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INFORMATION STUDIES

Introduction

Interaction between Humans and Technology

The focus in the degree programme in Information Studies is on the interaction between people and information technology. You learn how organisations function and how to integrate IT in organisations. You also learn how to improve communication both internally and externally in companies and organisations and how to design user-friendly programmes.

The Master’s degree programme in Information Studies teaches you a number of analytical and practical tools and skills in the following areas: organisational theory, communication theory, society and business from a commercial and technological-historical perspective, theories about design, system development and programming, and learning theories. You therefore become able to work as a consultant or project manager in the public and private sectors.

Projects involving the business community

The teaching in the Master’s degree programme in Information Studies is largely based on project and group work where you work with cases and empirical data. In the projects, you work with examples from the business community and thus make contact with both private sector companies and public institutions. Many students also choose to undertake project-oriented training, i.e. an internship, as part of their degree programme.

Tracks

Information Studies is divided into four Tracks: The new Track: Digital Living, Track A, Track B and Track C

  • Track Digital Living. Master’s degree programme for students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a humanistic or social science subject. Students with a completed Bachelor’s degree programme in Information Studies or Digital Design at Aarhus University cannot be admitted. The Digital Living programme educates graduates to analyze the importance and use of digital technologies. It is designed to provide students with the critical analytical abilities needed to shape and strategically plan the use and distribution of digital technologies. The programme therefore contains courses that provide basic technical knowledge of web development, API’s and mobile media, so that students will acquire an understanding of the technical aspects that shape digital media and the requirements of development potentials. The programme also explores the impact of social media on everyday interactions, identity, and social formations. In addition, the programme focuses on methodological and analytical skills in the study of the use of digital media, and in the ability to act and see new opportunities, thus including IT project management and IT innovation. Read more about Digital Living below.

  • Track A is for students with a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Information Studies (i.e. the first two years of the Bachelor’s degree). In Track A, you have an opportunity to customise your degree programme and create an individual competence profile you can use in the business community or the public sector where Information Studies graduates are in demand. Examples are communication, design and programming of IT systems or organisational development.
  • Track B is for students with any humanistic Bachelor’s degree. Exceptions are Bachelor’s with a basic subject or supplementary subject in Information Studies or Computer Science. A Master’s degree programme in Information Studies gives you an opportunity to add new angles, theories and methodologies to your Bachelor’s degree, thus providing your studies with a vocational slant, for example within communication or organisational or systems development. You can also choose to test your academic skills by undertaking project-oriented training, i.e. an internship, in the business community.
  • Track C is in addition for students with Information Studies as a supplementary subject who wish to complete a Master’s degree in Information Studies. Like in Track A, Track C gives you an opportunity to customise your degree and create an individual competence profile. Track C has a compulsory course during the first semester and is otherwise similar to Track A.

Admission requirements

The requirements for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Information Studies vary according to the Track you wish to enrol in.

The requirement for admission to Track A1 of the Master’s degree programme in Information Studies is a completed Bachelor’s degree with a major in Information Studies, a Bachelor’s degree in Informatics for the Humanities, Information Studies, Aalborg University; or a Bachelor’s degree in Information Studies (2010 academic regulations), University of Southern Denmark.

The requirement for admission to Track A2 of the Master’s degree programme in Information Studies is a completed Bachelor’s degree in a humanistic subject other than a basic subject or supplementary subject in Information Studies or Computer Science.

Track A3 is an option available to students who have completed a Supplementary subject in Information Studies at Bachelor’s degree level and wish to make Information Studies their main subject, i.e. to continue studying Information Studies.

The requirement for admission to Track A3 is a completed Bachelor’s degree with a Supplementary subject in Information Studies at Bachelor’s degree level (45 ECTS credits).

Digital Living track
The admission requirement is a completed Bachelor’s degree in the humanities or social sciences. Students with a completed Bachelor’s degree in Information Studies or Digital Design can not be admitted.

Legal right of admission

Students of the Bachelor's degree programme in Information Studies at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Information Studies A1 track on the condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor's degree programme to the Master's degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programme in Information Studies (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Language Requirements

In addition to the above, the following language requirements apply for admission to the Master's degree programme in anthropology:

Admission to the A1, A2 and A3 tracks requires Danish at upper secondary school "A" level or equivalent.

