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Digital Humanities and Culture (M.Phil.)

1 year full-time

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.

Core modules:

  • Theory and Practice of Digital Humanities
  • Web Technologies
  • Internship at cultural heritage institution, library, or project

Optional modules (for the 2012-13 academic year):

  • Cyberculture/Popular Culture
  • Computational Theories of Grammar and Meaning
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • From Metadata to Linked Data
  • Programming for Digital Media (Full year module)
  • Contextual Media (Full year module)
  • Visualising the Past
  • Heritage Visualisation in Action
  • NB: Some optional modules require prerequisites

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.

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

Course Options


1 year full-time

Course Url

Course Director

Dr. Mark Sweetnam

Telephone Number

+353-1-896 3166

Course Email

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least an upper second, GPA of at least 3.3) in any of the disciplines of the humanities. The admissions process will be carried out in two stages. In stage I candidates will apply online and have the opportunity of submitting a sample of their own critical writing (3,000-5,000 words) and a cover letter. Those candidates passing this initial assessment will go onto to stage II that will take the form of interviews (either in person, telephone, video, or skype) which will be arranged by a member of the admissions subcommittee. Taken together, these stages will allow the admissions committee to assess the candidates' general suitability for postgraduate work as well as clarifying my query re on line application]

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.

Course Director

Dr. Mark Sweetnam