INFORMATION STUDIES

About the programme
Language: Danish: Track A1, A2 and A3 / English: Track Digital Living  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  | Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)

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.

Information Studies is divided into four lines: Line A1, A2 and A3 (in Danish) and the Digital Living line (in English). The line Digital Living is the only international track in English.

Digital Living – An international track in English

An MA in Information Studies – Digital Living looks at how digital technologies are used in everyday life. The programme is an opportunity to consider how we might design better futures by exploring the intersection of networked sociality, organizational practices, and IT design.

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 and media studies help students build a strong grounding in the political, social, and economic structures of 21st century organisations and institutions.

A complex skillset

The digital living programme comprises a unique combination of skills aimed at understanding, analysing and working with social and mobile media, including business analysis, project management, programming, and methods work generating knowledge within the field. Students gain basic technical knowledge of web development skills, APIs, and mobile media, which helps them understand the technical side of digital media and its potential. Courses are designed to help students engage with and become active citizens and critical consumers in a digitally saturated life. Then the students acquire analytical and practical skills in: qualitative methods and quantitative analysis; business analysis, organisational theory, project management, social media, and system development and programming.

Career

Graduates have a strong understanding of value creation and the complexities of digital technologies in cultural contexts. The programme prepares students for jobs in private and public sectors that use and want to further develop social media as part of their internal or external infrastructures. Graduates find work as community managers, social media managers, search engine management consultants, digital business managers, project consultants, service-designers, creative technologist consultants, online marketing managers, digital producers and more.

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation on the Master's degree programme in Information Studies - Digital Living 2018.

Admission requirements

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

The requirement for admission to line 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 line 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.

Line 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 line A3 is a completed Bachelor’s degree with a Supplementary subject in Information Studies at Bachelor’s degree level (45 ECTS credits).

Digital Living line
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 the equivalent cannot be admitted.

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.

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 Information Studies:

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

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

Programme structure

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.

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.


 

Track A1, A2 and A3

The Master’s degree programme in information studies has four tracks: track A1, track A2, track A3 and Digital Living.

Track A1 is for students with a Bachelor’s degree which has information studies as its central subject (in other words the first two years of your Bachelor’s degree). On line A1 you are given the opportunity to construct your programme in a way which gives you an individual qualification profile. This is useful both in the business community and in the public sector, where graduates of information studies are in demand. For instance in the fields of communication, the design and programming of IT systems, or organisational development. You can also choose to test your academic competences during an internship in the business community.

Track A2 is for students with any Bachelor’s degree in the humanities or social sciences. But not for students with a Bachelor’s degree whose central subject or supplementary subject is information studies or computer science. A Master’s degree in information studies gives you the opportunity to add new perspectives, theories and methods to your Bachelor’s degree, thereby tailoring it for use in the world of business. For instance in the fields of communication or organisational or systems development. You can also choose to test your academic competences during an internship in the business community.

Track A3 is for students who have a supplementary subject in information studies and who wish to take a Master’s degree programme in information studies. Like line A1, line A3 gives you the opportunity to construct your degree programme in a way which gives you an individual qualification profile. On line A3 there is a compulsory course on the first semester, but otherwise the programme has the same structure as line A1.

The Digital Living track is for students with any Bachelor’s degree in the humanities or social sciences, apart from students with a Bachelor’s degree whose central subject is information studies or digital design from Aarhus University. Graduates of the programme can analyse the importance and use of digital technologies, and then use this basis to design and strategically plan the way they use and distribute these technologies. Consequently, the programme contains courses which provide basic technical knowledge about web development, APIs and mobile media, giving students understanding of the technical aspects which shape digital media and determine development potentials. The programme also focuses on methodical and analytical competences for studying the use of digital media, and on the ability to take action and see new opportunities which include IT project management and IT innovation.

The Digital Living Track

Work and social life in era of Smart Machines and 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 Experience

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 them here.

Languages

All courses are taught in English.

