Digital Media BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)





Create engaging and innovative content by studying our full-time Digital Media degree at Cambridge School of Art, ARU. Choose to study abroad for one semester, and receive ongoing support to find work placements. Your experience in multimedia across different platforms will help you stand out in a range of UX design and content creation careers.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities for you to learn through work-based projects, internships and placements.

Our links with major companies in Cambridge, such as Sookio, Frontier and Jagex, will allow you to engage with live briefs and competitions to enhance your portfolio and give you experience of working life.

Our in-house employability advisers organise and run workshops, seminars, networking events, portfolio reviews and design challenges. They'll also help you find vital work experience, allowing you to graduate with the skills and confidence you'll need to succeed in the creative workplace. Find out more about our placements and work experience, or the faculty's employability support.

By completing our BA (Hons) Digital Media course you'll be prepared not only for roles in the current digital media industry, including web design, social media analysis, content writing, videography, motion graphic artist or interactive designer, but also for near-future careers such as digital culture commentator or virtual habitat designer. You might even invent your own new role in this fresh and exciting cultural landscape.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Humanities, English, Media, Social Sciences and Education
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to the humanities, social sciences, English, media and education. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching, and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental study skills, Students will be given an introduction to a broad range of disciplines whose skills and theories are widely applicable. Students will study a variety of writing styles in order to recognise, deconstruct and replicate various forms of persuasive, analytical, and informative writing. Students will learn the basics of intercultural studies and how these theories can be applied to real-world problems. Students will consider social perceptions held across western cultures, and the difference between social and self-perception, participating in structured discussion and argument. Students will be introduced to the core principles of psychology and will explore various current applications of psychological theory. Students will also be introduced to ethics and will learn about some of the key theories and thinkers in the development of current ethical considerations in a range of scenarios. This module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Intercultural Studies; Psychology; Composition and Style; Ethics; Social Perceptions.

Year one, core modules

  • Introduction to Creative Digital Media
    This module introduces you to the central skills and processes of Digital Media at the point where visual skills and digital technology meet. This requires you to balance technical concerns with an appreciation of what makes compelling digital content. You will be introduced to the potential and scope of digital media through a series of short design exercises and tasks. The fundamentals of this process are idea conception, research, drawing and experimentation.
  • Photography: Post Production Workflow
    This is an intensive practice-based module designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of the post production workflow, giving you the means to control and manipulate your photographic images. The module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of digital hardware, and Photoshop software. You will explore the use of digital imaging techniques and processes in a series of lectures, practice-based workshops and discussions, where you will be actively working on projects and activities, individually and in groups. The relationship between techniques, methods and ideas will be explored through assigned projects, class activities and self-guided learning. Peer group reviews and one-to-one tutorials will support the development of your work throughout the semester. Assessment is through the submission of a portfolio of a sustained body of practice-based outcomes, supporting research and development material. The portfolio will evidence your knowledge and skills in digital imaging workflow and postproduction, your level of engagement with experimentation, and your exploration of ideas and contexts.
  • Digital Media Design
    You will develop your competence in the use of digital media software and will apply this to more challenging project briefs. The module examines the creative and interpretative decisions that determine content creation, using multiple elements such as type, text, and colour. You will then apply to a range of short projects, including data visualisation, short videos and interface design.
  • Introduction to Web Design
    This module will introduce you to web design and the informed use of professional web design software. You’ll acquire the technical vocabulary necessary for the description and analysis of web material, and a working knowledge of industry-standard web design tools. You'll be introduced to introduces a variety of technologies, both code and non-code based., and undertake projects designed to explore and demonstrate your understanding of web design processes and media, presenting these in a portfolio for assessment at the end of the semester.
  • History of Digital Media
    The module examines the key theories and practices of Digital Media from its inception up to the present day and beyond. Lectures will address the rapid technological advances that mean our consumption of media is screen based and digital, and how this transformation is impacting on society. The module will also include the way in which Artists and Designers have utilised digital technology to produce new work and the visual and aural languages that have resulted as a consequence. In this module there is an emphasis on developing academic skills that will prepare students for contextual studies in art and design at higher levels. This will focus on basic research skills that will enable students to acquire relevant source materials and knowledge in these specialist areas. Assessment will be by means of an essay.

