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Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen

Programme book 2016

New Media and Digital Culture





3. WHO IS WHO? Coordinator of the programme/Head of department Lecturers Study advisor/Supervisors Curriculum committee/Board of Examiners Partner organisation(s) Study association Career Services International Office Student Desk Student Services Student psychologist Centre of Teaching and Learning

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4. IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES Academic calendar Dates and deadlines programme Registration deadlines Graduation ceremony

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5. PROGRAMME INFORMATION 5.1. Programme outline 5.2. Courses (Block 1 & 2) 5.3. Thesis (Block 3) 5.4. Research Internship (Block 4) 5.5. Career orientation 5.6. Policies en Procedures

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7. PRACTICAL INFORMATION 7.1. Study delay 7.2. Workshops 7.3. Graduation 7.4. Solis-id 7.5. Osiris 7.6. UU Gmail 7.7. Blackboard 7.8. WiFi 7.9. Library 7.10. Course evaluations 7.11. Locations

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7. GETTING AROUND Utrecht Housing

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1. Welcome to Utrecht! Dear students, Welcome to the one-year Academic Master’s programme in New Media & Digital Culture! You have chosen Utrecht University as the place to come to understand everything you always wanted to know about new media but were afraid to ask, and you have chosen wisely. Here, we aim to unpack what is black-boxed, intervene in stock discussions on digital culture, and critically comment on what is often presented as natural, intuitive, and – most of all – new about new media. Of course, Utrecht University’s reputation as having a strong Humanities Faculty precedes its name, but Utrecht is indeed an excellent location to study the relationship between new media, technology, culture, and society, for its broad offerings around new and social media-related events, conferences, and internship opportunities. Utrecht lies in the heart of the Dutch creative economy, and our expertise plays an important role for setting future agendas around new media on a national and European level. In your hands you hold the NMDC programme book, which will provide you with all the relevant information on the programme itself (courses, internships, theses) as well as more practical information on how studying here at Utrecht University works. It also contains examples of how you can help and be involved in many intra- and extra-curricular activities, which we hope will make your experience of the programme as much rewarding as it is great fun. We hope you will have a wonderful and inspiring academic year 2016-2017! The programme coordinators, On behalf of the entire NMDC team, René Glas and Ingrid Hoofd



2. Introduction to the programme What do we mean when we say we study and teach New Media & Digital Culture? Our name has been synonymous with having a critical focus ever since the programme was initiated in 1998. It reflects the explicit yet purposely broadly defined objects of research (media technologies and the culture they produce and are immersed in), as well as the discursive constructions that need to be studied on their media- and culture-defining agencies: When are things presented as ‘new,’ by whom, and with what purpose? What does it mean when something is identified as being ‘digital’, and what are the assumptions about its characteristics and affordances? During the one-year programme you will delve into the many aspects of what it entails to live in an age of new media. Guided by an international team of experienced scholars, you will assist with ongoing research projects and learn to comment academically on how present-day cultures are shaped by games, social media, internet activism, apps, data visualisations, mobile devices, algorithms, and participatory platforms. Programme Goal The MA programme aims to train you as an independent thinker who is able to critically reflect on contemporary media technologies and their role in cultural production. You will get thoroughly acquainted with the latest developments in new media and with historical and contemporary theoretical approaches. You will learn how to use your academic skills in fields related to new media practices in science, society, and everyday life. You will do a research internship to complement your theoretical knowledge with hands-on practice, and learn how to communicate conclusions (as well as the knowledge, justifications, and considerations underlying such conclusions) to an audience composed of specialists as well as non-specialists. All in all, this programme will teach you to play a leading role as a constructive thinker, policy advisor, or cultural mediator in the field of New Media & Digital Culture, who possesses the tools and vocabularies to investigate and to enlarge the understanding of the many dynamic ways in which new media technologies are embedded within and reflect on a changing society. Programme focus While other programmes on new media often take a highly disciplinary approach taken from literature/film studies, or have scrapped all references to other fields of media research by focusing solely on the newness of new media, our MA programme explicitly sees new media as present-day manifestations of cultural, social, political, and economic developments that have known similar expressions in different media technologies at different times. As such, the programme has attracted staff with diverse backgrounds who draw on multidisciplinary perspectives from media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, game studies, philosophy, anthropology, art history, gender studies, and political science. We nevertheless have a clearly distinctive approach to studying New Media & Digital Culture. As visualized below, the three key fields of Game/Play Studies, Mobile/Social Media Studies, and Software/Data Studies are at the heart of our programme, shaping course organisation and reflecting the majority of research projects our staff is involved in.



