>Study at York>Postgraduate>Courses>Social Media and Interactive Technologies (MSc)

Overview Designing at the forefront of communication technology


Length

1 year full-time

The rapid expansion of digital networks such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr and Facebook have changed user expectations. These advances have created a demand for graduates who understand social and participatory design principles and have the skills to design new interactive technologies.

The MSc in Social Media and Interactive Technologies provides an innovative mix of social and technical skills. You will gain an understanding of the social, political and economic factors that affect the use of interactive technologies, examining how technology is perceived and employed by the user, and you will develop the skills to design and create usable and accessible devices and applications.

The course offered me a unique opportunity to deepen my skills as a social scientist whilst studying across two of the best research departments in the UK.
Leonardo
MSc Social Media and Interactive Technologies

Course content What you’ll study


General

Understand social media and interactive technologies through the key roles they play in society. Explore topics in human-computer interaction, user-centred design, social and cultural theory and human psychology and learn to apply them to the practical problems of designing interactive pages, devices and systems. 

Modules for this social media degree are taught by experts from both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Computer Science.  

Modules

The MSc in Social Media and Interactive Technologies includes eight core modules:

Understanding Social Media 
You will learn how to identify key characteristics of new media communications such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and develop an understanding of social media’s impact on organisations and on society. The module also explores the way in which social, economic, cultural and political factors have shaped the design of social media. You will then examine real life case studies to put this knowledge into context.

Social Research Methods and Management 
You will learn how to develop a research project from conception to analysis to the dissemination of your results. This module will give an insight into the decisions social researchers have to make when they develop a sociological project.

Metrics and Society
You will explore the social role, significance and consequences of metrics and data. Many of the most significant technological developments of our age will centre around data and metrics and this module will give you the means to understand these developments. You'll see how we are measured and how measurement links into power, governance and control. You will think through what part measurement plays in defining our everyday experiences in society.

User-centred Design 
This module introduces the concept of human-computer interaction (HCI), which covers all aspects of human interaction with digital systems from supermarket checkouts, through social websites like Facebook, to handheld calculators and video games. Focusing on user-centred design (UCD), which is the core philosophy of HCI, you will develop an understanding of how people use digital systems and the needs of the user. You will learn how to create interactive systems that meet user needs at all stages of the design and development process.

Understanding Users 
This module teaches the theories behind human psychology, explaining how and why people interact with technology in the way they do. You will study the relevant aspects of perception, cognition, and memory processes, as well as personality, social, and organisational psychology in order to gain an understanding of this interaction. You will learn how to apply this theoretical knowledge to the practical problems associated with designing and improving interactive systems.

Advanced Topics in Interactive Technologies 
Building on previous learning, this module examines advanced human interaction with IT. Covering a wide range of interactive technologies such as telephones, cars, websites, games consoles, cash machines and even call centres, this module demonstrates how interaction stretches far beyond a computer screen and keyboard. You will develop a further understanding of the ways in which people use technology, their needs and how to evaluate and develop interactive technologies.

Web Design and Evaluation
Building on previous study of usability principles and the requirements of the user, you will evaluate website design, usability and implementation to find out what makes a site successful. You will develop an understanding of how web pages can be constructed to give the user a positive experience. Using these principles you will move on to the practical side of web design, developing the skills to design and construct your own high-quality, highly usable and accessible websites.

Dissertation

You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff with the relevant experience for your topic. You will analyse the data and produce a 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project.

Examples of previous projects include:

  • Accessibility of iPhone/iPad apps
  • Democracy and participation in York City
  • The use of social networking sites by the older generation
  • Social robotics and companionship
  • Living with the h-index?
  • Investigating immersion in games with inattentional blindness
  • Immersion and cognitive effort when playing videogames
  • Immersion in audio-only games

Study abroad

This course is not associated with a specific Study Abroad programme, but York offers a number of options through international partnering programmes.

Study Abroad with York

Funding opportunities

A range of scholarships and studentships are available for masters students. 

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed


Social Media and Interactive Technologies

Teaching format

The Social Media and Interactive Technologies course work combines formal lectures, seminars, practical exercises and workshops. 

  • You’ll spend most of your time reading assigned texts and researching supporting materials on your own, discussing the readings and lectures in a group, and presenting work when requested.
  • You'll attend seminars from visiting scholars in sociology and computer science.
  • A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree to help guide your studies and monitor your progress.
Social Media and Interactive Technologies

Assessments

Types of assessments used throughout this course include: 

  • Assessment essays of between 3,000 and 5,500 words
  • Group presentation project
  • Outline research proposal
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation (15,000 words).

Careers Where you’ll go from here


You'll develop the skills and knowledge needed to play a leading role in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies in industry, commerce, academia and public service. This social media degree also provides an ideal basis to progress to further study at PhD level.

Our Sociology alumni

Career opportunities

  • Social Media Consultancy
  • Software and Hardware Developer
  • Web Designer
  • Information Analyst
  • Social Media Marketing

Transferable skills

  • User-centred design experience
  • Website development and design
  • Data analysis
  • Design and completion of original research
  • Ability to think critically about social issues and design

Entry requirements How to get here


Course entry

Applicants must have at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent suitable experience in one of the following disciplines:

  • Social sciences with experience of social aspects of computing
  • Business and Management Studies
  • Computer Science with experience of social aspects of computing.

Highly qualified students from non-social science disciplines such as computer science are also encouraged to apply.

APPLICATION

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically with our online system, which allows you to save progress and return later to finish. If you're unable to apply online, you can submit a paper application.

Applying for postgraduate study

Start your online application

English language

If your native language is not English, you should meet an English language proficiency level of 7.0 in the British Council's IELTS test with at least IELTS 6.0 in writing. We do accept other English Language Tests. Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

We also strongly recommend that applicants attend the University's Intensive Summer Courses organised by the EFL Unit.

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions


Next steps

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Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions
pg-admissions@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 322142