Master of Arts in Digital Arts


Program Description

Course information

  • Course title: Master of Arts in Digital Arts
  • Course code: PMADGAFTR9
  • Postnominal: M.A.(Melit.)
  • Level of qualification: Second Cycle
  • National Qualifications Framework level: Level 7
  • Duration: 3 Semesters
  • Mode of attendance: Full-time (by Research)
  • Total ECTS credits: 90
  • Coordinator: Vince Briffa
  • Delivered by: Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences

Course overview

This programme of study is also offered on a part-time basis. Please consult the Registrar’s website for more information pertaining to courses offered by the University.

Digitalisation has profoundly changed the way we create and interact with images and has posed a variety of technical, philosophic, organisational, practice-related and other challenges that constantly impinge on users and producers of culture. Through the convergence of technologies, the employment of the digital medium as a tool for creative expression and communication has given rise to new paradigms within the fine arts, video, film, performance, games, design and online art fields. This phenomenon has also greatly changed the way we communicate individually and socially as well as affected heritage and cultural institutions, challenging their role in today’s society. Digitalisation has also enabled the emergence of new forms of authorship, thus broadening the concept of art and literature.

Within such an active and organic scenario, the MA in Digital Arts provides students with the opportunity of selecting a rich and relatively novel research area and provides a framework within which students are prepared for further academic research as well as integration into the various industries requiring digital creativity.

Researchers may also opt to include a practical component as part of their dissertation outcome, which further elaborates on and investigates the role of knowledge within contemporary digital creation.

The MA in Digital Arts by Research, therefore, offers the opportunity to pursue independent research in the area of Digital Arts supported by expert supervision. The course is open to Hons. Graduates as well as those in professional practice who possess the stipulated academic requirements. The degree provides students with an opportunity to research an area of interest and offers a taste for what PhD study might entail. It also gives students the opportunity to understand and appreciate study by research.

The application process requires the submission of a Research Proposal which will be assessed by the Faculty’s Postgraduate Board. Students accepted on the MA by Research programme need to undergo 10 ECTS credit points of taught modules at the Master’s level. These are normally chosen from the MFA in Digital Arts study units but need to include the Research Methods in Art and Design (DGA5010) module. Other study units could include one of the following:

  • DGA5011 Initiating a Digital Art Project
  • DGA5012 20th Century Art and Design
  • DGA5013 Art and Critical Theory

Apart from the submission of the written dissertation, students will undergo a viva voce examination.

Admission and progression requirements

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:

  1. a Bachelor’s degree with Honours obtained with Second Class or better in the same area or in a closely related area of study as the area of study applied for, or
    the degree of Bachelor in the same area or in a closely related area of study as that applied for, with an average mark of not less than 65% in that area of study, or similar qualifications deemed by the Board relevant to that chosen for the Course, or
    a degree from this or another university, which the Board considers as comparable to any of the degrees indicated in paragraphs (a) and (b).
  2. (2) The Board may also consider applicants in possession of degrees or qualifications other than those referred to above if they also present a portfolio of work confirmed to have been carried out by them and which is related to the area of study applied for to the satisfaction of the Board.

Applicants shall indicate the provisional title for the dissertation on their application for admission. The application shall include a research proposal as well as a statement by the head of the department concerned that applicants possess the training, knowledge and capabilities required for the proposed line of study and research.

Preparatory Programme

Applicants applying in terms of sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph (1) and in terms of paragraph (2) may be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified by the Board, which extends over one year of full-time study. The preparatory programme shall include synoptic study-units in the area of study concerned and may include also study-units which are intended to train students in the competencies required to conduct research work.

During the preparatory programme, students shall be required to register for a number of study-units for which a total of not less than thirty and not more than sixty credits are assigned.

Students shall be required to successfully complete the preparatory programme of study with an average mark of 55% or better prior to their registration for the Course.

Info for applicants with international qualifications

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

The International Office at UM provides information about admission, English language requirements, and comparability of qualifications. Dedicated personnel assist international students with visas, health tests, accommodation and other related issues.

Fees and funding

Local/EU/EEA Applicants:

  • Annual Enrolment Fee: Euro 400

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants:

  • Total Tuition Fee: Euro 10,800
  • Year 1: Euro 10,800 - Year 2: NIL

These tuition fees are quoted for indicative purposes only as they are based on the programme of studies of 2018/9.

Learning outcomes

Within the programme, students are directed to conduct research methodologies and processes which analyse, synthesise and verbalise contextually the relationships of theory as a formative tool for practice.

Students will be able to:

  • Develop the capacity of conceptual, critical, analytical and reflective thinking;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the multidisciplinary aspects of Digital Art;
  • Develop a holistic knowledge of the history, theory and context of Digital Art as it relates to contemporary art and its history;
  • Develop an informed and personal point of view about Digital Art as it intersects with history, technology, society, international practice and debate;
  • Engage with the broader aspects of developing a theoretical and critical line of enquiry on a range of research related questions related to their subject discipline;
  • Evaluate complex theory and concepts at an abstract level using creative and cognitive skills and relate them to contemporary developments in the field.
  • Interpret critical contemporary issues through increased cultural and theoretical awareness.
  • Complete a major piece of research in the field of digital arts.

Course intended for

The programme is targeted at students wishing to follow a career in visual and aural arts production, the moving image and in visual communications. It is also relevant to professionals who possess the necessary academic and artistic credentials who feel the need to re-consider and re-contextualise their creative output in today’s ever-changing visual arts scenario through further research.

Career opportunities and access to further studies

A student having developed a programme of innovative research at Master’s Level could be expected to operate as a practising creative achieving both a professional level of awareness and a high standard of visual work. However, careers in fine and media art and design can encompass far more than image making. The ability to deploy research skills, critical enquiry and the written word all increased employment opportunities as well as inform the development of a practice which is built on a wide knowledge base. Skills attained will allow graduates to significantly contribute to the development of content in a variety of fields and to become eligible for gainful employment in areas with a focus on creative digital media production, such as in the cultural, design and media industries namely in the fine and performance arts, the graphic and industrial design markets, in advertising, book and web publishing, printing, the audiovisual, film and broadcasting sectors and the ever-growing digital arts industries which also include digital game development, mobile application services, the online games sectors and architectural visualisation, mobile services, social software, and IT amongst other areas of specialisation.

The MA in Digital Arts will prepare students for further research at the Doctoral level in their chosen field of specialisation.

Last updated Apr 2019

About the School

The University of Malta (UM) is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are some 11,000 students and abou ... Read More

The University of Malta (UM) is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are some 11,000 students and about twelve per cent of the student population is international. Read less