Even though other fields of study and academic perspectives on new media most definitely feature throughout our programme, and while we always situate ourselves within a broader media-historical and comparative context, the take on new media phenomena illustrated by the threefold approach above is largely informed by our research activities in national and international partnerships. Utrecht University’s Focus Areas for instance enable us to participate in investigations of how citizens use mobile and social media to aid in collecting and interpreting scientific data (within the ‘Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights’ focus area); other focus areas enable us to help create serious games that allow users to practice, play, experiment, research, and learn (within the ‘Game Research’ focus area). Our Utrecht Data School, which explores the ways in which we can use software tools to collect (big) data as well as the ways in which scholars are confronted by ethical issues when processing and visualising those data, is part of a larger university Digital Humanities effort to further research practices in a 21st-century environment. Our staff and alumni have been involved in creating living laboratories such as SETUP, where new media artists, policy makers, academics, and professionals regularly meet to discuss and actively shape current debates on the relation between technology and culture. The strength of our approach to studying new media phenomena manifests itself most clearly in the many complementary areas of research that find their place between the three key fields; as a student, you will have ample opportunities to situate your own particular research interests within theories and methods composed of multiple approaches. You want to write about mobile or streaming music? Politicaleconomical aspects of a sharing culture? Search algorithms with a bias? Augmented reality and its history? There is always a way to make that work within the framework we offer. It is what we do ourselves as well: the department that houses our MA Programme offers scholars to join research groups such as Urban Interfaces, The Datafied Society, Television in Transition, Digital Games and Play, and so on (see chapter 6 of this programme book), in which all kinds of crossovers between Game/Play Studies, Mobile/Social Media Studies, and Software/Data Studies are possible. This compounded focus on a culturally and historically contextualised research triad is what distinguishes us from other new mediaoriented programmes in the Netherlands and beyond. It will also provide you with some excellent scholarly lenses to investigate contemporary new media and digital culture, both as an academic and professional new media expert.



Programme content You will familiarise yourself with in-depth knowledge of and insight into the field of New Media & Digital Culture from a Humanities perspective and, by completing the courses, internship and thesis, specialise in one or more of its three fields (Software/Data Studies, Game/Play Studies, and Mobile/Social Media Studies) and/or their complementary sub-fields. You will learn how to identify, analyse, and criticise methodological and theoretical concerns in such fields in an academic fashion, and how to apply these concerns to examples or case studies in written as well as oral forms of academic expression. In all the courses in the first semester, you get acquainted with the latest developments in the theory and practice of contemporary new media. You learn how to contextualise these developments, reflect critically on them and make this reflection productive for a diversity of theoretical, practical, societal, and critical ends. In other words, we help you form academic skills into professional skills. This is emphasised even more by inviting you to visit a variety of places in which alumni and new media professionals work; think of organisations, companies, and festivals such as SETUP, Impakt Festival, Border Sessions, STRP, and Dutch Game Garden (these are but a few of the options that flow from our extensive alumni network; please see here* for more examples of places where our students’ threefold focus on new media typically pays off). You can find more information on SETUP and Impakt, with which our programme enjoys a close and long-standing collaboration, in Chapter 6 on Extra-curricular activities. In the second semester, you will be able to show that you can turn independently conducted (but nonetheless supervised) research into an MA Thesis which meets the academic standards not just of our MA programme but of the discipline as a whole. Finally, the Research Internship asks you to actively engage with the professional field, and to learn to translate academic knowledge into everyday organizational, business, and policy issues. This internship is compulsory, as we think it is important you acquaint yourself with everyday practices within the field of new media during your study. By having to report back on the productive translation from theory to practice, you learn that you have an important role to play in society at large when it comes to making visible the many strengths of the Humanities: to be able to critically reflect on present-day trends and discourses is what is needed, and the Research Internship makes this abundantly clear. To find more information and details of the programme (such as a detailed overview of courses, policies, and procedures), please visit the Humanities-curated students site of New Media & Digital Culture at




3. Who is who? Coordinator of the programme/Head of department Not one, but two coordinators make sure New Media & Digital Culture runs like clockwork! As of 2016, Dr. René Glas ( and Dr. Ingrid Hoofd ( are your go-to persons when you have questions about the programme that cannot be answered by reading this programme book or by visiting Our head of department is prof. dr. Eugene van Erven.

