MA in Global Communications, Digital Cultures and Industries Track

How we communicate is in flux. From new conceptions of identity and community, to the shifting ground of virtual space and global networks, to revolutions in commerce, politics and activism – digital media has helped us create a brave new world. The Digital Cultures and Industries track helps students to meet the challenge of this world with a suite of up-to-the-minute critical and practical courses that can be tailored to different career pathways.

The Digital Cultures and Industries Track within the MA in Global Communications offers an innovative and interdisciplinary focus on the central importance of digital technologies in today’s world.

For the public sphere to work means that everyone has a voice, and the way I look at the world now because of the Global Communications program is that the digital space is our new public sphere.

Cody Damon Alumnus '10
Skills for a Data Driven World

As a student of the Digital Cultures and Industries Track, you will acquire in-depth knowledge of theories, contexts and practices of digital media as well as their relationship to global cultures and communications industries. Building on a solid base of critical thought around the rise of digital media and current global debates, you can take on specialized topics such as mobile media, the new app economy, data and algorithmic cultures and digital advocacy. And to put ideas into action, choose from hands-on courses teaching skills such as data analysis and visualization, social media strategy, digital writing, multimedia storytelling, visual design and coding. Learning from digital media scholars and industry professionals alike, you are primed with the critical and practical skills and emerging literacies required to thrive and adapt in a transforming digital world.  

A diverse pool

Students pursuing this track may come from various backgrounds of work and study – advertising and PR, design and film, sociology, anthropology and psychology, writing and journalism – or be interested in pursuing careers in those fields. Whichever their individual talents, the Digital Cultures and Industries track prepares students for professional careers at the changing face of communications or further graduate study in emerging fields. 

Coursework and Research Masters

As in the regular MA in Global Communications program, coursework can be completed in three semesters, including the summer. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however, many students choose to take additional time for these components.

Alongside the core modules of the Global Communications course, students taking the Digital Cultures and Industries Track will choose from additional electives on topics including:

CM5001 Global Communications

This course introduces students to major theories and practices of communications research, particularly those dealing with the globalization of media and culture. Students learn a mixture of approaches: rhetorical, quantitative, ethnographic and textual. They learn how various disciplines—economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric—deal with these issues. They also study a variety of research methodologies, learn how to create research projects and develop thesis-writing skills.


CM5004 Global Digital Cultures

This course provides an introduction to key topics and theories in the study of the Internet and other digital media as cultural and social phenomena. Four main themes guide our approach: space and networks; bodies and identities; objects and practices; and economics and politics. Within the contexts of globalization, we will place particular emphasis on interrogating transformations made possible by the pervasion of digital media, but also restrictions and contestations that arise. Students will develop their individual interests in relevant topics with an independent research project.


CM5016 Digital Advocacy: Within/ Without Borders

This course analyzes the rhetorical-cultural aspects of global advocacy, such as how to fashion persuasion that speaks to multiple national, ethnic, religious and political audiences about issues of transnational importance and which have the same or similar persuasive goals. Case studies will be used to move back and forth between theory and practice, where studying the practice will inform the theory, and vice-versa. The course will answer important questions for global advocates.


CM5018 Digital Tools In Context

This theory/practice hybrid course will enable students to build a foundation of practical digital skills while critically exploring how they are implemented. Students will develop competence with a selection of data tools and be prepared for greater digital literacy. In parallel, the use of these digital tools will be problematized in relation to recent cultural, economic and political transformations.

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