Need to know
If you’ve applied, or are already registered on our MA (welcome!), there are a few aspects of study you should plan for. This is a fast-paced programme which will bring a lot of work—which in turn will bring brilliant outcomes if you come prepared and are fully onboard.
To get you ready, we’ve put together an outline of the various skills you’ll need to make the most of your time on the course. We would advise all our new students to prepare ahead of time (see Preparing for study for more information) — start your learning before the course begins and you’ll hit the ground running.
Our sessions are organised in blended mode ~ meaning you’ll be doing your work in class (1 day per week), independently at home, and sometimes online. Do make sure to factor in the right amount of time for your study. While we’re only getting together for 1 day per week, your study time will reflect that of a full-time MA programme. Much of your time will be spent doing research, practicing newly learnt skills and generally diving in deep.
Some of this time will be your independent learning journey – some will be spent together, face-to-face and remotely online. However we interact on this course, we’ll be forming one big learning team ~ frequent communications via our preferred channels will foster good collaborations and project work. The following points will ensure you can participate fully.
You’ll need to…
- be ready and prepared.
Start learning before the course begins. Plan your study time. Get your technical setup in place and tested before the first session.
- attend 1 day per week.
This is usually face-to-face on campus..
- spend at least 25 hours per week on study.
Applies to the full-time mode and includes research, practice and project work. This is not optional and you are expected to further your learning, develop and enhance your own understanding of topics by reading, undertaking practical exercises and online research.
- have a modern laptop with up-to-date operating system.
PC or Mac, any recent computer should be fine, but we recommend storage of 250GB and 8GB of memory as a minimum specification.
- have a reliable internet connection to work from.
On campus, WiFi access is provided in all study areas.
For coursework from home or elsewhere, a decent connection will be required for our online sessions as well as the uploading of course work to remote servers.
- have web hosting for uploading course work.
We’ll guide you through this at the start of the course. If you’re already sorted, even better. (see the notes on our recommended option)
The project work for this MA is both practical and technical. If you’re very new to working digitally and would need guidance in the general use of computers, please be aware that this MA is not likely to be suitable for you. The programme requires you to be a competent user of your chosen operating system, be confident to install new software and learn how to use it quite quickly.
Be ready to…
- use your chosen device.
You’ll be learning new software, produce web projects, and upload them to the web. You should be confident in using your computer to do what is required for the task in hand.
- be/get organised.
You should have a good understanding of how to organise your files and folders/directories and how to backup your work. This might already be part of your workflow (even better) and if not, be prepared to learn more about good file and folder management.
- spend time learning coding.
If you are new to coding – get a head start by learning the basics before the course starts. Take some time to try out code editors and find one you like.
- spend time learning design software.
Ideally, you’ll already be familiar with some web design applications and are prepared for improving your skills. If you are new to design, we’d recommend to start learning basic software skills before the start of the course. We will do some practical sessions which you will benefit from more if you’re prepared.
Team work & collaboration
You are entering a field which is forever-evolving, its related body of knowlegde is ever-growing. This is quite exciting as well as daunting. It means that we cannot rely merely on our course content or our own research—be that yours or ours—to learn. The best way to progress is by sharing our processes, our research findings and new and upcoming techniques and solutions. As a team, we’ll be learning from each other ~ which is why your participation in the collabrative conversation is not only welcome but required.
Be ready to…
- be involved and active.
While we’re all different in how we like to communicate, as a team, we have to establish a common platform. On this MA, we’ll expect you to participate, ask/answer questions and be open about your work. We currently use Slack as our main communication tool and will be introducing you to our workflow during induction.
- engage in open discussion and debate.
This will take place in person or online. Get involved in the various activities and join the conversations. These are part of our collaboration and mutual feedback process.
- share and collaborate.
Be prepared to do independent research, form an opinion and to share your views. For practical project work, be prepared to give and recieve feedback on all aspects of your learning.
- learn independently.
To make good progress – you’ll be expected to put in a lot of time yourself. Research, reading and learning software skills will be something you’ll work on yourself. And if you get stuck, you’ll have your team for support, i.e. your tutors and fellow students.
As your tutors, we will provide a level of support and guidance for your learning which is appropriate at MA level (Level 7). You are responsible for your own learning. Looking back at how our students fared in the past, we can tell you that a successful academic outcome is achieved by a positive, proactive, investigative and collaborative approach.