Lecturers Prof. dr. Joost Raessens Muntstraat 2a Room 2.09 3512 EV UTRECHT E-mail:

Biography Joost Raessens holds the chair of Media Theory at Utrecht University. He was the conference chair of the first Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference Level Up in Utrecht (2003), he is member of the Council for the Humanities (KNAW), and is on the editorial board of Games and Culture (SAGE). Raessens’ current research concerns the ‘ludification of culture’ focusing in particular on applied, serious and persuasive gaming, on the playful construction of identities, and on the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. He is project leader of the NWO research project Persuasive Gaming: From Theory-Based Design to Validation and Back ( Raessens is coordinator of the Utrecht University research focus area Game Research (; he is also the scientific director of GAP: the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play ( Courses ● ●

Game Studies: Theory to Practice Graduate supervision

Dr. René Glas (MA coordinator) Muntstraat 2a Room 1.06 3512 EV UTRECHT Phone number direct 030 253 6510 E-mail: Biography René Glas is assistant professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media and Culture Studies. Coming from film and new media studies, his current primary field is game studies. He teaches and writes about game culture and history, fan and participatory culture, deviant play, serious/pervasive games, and media comparison. Glas is a founding member of Utrecht University’s



Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play. His book Battlefields of Negotiation: Control, Agency, and Ownership in World of Warcraft (2012) was published by Amsterdam University Press. He is currently co-editing the upcoming book The Playful Citizen: Power, Creativity, Knowledge and involved in the research project The Preservation of Digital Games as Dutch Cultural Heritage in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Courses ●

Graduate supervision

Dr. Ingrid Hoofd (MA coordinator) Muntstraat 2a Room 1.06 3512 EV UTRECHT Phone number direct 030 253 6510 E-mail: Biography Ingrid Hoofd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Culture. Her research revolves around issues of representation, feminist and critical theories, philosophy of technology, and information ethics. She is the author of Ambiguities of Activism: Alter-Globalism and the Imperatives of Speed published with Routledge (2012) and is currently working on her next monograph tentatively titled Higher Education and Technological Acceleration: the Disintegration of University Teaching and Research, which critically examines the relationship between new technologies, research ethics, and pedagogical strategies, especially in relation to the contemporary university. Her research generally analyses the ways in which alter-globalist activists, as well as left-wing academics, mobilize what she calls ‘speed-elitist’ discourses and divisions in an attempt to overcome gendered, raced, and classed oppressions worldwide. Ingrid has been involved in various feminist and new media activist projects, like Indymedia, Next Five Minutes, and NextGenderation. Courses ● New Media Theories: Thinkers, Debates, and Questions ●

Graduate supervision

Dr. Imar de Vries Muntstraat 2a Room 1.06 3512 EV UTRECHT Phone number direct 030 253 9601 E-mail: Biography After a brief yet insightful foray into Information and Computing Sciences, Imar de Vries decided to switch to studying Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Utrecht University in 1997. He specialised in New Media and Digital Culture, writing his graduation thesis on the communicative affordances of virtual 3D worlds and mobile telephony. After his graduation in 2002 he first went on to become a junior teacher, and in 2003 he accepted the position of junior teacher/researcher, a full time position that required him to dedicate 50% of his time to teaching courses, and the other 50% to writing his dissertation. He obtained his PhD in 2008 with a media-archaeological study into communicative desires, which has since been published as Tantalisingly Close: An Archaeology of Communication Desires in Mobile Wireless Devices (2012) at Amsterdam University Press (see Imar is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Culture Studies at the University of Utrecht, where he teaches on media archaeology and semiotics of communication, and where he studies innovation discourses of wireless technologies, social media, and augmented reality.



Courses ● Research Lab II: Designing Research ● Graduate supervision Dr. Mirko Tobias Schäfer Muntstraat 2a Room T2.10 Email:

Biography Mirko Tobias Schäfer is Assistant Professor for New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Utrecht and director of the Utrecht Data School. He is co-editor and co-author of the volume Digital Material: Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology (Amsterdam University Press, 2009) and of the forthcoming volume Datafied Society: Social Research in the Age of Big Data (Amsterdam University Press 2016). His critical investigation of participatory culture has been published as Bastard Culture! How User participation Transforms Cultural Production (Amsterdam University Press 2011). In 2012 and 2013 he was appointed research fellow at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he is affiliated with the Artistic Technology Research Lab. In 2014 and 2015 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Humanities at Utrecht University. For 2016, he was appointed Mercator Research Fellow at the NRW School of Governance at University of Duisburg-Essen. See also Courses ● The Datafied Society: Networks, Software, and Politics ● Graduate supervision Dr. Michiel de Lange Muntstraat 2a Room: T2.10

Biography Michiel de Lange is an Assistant Professor (Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University); co-founder of The Mobile City, a platform for new media and urbanism; advisor e-culture at Mediafonds. He studies (mobile) media, urban culture, identity and play. Currently he is a researcher in the NWO Creative Industries funded project ‘The Hackable City’, investigating how digital media shape the future of city making. In 2010 Michiel completed his PhD dissertation Moving Circles: Mobile Media and Playful Identities at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (Faculty of Philosophy). It is about the way mobile media technologies shape personal and cultural identities in the city. De Lange is trained as a cultural anthropologist (MA, University of Amsterdam), and studied Industrial Design and Management at the TU Delft. He regularly speaks and organizes events about media technologies in the city. Courses ● The Mobile, The Social, and the Urban: The Myth and Messiness of Connectivity ● Graduate supervision