Programme structure

1. sem. 
Developing social interaction for mobile web I
(10 ECTS)

Digital identities and social media
(10 ECTS) 
Digital Economies and innovation
(10 (ECTS)
 2. sem.  
Developing social interaction for mobile web II
(10 ECTS)

Digital organising: principles og practices
 (10 ECTS) 
Project management, design and evaluation
(10 ECTS)
3. sem.Profile (20 ECTS)
 4. sem.
Thesis (30 ECTS)

For descriptions of individual courses, see bottom of this page or interact with the programme structure here (remember to choose the Digital Living track in the drop-down menu when you follow the link).

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.

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation on the Master's degree programme in Information Studies - Digital Living 2018.

Description of individual courses

Digital identities and social media

The aim of this course is to introduce theoretical concepts that can help students understand and explain the role of the individual in digital culture, including theories about identity, subjectivity and various perceptions of the self, i.e. the relational, virtual, networked and algorithmic self. Further, the course introduces students to inductive, qualitative and exploratory research methods. The course focuses on interaction as the fundamental precondition for identity and sociality, and emphasizes different interpretations of identity and subjectivity, as well as newly established topics and issues relating to ethics and responsibility, cultural and social conventions, interpersonal communication and power structures in digital contexts.

Digital economies and innovation

The aim of this course is to introduce students to contemporary theories and studies of digital economies (for example Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Sharing Economy, Big Data, Social Media and other recent developments), in particular the economies of platforms and related economic theories. Students will also focus on innovation, first as relates to the intersection between new technical possibilities and the ways they can create economic value and second by showing how technology and business co-evolve. An emphasis is placed on the analysis of these new developments including the evaluation of new business opportunities (business case) as the change from value chains to complex value systems as well as the positive and negative impacts of it. This blend of topics enables students to become critical consumers, producers and participants in digital economies.

Developing social interaction for mobile web I

The aim of this course is to provide the student with a conceptual understanding of computational logics underlying the design of internet/web based interactions, introduction to basic information architectures behind the internet, and practical understanding of and basic skills in programming web based interfaces. Students will be introduced to HTML/CSS and programming concepts; they’ll learn basic programming used to develop web apps (e.g., JavaScript). The course will also introduce the students to contemporary practices and topics within the field of interaction design, for example in terms of usability, user experience, value and user-centered design and design principles for web and social media.

Digital organising: principles and practices

The purpose of the course is to enable students to understand, analyze, and communicate central concepts and theories concerning organisational processes and structures and how these are affected by or merged with digital culture, social media and other information and communication technologies (ICT). Students practice working with hypothetical or actual clients to study situations where digital media, IT, and ICT play central roles in structuring attitudes, norms, and actions. Cases may include such things as studying a city’s data archiving practices, a university’s content management or learning management systems, classic business organizations, startup cultures, or emergent organizational forms such as social movements, transnational or glocal initiatives, maker spaces, crowdwork, or nomadic work environments. 

Project management, design, and evaluation

The aim of the course is to provide students with insights into key concepts and tools within project management. It introduces general theories, principles, and tools of designing, managing and iteratively evaluating projects. The course seeks to reflect on classical approaches to project management by taking up newer research results challenging the normative character of classic approaches. This includes also a particular focus on IT project management and recent developments herein such as agile approaches for IT development. The course covers both intra- and inter-organisational projects. Finally, it also discusses the emergence of "projects" as an organisational form in a contemporary context and looks at how project management is influenced by cultural or technological changes and vice versa.

Developing social interaction for mobile web II

The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how server applications are created and how data in larger volumes is structured and archived. The student will learn a variety of tools necessary for working with web based data, managing data from different sources, and dealing with data in multiple formats. Students will also learn to develop a dynamic application that includes client side interface design but pays particular attention to server side functionality.

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.

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.
  • In 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 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 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.

Student-to-student

Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.

You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here.

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus.

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city’s population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many events that enable you to experience the Danish culture.

Why choose Aarhus? See studyguide.au.dk and get all practical information about beeing an international student. 

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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.