Masters in Digital Media: What, Where and How
Updated on Nov 15, 2018 - 11:57 a.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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Masters in Digital Media - Digital media is essentially any sort of media which can be encoded in a machine-readable format. As obscure as that may sound in theory, digital media has successfully taken over the international market for entertainment, publicity, marketing, art and social networking. A masters in digital media focuses on the implications of the new age media formats; delineating both the creative and technological aspects. Many of the top digital media graduate programs vary in the subject matter covered as well as the pedagogical methodologies adapted throughout the coursework, ensuring that each and every masters in digital media program is unique. The degrees offered for a masters in digital media include master of arts, master of journalism, and master of science or MS in digital media amongst others. Prospective graduates are also open to a range of digital media careers which span across a large number of industries as the ubiquitousness of digital media is steadily reaching a climax. The types of jobs in digital media encompass both the technological aspect through digital marketing as well as the creative aspect of digital media through digital content creation, digital strategy development etc. Although the initial masters in digital media salary may not be as high as many students hope for, this is a domain of expertise which will only grow in the years to come and the options for the types of jobs in digital media are limitless.


Masters in Digital Media: Eligibility

In order to be eligible for any of the top digital media graduate programs, applicants must have obtained a four-year undergraduate qualification. Some universities also accept candidates with a three-year undergraduate qualification whereas others ask for a year of work experience along with the three-year degree. Most of the top universities in the world for a masters in digital media have a minimum GPA requirement for applicants as well.

Generally, prospective MS in digital media students have undergraduate degrees in media, mass communication, or an area of study which falls under humanities. Most journalism and master of arts programs require a related undergraduate qualification from prospective applicants. On the other hand, the applicant pool is more diverse for a master of science qualification and sometimes requires applicants with a background in computer science and technology as well. Like many creative areas, MS in digital media careers are more talent-oriented and therefore, applicants to these programs may also be selected simply upon the basis of their writing sample or statement of purpose, disregarding the nature of prior qualifications if the candidate displays an inherent interest in the field. This is to the fact that the selection process for most of the types of jobs in digital media is heavily based on the candidate’s ability rather than academic records.

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Masters in Digital Media: Admission Requirements

Prospective masters in digital media students are required to fulfill admission requirements similar to that of most other graduate programs. These requirements include the following documents which are to be submitted online along with the application form:

  • A statement of purpose or SOP focusing on the candidate’s career goals and aspirations as well as expectations from the program of study.

  • Two or three letters of recommendation.

  • GRE General test scores.

  • English language proficiency test scores from any of the internationally recognized language proficiency tests like IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, CAE or PTE Academic.

  • A personal statement associated with the candidate’s personal interest in the domain of study.

  • Official transcripts from previous academic institutions.

  • A professional resume or CV.

After submission of the complete application form and payment of the application fee, many of the top digital media graduate programs also require the applicant to appear for an interview, whether online or in person. 

Additionally, many of the masters in digital media which are focused on the creative foundation of digital media also require a creative sample to be submitted along with the application form in order to determine whether the candidate would be suitable for any of the various types of jobs in digital media. The creative sample may include a variety of things like a writing sample, a journalistic sample, or any other form of digital media publication.


Masters in Digital Media: Top Universities

Many of the top universities in the world for a masters in the domain of digital media are located in the United States which is also home to a large number of masters in digital media careers and job opportunities as well. Others are spread across the world. According to the QS world rankings in the subject of Communication and Media Studies, the top universities for a masters program are:

Top Universities for Masters in Digital Media

University

Country

QS World Rank

Communication and Media Studies

University

University of Amsterdam

Netherlands

1

58

University of Southern California

United States

2

132

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

United Kingdom

3

35

University of Texas at Austin

United States

4

67

Stanford University

United States

5

2

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States

6

27

University of Wisconsin-Madison

United States

7

55

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

United States

8

33

Goldsmiths, University of London

United Kingdom

9

398

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

United States

10

1

Columbia University 

United States

11

18

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Singapore

12

11

University of Pennsylvania

United States

13

19

National University of Singapore

Singapore

14

15

New York University (NYU)

United States

15

52

Even though it can easily be said that no two masters in digital media programs are the same, there are a number of programs which are offered by the top universities in the domain and are also truly unique in nature. Five of the most competitive, yet commendable programs in digital media, along with various program details for prospective applicants are given below. 

Masters in Digital Media at University of Amsterdam

Program: Masters in New Media and Digital Culture

The masters in digital media program offered by the University of Amsterdam is one of the top digital media graduate programs in the world. The Masters in New Media and Digital Culture is a comprehensive one-year program which endorses students to delve into new media research and various associated practices in alongside international researchers. The pedagogy of the program resonates around group projects, lab sessions, creative projects and lectures building up to a final professional portfolio. 