Dr. Stefan Werning Muntstraat 2a Room: 1.18 Email:

Biography Stefan Werning is an assistant professor for new media and game studies at Utrecht University, where he founded the Utrecht Game Lab (2014) and co-coordinates the graduate program Game Research. He previously worked as an assistant professor for digital media at the University of Bayreuth (2009-2014), at the University of Bonn (2004-2006) and at the Fraunhofer Institute Media Communications in St. Augustin (20022004). While completing his PhD thesis on game technologies and concepts in the military entertainment complex, Stefan worked in the digital games industry, most notably at Codemasters (2005) and Nintendo of Europe (2007-2009) in Germany. Since completing a DAAD-funded visiting scholarship at MIT, he has been a fellow of the Convergence Culture Consortium. Stefan’s habilitation treatise on media start-ups and the economization of digital culture is currently in press at Amsterdam University Press. Other areas of expertise include digital game studies (particularly the combination of theoretical and practical approaches), software studies, media comparison and the implications of economic transformations on media use. Courses ● Game Studies: Theory to Practice ● Graduate supervision Dr. Anne Kustritz Muntstraat 2a Room: 2.05 Email:

Biography Anne Kustritz is an Assistant Professor in Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. She received her PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Her teaching focuses on convergence, cultural studies, and new media ethnography. Her scholarship focuses on fan communities, transformative works, digital economies, and representational politics. Her articles appear in Camera Obscura, Feminist Media Studies, The Journal of American Culture, and Refractory. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, an open-source, peer-reviewed online academic journal affiliated with the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works which offers fans legal, social, and technological resources to organize, preserve their history, and promote the legality of transformative works. Courses ● Research Lab I: Situating Research ● Graduate supervision



Dr. Karin van Es Muntstraat 2a Room: T1.10 Email:

Biography Karin van Es (@kfvanes) is an Assistant Professor of Television & Digital Culture at Utrecht University and a Senior Researcher at the Utrecht Data School. In 2014 she received her PhD from Utrecht University with a dissertation on the concept the ‘live’ in the social media era. Her current research focuses on the challenges of the digital context to traditional television. This work includes the project, ‘The Audience Commodity in the Datafied Society’ which is interested in different television metrics and the possibilities for the commodification of engagement. In collaboration with Mirko Tobias Schäfer she is completing an edited volume at AUP on the role of data and algorithms in society. Her past publications, in outlets such as Television & New Media, M/C Journal and First Monday, have explored topics such as social TV and online deliberation. Courses ● Graduate supervision Dr. Jasper van Vught Muntstraat 2a Room: 2.06 Email:

Biography Jasper van Vught is lecturer in the department of Media and Culture Studies at the Utrecht University. His research interests include game theory and methodology, game ethics, game history, games and narratology, film studies, and digital media theory. He is part of the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play, has worked within a large international research project into the classification of entertainment games, and is currently working on a project into the preservation of games as Dutch cultural heritage. Courses ● Graduate supervision Dr. Sanne Koevoets Muntstraat 2a Room: T1.11 Email:

Biography Sanne Koevoets holds a PhD in Gender Studies from Utrecht University on the cultural imaginary of the library as a gendered knowledge space. She taught new media philosophy at Leiden University College in The Hague,



and is currently is a lecturer at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and in Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. She remains interested in the symbolic representation of knowledge and memory in the network society, particularly as it pertains to the production of gender and cultural difference and is performed through bodily practices. Courses ● Graduate supervision Dr. Niels Kerssens Muntstraat 2a Room: N/A Email:

Biography In the last four years Niels Kerssens has lectured at the University of Amsterdam, and worked on his PhD dissertation under a fellowship from the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). The title of the dissertation is Cultures of Use - 1970s/1980s: An Archaeology of Computing's Integration with Everyday Life (up for defence May 2016). The supervisor of his dissertation is prof. dr. José van Dijck and his co-supervisor is dr. Bernhard Rieder. His research centres on a historically or archaeologically grounded orientation toward digital media (culture). Associated research interests include (new) media history, media archaeology, (new) media theory, and digital humanities. Currently he teaches various BA courses within Communication and Information Science and Media and Culture studies at Utrecht University. In addition he supervises MA theses for the master New Media and Digital Culture. Courses ● Graduate supervision Dr. Teresa de la Hera Muntstraat 2a Room: 2.13 Email:

