The academic staff in the Department of Digital Humanities are all actively involved in research, and our undergraduate students are able to take advantage of this expertise first-hand in their lectures and seminars. The exceptional range of topics covered by this research inputs directly into the variety of optional modules available in the later stages of our BA degree.
The interdisciplinarity of our staff is a key driver of this – the Department integrates academics from a range of different disciplines within the ‘big tent’ of digital humanities, as well as staff from backgrounds in software development, broadcasting, the cultural industries, and the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector. The Department also has varied trans-departmental connections, including informatics, law, and health, as well as collaborating on international projects and research partners across the world.
Research-led teaching means not just that our lecturers’ research is integrated into the curriculum, but that students participate actively in the development of knowledge through participatory seminars and practical sessions. Much research in the department takes place via funded research projects, and students have opportunities, via internships and their dissertation modules, to participate on real research projects within the Department’s portfolio. By building research projects into the curriculum, we aim to prepare students for ‘research thinking’ from the start of their career at King’s.
Internships & industry consultation
The Department of Digital Humanities’ embraces dynamic feedback between the classroom and the workplace. Our balance of critical, conceptual, and technical approaches to the study of digital media gives students skills to make a difference in professional fields of their choice.
Faculty members consult with contacts in diverse sectors - commerce, culture, politics, entertainment, civil society - to regularly update the curriculum to reflect career opportunities linked to emerging issues such as big data, startup culture, social networking, simulation, and digital archiving.
Work placements (internships) allow students to apply their studies to the contemporary workplace. Students can approach a workplace of their choosing or organizations with which DDH already has relationships. During placements, students gain valuable professional experience while completing critical assignments bridging study and work.
The DDH Professional Board, launched in 2018-2019, further enhances opportunities to engage with professional leaders relevant to the Digital Humanities. Board members drawn from a broad range of professions advise faculty and students on linking studies with career planning. Planned future activities of the board include public lectures on the state of the art in digital professions, private networking events, and biennial reports on the Digital Humanities in the contemporary workplace.
Many courses at the Department for Digital Humanities combine critical readings and reflection on digital technologies with practical experimentation to understand their capacities and limitations.
For example the Introduction to Data Journalism module explores critical data practice by combining recent research in science and technology studies, media studies, internet studies and associated fields with hands-on workshops. This includes short collaborative workshops with guests from media organisations, NGOs and public institutions.
As someone who works in political digital media, understanding the theory and practice of data journalism is crucial for me. The 'Introduction to Data Journalism' course offers an embarrassment of riches in this respect: a diverse set of readings, visiting media experts, high-energy practical tasks, exposure to cutting edge industry practice, and rich theoretical insights. Most importantly, the course is driven by enthused teaching, where your thoughts and questions are taken seriously. It's been a compelling learning experience.
Tom Shane, Content Strategist, House of Commons
Our staff are actively engaged in research in digital aspects of pedagogy, and this feeds into several aspects of the student experience. For example, we use our research in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to develop digital styles of learning that complement our face to face teaching, and help us to support different learning styles.
Our interests in digital accessibility also feed into our work to connect King’s students with others globally, mindful of the barriers to digital learning in many contexts. We engage our students in projects around digital pedagogy, encouraging them to experiment with new ways of interacting with other learners. We also work closely with external partners such as FutureLearn to understand the opportunities and implications of online and blended learning approaches.
We bring the Department of Digital Humanities’ mixture of practical methods and theoretical critique to global questions of higher education's digital transformation. Finally, we engage in Faculty and College-wide discussions about digital aspects to the King’s curriculum and its delivery.