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M. Phil in Digital Humanities and Culture

Course Director: Dr Mark Sweetnam

Course Handbook 2015-16

Students intending to apply for this course should submit online at

M.Phil. in Digital Humanities and Culture (1yr/Ft) -course code 693

M.Phil. in Digital Humanities and Culture (2yrs/Pt) -course code 692

Duration: One year, full-time ; Two years, part time
Closing Date: Closing Date: 31 May 2015. Applications are accepted from all disciplines of the humanities and computer science. Late applications will be considered after 31 May if places are available.
What is Digital Humanities? Digital Humanities is a field of study, research, and invention at the intersection of humanities, computing, and information management. It is methodological by nature and multidisciplinary in scope involving the investigation, analysis, synthesis, and presentation of information in electronic form.

Digital humanists do not only create digital artefacts, but study how these media affect and are transforming the disciplines in which they are used. The computational tools and methods used in Digital Humanities cut across disciplinary practice to provide shared focal points, such as the preservation and curation of digital data, the aesthetics of the digital (from individual objects to entire worlds), as well as the creation of the born-digital.

Why Take this Course? This M.Phil. provides a platform for a technically innovative research path within the humanities giving students the opportunity to engage with a new and dynamic area of research. It provides them with the technologies, methodologies, and theories for digitally-mediated humanities providing a framework for new and bold research questions to be asked that would have been all but inconceivable a generation ago.

Course Outcomes: Those who complete this course will have highly specialised IT skills combined with an advanced understanding of how these skills can be applied to a wide variety of digital objects (text, image, audio, and video). It will also provide students with the theories and perspectives central to the field, including the aesthetics implicit in digital creation and migration, best practice in terms of the standards used for a number of data formats, as well as the growing concerns of digital curation and preservation. Through the internship programme students will get real world experience working with cultural heritage partners or digital humanities projects. Moreover, several modules will integrate content from these partners in their learning outcomes, providing opportunities for students to engage with cutting-edge issues and technologies.
What’s on the course? This MPhil consists of three core modules and three optional modules. There is also a dissertation module in which a research topic is chosen in agreement with your supervisor.

How is it taught and examined? The taught component of the course begins in September and ends in April. Contact hours depend on the modules you take. Theory-based modules meet for two hours a week (such as ‘Theory and Practice of Digital Humanities’ and ‘Cyberculture/Popular Culture’); practice based modules (such as ‘Web Technologies’ and ‘Digital Scholarly Editing’) typically meet for three hours a week to include lab time. Modules are assessed through a combination of essays, in-class presentations, assignments, and projects (either individual or group), depending on the module. There are no examinations. The supervised dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words is submitted by 31 August.

What qualifications do I need to apply? You should have a good honors degree (at least an upper second, or a GPA of at least 3.3 in any of the disciplines of the humanities). A critical writing sample is also required (3,000-5,000 words). For those shortlisted for the course, there will also be an interview. Applications are also welcome from professionals in the library and cultural heritage sectors. Those already in employment may opt to take the degree over two years: the first year all coursework is taken and the second year the dissertation is written.

How do I apply?

Application is made through the Postgraduate Applications System (PAC) and not the School of English. Students wishing to find out more about the application process should follow this link to the college's Graduate Studies page and follow the instructions listed there. Please consult this page and the Graduate Studies link provided above (in particular those pages pertaining to applicants for taught Masters) before emailing a course director as many of the FAQs regarding fees, deadline and applications procedures are answered there. The course director can be contacted by writing to Mark Sweetnam at the School of English Trinity College Dublin or by emailing

All students are required to have their own laptops for this MPhil.

*Prospective students should note that both the option and core course seminars offered may change from one academic year to the next.

Course Director:

Mark Sweetnam
Teaching Fellow and Director of M.Phil in Digital Humanities and Culture
School of English
Trinity College
Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 896 3166
Fax: +353 1 671 7114


Last updated 2 October 2015 School of English (Email).