Richmond extends range of options for students with new Digital Studies Minor

One of our most frequently mentioned selling points at Richmond is the range of subsidiary subjects on offer for undergraduates through our minors, based on the US educational system.  From the Fall, a new subject will be joining them, with the launch of Digital Studies Minor.

This programme will enable students to acquire essential digital skills alongside a critical understanding of the complex digital environments emerging globally.

Students will be able to develop their skills in key areas such as coding, digital content production and data analysis.  Alongside these, they can gain a critical awareness of security and the impact of digitally networked forms of cultural communication and business organisation on many layers of society.

Integrating theoretical perspectives and digital skills, students will use a variety of research methodologies and apply digital languages to a range of learning environments such as business, psychology, marketing, visual culture, and international relations.

Dr Jane Norris, Associate Professor in Creative & Digital Culture at Richmond and programme leader for Digital Studies Minor, said, “Digital technology has revolutionised the way we work and it’s never been more important to understand how to harness the power of the digital world.  This Minor will significantly enhance students’ future employment prospects in any career they choose.

“Not only that, it equips students to be architects of digital knowledge, and effective leaders in the rapidly developing global digital environments, not just consumers.”


These courses are approved to run from Fall 19 (courses are subject to availability)

Digital Studies Minor

Choose two from the following:


DIG 4100 Coding, Content and Context1

COM 4115 Digital Society

MGT 4205 Computer Applications in Management

CODE TBC Data Analysis for Social Science


Choose four from the following:


DIG 5100 Coding, Content and Context2                        FLM 5000 Digital Storytelling

DIG 5120 Cyber Security                                                JRN 6205 Media Ethics and Law

DIG 5110 Digital Collaboration                                       ADM 6435 Web Design

CODE TBC Digital Citizenship                                          MKT 6220 Digital Marketing and Social


CODE TBC Digital Futures                                              PSY 6210 Cognitive Science

COM 5230 Creating Digital Images                                 CODE TBC Digital Transformation


Course Descriptions

Lower Division Courses

 DGT 4100         Coding, Content and Context1 1 Jane Norris      Credits 3.00

This is an introductory course that enables students to develop a practical

understanding of the syntax of coding languages. It gives hands-on experience of

structuring Code to produce and edit games, using mobile applications such as Hopscotch and Swift, progressing to writing full code on platforms such as Processing. Students are introduced to languages such as Python used in software like Open Sesame. This knowledge is then extended and tested across other digital media and objects through an introduction to software for digital audio, image and video editing. Students will be expected to collect and curate a selection of digital tools relevant to their studies. They will produce outcomes across two digital environments, alongside a critically reflective digital note book / blog of their learning. This class is relevant to students of all majors.


COM 4115        Digital Society               Sue Pell                        Credits 3.00

This course tackles three key areas of digital society: theories, literacies, and practical skills. It will introduce students to social and cultural aspects of digital society through an exploration of the information revolution, digital technologies, the internet, and social media, exploring how these have changed institutions, media, and audiences. It will outline the history of digital society and address current issues, such as identity, relationships, labour, privacy, cultural production and consumption, and democracy. Through critical discussion of key debates within digital society (e.g. selfhood and social media, surveillance, truth of online information), students will reflect on their own engagement and use of digital media, developing their digital literacy. Students will have a chance to develop their digital skills, as they use and create their own digital media in assignments.


MGT 4205         Computer Applications in Management Sohil Majmudar Credits 3.00

This is an introductory course comprised of a broad overview of information systems and technology, as principally used in support of business processes and decision-making activities. An in-depth discussion of the relationship, between organizations and information systems is a fundamental element of the course. Topics include: computer hardware and software, operating systems, the use of Excel in management practice, social issues related to information systems. The use of Excel provides a common thread in the topics covered throughout the course.