Admission to the Digital Living track requires English at upper secondary school "B" level or equivalent.

Programme structure

In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.


 

Tracks

Information Studies is divided into four Tracks: The new Track: Digital Living, Track A, Track B and Track C

  • Track Digital Living. Master’s degree programme for students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a humanistic or social science subject. Students with a completed Bachelor’s degree programme in Information Studies or Digital Design at Aarhus University cannot be admitted. The Digital Living programme educates graduates to analyze the importance and use of digital technologies. It is designed to provide students with the critical analytical abilities needed to shape and strategically plan the use and distribution of digital technologies. The programme therefore contains courses that provide basic technical knowledge of web development, API’s and mobile media, so that students will acquire an understanding of the technical aspects that shape digital media and the requirements of development potentials. The programme also explores the impact of social media on everyday interactions, identity, and social formations. In addition, the programme focuses on methodological and analytical skills in the study of the use of digital media, and in the ability to act and see new opportunities, thus including IT project management and IT innovation. Read more about Digital Living below.

  • Track A is for students with a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Information Studies (i.e. the first two years of the Bachelor’s degree). In Track A, you have an opportunity to customise your degree programme and create an individual competence profile you can use in the business community or the public sector where Information Studies graduates are in demand. Examples are communication, design and programming of IT systems or organisational development.
  • Track B is for students with any humanistic Bachelor’s degree. Exceptions are Bachelor’s with a basic subject or supplementary subject in Information Studies or Computer Science. A Master’s degree programme in Information Studies gives you an opportunity to add new angles, theories and methodologies to your Bachelor’s degree, thus providing your studies with a vocational slant, for example within communication or organisational or systems development. You can also choose to test your academic skills by undertaking project-oriented training, i.e. an internship, in the business community.
  • Track C is in addition for students with Information Studies as a supplementary subject who wish to complete a Master’s degree in Information Studies. Like in Track A, Track C gives you an opportunity to customise your degree and create an individual competence profile. Track C has a compulsory course during the first semester and is otherwise similar to Track A.

The Digital Living Track

WORK AND SOCIAL LIFE IN AN ERA OF SMART MACHINES & SOCIAL MEDIA

Digital Living

How do social media influence us? How do digital technologies constrain or liberate social practices, influence communities, or transform organizational and workplace contexts? How do digital technologies shift our understanding of production, conception, commerce, and organizing? This MA focuses on how digital technologies are used in everyday life and offers students the opportunity to consider how we might design better futures by exploring the intersection of networked sociality, organizational practices, and IT design.

This program has multidisciplinary components: Internationally established professors in digital culture studies provide knowledge about the social impact of digital technologies. Computer scientists work with students to develop hands-on knowledge of how digital forms of communication and interaction are designed and programmed. Professors from information studies and media studies help students build a strong grounding in the political, social, and economic structures of 21st Century organizations and institutions. Courses are designed to help students build competencies to engage with and become active citizens and critical consumers in a digitally saturated life.

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT WHILE YOU STUDY

Course projects allow students to design and build interfaces, engage in empirical studies of digital contexts and explore how new eBusiness models work. These experiences provide practical skills training in development as well as research methods. They also enable the students to understand many of the “behind the scenes” infrastructures that influence the way people utilize these technologies.

DESIGNED TO BUILD SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE

The program aims for candidates to be armed with skills for innovation and a strong understanding of value-creation as well as the complexities of digital technologies in cultural contexts. Graduates should be well-qualified to take jobs in private as well as public sectors that use and want to further develop social media as part of internal or external infrastructures. Candidates could work with teams to develop social media services for citizens, clients, or customers. They could work to incorporate digital media as part of organizational change management. They could conduct research to identify trends that can be used to build more effective market analyses. The successful graduate of this program will also be well-equipped to enter a PhD program in media studies, information studies, communication studies, internet studies, and other disciplines whereby digital media and technologies are studied from multidisciplinary perspectives.

