MA in Digital Arts and Humanities

University College Cork (MADAH)
Key Programme Details

MA (Major Award)

NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Classroom - Daytime


Part Time

ECTS Credits



Discipline of Digital Arts and Humanities

Skills Area

Information and communication (including ICT)

General Information

Dr Mike Cosgrave



021 4902591


School of History,
University College Cork


Programme Director

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

This course produces digitally-literate, interdisciplinary graduates with strong collaborative skills suited to filling a variety of roles in the knowledge economy. It lays the foundations needed for careers that use digital tools to address the needs of the Arts and Humanities. It provides a firm grounding in how to capture, read and write sources across a range of digital tools and standards, as well as the ability to analyse problems and bridge the gap between real world complexities and computer-assisted solutions.

Highlights of past work include graduates who have worked on important archives (Cork LGBT Archive), set up social media consultancies (@thebrandingofme) and action research projects (Jungala Radio, at

This programme has been delivered as part of Springboard+ for the past several years. Since 2014, 76% of our graduates have secured employed, with a further 20% moving onto further study (several of these study part-time as they are also employed). Past graduates of the Digital Humanities Masters programmes are now employed in roles such as Technical Writer, Content Creator, Instructional Designer, Information Officer, Lecturer, Researcher, Journalist in organisations including Apple, Technically Write IT, the Cork Folklore Project, the Branding of Me,, Silent Still Productions and the Office of Public Works, Irish Examiner. Other graduates are involved in curatorships of museums, digital management for Resident artists, data visualisation and visual art for commercial businesses.

"My year in UCC was such an enlightening one. It was able to bring out aspects of myself that had long been forgotten. Because of the support and hard work I put into my year in UCC, I have now set up my own business. I am now at a place in my life where I can express who I am and what I can do because of my time in UCC, where my confidence was reinforced. I would encourage anyone to take that leap back to education - work hard to make your dreams come true."
MA in Digital Arts and Humanities Springboard Graduate

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold an honours (NFQ level 8) primary degree with 2.1H (or equivalent) in any discipline.

Candidates who hold a primary degree with 2.2H will also be considered subject to the approval of the programme selection committee.

English Language Requirements: IELTS 6.5 (with no individual section lower than 5.5) or TOEFL equivalent. Further information on English Language Requirements can be found at

Students intending to take this course will need to be proficient users of common wordprocessing software, and of basic internet tools, have a basic grasp of spreadsheet and database software, and be willing, and keen to develop advanced user skills in those areas, and explore new technologies.

Students must submit a supplementary statement (c 750 words) indicating their potential research interests in the field, and how they envisage the use of digital tools might contribute to their research interests.

Shortlisted candidates may be invited to interview.

Long Description

Early parts of the course introduce learners to ways of managing your own learning digitally, using digital tools to collaborate and understanding how interdisciplinary work is important in tackling complex real world problems. Core modules address the problem of capturing complex real world sources in standard digital formats, before analysing and interpreting results, as well as presenting findings in publicly accessible formats. It locates these technical skills in the context of practical collaboration and teamwork, built into student centred, research based learning and assessment which requires engagement both face to face and online, effectively using social media tools, and provides a solid theoretical framework in contemporary debates about our rich tapestry of history, heritage, culture, arts and media. Capturing these in digital forms for analysis and creation of new transmedia narratives is regarded as an increasingly important transferable skill across all sectors – businesses need people who can tell compelling stories.

Graduates from this programme will have developed skills in autonomous, lifelong learning and problem solving which will equip them to pursue careers which require applying digital skills in a range of media, arts, and heritage fields. Emphasis is placed on equipping learners with the skills necessary to keep up to date on the changing landscape at the interface of society and technology. Digital tools offer an opportunity to ask new, often radical, questions about humanities. Students on the programme will seek to discover what is it to be human in the digital age, and the answers will help to shape how we see ourselves and others in an age where humanity is becoming increasingly connected by ubiquitous technology.

Students complete 90 credits as follows:

Part I Students take 60 credits as follows:

Core Modules:

DH6003 Digital Humanities Institute (5 credits)
DH6013 Getting Started with Graduate Research and Generic Skills (5 credits)
DH6032 Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship (10 credits)
DH6033 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts and Humanities (10 credits)
DH6034 Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies (10 credits)

plus 20 credits from the following elective modules:

CS6102 Graphics and Graphic Design (5 credits)
CS6103 Audio and Sound Engineering (5 credits)
CS6104 Digital Video Capture and Packaging (5 credits)
CS6117 Audio Processing (5 credits)
DH6005 History and Theory of Digital Arts (5 credits)
DH6006 Teaching and Learning in Digital Humanities (5 credits)
DH6007 Models, Simulations and Games (5 credits)
DH6012 Editing Skills for Research Postgraduates in the Humanities and Social Sciences (5 credits)
DH6014 Digital Skills for Research Postgraduates in the Humanities and Social Science (5 credits)
DH6026 Principles of Game Design (5 credits)
DH6028 Narrative and System Design (5 credits)
DH6031 Game User Research (5 credits)

Part II DH6035 Digital Arts and Humanities Dissertation (30 credits)

Why Choose This Course

The MA DAH links traditional humanities problems with practical digital skills and tools, requiring students to devise research questions which apply digital tools to arts and humanities issues. Programme Learning Outcomes include, as well as theoretical material which explores the nature of contemporary digital culture, technical and soft skills related outlines such as “Demonstrate ability to use digital tools ... to capture and analyse source materials;” “Participate in collaborative scholarly communities using digital tools," and "Plan and conduct research." These are carried down to module level activities in which students use standard technologies such as SQL, XML, HTML5, XPath and XQuery to create and study digital research collections.

