MA DH Handbook

Course Handbook 2014-15

UCC MA Digital Arts & Humanities

Course Handbook, 2014 - 2015

Important Notes

First Group Meeting:

Tuesday Sept. 16th 2014, 16:00 Room C, Connolly Building (Old Pres, Western Road)

CS Options:

These commence in the week starting Monday 8 September Do not miss the initial lectures in these if you are interested in them.

DH Core and Optional Modules:

These lectures will begin on and after 16 September.

Registration Dates:

Registration is paper-based for Springboard in class on the 16 September, and online for non-Springboard students.


Change of Module

Students wishing to register a change of module must do so via the Student Portal or at the Student Records and Examinations Office no later than two weeks after the start of each Semester, i.e. by Friday, 19th September 2014 (Semester 1) or Friday, 23 January 2015 (Semester 2).



Welcome        2

Programme Learning Outcomes for MA in Digital Arts and Humanities        2

Calendar Entry        2

Timetable        4

Assessments for the core module        6

DH6001 Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship        6

DH6004 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Humanities        6

DH6005 History and Theory of Digital Arts        6

DH6010 Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies        7

DH6003, the Institute        8

Technical Requirements        8

Writing in Digital Humanities        9

Core Readings        10

Readings - Conceptual Introduction        10

Glossary        11

Digital Presence        11

Backups and Security        12

Disclaimer        12


Welcome to your MA in Digital Arts and Humanities (DAH) - the course team hopes that you will use this opportunity to joining in a collective process to create new knowledge and to develop original thinking that will benefit yourselves, the university community, and your own wider communities.  


We are:

Mike Cosgrave,

Orla Murphy, @omurphy16

Shawn Day, @iridium

David Murphy, Computer Science,


Programme Learning Outcomes for MA in Digital Arts and Humanities

NFQ Level 9, Major Award:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the development and the major issues and debates in Digital Arts and Humanities;
  • Outline some of the major positions, issues and problems in the study of the Digital Arts and Humanities;
  • Demonstrate ability to use digital tools commonly in use in the Digital Arts and Humanities to capture and analyse source materials;
  • Evaluate a broad range of primary and secondary sources related to contemporary DAH practice in the widest context;
  • Participate in collaborative scholarly communities using digital tools;
  • Devise research questions which apply digital tools to arts and humanities issues;
  • Plan and conduct research at the appropriate level for a masters qualification;
  • Present their research in a thesis supported by relevant digital artefacts.

Calendar Entry

Programme Requirements

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part 1

Students take 45 credits as follows:

Core Modules:

DH6001 Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship (5 credits) Teaching Period 1 (TP1)

DH6003 Digital Humanities Institute (5 credits) (TP2)

DH6004 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts and Humanities (5 credits) (TP1)

DH6005 History and Theory of Digital Arts  (5 credits) (TP2)

DH6010 Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies (5 credits) (TP2)


plus 20 credits from the following elective modules:


CS6102 Graphics and Graphic Design (5 credits) (TP 1) 1-3 Friday, WGB G13

CS6103 Audio and Sound Engineering  (5 credits) (TP 1) 4-6 Monday, WGB G15

CS6104 Digital Video Capture and Packaging (5 credits) (TP 1) 5-6 Wednesday, WGB G15

CS6117 Audio Processing (5 credits) (TP2) 1-3 Wednesday, WGB G 18

DH6006 Teaching and Learning in Digital Humanities (5 credits) (Online - TP1)

DH6007 Models, Simulations and Games (5 credits) (Online - TP1)

DH6008 Databases for Digital Humanities (5 credits) (Online - TP 2)


DH6012  Editing Skills for Research Postgraduates in the Humanities and Social Sciences (5 credits) (TP 1 3 x 3 hour workshops rooms tba)

DH6013 Getting Started with Graduate Research and Generic Skills (5 credits) (Workshop, TP2 tba)

DH6014 Digital Skills for Research Postgraduates in the Humanities and Social Science (5 credits)  (TP 1 online ).