PLACE OF STUDY

Aarhus

ANNUAL TUITION FEE

Fees are subject to change. See studyguide.au.dk

LANGUAGES

All courses are taught in English.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

study overview

For descriptions of individual courses, see bottom of this page

Full time studies are equivalent to 60 ECTS. The first two semesters, students will each semester take 3 courses each equivalent to 10 ECTS (see table). This includes courses on digital identities and social media, which together with a course on digital organizations in the third semester, comprises the sociological strand of the program. The constructing strand where students are introduced to the principles and practices of programming are found in two courses on dynamic web-design. Lastly, the entrepreneurial strand is comprised of courses on digital economies and Innovation and project management. In the third semester, student might want to either engage in an internship, a digital living project with supervision, or take an academic profiling course.

Teaching

In 1st and 2nd semester, students will have three courses in parallel taught by experienced lecturers with an interest in developing teachings methods beyond the traditional lecture format.

The three-courses-in-parallel structure will be broken down 2-4 times each semester by Theme Weeks where a topic of interest across courses will be investigated visiting scholars with expertise within the area in cooperation with students.

In 2014-2015 Theme weeks include the following:

“Computational Thinking”: Debora Tatar and Steve Harrison, Virginia Technical University, USA

“The internet paradigm”: Andrew Herman, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

“Gamification”: John Carter McKnight, Lancaster University, United Kingdom (Check out gamesumption.tumblr.com or healthgroupgamification.tumblr.com

“Modes of Inquiry”: Terry Senft, New York University, USA

“Crowd-sourcing and –funding”, Antoni R. Telo, Barcelona University, Spain

“Multimodal Project Design and management”, Cheryl Ball, West Virginia University, USA

PROJECTS AND THINGS STUDENTS MIGHT DO

Among a range of options, students might:

  • build digital media apps that provide citizens improved accessibility to municipalities, state, or national administrations;
  • do intern-based research within the realm of healthcare IT to push forward our knowledge about how digital technologies can be developed to enable citizens with diseases to live safely at home;
  • conduct guided qualitative or quantitative analyses of social media or internet in order to trace patterns of use, identify new trends or critically examine a range of digital culture issues and concerns;
  • practice applying data mining and information management techniques for appropriate marketing and/or information management.

TO APPLY

To learn more about the application process, see admission.

Need more information or help from the programme coordinator? Contact Associate Professor Claus Bossen at imvcb@dac.au.dk or Associate Professor Annette Markham amarkham@dac.au.dk.

DESCRIPTION OF INDIVIDUAL COURSES

Digital identities and social media

The aim of the course is to explore, analyse and reflect on subjectivity and identity in digitally mediated everyday life. The course also deals with various concepts of the self, such as the rational, virtual, networked, and algorithmic self. The course provides an introduction to inductive, qualitative, and exploratory research methods as well as theoretically relevant concepts, which help students understand and explain the role of the individual in digital culture. The course places special emphasis on interaction as a basic premise for identity and sociality. The course also emphasizes different interpretations of identity and subjectivity as well as new questions and problems regarding ethics and responsibility, cultural and social conventions, interpersonal communication and power structures in digital contexts.

Digital economies and innovation

The aim of the course is to enable students to critically analyse and reflect upon the new economic and commercial opportunities of digital technology as well as the social dynamics that form and change the conditions of digital development. The course presents contemporary theory and studies upon digital economies with the aim of enabling students to become critical consumers, producers and participants in digital economies. The main emphasis is upon based on the Internet and mobile technology.

Developing social interaction for mobile web I

The course introduces students to how computational logic works, e.g., how it structures and processes information. Students are introduced to algorithmic logics and computational thinking. Students explore how these logics necessitate logical and systematic structuring of information. The course provides basic insight and skills in designing for mobile units or browsers and server-side. This includes server-focused programming (e.g. Java), databases, SQL and HTML/CSS. The course also emphasizes how algorithms are used to analyze user data and the use of these in the perspective of developing future webservices.

Digital organising: principles and practices

The course introduces students to theories and concepts related to the processes and structures of organizing. Students consider how organizing practices and principles are influenced by or interwoven with digital culture, social media, and other information and communication technologies (ICT). This may include exploring virtual teams, digital organisations, ongoing organizing such as social movements or participatory citizenship, and trans-local or glocal projects. The course provides students with insight into digital work and digital workplaces as well as organisation processes and social movements based on social media or other ICT. The course will be concluded with an analysis of cooperation, communication and/or organization, focusing specifically but not necessarily exclusively on the digital aspects of such structures/processes.