Year one, optional modules

  • Contextual Studies
    This module will introduce you to valuable skills that you’ll use throughout the rest of your course. You'll cover how to research, analyse and write about art and design, and gain an overview of some of the major developments in art and design relevant to your specific course, considering issues of both industry practice and critical theory in relation to the social, cultural and intellectual climate of their times. The module may draw on examples from graphic design, interior design, fashion, industrial design, architecture, product design, media communications and fine art, but is taught with a particular emphasis on your own discipline. A constant question for us therefore concerns the possible definitions of 'design' itself. As well as this subject-specific content, the module also includes a series of workshops and exercises which will introduce you to the skills of library research, critical analysis of visual imagery, essay writing and academic referencing, providing a foundation for your later studies. For your assessment, you will demonstrate these skills by submitting an essay on a thematic subject.
  • English for Study 1
    This is the first in a series of English for Study modules for international students only. It aims to support you if you are at or below IELTS 6.0, or equivalent, in your academic writing/discussion abilities. It will develop both your grammatical accuracy and your ability to extract key points from a variety of spoken texts. You will need to demonstrate increasing awareness of essay planning and the importance of summary writing and referencing skills in academic essays. your discussion skills will also be developed, ensuring you are able to contribute in both seminar and tutorial discussions. The module, taught over two hours per week will consist of a variety of activities including group debates, and discussions, presentations, listening and comprehension exercises from authentic audio, and audio-visual material of academic lectures. You will also be guided in independent learning, via the Language Centre, Library and Language Laboratories, through a wide range of media resources including newspapers and academic journals, videos, and internet. You will be assessed through coursework, which may take the form of academic summaries, research projects, in-class test, reports or an oral presentation.

Year two, core modules

  • Interactive Narratives
    Storytelling is a key human tool that helps us to explain and understand the world. The traditional linear approach to storytelling has been disrupted by digital media; where the interaction of the end user can change the outcome and direction of a story, explore character, environment or motivation of the central narrative. These are the ideas you will be exploring on this module, using storyboarding, animation and interactive design.
  • Interactive Environments
    Working in a team, you will conceive, plan, make and then exhibit digital content that explores ideas based on ‘physical computing’, sometimes known as the ‘internet of things’. Examples include wearable technologies, augmented reality, and computer controlled environments. In this module, you will be exploring how interactive design can be used outside the computer, tablet and mobile screens. The module will culminate in a public exhibition to showcase the work you have created.
  • Debates and Practices
    On this module, you'll explore the links between critical studies and practice, enriching your knowledge and developing your articulacy about your specialism, as well as drawing on wider perspectives in relation to your own work. You will focus particularly on debates about contemporary practice. Your studies will be seminar-based and, where appropriate and possible, held in the studio. In discussions, you'll engage with theory and history alongside your own developing ideas about contemporary production, with an open agenda that will respond to current events, work and interests.

