Digital Economy

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
11 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA NP5312 Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA NP53MO Advertising, Marketing and the Media

Module description

The digital economy and the social media landscape are rapidly transforming social structures and ways of living.

This module explores key features of the contemporary digital economy and addresses some of the following questions; how can we research digital cultures? What role do consumers play in producing the digital economy? What are the key differences between legacy media and social media? How have mobile phones transformed our lives?

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • to understand how digital economies can disrupt, shape and interact with social systems, using contemporary examples.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the digital economy as historically situated.

  2. Identify and reflect on key methodological issues raised by digital infrastructures for social research inquiry.

  3. Develop an understanding of participatory culture within the context of platform capitalism

  4. Problematize and situate online consumption in a wider social context.

  5. Examine assumptions of power, ownership and control in the digital economy.

  6. Develop an understanding of the role of technology in contemporary society

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Most modules at postgraduate level in Sociology are taught as a 2hr seminar. Most classes, labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). There may also be some online activities – either timetabled as a live online session or available on Moodle in the form of pre-recorded videos. You will be expected to watch this material and engage with any suggested activities before your seminar/class each week. Please note that you should be spending up to ten hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 30 hours in total for three 20--credit modules). This module SC508-7-SP will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. These are: reading discussion groups, presentations and an essay. Teaching will be delivered seminars, but students will also be provided with a range of online content including readings, videos, podcasts etc. Students should expect to engage with one academic reading, and one non-academic item (video, podcast, article) per week. You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes/seminars as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes/seminars will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these seminars/classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of seminars/classes is at the discretion of the teacher.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Group presentation and report  01/03/2024  10% 
Coursework   Essay  22/04/2024  90% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Katy Wheeler, email:
Dr Katy Wheeler, Prof Sean Nixon, Dr Maitrayee Deka, Dr Michael Bailey



External examiner

Dr David Clampin
Liverpool John Moores University
Subject Leader - History
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.