Biography Teresa de la Hera is postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in New Media and Digital Culture at the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University, where she is member of the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play. She started her academic career in Spain in 2006 where she conducted research in the fields of new media and persuasive games. Later on, in 2011, she moved to the Netherlands where she obtained an International PhD Fellowship to finish her PhD ‘Persuasive Structures in Advergames’ at Utrecht University. At this moment she is working on the NWO funded research project ‘Persuasive Gaming in Context’ in which she explores the potential of digital games as media for persuasion. Her research interests and expertise involve the use of digital games for advertising, sustainability and social inclusion of minority groups. Courses ● Graduate supervision Photos: Bram Kloos



Study advisor/Supervisors The study advisor is, Stefan Vuurens. You can contact him without having to make an appointment during the office hours, which are scheduled four days per week (office hours are also hosted by Ivana Cerovecki and Eveline Eckelboom). There are other ways as well; please see for more information on how to get in touch with Stefan. The study advisors are not the only people who can guide you in making the right choices. During the first few weeks of your study the programme coordinators will act as your supervisors. Soon after you will be appointed an individual supervisor, based on your preferences for specific research areas and staff availability. This individual supervisor will guide you and assess your work in the second half of your study. You can discuss plans for your individual trajectory and establish mutual expectations in terms of availability, manner of feedback, and evaluation. Not every supervisor is or works the same way, so be sure that these agreements are clear at an early stage. Should problems arise with your supervisor, you are advised to contact the programme coordinators.

Curriculum Committee/Board of Examiners The Board of Examiners plays an important role in cases where you want to digress from the official study programme, to settle disputes, and to examine plagiarism cases. For more information, see: Current • • • • • •

members of the Board of Examiners Dr. Daniël Janssen (chair) Dr. Liesbeth van de Grift Prof. René Kager Dr. Lucien van Liere Dr. Stefan Werning Prof. dr. Teun Tieleman

Contact information Board of Examiners Concerning: New Media and Digital Culture Drift 10 3512 BS UTRECHT

Partner organisation(s) The New Media and Digital Culture programme maintains ad-hoc collaborations with various external partners and startups from the media industry, as well as with many governmental and nongovernmental organisations that focus on new and social media. Special mention here deserve game developer IJsfontein in Amsterdam (, the Stichting Beeld & Geluid (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) ( in Hilversum, and Mediawijzer ( Two larger Utrecht-based organisations, SETUP and Impakt, also co-host events, workshops and seminars with our programme on a yearly basis. For more information about these events and internship opportunities with the latter two, see Chapter 6 (extracurricular activities) in this programme book.

Study association New Media & Digital Culture has a vibrant community of alumni, most of whom are active on our Facebook page at Or just search for ‘new media studies Utrecht’ within your favourite FB browser or app ;-)



Career Services During your master’s you will find we have incorporated a specific focus on career orientation. The programme and the department work together with study associations and Career Services to make career orientation an integrated part of New Media & Digital Culture. See the detailed overview in section 5.5 of this programme book for more information and keep an eye out for announcements of career orientation events during the year. The Faculty of Humanities has its own Career Services Officer, Sjoer Bergervoet. You can schedule an appointment with her at the Student Desk to ask questions regarding your future, arrange meetings for practicing job interviews, or to go over your resume. Career Services also offers help on the road to the job market via workshops and tests concerning career orientation, networking, and applying for a job. Visit for more information.

International office If you are considering going abroad during your master, you will find more information regarding exchange programmes, regulations, and preparation at the International office. It is important to begin the process of orientation at the start of your programme, as the application deadlines are early and a lot of paperwork is needed to complete your application. Note also that our programme in special cases allows internships to be done abroad, and that our Faculty has set up formalised relations with a large number of foreign academic institutions. You can find more information on studying abroad at

Student Desk At the Student Desk GW you can address all kinds of study related issues, such as course enrolment, time schedules, registration of course results and graduation. You can also make appointments with the study advisor and Career Officer, have your diploma and study results authenticated and apply for exemption there. The Student desk can be reached by phone from Monday to Friday from 11.00-12.30 and 13.00-15.00 and the desk is open from Monday to Friday from 11.00-15.00. Address Drift 10, 3512 BS Utrecht Phone number (030) 253 6285 E-mail address

Student Services You can contact Student Services for information and advice. This includes for example issues regarding admission, application and enrolment, tuition fees, financial assistance, having a paid job during your programme, insurance, schemes and facilities for outstanding student athletes, student housing, student organisations, and information about studying with a disability or chronic illness. Address: Opening hours: E-mail: Phone number:

Bestuursgebouw, Heidelberglaan 6 (De Uithof) Monday tol Friday 10.00-16.00 (please mention your student number) 030 253 7000

Student psychologist Utrecht University has two student psychologists: Fokke Dijkstra and Renske Marechal. If you are a Dutch student or understand the Dutch language, you can schedule an appointment at If you are an international student,



please contact Student Services either by phone or by visiting the desk – not by e-mail – to schedule an introductory meeting. During the introductory meeting, the Student Psychologist will investigate your issue. This will involve a focus on your personal background. Sometimes this initial meeting will be sufficient to assist you with your issue, sometimes additional meetings will be required. Either way, the student psychologists are happy to help.