Upper Division Courses

DGT 5100         Coding, Content and Context 2  Jane Norris / Adjunct     Credits 3.00

This course builds on DIG 4XXX Coding, Content and Context 1 class. In this course students develop more advanced digital skills using software such as Adobe XD CC, Appery, Appy Pie, AppMkr across the three themes of code, media and objects combined with a critical analysis of their use. At this level, different digital media are combined with haptics to drive user engagement. Coding can be introduced to computer hardware such as MaKey MaKey, Raspberry Pi etc to produce interactive devices. Data sampling is explored through real time visualisation. Outcomes are developed using research through design methodologies where students will design digital outcomes and test them in appropriate digital environments. This course combines transformation design and decolonial theories to critically connect digital practice with its implementation. This class is relevant to students of all majors.


DGT 5120         Cyber Security              Sohil Majmudar            Credits 3.00

This course considers online security and protection for business or home. Students will learn how to identify threats and take steps to reduce vulnerabilities. The course will frame digital safety in the context of the Web, introducing concepts like malware, viruses, Trojans, network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management, and will outline contemporary security strategies being developed. This class would be of particular interest to business, communications and international relations students.


DGT 5110         Digital Collaboration     Jane Norris                   Credits 3.00

This high-level service-learning course uses skills from the Dig 4XXX Coding, Content and Context 1 and 2 courses, to consider social, cultural and global transformation in Charities, NGO’s and non-profit organisations via digital engagement and media networks. This course expands theories from digital global service learning and Transition theory, across different employment sectors, and aspects of society. It equips students to identify the ranges of opportunities for innovation and employment that digital skills offer, using digital resource and community building for physical and mental health. The course employs decolonial theories of global digital community by engaging with Post-development to develop sustainable social structures.


COM 5230        Creating Digital Images Sam Brooker                  Credits 3.00

How do we convey meaning through images? In this practical course using industry-standard design software, students first discuss the process of devising and critiquing creative ideas, and how these can be used to persuade and convince. Visual approaches to narrative and research are analysed before moving on to explore key design principles like colour, layout and composition. Training in Photoshop and Illustrator is provided, allowing students to produce images to a brief. No prior design or software experience is required.


ADM 6435        Web Design                   Sam Brooker                             Credits 3.00

The course provides students with the core foundations and practical skills required to design a fully functional and interactive website. It offers a snapshot of the brief history and current status of the medium, and practitioners working within it. Web Design focuses on two main areas: preparation and design of a website, followed by the design/build ready for online publication. It is ideal for students who want to showcase a portfolio of work on the web.


MKT 6220         Digital Marketing and Social Media        Cameron Khan Credits 3.00                                          Prerequisites MKT 5200

The Digital Marketing and Social Media course will provide insights into new marketing concepts, tools, technologies and business models to enhance the consumer value creation process. New technologies have created some radical changes in the way companies reach their markets and in particular the emerging phenomenon of social media. This course integrates ideas from the process of gaining traffic or attention the rapidly emerging and influential social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It will provide an understanding of techniques and tools to understand and harness the opportunities provided by best practice social media marketing. Students will have the opportunity to learn about electronic commerce in action; the interplay between the technology and marketing applications; the changing scope and uses of the Internet, along with current management issues facing businesses attempting to use the World Wide Web.


PSY 6210          Cognitive Science          Ira Konstantinou                       Credits 3.00

Prerequisites PSY 4215

Cognitive science is an exciting interdisciplinary approach to the mind that draws on research from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, and psychology. The resulting theories and data have also exerted a profound influence on how philosophers’ approach fundamental issues about the nature of the mind. This course focuses on issues such as AI, including: Is the mind a computer? How much of the mind is innate and how much is learned? What is Deep Learning? Is the mind a unitary general-purpose mechanism, or is it divided into specialized subsystems or courses? How do we represent the world in thought?


JRN 6205          Media Ethics and Law    Simon Goldsworthy        Credits 3.00

Prerequisite COM 5200

This course examines the main legal and ethical issues which media practitioners of the digital age encounter in their working lives, whether in the fields of PR, journalism or advertising. Thus, the course will focus on the concepts of libel and defamation, copyright law, the public sphere, media ownership, objectivity and neutrality, freedom of the press, censorship, codes of conduct for journalists and PR practitioners, advertising regulation, privacy and public interest, reporting restrictions and national interest, propaganda, gender issues and reporting in a multicultural society.