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Mandatory course: Digital Media Theory

Mandatory course: Digital Media Theory
Master programme in
Media and Communication
Type of activity


Teaching language
Study regulation

Read about the Master Programme and find the Study Regulations at ruc.dk


Registration is through stads selvbetjeningwithin the announced registration period, as you can see on the Studyadministration homepage.

When registering for study activities, please be aware of the potential conflicts between study activities or exam dates. The planning of activities at Roskilde University is based on the recommended study programs which do not overlap. However, if you choose optional courses and/or study plans that goes beyond the recommended study programs, an overlap of lectures or exam dates may occur depending on which courses you choose.

Number of participants
Responsible for the activity
Susana Tosca (stosca@ruc.dk)
Chris Peters (cpeters@ruc.dk)
Head of study
Chris Peters (cpeters@ruc.dk)
Study administration
IKH Studieadministration (ikh-studieadministration@ruc.dk)
Exam code(s)
Overall objective

The course Digital Media Theory introduces students to theoretical perspectives on how digital media technologies impact communication. From social media platforms, to messaging apps, search engines, smartphones, self-tracking devices, big data, the cloud, machine-learning algorithms and beyond, the changing media ecology from an era of mass to networked communication reconfigures how institutions and organizations communicate, as well as how people encounter and engage with information. Accordingly, the course teaches students to identify and analyze the sociocultural and political implications of digital media technologies. It presents them with research-based examples of how the relationships between citizens/governments, consumers/companies, and civil society/publics are impacted by the development of global media platforms that transcend borders. The course trains them to understand, compare and apply theories, models, and concepts in this interdisciplinary field, including, but not limited to, media and communication studies, digital culture, internet studies, and critical theory, supporting the semester’s project work and preparing students to choose between the different subject profiles on the second semester.

Detailed description of content
Course material and Reading list
Overall plan and expected work effort

The course takes place intensively over the first half of the semester. It supports the project work in the 1st semester and prepares the student to choose between the different academic profiles that are offered in the 2nd semester.

The total study effort for the student (ECTS points converted into hours) = 270 hours. The hours are divided as follows:

  • Course teaching: 48 hours
  • Preparation: 108 hours
  • Exam: 80 hours
  • Other activities: 34 hours (semester start, literature search, guest lectures, etc.)

In principle, teaching activities take place on campus. The teaching can be arranged so that one or more activities take place elsewhere than at Roskilde University. This can also be online.

Evaluation and feedback

Evaluation will be based on the evaluation practice of the study board.

Overall learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of central theories and analytical approaches to study the impact of digital media technologies on communication.

  • Identify and interrelate the different levels of mediated communication practice, from individual uses, to organizational strategies and governance, and national and international regulation.

  • Define and compare media technologies in terms of their technological and communicative affordances.

  • Analyse and evaluate the risks, problems, and potentials associated with different media infrastructures, platforms, and devices at the levels of the individual user, public and private organizations.

  • Critically reflect on key theoretical frameworks and concepts introduced in the course and be able to communicate this in a manner that is academically accurate and clear.

Form of examination
Individual oral exam with time for preparation.

Time for preparation including time to pick a question by drawing lots: 20 minutes.
Time allowed for exam including time used for assessment: 20 minutes.

Permitted support and preparation materials: All.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.
Moderation: Internal co-assessor.
Form of Re-examination
Samme som ordinær eksamen / same form as ordinary exam
Type of examination in special cases
Examination and assessment criteria

Exams are an individual oral test. The student draws a question within the course syllabus and has 20 minutes of preparation, including the use of approved support devices and preparation materials.

The examination begins with the student presenting their answer to the question, including and drawing upon relevant course literature, and with the inclusion of one or more relevant examples. After this, the rest of the examination takes place as a conversation between the student, examiner, and internal co-assessor. During the examination, questions can be asked about the entire course syllabus.

In the assessment, emphasis is placed on the extent to which the student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Explain the relevant theories, concepts, and models and argue in which situations and contexts these theories, con-cepts and models are appropriate to use.
  • Relate concrete theories, concepts, and models to concrete and relevant examples.
  • Critically reflect on core theoretical concepts and their basic assumptions about digital media and communication.
  • Communicate field specific knowledge clearly in an oral presentation with precise use of concepts, including an introductory presentation that is well-delivered and logically structured in relation to the time available
Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U60310
Last changed 01/06/2022

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Monday 05-09-2022 12:15 - 05-09-2022 16:00 in week 36
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 08-09-2022 08:15 - 08-09-2022 12:00 in week 36
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 12-09-2022 12:15 - 12-09-2022 16:00 in week 37
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 15-09-2022 08:15 - 15-09-2022 12:00 in week 37
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 19-09-2022 12:15 - 19-09-2022 16:00 in week 38
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 22-09-2022 08:15 - 22-09-2022 12:00 in week 38
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 26-09-2022 12:15 - 26-09-2022 16:00 in week 39
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 29-09-2022 08:15 - 29-09-2022 12:00 in week 39
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 03-10-2022 12:15 - 03-10-2022 16:00 in week 40
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 06-10-2022 08:15 - 06-10-2022 12:00 in week 40
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 10-10-2022 12:15 - 10-10-2022 16:00 in week 41
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Thursday 13-10-2022 08:15 - 13-10-2022 12:00 in week 41
Digital Media Theory (KOMM)

Monday 24-10-2022 08:15 - Friday 28-10-2022 18:00 in week 43
Digital Media Theory - Exam (KOMM)

Thursday 12-01-2023 08:15 - Friday 13-01-2023 18:00 in week 02
Digital Media Theory - Reexam (KOMM)