Students may take up to 20 credits in lieu of some elective modules in specific 6000 level modules in related disciplines. This is subject to the approval of the relevant Discipline/School and of the Board of Studies of the MA. This is normally facilitated through discussion with the lecturer offering the module and then in consultation with your DAH instructors.


FX6012 Film - With Lord David Puttnam - is a Film Studies module that is available as an acceptable elective module by the MA DAH team. It is to be delivered in TP 2 in G20 2.00 – 4.00 on Monday (Kane Building). Film Studies Student will have first call on the limited spaces in this module so if you wish to take this module please seek admittance as soon as possible.

Part II

DH6002 Digital Arts and Humanities MA Dissertation (45 credits)

A dissertation of a maximum of 20,000 words,  (a digital artefact may also be submitted as part of this work) must be submitted by a specified date in September 2014.


As this is a core part of the accomplishment of the MA in Digital Arts and Humanities this part of the programme will involve the dedication of time throughout the course and spans both semesters. The dissertation will typically be composed of 5 sections:


Bibliography        Submission Date: 15 Nov 2014

Literature Review        Submission Date: 15 Dec 2014

Formal Project Proposal        Submission Date: 15 Feb 2015


Reflection        Submission Date: 1 May 2015

Methodology        Submission Date: 30 May 2015

Research/Results        Submission Date: 15 June  2015

Introduction        Submission Date: 15 July 2015

Final Draft         Submission Date: 15 August 2015

Complete        Submission Date: 1 September  2015



Your instructors are happy to work with you on these sections in advance of submission. If you provide a draft version 2 weeks prior to the due date for the section an instructor will review and provide comments to aid you in your submission once each submission cycle and provide one additional review of the complete work up to two weeks prior to final submission of your dissertation.

A formal project proposal will be presented in addition to the particular sections as part of the DAH Institute DH6003. This will proposal/plan will describe the shape of the eventual dissertation project and will build on the sections submitted to that point.

Although specific assignments in each module will contribute substantially towards the completion of these sections, to complete an academic dissertation you are expected to present a cohesive and professional submission demonstrating a unified narrative and cohesive argument. Individual module submissions for course modules will inform this process  but will not be adequate as final section contributions.for the dissertation.

Submission of sections will be via Google Docs in Doc form allowing for sharing with course instructors and permitting for online commenting. Document submissions will not be accepted via email.


Semester One


16:00        CS6103        WGBG15

17:00        CS6103        WGBG15

18:00        MA DAH Labs         (from October)

19:00        MA DAH Labs         (from October)



13:00        DH6001        Collaboration (from week 3) ORB

16:00        DH6004        Concepts Connolly C

17:00        DH6004        Concepts Connolly C

18:00        DAH Labs         (from October)

19:00        DAH Labs         (from October)



12:00        DH Research Seminar (from October)        ORB G27

13:00        DH Research Seminar (from October)        ORB G27

17:00        CS6104        WGBG15

18:00        CS6104        WGBG15



13:00        CS6102        WGBG13

14:00        CS6102        WGBG13



DH6006 Teaching and Learning in Digital Humanities

DH6007 Models, Simulations and Games

DH6012 Editing Skills for Research Postgraduates in Humanities and Social Sciences


Semester Two


14:00        FX6012 FIlm (Puttnam)

15:00        FX6012 FIlm (Puttnam)

18:00        MA DAH Labs

19:00        MA DAH Labs



13:00        DH6005 Art        Kane G20

16:00        DH6010 Tools        AL G?

17:00        DH6010 Tools        AL G?

18:00        MA DAH Labs

19:00        MA DAH Labs



12:00        DH Research Seminar        ORB G27

13:00        CS6117        WGBG18

14:00        CS6117        WGBG18



14:00        FX6012 Film (Puttnam)

15:00        FX6012 Film (Puttnam)



DH6008 Databases for Digital Humanities (5 credits)

DH6009 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Digital Humanities (5 credits)


Assessments for the Core Modules

All core module assessments involve individual and group written work and presentations. The usual extent of the assessed work in a 5 Credit module is about 5,000 words, or equivalent.

