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Bachelor of Arts, Majors and Minors

Digital Media Studies

VIU also offers a Minor in Digital Media and a Minor in Media Studies.

General Description

The BA Major in Digital Media Studies balances theory, critical thinking, and communication skills with the technical and creative skills needed for today's emerging digital technologies. Students take a combination of Digital Media (DIGI) and Media Studies (MEDI) courses in a four–year program and emerge with a powerful set of skills that prepares students for a variety of careers: from writers and artists, web developers, and media producers to teachers, public service workers, and entrepreneurs. The skills developed in the program are in demand in the entertainment arts, the film and broadcasting industries, management services to business, advertising and public relations, publishing, web development, media production, journalism, advocacy, communications, library science, archival research. A recent survey in the United Kingdom revealed that Media Studies graduates were "most employable" of all disciplines, a trend we expect to see in the Canadian market.

The program emphasizes media agency in all aspects of study, requiring students to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to engage with contemporary media in a wide range of contexts from advocacy to management to production. The program explores the multi–disciplinary nature of Digital Media Studies as a field of inquiry. Course content integrates the best insights of such diverse areas of study as culture, perception, digital society, political economy, game theory, marketing and public relations, policy and regulation, and digital media creation (Web, video, audio). While this program has a distinctive focus on contemporary Canadian media and culture, we encourage international students to bring their experiences into the classroom and share them through dialogue and assignments based on their knowledge of other cultures. Students will discover how digital media studies knowledge and skills supplement and enhance their courses in other disciplines as well. This creative multi-disciplinary approach to learning contributes to the career flexibility required in the current labour market and sought by graduate schools.

Assignments are designed to balance theory with professional–level production knowledge. In all courses, students develop strong critical thinking, communication, and research skills. Collaboration is a hallmark of the media field, and this program requires students to work collaboratively in many courses. Students are required to demonstrate effective written and oral skills.

Students are encouraged to purchase a laptop with industry standard software as their production machine. A portable computer lab, wireless network, video and audio production equipment, and technical support are availabe for student use in the program. Arrangements with the VIU Bookstore provide support for student purchase of computers and software.

The program also has been designed to accomodate students who transfer to VIU after two years of study elsewhere, and those who hold two–year diplomas in the Media Studies, Communications, and Media Production fields can normally begin studies at the third–year level. (Note that some lower–level courses may be required; please consult the Department Chair for individual information on transfer.) As noted in the matrix below, students in the BA Major are encouraged to complete a major project in their final year. This project has flexible guidelines and is determined through extensive consultation with faculty members in the program. The program offers a number of research assistant opportunities for qualified students both within the program itself, and in the Media Research Lab.

Special Expenses

Students are encouraged to purchase a laptop with industry standard software as their production machine. Contact the Department Chair for details.

Requirements for a Major

Students must fulfill all the Institutional B.A. degree requirements, including Degree English Requirements and courses listed below:

Year 1


DIGI 110 - (Introduction to Digital Media)


MEDI 100 - (Introduction to Media Studies and Communication)


Plus one course from the following:
MEDI 111 - (History of Communication)
MEDI 113 - (Emerging Digital Communications)
MEDI 115 - (Popular Culture and Mass Media)


Year 2


DIGI 230 - (Interactive Communications)


MEDI 200 - (Media, Audience and Society)


Plus three courses from the following:
DIGI 220 - (Web Production I)
DIGI 221 - (Scripting for Dynamic Digital Media)
DIGI 260 - (Interactive Motion Media)
DIGI 270 - (Digital Audio I)
DIGI 271 - (Digital Audio II)
DIGI 280 - (Digital Video I)
DIGI 281 - (Digital Video II)


Plus two courses from the following:
MEDI 205 - (Promotion, Persuasion and Propaganda)
MEDI 211 - (Understanding Television)
MEDI 215 - (Global Popular Culture Genres)
MEDI 265 - (Game Theory & Analysis)


Years 3 & 4


DIGI 301 - (Digital Media Literacy)


MEDI 300 - (Research Methods in Media Studies)


Plus four courses from the following:
DIGI 320 - (Web Production II: Presentation and Accessibility)
DIGI 330 - (Designing User Experiences)
DIGI 340 - (Digital Social Narratives)
DIGI 350 - (Interactive Imagery)
DIGI 366 - (Foundations of Game Design)
DIGI 405 - (Advanced Topics in Digital Media Technology)
DIGI 440 - (Digital Identities)
DIGI 460 - (Advanced Interactive Motion Media)
DIGI 480 - (Advanced Documentary I: Pre-Production)
DIGI 481 - (Advanced Documentary II: Filming and Production)
DIGI 482 - (Advanced Documentary III: Post-Production and Distribution)
DIGI 496 - (Senior Digital Media Project)


Plus four courses from the following:
MEDI 301 - (Studies in Global Media)
MEDI 302 - (Making the News)
MEDI 303 - (Documenting Culture)
MEDI 311 - (Film about Media)
MEDI 312 - (Studies in Canadian Media)
MEDI 315 - (Music, Culture, and Society)
MEDI 401 - (Public Relations, Advocacy and the Media)
MEDI 402 - (Technology and Identity)
MEDI 415 - (Media and Cultural Studies)
MEDI 495 - (Senior Media Studies Project)


Note: Only required courses are offered every year, and other courses are typically offered on a two-year rotation.

Updated March 23, 2015