hard” governance.
Digital Media, Society and Politics
Digital media now mediates many social, cultural, political and economic processes, and is fast developing in form and scope. This module gives students the conceptual tools and examples from across the world to understand the impact of contemporary and emergent digital media on society and politics.
Students will study a range of contemporary thinkers from media, cultural and communications studies, sociology, science and technology studies and ethics. Through real world case studies, online calls with governance actors, and assessments that include responding to real world policy briefs, students will be asked to solve social and political problems and issues arising from the centrality of digital media to everyday life. This will include topics such as:
- The rise of digital surveillance, misinformation and disinformation and their impact on people, society and politics.
- Arising widespread and emergent digital harms (e.g. invasion of privacy, undue influence over voters, violation of human rights to freedom of thought).
- Policy solutions to future-proof society from such digital harms, while ensuring that society can engage with the benefits arising from the centrality of digital media to everyday life.
You will also choose a research methods module - either Research Strategy and Design, or, Research Process and Meaning. Students also do a dissertation.
This course is taught through lectures, seminars, and one-to-one supervisions, and backed up by regular engagement with issues faced by real world actors in the governance of our digital futures.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Digital Futures and Governance Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
A first degree at British Bachelor’s standard (or equivalent) at 2(ii) or higher in a relevant subject (e.g. Media, Social Sciences).
Applications from working/experienced professionals in the media and communications field with non-graduate qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and candidates may be asked to provide additional supporting information.
English proficiency for (for non-native English or Welsh speakers): IELTS 6.0 (no element below 5.5) or equivalent.
Addressing real world policy and technology questions around emergent digital media, this MRes will connect students to real world practices. Career opportunities span private and public sectors, international institutions, and not-for-profit organisations. The degree will be of interest to students seeking entry level positions, as well as those hoping to secure career progression or career change through educational qualifications. Specific career opportunities include:
- Advertising and Marketing industries, including digital marketing, media planning/buying
- Government departments/agencies e.g. public policy units, economics/statistical/planning units
- Higher education, research centres and units
- In-house data management within large companies
- Law firms, in-house legal, compliance and risk departments
- Management consultancies.
Links with Industry
Your teachers maintain close working relationships with the creative industries, businesses and enterprises as well as national and international governance bodies, parliaments, global technology standards bodies, and non-governmental organisations.
Through these links, you will be asked to solve real-world problems in assessments in the form of policy briefs, which involve researching and writing reports on real world problems faced by governance actors. Other assessments involve essays and a final dissertation.