The common description for assessment across the 5 core modules is:

A portfolio of work of up to 6-12 items, to including an element of group work, individual work and a presentation equivalent to about 5,000 words in extent.

This is fine tuned to reflect the main emphasis of each module

Note: First Semester Assessments will be due in the second week of December 2014.

DH6001 Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship

This module looks at collaboration and communities of practice which are such an important feature of digital culture. Students will use social media, blogs, discussion forums to review, summarise and discuss readings.

Each student will submit a portfolio 20 pages of collected discussion and blog posts and other social media. This work will include collected blog posts, forum posts, responses to other students blogging and forum posts, academic poster, podcast and other shared public digital work. The main thrust is to demonstrate the students’ abilities to participate in scholarly communities both within the course and within the broader academic community, and to reflect on the use of digital tools for collaboration. The central theme in each students work will be their research towards their dissertation topic as they develop skills to locate and evaluate materials and communities of scholars in the area of their research interest.

DH6004 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Humanities

This course engages with core concepts in Digital Arts and Humanities. Here students will build an understanding of these topics through discussion online and in class. In this portfolio, students will demonstrate an ability to engage with central conceptual debates in the field.

The final assessment in this course will be an individual essay of about 3,000 words and a portfolio of reading summaries, discussion work, essay plans and other artefacts which demonstrate the development of the students own ideas individually and in discussion.

DH6005 History and Theory of Digital Arts

As with the other courses, a portfolio which demonstrate the development of the students own ideas about art, digital art, design and creativity individually and in discussion over the term is a key part of this assessment. (c 1,500 words, 6-12 items).

For the major assessment, students will engage in a digital creative project which will involve group collaboration and the creation of a piece of 'art' which must have a digital element. The creative work will be submitted with a contextual essay or conference poster which demonstrates how the work is ‘digital’ and displayed as part of the end of year Institute.

DH6010 Humanities and New Technologies: Tools and Methodologies 

In this module we will do two very specific, but multifaceted, things:

1. Introduce a variety of types of tools and methodologies to hopefully inspire, but also more importantly to;

2. Provoke thoughtful reflection on the implications of choosing a tool, what it affords, but equally what the possible implications and challenges it also may introduce.

During this module you will produce a 3,000 word essay exploring and demonstrating the potential of new technologies to support your own dissertation research project. This may be supported by a portfolio, reading summaries, discussion work, essay and research plans and other artefacts which demonstrate the development of your own ideas about the appropriate use of new digital technologies for research and scholarship.

The objective of this assignment is to take on board module learnings with respect to your own individual proposed project and to consider the decisions, implications and affordances offered by the tools and methods you propose to use.  

Possible questions that your reflection may answer include:

  • What tool(s) or method(s) are you proposing to employ to accomplish your research project?
  • What are other tools exist?
  • Why are you choosing the tool(s) that you are?
  • What challenges does your choice present to the wider project?
  • What are the implications for the future in terms of sustaining the delivered research product at the end - i.e. the finished product?
  • Is it a one off or does it need to be sustained and if so how?
  • How well does the tool(s) or method(s) selected support recognised standards?
  • ... among others.

The submission date for the assignment will be the final week of lectures.

DH6003 The MA DAH Institute

This exciting event will be held during April 2015 over two days and feature student presentations of work, and project proposals for the MA DAH Thesis.

Detailed assessment specifications for this will be circulated in second term.

Students will design the event website, devise social media solutions for the event and simultaneously liveblog the event.

Technical Requirements

The course twitter hashtag is #uccmadah


This course is all about the digital. You will be doing hands-on projects, assignments and developing a critical appreciation of public participation in the digitally-enabled sphere. To facilitate this please acquire a ‘Domain of your Own’. We are availing ourselves of an

academically focussed service provider: Reclaim Hosting.


