Course Overview

The MA in Digital Media provides advanced creative and technical education in digital media within a supportive educational environment. Students are given practical training across a range of digital media practices, including Emerging Web Media, E-Learning, and 3D Modelling, whilst also developing their creative, critical and entrepreneurial skills within small-group classes. The MA in Digital Media is a unique interdisciplinary programme, delivered by combining expertise from the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, the discipline of Information Technology, and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). Classes contain a mix of graduates from relevant academic backgrounds and industry professionals who want to develop or extend existing skills.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Emma Hogan
Emma Hogan is Programme Director of the MA in Digital Media and the MA in Production & Direction. She has worked in digital communications internationally for companies such as Dare Digital, the BBC and Canon and as educator in the Creative Industries for over 15 years. 

Dr Sam Redfern

Sam Redfern delivers the module Graphics and Image Processing. His current research involves computer games technology—artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing, and digital image processing. He also develops computer games and has published numerous successful games on the various smartphone and PC/Mac store.

Dr Ann Torres

Ann Torres teaches Digital Marketing. She is Head of Marketing at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Vice Dean of Internationalisation for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Dr Fiona Concannon

Fiona Concannon delivers the module E-Learning.  Her research to date includes examining Open Source Software for Education and her interests are in Technology-Enhanced Learning, the Learning Sciences, HCI, Activity Theory and the student learning experience in Higher Education.

Dr Ali Intizar
Dr Ali Intizar delivers the module Emerging Web Media. He is an Adjunct Lecturer, Research Fellow and Head of the unit for Reasoning and Querying at the Insight Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. His research interests include Semantic Web, Data Integration, Internet of Things (IoT), Linked Data, Federated Query Processing, Stream Query Processing and Optimal Query Processing over large scale distributed data sources, Stream Reasoning, and Context-aware Systems.


Requirements and Assessment

Assessments on the programme are designed to develop students’ technical and creative skills, as well as their ability to undertake individual and group work and to critically assess their own work and that of their peers. Assessment is by both practical and written tasks, and includes presentations, reports, video essays, short films, websites, designs and animations.  A unique aspect of the MA is the end-of-year digital media project, which gives students the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of the programme and develop their technical skills and creativity in a real-world context. These assessments and projects also contribute towards a practical portfolio of digital media work.



Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent H2.2. GPA 3.0 or international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Students who do not meet the honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 degree (Merit 2) may be admitted to the PDip course with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their course work during the year.

Additional supporting documentation is required. For more details click here


Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting

MA—90, PGDip—60


MA, PDip. Students may only apply for the MA. Those who do not meet the minimum entry requirements may be admitted via a qualifying exam, or be admitted to the PDip.


PAC code


Course Outline

The course is a full-time, 12-month programme, which runs from September to August of each year. It is split into three semesters, with modules spanning all aspects of Digital Media. Semester 1 and 2 are comprised of core modules and a group of electives, enabling each student to tailor the degree to their own individual needs.

Modules include:

  • Databases
  • Internet Programming
  • Emerging Wed Media
  • 3D Modelling and Animation
  • Digital Media Analytics and Visualisation
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Graphics And Image Processing
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • E-Learning
  • Service Learning
  • Creative Difference and Innovation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Digital Play & Practice
  • Digital Film and Culture

The final semester is dedicated to the design, development and testing of students’ end-of-year projects, as well as a 5,000 word accompanying dissertation. Each student is assigned an expert supervisor for guidance throughout the project development process. 

Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required FM6111: Creative Practice: Digital Media Perspectives

Required CT511: Databases

Required DM110: Emerging Web Media

Semester 1 | Credits: 5

The objective of this module is to provide students with an overview of various aspects of digital media on the web. The module gives an overview of current technologies underlying the web, explains their usage in business and social contexts.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the basic mechanisms and technologies driving Web Media
  2. Use existing tools to set up your own web site
  3. Understand major concepts behind Social Networking and Recommendation Systems
  4. Identify current technological trends that have large impact on Digital Web Media
  5. Use social media, in particular Facebook, as a channel to interact with customers
  6. Identify and discuss the challenges and the opportunities for privacy on the Social Semantic Web
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module DM110: "Emerging Web Media" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required DM115: Interactive Digital Media

Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module aims to equip the students with a solid foundation in several popular digital media production packages. Lectures will explain the working principles of several Adobe packages, covering a wide range of uses, and will also include practical workshops to demonstrate the function and practical usage of these packages.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Perform intermediate photo-manipulation, editing and image processing.
  2. Create basic vector illustration, typography and design.
  3. Demonstrate layout and formatting for print ready documents and e-documents.
  4. Demonstrate basic animation motion graphics.
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Reading List
  1. "How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World" by Michael Beirut
    Publisher: Harper Design
  2. "Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities" by David Airey
    Publisher: Peachpit Press
The above information outlines module DM115: "Interactive Digital Media" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required DM113: 3D Modelling and Animation

Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This course aims to provide a solid foundation in 3D workflows and techniques for those creating interactive digital media with 3D content.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the process of asset creation.
  2. Create a 3D model using basic modeling techniques.
  3. Create materials and textures, and apply these to a 3D model.
  4. Demonstrate the creation of basic animation.
  5. Light and render a 3D scene and animation.
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Reading List
  1. "3D Studio MAX 2012 Bible" by Murdock, K.L.
    Publisher: Wiley
  2. "The Art of 3-D Computer Animation and Effects" by Kerlow, I.V.
    Publisher: Wiley
  3. "3D Art Essentials: The Fundamentals of 3D Modeling, Texturing, and Animation" by Chopine, A.
    Publisher: Focal Press
  4. "Polygonal Modeling: Basic and Advanced Techniques" by Russo, M.
    Publisher: Jones & Bartlett
  5. "3-D Human Modeling and Animation" by Ratner, P.
    Publisher: Wiley
  6. "Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction: Beyond Human-computer Interaction" by Sharp, H., Rogers, Y., Preece, J.
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
The above information outlines module DM113: "3D Modelling and Animation" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required DM114: Digital Media Analytics and Visualisation

Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The evolution of era of Big Data has seen the emergence of the term “analytics” as the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data to quantify performance within an organization. This module examines Digital Media Analytics from Web Analytics, Social Media Analytics, Text Analytics, Data Analytics to Information Visualisation. Students will be exposed to a general overview of each area and practical experience working with analytics and information visualisation tools.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Define Digital Media (DM), Analytics, Data Analytics (DA), Web Analytics (WA), Social (Media) Analytics (SMA), Text Analytics (TA) and Information Visualisation (IV).
  2. Demonstrate basic technical skills in technologies required in WA, DA and IV.
  3. Apply basic DM Analytics on specific real world use cases.
  4. Demonstrate skills for data analytics and data visualization using open source tools.
  5. Contrast current Data Visualisation tools and their usefulness in different settings.
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Reading List
  1. "Now You See it: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis" by Few, S.
    Publisher: Analytics Press
  2. "Readings in information visualization : using vision to think." by Stuart Card, Jock Mackinlay, and Ben Shneiderman
    Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
The above information outlines module DM114: "Digital Media Analytics and Visualisation" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required DM112: Placement Report/Dissertation

Semester 2 | Credits: 30

This module is the major project for MA Digital Media. It is a practice based research project where students choose an area of personal interest either directly relevant to Digital Media or using Digital Media as a way to investigate a specific area or to create a product. Students submit a 15 ECTS practice based research project and a 10 ECTS report of not more than 5,000 words that is connected to the project. Students also give a short presentation worth 5 ECTS at the culmination of the project. Each student/project is supported by a supervisor.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. identify and investigate a worthwhile problem or question and use this as stimulus to produce a digital media project.
  2. demonstrate a practice based approach to a digital media project.
  3. demonstrate relevant methodologies and research methods for the project.
  4. Create a research based practical project supported by a written report.
  • Research (100%)
Reading List
  1. "Researching Society and Culture" by Clive Seale
    Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
  2. "Design Research : Methods and Perspectives" by Brenda Laurel
    Publisher: MIT Press
  3. "A Practical Guide to Managing Web Projects" by Breandan Knowlton
    Publisher: Five Simple Steps Ltd
The above information outlines module DM112: "Placement Report/Dissertation" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional CT865: Human Computer Interaction

Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Postgraduate Introduction to HCI

Learning Outcomes
  1. Elaborate the importance of design in professional and social contexts and the critical role of users in the systems design process
  2. Distinguish between human cognition and emotion and assess their role in effective interaction system design
  3. Identify the roles of human agents and those of digital agents in any interaction
  4. Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to analyse, design and evaluate good quality interactive systems
  5. Competently differentiate between various Interaction Design processes or approaches
  6. Analyse technological developments and innovations in social, educational and leisure computing and their implications for user experience and interaction design
  • Written Assessment (80%)
  • Continuous Assessment (20%)
The above information outlines module CT865: "Human Computer Interaction" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional MK5101: Digital Marketing