Year two, optional modules

  • New Media Design - Graphic Design for Screen Based Applications
    You’ll explore the role of graphic design across new media and screen based contexts including web design and application interfaces, and to consider the implications and possibilities of new communications phenomena, social networks and viral marketing for the graphic designer. Workshops address the design of motion graphics and digital animation through Flash and After Effects software, and the development of web design skills introduced in the Introduction to Web Design module. Lectures and presentations identify both the creative opportunities and technical constraints of new media and motion graphics for broadcast and interactive applications. These include references from film and TV titling, web graphics and advertising, and consider the use of ambient, viral and guerrilla strategies. A series of individual and small group projects explore both the technical and conceptual issues involved in each of these aspects of practice, addressing the use of new media across a range of both practical and speculative contexts. These projects explore the emerging communication possibilities of new technologies, as well as providing detailed technical instruction on the presentation of the word and image on the screen. Individual and group tutorials throughout the module address the development of you practice and the progress of each project.
  • Time Based Media
    In this module, you'll receive a thorough introduction to video as a Fine Art medium, while leaning heavily on your established practice to provide subject matter and direction. You'll be expected to expand your practice through experimentation with digital video acquisition, digital video editing and televisual presentation. You'll start by presenting and discussing your work to date with your classmates, to establish relevant starting points and a group dynamic. You'll also be inducted, as a group, in the use of digital video cameras and Final Cut Pro HD. Once you have gained confidence, your individual projects will be supported as needed, with the group dynamic being maintained through critiques. You'll identify and engage with the formal properties of video and explore how the additional properties might be employed to expand your established practice. For example: time, sound and screen-based presentation. You'll be supported in this by presentations and discussions of historical and contemporary time-based art. The presentation of your final work might incorporate single-screen, multiple-screen, projection and sound.
  • Business for the Creative Arts
    This module will introduce you to the practical tools needed to set yourself up in business in the creative arts, as a company, a partnership or a freelancer. You'll explore a sector of the creative industries, identifying potential opportunities within it and producing a basic business plan. Your emphasis will be on self-reflection, innovative thinking and communication skills, while the subjects that you'll cover include: the creative industries; developing and analysing a business idea; types of business model; assessing your market; ideas behind marketing; basic accounts; tax and legal issues; and planning for start-up. You'll be asked to translate these into practice by applying them to your own ideas, which will then become part of your own business plan. The module will be delivered through lectures, seminars, student presentations, critiques and workshops. Your formative assessment will involve presentations, while the summative assessment will be based on your critical evaluation of employment opportunities in a sector of the creative industries and your portfolio of work, including a business plan or employment strategy and supporting documents.
  • 3D Computer Generated Imagery
    This module will give you the skills and knowledge needed to devise and construct 3d models and objects using Industry standard software. You will also consider how these modules might be used and applied in a range of situations and outcomes; games, animations, motion graphics, architecture and interior design. Practical workshops, inclusive lectures and critique sessions will present, examine and address the contextualisation of 3D modelling and you will be researching and analysing current trends and developments. You will also be introduced to some of the most important concepts in 3d modelling such as interpretations of space, composition, lighting, texture and colour and will explore traditional drawing to plan and enhance your work. Sessions will explore and address: conceiving of, planning, making and reflecting upon a range of 3D models and you will be challenged to meet a series of project briefs that will help develop both your creative and technical skills. Ongoing critiques will formatively assess, analyse and evaluate your development; the emotive quality, technical competency and appropriateness for purpose-within the given briefs requirements. Your coursework, including all ongoing research, analysis and development work and the design solutions/outcomes to the short tasks and projects, will be summatively assessed at the close of the semester.
  • Writing for Sequential Images
    This module will give you an insight into common and alternative story structures and will enable you to build and create stories for sequential media, in particular picture books, graphic novels, animation and games. Central to this understanding and creation of a picture-based story is the combination of the handmade image and other modes of expression such as written text, sound, movement and interaction. You will gain insight into story structures and story development, character development, plotting and story-worlds. You will learn skills such as story development, adaptation, scripting, creative writing, dialogue and you will learn how to translate and adapt original material and existing texts into story treatments, scripts and storyboards for a range of visual media. The insight into story structures and story development and the linked creative and practical processes are addressed in a series of classes and seminars, where both traditional and alternative forms of visual narration and image-text relationships are explored. In workshops, exercises and set briefs you will be challenged to apply this knowledge and create story texts, scripts and storyboards. This will include the creation of work based on your own ideas. Ongoing critiques will formatively assess, analyse and evaluate your development; including the narrative quality, technical competency and appropriateness for purpose, within the given briefs requirements. Summative assessment will be based on your coursework, including research, analysis and development work, and the exercise and project outcomes.
  • Graphic Design for the Web
    This module will develop your understanding of content creation for screen design. You’ll look in specific detail at the contribution of graphic creativity and visual analysis to the technical discipline of content creation for screens. This defines the focus of the module in professional terms, identifying content creation as a specialism within the broader context of web design and defining the roles you might expect to fulfil within professional web projects. A series of individual and small group projects addresses the use of web graphics across a range of commercial and self-initiated contexts including promotion, publishing, art-editorial, photographic and fine art applications. Through these projects you’ll explore both the technical and conceptual issues involved in each of these aspects of web practice. Workshops will provide you with instruction around topics such as iterative design, workload management, storytelling and learning new technologies. In seminars you will explore current developments in web design practice in relation to your projects, and examine the role of the designer. Individual and group tutorials throughout the module address the development of your practice and the progress of your project.
  • Contemporary Digital Approaches
    You’ll explore new possibilities in image creation and articulate ideas about them through this integrated approach that uses digital imaging software in conjunction with fieldwork and research. You'll be expected to have at least a basic knowledge and level of skill in Photoshop at the outset and you'll also generate all your own source images through fieldwork and/or photography studio practice. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the integration of technique and practice to explore ideas and concepts. By examining the imaging workflow, from capture through to output, you'll experiment with different aspects of image construction to enable a clearer understanding of the processes and skills involved. There will be assignments and technical workshops to illustrate these points, as well as tutorial guidance to help develop your practice and research. You'll share your assignment outcomes and research with the rest of the class through participation in class crits. Your assessment will consist of a portfolio of practical work together with research and development journals.
  • Building an online Audience
    As a Designer or Artist you must have the knowledge and skills to get noticed amongst the vast quantity of content online and with increasingly shorter attention spans of audiences. This module is an excellent launching pad for mastering the digital marketing skillsets you will need and to provide content that will further your career goals. It requires a unique combination of social intelligence, creative problem solving and analytical thinking. Part of this module will focus on creating a professional online presence; identifying and then utilising content management systems (CMS) to create a professional profile. Since the web is highly networked you will identify ways in which social media, peer to peer file sharing, and search engine optimisation (SEO) help drive traffic to your content and connect you with potential employers / clients.