> Reclaim Hosting is a web hosting service for educators and students,

> providing simple one-click installation of a variety of web apps,

> including WordPress, Omeka, MediaWiki, and many others —Most

> importantly Reclaim Hosting is virtually free. The cost is only $US20

> for the domain name registration fee. Reclaim Hosting’s other expenses

> are, for now, covered by a grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation.


Please choose a domain name and buy a year of full web hosting services at:


Choosing a domain name can be important, but is not a life or death choice right now - you need an online presence for this programme, but you may at some later date decide to ‘rebrand’ and move some or all of your content to a new domain name.  If you are lucky enough to get a good domain name right off, hold onto it; but equally be willing to work with something less than perfect for now. As we move through the programme, you will develop a much better grasp of domain name choice and personal branding.


Once you complete the signup process you will be sent registration information allowing you to log into and configure your own web applications. We will providing a workshop on cPanel for those who have not had previous experience using it. Please note that if you already are using a shared service or have an existing domain, we ask that you acquire this additional service so that we all work on a common platform.

Writing in Digital Humanities

Scholarship in the Digital Humanities is not only digital, but open and collaborative, and expressed in a wide variety of media. In this course you will produce content in a range of media – you will engage in critical discussions both in class, online in the 'confines' of the Blackboard LMS, and publicly in social media – twitter and blogs.


Types of work which you will produce during the courses, which will build towards final assessments, will include:


  • Twitter and other short form writing to express ideas concisely;
  • Discussion posts in forums where you exchange ideas about core readings and issues with other students in a few paragraphs;
  • Blog posts where you reflect on and  refine ideas to present them for public discussion;
  • Presentations using tools such as Powerpoint and Prezi to integrate text and visual presentations of ideas;
  • Conference posters and infographics to present information and ideas visually;
  • Podcasts, both audio and video.


Across this range of 'writing' you will demonstrate developing ability to:

  • Locate relevant sources and critically evaluate the worth of various sources;
  • Monitor the flow of digital discourse on topics relevant to the course;
  • Make sense of the information, and extract key points through reading summaries, abstracts, mind maps, tweets of key points etc.;
  • Plan digital 'writing' by producing plans and drafts for essays, presentations, podcasts etc.;
  • Participate in peer review and helpful critique of the plans and drafts of colleagues;
  • Produce final pieces of work of an appropriate quality for masters level work and ready for public presentation.


This will be challenging, but it will be exciting and by the end of the process you will be able to respond flexibly to the opportunities of the digital age.

Core Readings

These are by no means the only or the best long-form works in the field, but they do embody the central issues and debates at this time. Selected chapters will be required in various courses, and the course team strongly recommend that you have physical or electronic copies of these texts which will serve as the foundation of a professional library in the area.


Some of these are available as open online texts - especially Matthew Gold; ‘Debates..’ and the Blackwell Companion.

Bartscherer, Thomas, and Roderick  Coover, eds. 2011. Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts. University Of Chicago Press.

Berry, Dr David M., ed. 2012. Understanding Digital Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan.

Deegan, Marilyn. 2008. Text Editing, Print and the Digital World. Ed. Marilyn Deegan and Kathryn Sutherland. Ashgate.

Deegan, Marilyn, and Willard McCarty. 2012. Collaborative Research in the Digital Humanities. Ashgate.

Gold, Matthew K., ed. 2012. Debates in the Digital Humanities. University of Minnesota Press.

Jockers, Matthew. 2013  Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History. Uni of Illinois Press

Moretti, Franco. 2005. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models For A Literary History. Verso.

Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. 2004. Companion to Digital Humanities (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture). Hardcover. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Professional.

Warwick, Claire, Melissa Terras, and Julianne Nyhan, eds. 2012. Digital Humanities in Practice. Facet Publishing.