Optional DM101: E-Learning

Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module is an exploration of how digital technologies and networked culture are influencing how we learn. There are many different opinions with regard to how technology should be used to support learning and instruction. Deciding which are relevant and how they are best deployed is a complex and challenging task. Looking through the lens of available software applications, social media, mobile devices and apps, students will explore how their own learning and others is shaped and changed by their digital activities. Key theoretical readings become topics for deeper discussion around our evolving understanding of learning in a networked age, and the design implications of this. Students will both discuss these issues and participate in practical design activities, developing educational multimedia such as podcasts and video resources, amongst others.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of theoretical and design perspectives which have been developed to understand learning;
  2. identify and explore the emergence of new e-learning innovations; have a critical awareness of the impact of such practices in terms of pedagogy and usability
  3. have developed practical skills in creating, developing and evaluating educational multimedia resources
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Reading List
  1. "Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates" by Neil Selwyn
    ISBN: 9781474235921.
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
The above information outlines module DM101: "E-Learning" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional CT870: Internet Programming

Semester 1 | Credits: 5

(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design and implement web pages
  2. Connect a website to a database
  3. Create dynamic web content
  • Written Assessment (85%)
  • Continuous Assessment (15%)
The above information outlines module CT870: "Internet Programming" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional CT336: Graphics And Image Processing

Optional FM6105: Digital Film and Culture

Optional FA513: Creative Difference and Innovation I

Optional FM6102: Digital Play & Practice

Optional DM116: Service Learning

Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module will involve project work for a partner inside and/or outside of the university. It will provide students with the opportunity to apply learning principles in a real-world setting. It will enable them to develop a well-rounded experience of utilising digital media knowledge and expertise to improve conditions within the local community. Contributing to the community will help students to value their knowledge and to demonstrate, first-hand, how their expertise can be used to benefit others.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Apply academic knowledge and skills to real world situations.
  2. Determine the consequences of the contribution.
  3. Use digital media skills and knowledge to contribute to the local community.
  4. Use the skills developed in this and other modules to develop the final project.
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module DM116: "Service Learning" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional DM111: Research Methods

Semester 2 | Credits:

The course will develop students’ research skills and project management skills and will help students to develop their research topic over the course of the year.

  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
The above information outlines module DM111: "Research Methods" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional EN6119: Culture Society Technology

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Why Choose This Course?

With its uniquely diverse offerings and an impressive roll-call of graduates, this MA  was shortlisted for Postgraduate Programme of the Year (2013). Students from the MA in Digital Media have won awards at national level in the areas of e-learning and digital storytelling. The range of skills and topics covered on the programme, as well as the different backgrounds of the students on it, contribute towards an environment rich in peer-learning, multidisciplinary experiences and cross-pollination of ideas and skills. Furthermore, as a student at the Huston School you will be part of a collaborative creative community, interacting with students across a range of Media programmes through shared modules and events. You will also have all the opportunities which come from studying at one of the world’s top Universities, including access to a range of seminars and high-profile guest speakers, and digital media practitioners.

Career Opportunities

The career paths from this course are limitless, and our graduates are sought after by a wide range of industries. Areas that former gradutes are currently working in include television production, IT, graphic and interaction design, web design and development and higher-education. A number of graduates have carried on to undertake PhD research, whilst others have utilised the creative and entrepreneurial skills developed on the course to develop their final projects into business opportunities.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,150 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€4,926 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Emma Hogan 
T: +353 91 495 920

What Our Students Say


Alan Murphy |   Currently working at EO Teilfís

An excellent course, covers a broad range of topics, very friendly lecturers, learned lots and expanded my knowledge base to many areas, which is essential in any job hunt. It was also enjoyable!

Dermot Condron |   Currently working at Makin Media Mobile

I chose NUI Galway, as I had heard the teaching staff was excellent, and the University had great learning facilities. I wasn’t disappointed. The course provided me with the necessary skills-set for industry. The technical skills taught, such as web design, 2D and 3D animation, are all skills I am now putting into practice. As well as providing technical skills, the course has a theory side to it that gives understanding to how Digital Media Production as a process is informed by narrative analysis, cinematic traditions and creative discussion. The goal of the course is to combine creativity with technical ability that is useful from a business prospective. For me, the course achieved this ambition. The teaching staff was second to none. We had great facilities at the college, with our own computer room that we could work from. The class size was small, so we all got to know each other easily.

Shannon Reeves |   MA Digital Media

The MA in Digital Media really is a unique course, not only because of the range of subjects taught (from databases to interactive design, e-learning and writing in the digital age) but also because of the range of backgrounds and skills that students bring to the course. Because everyone has different strengths and areas for improvement, and because we're learning such an array of skills and technologies, there's an inevitable community bond which grows up very quickly between members of the class, as everyone helps each other and contributes to classroom learning. We've also got a dedicated lab where we can work on our own computers, discuss our assignments, and even just socialise, which means there's a healthy mix of social and educational development as the year progresses.


SHORTLISTED for the National Postgraduate Course of the Year Award