Digital Communications and Integrated Media Modules

Year 1

Media and Communications Theory


Theories of communication(s) and media provide a foundational knowledge base for students majoring in Digital Communications and Integrated Media. This module aims to introduce students to many of the well-known theories. Along the way, relevant media concepts will also be introduced. Through the learning of a curated set of theories and concepts, students will gain deeper and more holistic, nuanced and critical understanding of how ‘communication’ and ‘media’ work. Students who are beginning their academic journey in this degree will attain the necessary experience to become critical thinkers and skilful practitioners (though this is eventually depend on mastery in other modules as well).

The module will supplement theoretical discussions with examples and case studies, from both local and global settings, so that students will know how to apply the theoretical knowledge that they have gained in a practical manner – applied learning. Students are expected to prepare for their lessons by completing the readings and/or doing online research. The topics covered include semiotics, framing theory, persuasion theories, active audiences, uses and gratifications theory, media effects, agenda-setting theory, cultivation theory, knowledge gap hypothesis, spiral of silence theory, two-step flow model, diffusion of innovations theory, group communication and relational communication theories, theories of the network society and communication power, theories of the information society. Students’ progress and learning outcomes are assessed through individual assignments, and a group project to be presented in the second half of the module.

Introduction to Research Methods


Research is a core approach to solving problems and providing solutions in the digital communications industry – knowing the audience/client and appreciating content is key. This module seeks to introduce students to the core principles of research and apprise students of quantitative and qualitative methods that will provide a foundation for the rest of the degree. Case studies will include social issues associated with the media and communications industry.

This module focuses on teaching students foundational research principles and methods such that students are able to develop a relevant and cogent research plan. It is designed for students in their first year of undergraduate studies and assumes familiarity with basic research methods. As Applied Learning is integral in the delivery of this module, the module will consist of a series of seminars and workshops scaffolded to help students write a robust research proposal. Students are expected to be prepared, by completing the readings diligently, for each session. The topics covered include the principles of research, qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry, sampling, research ethics, and development of a research proposal. Students’ progress and learning outcomes are assessed through individual and group assignments.

Fundamentals of Digital Web Analytics


As online usage aggressively encroaches into the daily lives of people, large amounts of data are readily found on web systems and technologies. This module seeks to apprise students of the basic workings of computer and web architecture, in order to familiarise themselves with how online data is handled and managed. This module has a specific focus on the use of MySQL and NoSQL in storing and accessing data online.

Marketing Communications in the Digital World


Marketing Communications is a sub-discipline within the area of media and communications, and is primarily concerned with the effective transmission of messages for the purposes of marketing and consumption. In this module students will learn the fundamentals of marketing communications as well as the particular ways in which marketing communications has changed with the advent of digital technology.

Digital Image Making


In order to be visually fluent, it is important to have the technical image making competencies associated with digital media and communications. Students in this module will learn the basics of digital image making through the use of lights, lenses, camera sensors, and related image making software for the purpose of telling visual narratives with still or sequential frames. Students will also be exposed to basic social theories surrounding photography, cinematography, and the digital image.

Scriptwriting and Storyboarding


Visual and auditory writing produce the blueprints from which the production team constructs the images and sounds on screen. Through a project-based applied learning approach, this module immerses students in techniques of writing for the screen. This module lays an important skill-set foundation upon which other modules in Digital Media Production will be built. The module will require extensive reading and writing with support through online flipped-classroom lectures designed to guide the students through the readings and writing assignments.

Digital Innovations for Integrated Media


What are the digital innovations that are transforming the media and communications landscapes, and how can individuals and companies capitalise on them to create interesting and engaging content, messages and stories? Drawing from theories of media and communication, this module intends to introduce students to the professional uses of digital media, going beyond personal consumption to see how companies leverage on technology to engage with users and consumers. Students in this module will hear real-world perspectives in current innovations from industry practitioners.

Data Visualisation Fundamentals


This module covers the fundamentals of visualising quantitative data. Whilst data collection is becoming increasingly sophisticated, the ability to successfully translate that data into something usable and consumable remains elusive. Students will work with a wide variety of data – consumer, social, financial, medical and scientific. Students will also be exposed to the social and cultural circumstances surrounding such data.

Digital Advertising, Branding, Campaigning


This module builds upon the principles learnt in marketing communications, and considers how branding, image, advertising messages and advertising campaigns are carried out in the digital world. Students will engage in real-life case studies surrounding digital advertising, branding and campaigning, to build and manage an advertising campaign pitch. This module will source heavily from industry partners for case studies and pitch mentors.

Introduction to Interactive Media Design


Design is an increasingly important aspect of the communications message. While not primarily designers, communications professionals are an integral part of the design process. In this module students will learn the basics of interactive media design, including User Interface/User Experience Design for websites, apps and other interactive devices.

Students will be introduced to a range of fundamental concepts and core basic technical skills for User Interface/User Experience Design, and the production of functional and aesthetically pleasing outcomes. With design aesthetics, facilitation for ease of use, clear and concise communication, functionality, and messaging as core production aims, students will engage in applied learning of design software to produce creative outputs for use across platforms.

Drawing on course readings and the expertise and experience of industry professionals, students will learn to articulate and communicate concepts of UI/UX design clearly and concisely with stakeholders.