Modules on Tools and Methodology explore data analytics, datamining, data and information visualisation informing those being called upon to fulfil roles as diverse as data scientist to data-driven journalism. Through practical and theoretical discussion technical aspects of cloud computing, web development, cybersecurity and mobile applications are contextualised within a digitally mediated world exploring the human-machine dimension.

Modules on databases, gaming and digital pedagogy require students to analyse problems and deliver design solutions showing how digital tools can be used to solve problems in those areas. Students in the course produce online international digital editions of primary sources, of poetry and prose, making websites and digital art projects (maps, texts, audio, video and models), converting complex archival sources to digital forms and writing and shooting digital film among others.

All of these skills (many of which were classed as skills shortages in the EGFSN's National Skills Bulletin 2016) will help to prepare graduates to fill a variety of roles either within the ICT sector, or across other sectors where ICT skills are in demand.

Please see our websites for course information and for details of our past and current students.

Career Opportunities

In the MA DAH, portfolio based assessments require students to produce digital artefacts which can be presented to employers as concrete evidence of knowledge, skills and ability to produce digital solutions to complex problems based on collaborative, project focused work.

The type of jobs that students can apply for/may be interested in from the program:
* Web designer
* Mobile Developer
* UI Developer
* Technical Writer
* Software Engineer
* SW/QA Test Engineer,
* SQL Developer
* Digital Publisher
* Digital Curation
* Digital Service Manager
* Curation Tools and Services Developer
* Digital Heritage Officer
* Research Archive Manager
* Metadata Manager
* Digital Resources Specialist
* Multimedia Systems Specialist
* 3D model creator/developer

In addition, a dedicated UCC EMPLOYABILITY AND WORK PLACEMENT COACH will work with students on this programme and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with the development of their job readiness and their transition into employment. The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the 3 categories of eligible applicants for the 2018 Springboard+ call: those unemployed/ previously self-employed; returners; and those in employment. Main activities will include:

1. ONE-TO-ONE CAREER COACHING to formulate Individual CAREER ACTION PLANS leading to employment: Individual career coaching will be provided for each participant to reflect on:
* Where they are now in their careers;
* Where they want to be;
* Strategies for gaining employment on completion of their Springboard+ course.
These individual coaching sessions will be customised to the needs of the student within the three categories of Springboard+ 2018 applicants.

2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to complement individual coaching sessions will be built into the programme as outlined below:
* Positioning oneself for job readiness (4 workshops): Setting realistic career objectives; Understanding strengths and skills; Learning from successful role models; Developing a career management strategy.
* Moving forward into a job (4 workshops): Taking action by developing career goals and implementing them;
* Creative job-hunting both on-line and off-line; Written applications, CVs and interview preparation and Implementing career plans.
* Small Group Workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, develop the people skills and the insights needed to transition to the world of work.

3. Participants will be given the opportunity to MEET EMPLOYERS by
* Attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students;
*Attending employer-led events on building workplace competencies.
*Meet with employers for informational interviews.

This course also includes a non-accredited work placement for interested students for a 4 week period. The work placement element of the course offers students an important opportunity to practically apply the skills they have learned during the course. Organisations in the culture, heritage and tourism sectors have hosted our students on work placement for the last few years and will continue to do so for 2018/2019.

Timetable Info

One intake based on campus in UCC comprising:
• 1 day start-up/induction workshop in early Sept. 18
• 24 weeks of classes delivered on a part-time basis from early Sept. 18 – end April 19
• Supervised project and supervised dissertation work with regular supervisor meetings out of term from April - Sept. 19
• Self-directed study

Delivery Location

Classes are held on UCC's main campus.

Delivery Notes

Face-to-face class time runs to about 11 hours a week, and efforts are made to concentrate this as tightly as possible depending on students' chosen electives. Other reading and online engagement can be spread across the week.

Admissions Contact Details

Emer Sweeney


Adult Continuing Education (ACE)
The Laurels
University College Cork
Western Road




RPL Information

RPL may be used by Springboard participants applying to this course to gain: 1. Admission to the programme where an applicant many not otherwise reach the standard educational qualification entry requirements. 2. Exemptions from some part of the programme. The RPL process for UCC Springboard students shall focus on the prior achievement of relevant learning outcomes by the student. Exemptions shall normally be given on a module-by-module basis, vis-a-vis the student having already achieved the learning outcomes. Exemptions will not normally be approved for more than 15% of the programme.

Application Procedures

Apply online at

Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Please ensure that you have the following documentation available at the time of application:

* Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications

* Current CV

* References where applicable

* Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers

Applicants must also submit a supplementary statement (c 750 words) indicating their potential research interests in the field, and how they envisage the use of digital tools might contribute to their research interests.

Shortlisted candidates may be invited to interview.


No fee applicable for jobseekers (unemployed and formerly self-employed) and returners (homemakers, carers, etc.).

Fee applicable for those currently in employment - €600. This fee will be collected by UCC prior to the commencement of the course.


Why study Digital Arts & Humanities at UCC?