Centre of Teaching and Learning The Centre of Teaching and Learning provides workshops on education, teaching and learning for teachers and students. They have several courses on offer to improve your academic skills. Most courses, however, are in Dutch, although there may be exceptions. If you are interested, contact the Centre of Teaching and Learning to learn more about the possibilities:



4. Important dates and deadlines Academic calendar SEMESTER I Start period 1: Monday September 5th 2016 (week 36) Start period 2: Monday November 14th 2016 (week 46) Christmas recess: December 26th 2016 until January 6th 2017 (week 52 and week 1) SEMESTER II Start period 3: Monday February 6th 2017 (week 6) Start period 4: Monday April 24th 2017 (week 17) HOLIDAYS Christmas: December 25th and 26th 2016 King’s Day: April 27th 2017 New Year’s: January 1st 2017 Liberation Day: May 5th 2017 th Good Friday: April 14 2017 Ascension Day: May 25th 2017 th th Easter: April 16 and 17 2017 Pentecost: June 4th and 5th 2017

Dates and deadlines programme Start of period 3: Start looking for an internship position. End of period 3: Hand in your thesis. End of period 4: Hand in your internship report.

Enrolment deadlines Utrecht University uses a so-called ‘time-slot model’ for course planning, and each block has its own specific registration deadlines for on-time and late registrations. Please note that course registration is only possible during the official registration periods. For up-to-date information about the model and these deadlines, see:

Graduation Ceremony The Master's programme New Media & Digital Culture organises a graduation ceremony a couple of times per year. The exact time and location of the graduation ceremony will be announced in a personal invitation that you will receive by email. Your graduation date is included in the email you receive from the Board of Examiners when you graduate automatically. See for more information on the graduation procedure.



5. Programme information 5.1. Programme outline The programme of the new media and digital culture master has been specifically set up to train you in the necessary methodological knowledge, theoretical bases, ethical issues, and professional skills so as to prepare you for your future academic or extra-academic professional career in new or social media. For this reason, we have set up the course trajectory as shown below. Out of these courses, both Research Labs, New Media Theories, and Game Studies: Theory to Practice are compulsory. Besides these compulsory modules, you also have to do at least two electives that can segue well into your research internship and your own area of interest for your thesis research. Through this trajectory, you will gain a strong foundation in new media research, while also steering your training into your own preferred area of specialisation. MASTER NEW MEDIA AND DIGITAL CULTURE COURSES OVERVIEW Block 1

Block 2

Research Lab 1: Situating Research New Media Theories: Thinkers, Debates, and Questions Game Studies: Theory to Practice

Research Lab 2: Designing Research Elective 1

Block 3

Block 4

MA Thesis (15 EC)

Research Internship (15 EC)

Elective 2

Students choose two out of three of the programme’s Elective courses: The Datafied Society The Mobile, the Social, and the Urban Transmedia Please Note: you may only start the individual trajectory (thesis and research internship) once you have successfully completed the mandatory courses plus at least one elective. If after the first semester (block 1 and 2) you have not passed this threshold, the MA coordinators will contact you to talk about whether the program is the right fit for you. Supervision and writing You write the thesis and do their research internship under the supervision of a member of the academic staff in the preferred field of study. This will be someone who possesses relevant expertise to guide the student and is authorized for examination. The MA programme coordinators will initiate the supervisor assignment process in the course of block 2. In addition, the MA programme coordinators will at a later stage assign a ‘second reader’, someone who is involved in evaluating the thesis proposal as well as grading the final thesis. If the student experiences the supervision process as problematic for whatever reason, the student may contact the student advisor or the coordinator of the MA programme. Please note: it is possible to first do the research internship and then the thesis, for instance if you plan to use a research topic or research material gained during an internship for the thesis. If you want to first do the internship, make sure to discuss this well in advance with both your individual supervisor and the MA coordinators.