Masters in Digital Media Program Details

Item

Details

Total tuition fee 

€14,160

Program duration (full-time)

1 year

Average GPA 

4 point scale

3.3

10 point scale

7.0

English language proficiency test scores

TOEFL iBT

92

IELTS Academic

6.5

CAE

Grade C

Some scholarships for prospective MS in digital media students are:

  • Amsterdam Merit Scholarship

  • Horizon Fund

Masters in Digital Media at University of Southern California

Program: MS in Digital Social Media

The University of Southern California offers the top digital media graduate program in the United States in the domain of social media. The MS in digital media program is a one-of-a-kind program which focuses on the science behind digital social media. This program teaches students management, leadership and development of digital applications, online communities and of course, social media platforms. The masters in digital media salary for a University of Southern California is high primarily due to the specialization in social media.

Additional admission requirements: Applicants to this MS in digital media are required to submit a writing sample along with the other admission requirements. This sample can be an article, a news story, press release, academic paper or even a blog item.

Masters in Digital Media Program Details

Item

Details

Annual tuition fee

USD $62,911

Program duration (full-time)

2 years

Average GPA (on a 4.0 scale)

3.37

Average GRE score 

304

Average work experience

16 months

English language proficiency test scores

TOEFL iBT

90

IELTS Academic

6.5

Students planning to pursue their MS in digital media at the University of Southern California can seek program funding through various merit-based scholarships and awards. 

Masters in Digital Media at University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Program: Master of Journalism 

The graduate school of journalism at University of California, Berkeley offers a multi-faceted program in journalism and multimedia. This program enables students to select a variety of different courses which build up the individual portfolio. For students interested in a masters in digital media, there are a number of related courses to take up for the duration of the program focused on storytelling through new age media, digital media workshops, as well as the option for a masters project in digital media. 

Additional admission requirements: For candidates who want to gain admission to UC Berkeley’s graduate program in journalism, a journalistic work sample is also required which showcases the applicant’s storytelling abilities as well as a writing test and/or interview. GRE scores are not required for this program.

Masters in Digital Media Program Details

Item

Details

Annual tuition fee 

$ 19,403.00

Program duration (full-time)

2 years

Average GPA (on a 4.0 scale)

3.0

Average work experience

Not specified

English language proficiency test scores

TOEFL iBT

90

IELTS Academic

7.0

Applicants to this MS in digital media program can delve into various merit-based scholarships and awards in order to fund their education at UC Berkeley. These include:

  • Journalism School Scholarships

  • Google News Lab Foundation

  • Spencer Education Fellowship

  • Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship

Masters in Digital Media at Goldsmiths, University of London

Program: MA Digital Media: Technology and Cultural Form

The masters in digital media program offered by Goldsmiths is a master of arts qualification which combines both theoretical and practical methodologies while focusing upon technology and its associations with contemporary media. Prospective students have two pathways which they can choose from, one being a theory program and the other being a mixture of both theory and practice. 

Masters in Digital Media Program Details

Item

Details

Total tuition fee

£16,080

Program duration (full-time)

1 year

Undergraduate degree requirement

2.1 honours degree

Average GRE score 

Not specified

English language proficiency test scores

IELTS Academic

6.5

CAE

Grade C

PTE Academic

62

For prospective students who require assistance in funding their masters in digital media, the university offers a number of fee waivers for the MA program as well as bursaries for exceptionally meritorious students. 

Masters in Digital Media at Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Program: MSc in Digital Media Technology

Nanyang Technological University offers one of the top digital media graduate programs with a master of science qualification. This MS in digital media program teaches students to design, develop and implement a variety of projects in the domain of modern digital media. As it is a master of science qualification, it lays a greater emphasis on the tools and technology associated with digital media rather than the creative foundation. The masters in digital media salary for a master of science qualification is generally higher than any other digital media program.

Masters in Digital Media Program Details

Item

Details

Total tuition fee

S $31,970

Program duration (full-time)

1 year

Undergraduate degree requirement

Computer science or engineering

Average GRE score 

Not specified

English language proficiency test scores

TOEFL iBT

100

IELTS Academic

7.0

Prospective students have a couple of scholarship options to fund their coursework at NTU, such as:

  • Singapore International Graduate Award

  • Commonwealth Scholarship

  • NTU President’s Graduate Scholarship

Apart from the scholarships and awards, NTU students are also eligible for a number of student grants which are awarded at the time of admission.


Read also:

Masters in Computer Science: What, Where and How

Masters in Statistics: What, Where and How

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