The globalisation of economic activity heralded on an unprecedented scale by the IT revolution of the latter decades of the 20th Century has been rapidly followed by a globalisation of cultural, artistic, social and political activity. In particular digital technology is seen as the embodiment of a global, interconnected, participatory platform that has the capacity to transform the way in which we work, play, socialise and express ourselves. In HATII (Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute) we’ve been adapting our teaching programmes to prepare students for connecting within this global community and the MA in Digital Media & Information Studies is unique in the UK in bringing together the study of, the creation, application and use of particular technologies, engaging human perspective on the issues of the digital age.
And so we prepare our graduates for the opportunities and challenges ahead after they leave university.
The world of work and industry is one of constant change. Digital Media & Information Studies gives our students valuable critical, creative and analytical skills to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. For me, what’s really important is that our graduates understand and appropriately apply a range of information technologies, acquire transferable IT skills and develop skills that we know are highly sought after by employers, such as creativity, communication and presentation, time and project management, individual and group work as well as the key skills in digital technologies.
Our new students are introduced to the value and importance of information within our society, through theoretical and practical sessions, exploring and using a range of digital media technologies. Students discover how information becomes digital media and learn key skills for information literacy. We have great fun in the practical sessions helping students learn key skills such as website development, databases, digitisation and digital media in the cultural and heritage sector. We believe that teaching principles of coding opens doors for students. According to the Guardian “there is a vacuum in computing expertise. Tech companies live and die depending on the talent they can attract. The demand for web developers, coders and tech aficionados outstrips supply by a great margin.”  We challenge students further by moving into the realms of artificial intelligence, 3D modelling, and cyberspace. With Stephen Hawking declaring AI will be the end of the human race – surely we need critical Arts students who understand the underlying technologies and can operate in these environments.
And for our students working with industry is a wrapped up in all the years of the DMIS degree – with guest lectures from the BBC, Glasgow Life and other cultural heritage organisations, such as the Tall Ship – docked in the Clyde, internships with Glasgow City Council & opportunities with companies such as http://www.edusportacademy.com/ to develop Web 2.0 marketing strategies. Working with College of Arts KE in directly engaging with industry partners through events like Digital Innovations in the Private Sector reinforces for me the digital foundations we’re bulidng with our students.
Text by Ann Gow, Head of Subject, HATII
View Ann’s related YouTube video