Understanding our Digital World
Mastering the digital revolution: from complexity to clarity
- Offered to 2nd Years
- Mondays 16.00-18.00
- Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
- 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
- Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
- Extra Credit, or Degree Credit where your department allows
Not a day goes by without news stories about our digital world: digital disruption, cyberwar, surveillance, social media, big data, algorithms, guerrilla marketing, cryptocurrencies. It can feel exhilarating, visionary, sometimes even threatening. But these digital phenomena can also be researched, understood, even improved.
Incorporating elements of political economy, data science, psychology, health, journalism, and history, this module will elucidate on these issues from an interdisciplinary standpoint. It deploys a variety of innovative teaching, research, presentation, and assessment methods.
Past student projects include:
- The impact of mobile technology in the global south
- Assessing the long-term outcomes of dating apps
- A cross-country analysis of the ethics of digital communications
- Data bias in automated recruitment
- A comparative analysis of digital surveillance on three continents
- The use of artifical intelligence in drug discovery
- The relations between digital technology and mental health
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Examine key concepts across the disciplines of social science, data science, history, and journalism.
- Explore concepts using self-directed primary and secondary research.
- Integrate concepts studied, research, and feedback received.
- Communicate relevant academic concepts and findings in at least two formats.
Indicative core content
- The changing nature and value of data
- Data, alt-data and algorithms
- Data visualisation
- Innovation and the digital world
- Truth and facts in a digital age
- Digital politics
- Digital media
- Digital society and digital life
- Digital culture
- Big digital
- Digital work
- Digital law and security
- Digital health
- Digital education
- Digital finance, including cryptocurrency
- Digital impact: the environment
- Digital impact: tacit knowledge, organisational behaviour and memory decay
- Digital impact: futures, forecasting and decision-making
- Digital skills: estimation, scenario planning and wargaming
Learning and teaching approach
- Coursework: Essay - 1200-1500 words (30%)
- Coursework: Individual 5-minute presentation (15%)
- Coursework: Essay - 1500-2000 words (55%)
- Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
- This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.
"This module offers exotic material! At this point in time, everything is perfect."
"I'm envious of this year’s cohort as I would love to do the course all over again."
"the module is extremely interesting and the flexibility of it makes it so much better. In an ever changing digital world, a module on digital must not, in my opinion, follow a rigid path but rather adapt to the news. I would not change anything."
"Extremely eye-opening module and well-designed."
"Everything on this module is almost perfect. Dr. Weatherburn is fantastic teacher."
"Very stimulating as class discussions allow for different opinions."
"I thoroughly enjoyed writing the essay, as well as attending your series of fascinating lectures! The ideas and approaches you introduced us to will certainly stay with me for a long time."