5.2. Courses (Block 1 & 2) Below you can find in-depth overviews of the compulsory and elective courses we offer. For additional information on the courses, have a look the courses’ individual Osiris page. Research Lab 1: Situating Research (block 1, Osiris link) This course will (re-)introduce students to the methods and methodologies that are viable in the field of new media studies in the humanities at Utrecht University. On top of this, students will engage in metareflection about the conceptual underpinnings these methods; i.e. they will learn about the traditions, assumptions and the explicit or implicit connections with certain new media theories in the humanities that are taught in the concomitant New Media Theories module. In connection with learning to identify the assumptions and traditions behind these methods, students will learn to assess the possible ethical issues involved in the application of each individual method and the justification in light of research ethics when formulating a methodology or research question. At the end of this course, students will have learned which method may serve which types of research questions, and will be able to assess the ethical and practical viability of each such method. They will also have grasped which methods (and their implied epistemological traditions and theoretical underpinnings) will be appropriate for pursuing their own individual research interest. Students will have learned how to express all these aspects of the methodology trajectory in oral and written form, by way of participating in in-class debate, of a group presentation, and of a written methodology assignment. New Media Theories: Thinkers, Debates, and Questions (block 1, Osiris link) This course will get students acquainted with the state-of-the-art controversies, insights and debates around the cluster of new media theories in the Humanities taught at Utrecht University. Such controversies may involve the tensions between issues of representation and/or processuality/functionality; technological determinism and the social construction of technology; and media as potential instruments of empowerment and oppression, but may also segue into other points of philosophical or epistemological debate. The module will delve into the various traditions of thought that underlie these new media theories, and help students to determine which theories are appropriate for their own research project that they will further develop in the Research Lab 2 module. The module will also, when relevant, draw connections to the academic research skills and methods taught concomitantly in the Research Lab 1 module. After having completed this course, students will have gained thorough knowledge of key new media theories and they can describe analytical concepts in terms of their explicit and implicit theoretical assumptions. They will also be able to recognize how theoretical knowledge is both positioned in existing scientific debates and situated in a socio-cultural field, and how theoretical foundations create methodological implications. All this should enable them to formulate a relevant, coherent, and operationalizable theoretical framework for a research project within the field of new media studies, one that can be identified as typically Utrecht University-based. Game Studies: Theory to Practice (block 1, Osiris link) The course provides an overview of how game and play studies can be used in and are linked with digital media practices, such as the design of games and play, the ecology of the (Dutch) gaming industry, and the practice of research we conduct at Utrecht University. Examples of topics explored within this course are: ludification and gamification of practices, organizations, products, and services; serious gaming in social, educational, and political settings; and playful identity construction. All these aspects will be approached both through critical engagement with the on-topic literature and through practical assignments that require students to work creatively with these scholarly perspectives. The goal of this course is to give students in-depth knowledge of game studies as a dynamic interdisciplinary field of academic study and research that focuses on digital games and play in a wide variety of social and cultural contexts. The students will learn how to use the concepts of game, play, and playfulness as a tool for the analysis of contemporary digital media practices, communication technologies, and digital culture as such. In terms of methods, this course combines textual analysis (of



new media objects including games), cultural studies (focusing on play and playfulness), analytical game design (using experimental design practices to explore game/play-related research questions) and discourse analysis. Moreover, the course will prepare students to reflect on game and play-related practices in relation to their social, cultural, and political context. Research Lab 2: Designing Research (block 2, Osiris link) This course will focus on the development of the academic competencies related to methodologies and level of professionalisation for any starting academic researcher. In this module, students will learn how to write an individual research proposal which can serve as the foundation for their internship and/or thesis research. The module will teach students to formulate appropriate research questions, methods and methodologies; combine such methods with the appropriate theoretical framework, as well as think through the ethical implications of such methods, for their own personal research projects. It will also incorporate various forms of academic professionalisation like editing a graduate journal, pitching a paper for a journal, and setting up a conference or workshop with external specialists in the field of new media studies. At the end of this course, students will have learned how to write a full-fledged research proposal. They will also have learned how to assess, critique, and edit academic work by their peers, as well as how to provide constructive feedback in a classroom, workshop or conference setting. Students will also have acquired at least one of the skills related to the organisational aspects of facilitating a workshop or conference. Elective: The Datafied Society (block 2, Osiris link) In almost all areas of our contemporary society and culture, data collection, databases, algorithms and software emerge as crucial actors in processes of social (inter)action, cultural production and decisionmaking. This profoundly affects our understanding of authorship, consumption, cultural participation and political agency. Existing approaches to digital phenomena including software studies, platform studies, critical code studies and game studies provide theoretical framing and place related research endeavours in the broader field of science & technology studies. Within the humanities, the computational turn labelled as 'digital humanities' builds on that foundation: it expands the research abilities by valorising the existing debates in combination with novel, genuinely digital methodologies. First, the course is intended to develop an overview and understanding of the phenomenon of datafication and pervasive software use, the related literature and the different positions of critical cultural inquiry into digital technologies. Second, the course fosters the student’s ability to conduct an independent research project. Third, the course teaches students to assess the relative benefits and drawbacks of practice-based and theoretical approaches towards the subject matter. Elective: The Mobile, the Social, and the Urban (block 2, Osiris link) In a relatively short time span our communication patterns and computing habits have been ‘mobilized’. Mobile and social media have rapidly become part and parcel of urban life. They shape how we live, work, travel, spend leisure time, and meet. This has profound consequences for our sense of place, social relationships, and our sense of self. Moreover, digital media technologies today are part of the infrastructures, practices, and institutional arrangements on which urban life itself is based. So-called ‘smart cities’ experiment with digital media, like sensors, data, the internet of things and social media dashboards, to help improve urban life. In this course we focus on this amalgamation of telecommunications devices, portable computational devices, and smart and connected objects in urban settings. We investigate how the social is mobilized, and at the same time how mobile media are tied to urban places, situations and developments. Students develop an in-depth understanding of the ways mobile/social media technologies shape urban life. They become familiar with main themes, concepts and approaches in the multidisciplinary field of urban new media research, and with adjacent fields of research. In this course you will learn to report on research results obtained through small fieldwork assignments in both oral and written form, to position yourself academically and develop an original approach to question, analyse and reflect on mobile/social media in relation to city life. The aim of the course is to