Year three, core modules

  • Digital Media Specialised Practice
    This module is designed to set you challenges that primarily involve experimentation and exploration within digital media practice. This could involve specific media types and platforms looking at new ways of creating content or how a variety of media could be combined to form an entirely new approach. This is an opportunity to develop your individual specialisms or to explore new areas of content delivery, in preparation for the Major Project in your final semester.
  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year three, optional modules

  • Research Project
    The Research Project will foster your independent study with the guidance of a tutor. You'll devise your own project that will reflect on/co-ordinate with/enhance your own studio work and interests, encouraging your self-reflexivity and critical distance. Seminars will give you a forum to learn from each other's research. You will also be supported by individual tutorials with a member of staff. The Research Project may include a variety of relevant topics, including reporting on your own work experience. You can illustrate it with photographs, drawings or video, discussing your approach with your assigned tutor. (30 credits)
  • Research Assignment
    The Research Assignment module will foster your independent study with the guidance of a Supervisor. You will negotiate a topic with your supervisor, and devise your own project to reflect on / co-ordinate with / enhance your studio work and interests, relying on your self-reflexivity and critical distance. Classes will provide a forum for all students to learn from each other's research, but you will also have opportunities for individual tutorials with a member of staff. Your Research Assignment may be illustrated with photographs, drawings, and video. You will be assessed by way of a 3000-word written assignment. (15 credits)
  • Working in the Creative Industries
    Gaining work experience enhances your employability, and work based learning offers you the chance to gain industry knowledge, skills, contacts and networking opportunities. This module gives you the opportunity to explore a working environment relevant to the industry you hope to build a career in. The module will encourage your self-managed learning, and aims to develop your personal organisation, team-working, and networking skills, thereby increasing your self-reliance and confidence. You can use the experience as a basis for directing and focussing your career plans, as well as inspiration for your final year projects. In association with your module tutor, you will identify, negotiate and agree with an employer (or employers) the terms of your placement, ensuring that the module learning outcomes can be achieved. You will also create a reflective report on your work experience, including: the application procedure you have conducted (CV, letter and portfolio); market and background information on the employer; your role(s) on the placement(s); an academic and vocational analysis; skills and experiences (opportunities, advantages, constraints, aptitudes and interests). You will also be asked to include a workplace diary that logs activity and supports an analysis of the learning achieved. On completion of the placement, the employer will be asked to complete a Student Feedback package. The work placement(s) may be carried out in a variety of settings depending upon your requirements, areas of interest and availability of opportunities. The minimum period of the placement will be 100 hours, and you can undertake more than one placement for the module.


For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure (pdf).

Modules are subject to change and availability.

Our modules allow you to demonstrate your progress by producing coursework to set projects, and formal briefs. At the end of each semester you’ll submit design work for practice-based modules, and a written document for contextual/theoretical modules. These will then be graded and you’ll receive written feedback.

You’ll also receive on going feedback on your design project concepts and develop your learning in taught sessions, one-to-one discussions, project reviews, peer to peer feedback and group critiques.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Field trips and visits

Take part in our digital media-related trips to broaden your experience of the industry. Most recently we've visited the BVE trade show at London's Excel Arena, as well as Cambridge Science Festival talks on technology.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad for one semester, and get funding to help you cover the cost.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Portfolio review

It is essential that you send us a digital portfolio for review.

For full information on how to prepare and submit your portfolio please visit our Cambridge School of Art portfolios page.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Computer Games Art

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)



Graphic Design

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)



Illustration and Animation

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)



Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply through UCAS

UCAScode: P301

Apply via UCAS

International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

Apply direct