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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM2126 Digital Media and the Senses

20 creditsClass Size: 36

Module manager: Joanne Armitage

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is mutually exclusive with

COMM2125Visual Communication

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to the visual and multisensory affordances of digital media using a variety of critical approaches which bring together theory and practice. Students will identify critical issues through analysis of literature and media objects and respond to these through digital research and investigative creative projects. The concept of practice as research is explained and illustrated and students are encouraged to think about the ways that they can respond critically though creative production.


This module explores the sensory affordances of digital media, looking at the importance and impact of the visual, but also the potential for other sensory – and multi-sensory – digital experiences. Content ranging from identity, representation and storytelling to digital archiving, immersive experiences and data visualisation will allow students to investigate critical questions about the contemporary digital condition.

While examining theoretical perspectives on visual and multisensory digital media and experimenting practically with their application, the module also introduces methods for interrogation of, and research into, digital sensory phenomena. Such research can be used to explore the boundaries of digital experiences, providing opportunities for critical and practical research outputs.

The module thus aims to combine visual and/or multisensory design/development with media and communication research by translating theoretical analysis into practical design output, harnessing digital data and research methods to produce visual and/or multisensory resources and outputs.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate familiarity with the academic literature on visual and multisensory communication and media by explaining a range of key theories, arguments and concepts.

2. Apply analytical techniques and theoretical concepts to the analysis of visual and multisensory texts and evaluate and reflect on their use

3. Devise and conduct appropriate research questions and methods to investigate or express critical issues in visual and/or multisensory digital media

4. Create digital, visual and/or multisensory output which provide meaningful experience for the end user or audience

Skills outcomes
Digital Media design and production; digital/practice-led research.


Narrative and genre
Visual framing and content analysis
Promotional images and visual persuasion
Images of resistance
Images and truth values
Visualising the other
Imaging the self
Postmodernism and the image
Visual design
Data and visualisation
AV, VR and immersive experiences
Multisensory experiences
Practice as research inquiry
Practice as research output
Shared with Visual Communication module

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to complete the weekly readings. From weeks 2-6 students will be expected to respond to these readings, and the seminar tasks, in their research blog each week. While taught workshops will provide introduction to certain methods and techniques, students are expected to experiment and practice with these further in their own time. From weeks 7-11 students will work independently on their assessed projects.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through discussion of the research blog in seminars each week, which will serve as a developmental platform for ideas for the larger Critical Response assessment. In weeks 9 and 11 opportunities will be provided in taught sessions for Creative Response plans to be discussed with peer and tutor-feedback made available.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
CritiqueCreative output in response to critical research70.00
ReportWeekly responses, to taught content, reading and research (equivalent to 1000-2000 words)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Research Blog: Resit of the Research blog will be a 1000-2000 word essay detailing the critical rationale for their work in the critical response Critical Response: Students will submit an individual project involving digital and multisensory research and production. Resit of the Critical Response will be to re-do the original brief

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/09/2020 11:16:35


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