Course Description

Semester 2- 20 credits
Course organiser – Dr. Jules Rawlinson
Taken in year two if part-time

Course website –

Class Times and Location

Lectures and tutorials are timetabled for 10am – 1pm on Thursdays in the West Court, in the ECA Main Building

Other tutorials and workshops may take place at times TBC. Workshops will usually be on a Friday, tutorials to be arranged between groups and tutors.

Full attendance and punctual arrival is expected of all students whether auditing the course or taking it for credit.



  • Some skills in digital media (sound, image, web, text, composition etc.)
  • Willingness to work in a group and a professional attitude towards collaboration


  • Ability to work creatively with hardware or software
  • Experience of a coding or scripting language
  • Experience of making things
  • Experience of working in a team or group


Students work as a group on an extended project that brings together their various design skills in the context of an exploratory project brief chosen at the start of the course. The course will run as a studio with iterative development, group discussion, design development, presentations, criticism, and feedback. Tuition will be provided in the use of specialist tools and devices where applicable.


Move along now, there is nothing to see.


The Digital Media Studio Project presents students with a challenge not directly encountered on the Design programmes so far; group work. Students will form small teams working on a project brief, each with its own supervisor. Each group faces the challenge of finding a way of working together, perhaps following the model of a theatre company with roles and responsibilities assigned to each member of the group; production manager, director, producer, actor, technical manager etc.

Project briefs are deliberately open ended, non-specific and as a result, the project may seem to start from a state of chaos. This creates a need to impose order, organisation and imagination, which we expect to emerge from the student body rather than staff.

Whatever the subject matter, each project provides an opportunity to prepare experimental work for public exhibition/display and for the cohort to find practical, creative solutions to problems imposed by real limitations of technology, time and personnel. Meanwhile you are expected to explore a wealth of new technologies by developing an articulate understanding of the potential for their use in digital design, sound, music and performance.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, students will have;

  • made skilful use of digital tools and techniques in the context of a design project
  • developed an appreciation of the collaborative and integrative nature of design projects that involve digital media, and will have further developed appropriate group working skills
  • built up an awareness of, and some capability in working with, soft and hardware beyond desktop use
  • considered modes of presentation appropriate to external and large-scale presentation formats
  • honed skills in responding to and progressing a theoretical position about some aspect of the project context
  • managed a small budget
  • developed skills in the documentation and presentation of creative and one-off digital-media projects

Practical Outputs

  • The collaborative design and implementation of a performance, installation, interactive experience, documentary or other artefact that creatively uses and emerging forms, modes and methods of digital media.
  • Documentation of that project work and discussion of its wider context as defined by the project brief and participants.
  • Further contribution to a portfolio of work showing your capability with sound and digital design media and familiarity with the issues of presentation in various media formats.
  • Awareness of the methods and constraints of working towards a public exhibition or showcase of digital design/sound work.

Project Supervisors

The project supervisor is there to help you develop your project and provide some overall guidance from an independent perspective. Project supervisors have expertise in the areas you are investigating and in many cases, this area may be central to their own research or current projects. However, their time is limited and you should take care not to waste time with the supervisor on small tasks that you can solve independently with a little more thought. We suggest arranging meetings with the supervisor when you have a specific thing you want to get a second opinion on or, when your group can not make a decision on the next step. It is good to make arrangements to meet the supervisor well in advance, so the group has a deadline to work towards. Time is easily squandered on the DMSP and your group will need to develop its motivation, drive and focus. While the supervisor can help you with this, it is not their responsibility to lead the group, this should come from within your team.

Project Briefs

A range of project briefs are available. Those taking this course form groups ranging in size from 7 to 10 people. Projects range across a number of themes. A member of the supervising teams will supervise each project with groups benefiting from further input by visiting lecturers and other external experts as the course progresses.

NOTE: You are asked to rank projects in order of preference and to have made a decision about this by the end of the day on Monday of week 2. An online form will be provided for this.

There will be a three-stage output evaluated on design and presentation quality and demonstrated skills in using digital media technology. The first submission will be assessed as a group and the second and third as a combination of individual and group work.

You will be encouraged to get into the habit of a weekly production meeting. A production meeting is usually chaired by the producer or project manager and is the meeting where all participants discuss issues relating to the project.