Readings - Conceptual Introduction

Here are some sites that we may encounter during the sessions:

Tim Berners-Lee on the next web Raw Data Now talk US government open data site UK government open data site  U of Southampton open data initiative

W3C World Wide Web consortium Standards for the world wide web - excellent, open site with great links you can trust for factual, up - to - date information on contemporary thinking about web technologies - the introduction at is excellent.

Jaron Lanier on youtube  (at 23 minutes in)Lanier's recent book 'You are not a gadget' is about the primacy of the individual in the digital domain, and his worries about the 'hive mind', and what happens to people when they are 'anonymised people'.  It is, depending on your perspective, a dystopian or prophetic view of the web from within -and a necessary to read.

Clay Shirky's article on ontologies (2005) 'Why ontologies are overrated'.  Shirky is known for his ideas about cognitive surplus, there are a number of his TED talks too.  Here he gives the example of the Periodic Table of Elements as an almost perfect ontology, almost.

Tim Berners-Lee on the year Open Data went worldwide.

This Week (at 14 minutes in) President elect Michael D Higgins speaks about restoring the connection between science and culture in his first interview as president elect, RTE radio news, October 30, 2011.


The semantic web: In addition to the classic “Web of documents” W3C is helping to build a technology stack to support a “Web of data,” the sort of data you find in databases. The ultimate goal of the Web of data is to enable computers to do more useful work and to develop systems that can support trusted interactions over the network. The term “Semantic Web” refers to W3C’s vision of the Web of linked data. Semantic Web technologies enable people to create data stores on the Web, build vocabularies, and write rules for handling data. Linked data are empowered by technologies such as RDF, SPARQL, OWL, and SKOS.

- linked data - XML technologies... all at W3C and also the basics are introduced via

A useful beginning description of Data is here:

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a consortium which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form.

Digital Presence 

Developing and maintaining a professional public digital presence is an important part of the Digital Humanities.

During this course you will “walk the walk” of engaging with social media, blogging, collaborative work online, and by then end of the course – and hopefully much sooner – it is expected that you will demonstrate your ability to do this.

This will require you to have accounts on several social network sites, and you need to consider some issues about this:

  1. You may want to keep your your digital footprints separate and distinct – you may want to maintain division between personal online activity, experimental online work during the course where you try out new tools, and your professional digital footprint.
  2. You may therefore decide to maintain 2 or 3 different accounts on some services
  3. You will need to consider account names, screen names and passwords for all of these. You want these to be easy to remember, and secure. All will need to come back to an email account for signup and password recovery.

All of this can be organized and tracked on one page, if you have a system and are careful.

Backups and Security

You are also responsible for keeping copies of your digital work for the course. There are many ways to do this – many students use College email to email copies of work  to themselves,  there are several online services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Skydrive, Evernote and Zotero which offer a level of free storage.  USB keys are now relatively cheap. Most of these options will certainly provide enough space to store as much text as you will deal with during the year, but large media files will need more space.

Work out a backup and “Business Continuity Plan” for your work that works for you

Have backups in several clearly separate and distinct places/services so that if one fails, the other(s) are safe.

The “internet ate my homework” will not be acceptable as an excuse in this course!


This brochure is intended as the student’s guide to modules and postgraduate programmes on offer in the Digital Arts and Humanities programme for the academic year 2014-2015. It is valid for that session only. At this time some details remain to be finalised. Additional modules may be offered to supplement those listed in this brochure, while others may not be available.


Every effort has been made to ensure the contents of this brochure are accurate but no responsibility can is taken for errors or omissions.


Regulations and requirements for modules may vary. It is the responsibility of the student to

inform him/herself of the particular requirements of each module for which (s)he is registered.


This brochure is not an offer to supply modules or programmes of study nor is it in any way to be construed as imposing a legal obligation on UCC. No guarantee is given that modules, syllabuses or regulations may not be altered, cancelled or otherwise amended at any time. This brochure confers no rights on any student registered for the session 2014-2015.


If you have any questions about the contents of the brochure, please contact one of the Staff

Digital Arts & Humanities

Room 2.22, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland