Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £7,250 *
International Fees £14,500 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB MA is a new and innovative course, designed for digital storytellers and shaped like a media LAB. This means that during the course you will be able to produce a wide range of digital-first work for multi-platform story formats. Your work will be underpinned with academic research, theories and expertise on mobile platforms, and digital interactive communication.

The course delivers industry-level professional expertise in visual communication from photography to cinema journalism, interactive narratives and apps for change.

You’ll be involved in creating content that extends beyond current ideas in multimedia and online productions – our aim is to advance storytelling. We recognise how competitive the job market currently is, therefore this Master's has been created to develop your skills and knowledge in a way that will enhance your career.

The Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB MA prepares you for a range of industries, present and future, as entrepreneurial content creators, mobile and platform producers, cinema and video journalists, interactive factual narratives, social marketers, and project managers.

The content is structured around a knowledge of platforms and three major fields: cinema (video) journalism, photographic communication and interactive factual narratives, which are seamlessly knitted together into five modules.

Cinema Journalism builds upon videojournalism – a much-misunderstood term that in reality embraces multimedia and the creation of multiple genres of video production in different styles – from one-minute social-media docs, two-minute news, to lengthier docs. Cinema journalism combines a deep understanding of cinema cues and tropes to create compelling immersive content on fast-turn around times whilst mastering an array of tools from different lenses, cameras, drones and mobiles. You can find examples of student work David has previously supervised, as well as read about his work in journals, such as the The Documentary Handbook.

The rethinking of photographic digital communication both in terms of media and content is what drives my research The Image As Storytelling. By engaging the quickly evolving worlds of photography and photojournalism within a digital-first approach, in the LAB you will learn how to engage visual communication to its full potential, and incorporate storytelling as a digital practice for interactive platforms. Through a hands-on, experimental and practice-led approach, you will reconsider today’s shifting visual vocabulary specifically for digital and interactive communication frameworks.

Interactive Factual Narratives range from web-documentary, to games for change, VR and social mobile apps. You’ve likely seen examples of interactive factual narratives with the New York Times Snowfall, and Brett Gaylor’s Do Not Track. You will be given an exhaustive overview to be able to map the territory and position your practice in it. You will be guided through your creative journey with a user-centred workflow that mixes design and software methodologies to prototype and design interactive narratives. You will be challenged by a “what’s next” approach and will be pushed to think further than current trends.

Course structure

The course incorporates an agency media LAB approach to learning through knowledge sharing and project completion which is pragmatic. It underpins problem solving using evolving theories and practice. The goal is the production of digital stories and, or interactive factual narrative. The method is through iteration and collaboration.

Modules on the course are compulsory and follow a schedule towards production of digital and, or interactive projects via an iterative approach. Testing and user experience is taken into consideration at each step of the creative process. You will be encouraged to work in ways that rewards experimenting, building and refining ideas. We expect a mix of cohorts, some yet to enter industry, others looking to bolster their careers or change direction and encourage a wisdom of crowds method in learning – also from one another.

You’ll be encouraged to work collaboratively, opening up your professional expertise, or experiences to the benefit of your course peers. In doing so, you will feel part of a creative community that will support you when needed, and may serve you as a network even after the course has finished.

By the end of the year you should reach a level of expertise to create innovative digital and interactive storytelling artefacts, acquiring a solid knowledge of the field, consolidating a multi-skilled network of people and developing digital prototypes of your ideas. By then your project should be ready to be presented to potential financers and media partners.

The following modules, below, which are all compulsory are indicative of what you will study on this course. The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. 

Modules

The aim of this module is to provide you with a practical, theoretical and historical overview of the field and core elements in digital-first and interactive storytelling – with a focus on delivering factual narratives. Theories of visual communication, from photography and photojournalism to cinema journalism, and interactive factual narratives preface cohort’s work, and team projects. It’s given prominence by mastering social media platforms, particularly Medium.com, podcasts and Twitter. This module runs through the first part of the semester and will provide a critical space for the class to enhance ideas for further development.

Picking up from the first half of the semester, we focus on digital storytelling enveloping intermediate projects focusing on team-work. We harness a variety of theories and practices within images, audio, and video in digital form, with an appreciation of interactive and digital artefacts.

We’ll be learning and testing strategies to pin down and research the primary and secondary audience of the project, and incorporating “what, who and why” methodologies. This is where a mixture of user personas, impact charts, platform maps and other user experience techniques will be tried out.

A further focus is the creation of viable story models looking to user-centred design, testing techniques, and iterative methods of productions.

This module builds upon skills learnt in the first semester, providing a deeper journey into the workflow for multiplatform productions. Concepts such as “project scoping” will be used to establish samples of your work. Current authoring and digital tools e.g. HTML/CSS, Klynt will be presented for you to become competent towards building digital models of varying complexity. Theories and practice of user experience, audience feedback, iterative design and user testing will be core to this module. By the end of this module you should be knowledgeable of how to move from ideas to production, as well as in exploring technology in relation to IT designing and multimedia platforms.

This module aims to equip you with the essential entrepreneurial skills you will need to move from an idea to its testing and the full production phase. This means mastering how to compose and manage a team, how to write a realistic budget for your project, how to find potential financers and distributors, how to defend and express your ideas, how to plan a marketing strategy and how to pitch your ideas to each of the people you will need to convince while producing your project.

This module is dedicated to the building of your Digital and Interactive Storytelling project and the consolidation of its industry treatment. It builds upon what has been achieved throughout the year and consolidates it around the production of your digital or interactive story. Through regular meetings and tutorials you will be supervised towards your final pitch in front of a panel of industry members. Following the pitch, you will be asked to provide a critical review piece that could be a written paper of up to 3,000 words or an interactive piece – the form of which will need to be discussed with your module leader. Here you will be able to critically evaluate your own work within the group efforts, position your project within the current interactive landscape and relevant interactive theory.

Entry Requirements

You should normally have a good first degree or a professional qualification in an area of digital, journalism, photography, design, interactivity or visual media. Students with other first degrees will be considered, but will be required to show evidence that they possess some knowledge of, and a practice in digital storytelling or design. Home applicants will be asked to attend an interview with the course team. Overseas students will be asked to submit a portfolio either by post or electronically. It is essential that you have a good command of spoken and written English language (an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent overall, with 5.5 in each element).

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

 

You should normally have a good first degree or a professional qualification in an area of digital, journalism, photography, design, interactivity or visual media. Students with other first degrees will be considered, but will be required to show evidence that they possess some knowledge of, and a practice in digital storytelling or design. Home applicants will be asked to attend an interview with the course team. Overseas students will be asked to submit a portfolio either by post or electronically. It is essential that you have a good command of spoken and written English language (an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent overall, with 5.5 in each element).

 

More information

 

Careers

The course is mainly geared at giving you the right support and methodology to develop your interactive project during the course. The critical awareness and the iterative methodology that you will gain will then serve you to remain competitive in the digital creative industries you might enter in the future, regardless of the technologies they use.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £7,250 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

International tuition fee: £14,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Course Location

The vibrant home of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, the Harrow Campus offers one of the richest portfolios of creative industry research and learning in Europe. The recent redevelopment of the campus has seen the creation of fluid, informal learning spaces, dedicated project and gallery spaces and a revamped library. For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

course-enquiries@westminster.ac.uk

More information

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