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Welcome to our MA Programmes in Digital Culture and Cultural Data

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the University of Sheffield’s Digital Humanities Institute and Faculty of Arts in September 2021. On this page you will find information about our MA courses, careers, and life at the University.

Meet your tutors

  • Dr Seth Mehl, Digital Humanities Fellow, DHI. Read more
  • Seth talks about the MA in Digital Culture. Watch the video
  • Seth talks about the Digital e-Portfolio. Watch the video
  • Seth talks about the module Language Analysis, AI and Culturomics. [coming soon].
  • Professor Nicola Dibben, Professor of Music, Department of Music. Read more
  • Nikki talks about the module Introduction to Digital Culture [coming soon].
  • Jamie McLaughlin, Research Software Engineer, DHI. Read more
  • Jamie talks about the module Designing Cultural Data Products [coming soon].

Your career

Digital culture is everywhere, and it is driven by cultural data. Our MA programmes are designed to train the next generation of leaders and innovators for careers in the world’s growing digital media, arts, cultural heritage and information technology sectors.

Our programmes will include presentations from thought leaders such as Mervyn Levin, who was formerly e-Services Director of Reuters, but now specialises in developing commercial research relationships between the UK and Asia within the digital, data science and creative industries.

You will also have access to the University’s Careers Service and its postgraduate careers support.

Here are some of the sectors that need experts in digital culture and cultural data:

  • Journalism and media
  • Online gaming, entertainment, and serious games
  • Search, social media and e-commerce
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Arts and cultural heritage sites and organisations
  • Music, performing and visual arts
  • Education technology and software
  • Publishing
  • Advertising
  • Product design, web design and digital content creation
  • Technology research and innovation
  • Doctoral research (PhD)

Modules and seminar topics

Here is a summary of the topics which will be included in each module. Some of these are core modules, and other modules are optional depending on the course you are taking. Please refer to the MA Digital Culture or MA Cultural Data prospectus to find out which modules are relevant to you.

Introduction to Digital Culture

This module examines the theory and history of how culture is shaped by digital technologies and practices. Read more

Seminar topics:

  • COMING SOON

Introduction to Cultural Data

This module examines cultural data, including methods for creating, analysing and communicating data. Read more

Seminar topics:

  • What is cultural data? 
  • Extracting meaning from texts
  • Modelling culture: data models and databases
  • Data analysis: making data visualisations
  • Using digital media assets
  • 3D, virtual worlds and augmented reality
  • Using digital media and virtual worlds
  • AI and culture
  • Created by users: social media and crowdsourcing
  • Analysing social media

Managing Digital Projects

This module examines project management in the context of developing data products and digital performances. Read more

Seminar topics:

  • What is project management? 
  • Conception methodologies
  • User design, requirements and specifications
  • Designing for your users
  • Planning and resourcing
  • Development methodologies and tools I (cultural data products)
  • Development methodologies and tools II (digital performances)
  • Planning your project
  • Data management, preservation and sustainability

Designing Cultural Data Products

This module examines how cultural data products are designed. Read more

Seminar topics:

  • What are cultural data products?
  • Interface design: history and best practice
  • Initial product ideas
  • User-led design methodologies 
  • Understanding websites, systems, apps and tools
  • Designing your product
  • User testing methodologies
  • Licensing, IP, data ethics and re-using data
  • Dissemination planning

Language Analysis, AI and Culturomics

This module examines the nature and analysis of cultural data in the form of language. Read more

Seminar topics:

  • Asking the right questions: From culture to text analytics
  • Thinking quantitatively about culture
  • Scoping and critiquing project ideas
  • Cultural data preparation: Compiling and cleaning texts
  • Corpus linguistics: Annotation and analysis
  • Automatically retrieving meaning from texts: Collocations and keywords
  • Teaching computers to understand culture with Natural Language Processing
  • Teaching computers to understand culture with Machine Learning

Dissertation: Digital Culture and Data e-Portfolio

This module uses a ‘dissertation by portfolio’ approach. You will compile a portfolio which explores all aspects of the design and use of a digital product, service, performance, installation or artefact. The portfolio can include written pieces, drawings, designs, plans, example data etc. Read more

Learning and teaching resources

Located within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Digital Humanities Institute benefits from access to world-leading expertise within the Faculty’s Departments and Schools.

You will have access to state-of-the-art study spaces, scholarship and online resources via the University Library, as well as major research databases and datasets published by ProQuest, Gale Cengage and others (for example, every edition of the magazine Vogue from 1891).

The DHI will provide you with access to tools and data for digitisation, digital editing, data mining and data visualisation (you can use your own data as well), and if you want to be creative you will have access to digital media production suites and equipment.

Studying at Sheffield

Get in touch

For further information please contact Dr Seth Mehl.