Project management, design, and evaluation

The aim of the course is to provide students with insight into key concepts and tools within the area of project design, management and evaluation. The course provides an introduction to IT project management including classical and contemporary project management theory and methods. The course introduces general principles, practices and theories of designing managing, and iteratively evaluating projects. In the course, students are asked to reflect on how project design, management, and evaluation may be influenced or transformed by broader cultural shifts taking place via or because of digital and social media. The course covers intra- as well as inter-organisational projects and discusses the emergence of ‘projects’ as an organizational form in contemporary contexts.

Developing social interaction for mobile web II

The course introduces to how computational programmes structure and processes information, including, for example, algorithmic and computational thinking and how these necessitate logical and systematic structuring of information. The student should gain insight and skills in designing for mobile units or browsers and servers-side. This includes server-focuses programming (e.g. Java), databases, SQL and HTML/CSS. Focus will be on algorithms for analyzing user data and the use of these in the perspective of developing a future web-service.

3rd Semester

In the 3rd semester, students can choose between doing an internship in an organization working with social media (work placement); taking courses within the field of the Digital Living abroad; or take courses ‘profile courses’, i.e. 3rd semester interdisciplinary courses with a focus on application of academic skills in the labour market. Read more about profile courses here.

Academic regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for the chosen supplementary subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you. You can find this information in the academic regulations.

Student life

As an Information Studies student, you have plenty of opportunity to add a social element to your academic work. Part of your life as a student is spent in the computer room. Other facilities include a common room, radio and video editing facilities, and a TV studio, not to mention the many comfortable sofas. Teaching in Information Studies takes place at IT City Katrinebjerg, along with Digital Design and Media Studies. A number of IT and media companies are also located here. The IT City becomes your base during your Information Studies degree programme. There is an inspiring and unique environment, which is different from the rest of the university. A number of associations are also based at Katrinebjerg, and you can get involved either as an active participant or as a user.

  • SAIS is an Information Studies student association. SAIS organises lectures in relevant topics, company visits and study tours.
  • The Information Studies Student Committee. In the Student Committee, students of Information Studies can exchange information, discuss study-related problems and find out what happens in the different committees. All students are welcome to join this committee.
  • The Friday bar organises bar evenings and parties for students at the department.
  • The PANIK Social Committee is responsible for many great ideas and interesting events. The committee organises 2-3 parties every year.
  • KONTEKST. KONTEKST is a newspaper published by students at the Department of Information and Media Studies four times a year. Written by students for students. You can always find the latest edition of the newspaper on the website or get a printed version at the editor’s office in Wienerbygningen, room 033.
  • UNITY: Katrinebjerg. UNITY: Katrinebjerg is an interdisciplinary network centre for students at IT City Katrinebjerg. The purpose of the network is to give the IT students at Katrinebjerg an opportunity to test their skills in interdisciplinary and professional contexts and thereby promote the study environment in the IT City. .
  • During the semester, the department organises guest lectures by representatives from the business community, other universities and other countries. The lectures are shown in the calendar together with other relevant events in Aarhus.

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Career

Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Job profile

With a Master’s degree in Information Studies, you can find work in the following areas:

  • IT consultant and IT strategy development in small or large IT companies. You learn to implement and specify complex IT solutions.
  • Human Resources and organisational communication. You acquire knowledge of organisational analysis and change processes that you can use in connection with HR functions and organisational development.
  • Project management. You learn to establish a comprehensive view of a project and identify the connections between problems, tasks and project participants.
  • System development and design. The key word in Information Studies is user-driven design. You learn to analyse user needs and to design user-friendly technology.
  • Teaching and communication – mainly within the IT industry.
  • Research. You have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s graduate school. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s degree. More information about PhD degree programmes at the Faculty of Humanities.

Competences

The Master’s degree in Information Studies teaches you the following competences:

  • Assess, analyse and perform in the interaction between information technology, people, organisations and society.
  • Participate in system development and information projects, and facilitate communication between different academic perspectives/fields of study.
  • Use analytical concepts to understand the interaction between companies and society, and the companies’ use of information technology.
  • Apply different IT tools and systems that support system development processes, and the ability to assess formalisation possibilities and limitations within specific system development work.

Career Guidance

Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.