enhance your theoretical understanding of the main issues at stake in the emerging field of urban new media; identify dominant approaches in this field (academic, but also policy, industry and civic initiatives); develop an original research approach for your individual assignment and matching methodology; present your results in written and oral form according to academic standards; and acquire insight into the job market through for instance a guest lecture or event visit. Elective: Transmedia (block 2, Osiris link) This course investigates transmedia phenomena like transmedia storytelling, world building, cross-media circulation, multi-platform distribution and second screen applications. They will be discussed in relation to distinct media and approached, amongst others, from media-industrial and political economy perspectives. The course familiarizes students with industrial practices related to transmedia phenomena. Students solidify professional research skills and train communicative competences to communicate their knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences. After successfully completing this course students have informed knowledge and understanding of various transmedia phenomena and of relevant concepts and methods for studying and conceptualizing them. They are able to apply their knowledge of theories and concepts in order to analyse transmedia phenomena and to write a research paper.

5.3. Thesis (Block 3) After the courses in block 1 and 2, you will engage with writing your thesis in block 3. The MA thesis is a scholarly text in which you are expected to contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within the field of new media and digital culture. The size of the thesis is some 10.000 words, depending on the nature of the research (not counting notes, title page, list of illustrations, transcriptions, and bibliography). Larger theses have to be approved in advance by the student’s thesis supervisor. The aim of the Master’s thesis is that you demonstrates that you possess the ability to: 1. design, with partial guidance by a thesis supervisor, a 15 EC (= 420 hours) research project by formulating, analysing and evaluating issues and problems within the student’s academic field and setting up a research concept that adheres to the guidelines of the Master’s program; 2. carry out largely independent research on the topic described in the approved research concept; 3. Report, in the form of the thesis itself, about this research at a level that complies with generally accepted disciplinary norms. Contents To give you a general idea, the thesis you are asked to write should contain the following elements: 1. a research question, formulation of a problem, or thesis statement; 2. a critical description of the academic current state of affairs with regards to the chosen question or problem, based on relevant literature and other sources; 3. a critical justification of why particular theoretical and/or historiographical frameworks and sources have been chosen; 4. a description and motivation of the chosen research method(s) or/and methodological tradition; 5. an extended argument through which the research material is analysed in a clear, logical, and convincing manner with reference to the original research question or problem; 6. a conclusion of which the central focus is an answer to the original research question or problem plus a critical reflection on the outcomes and chosen methods, and which includes suggestions for further research; 7. foot- or endnotes that comply with international conventions; 8. a bibliography that complies with international conventions; 9. if applicable: a list of images and/or other audio-visual material used in the thesis;



Thesis preparations ● You will already have practiced the writing of a research proposal, together with the writing of methodological and theoretical sections, in both Research Lab courses as well as in the New Media Theories course. You will also have gained substantive knowledge about research ethics during these modules. The thesis phase is where you will now have to apply these skills, knowledge and practices to setting up your individual research proposal. ● After the supervisor has been assigned in the course of block 2, you should make an appointment to present and discuss your initial ideas about the thesis, and to agree upon mutual expectations in terms of availability, manner of feedback, and preparatory schedules (reading and writing). Not every supervisor works the same way, so be sure that these agreements are clear at an early stage. ● In preparation of block 3 you have to start working on a preliminary research proposal (see research proposal guidelines below). The Research Lab 2 course will help you prepare this proposal. At the start of block 3 you hand in this proposal with your supervisor for feedback. ● In the second week of the thesis block you present and defend your final research proposal in an oral exam. The second reader is present during this exam. This is to be considered a public defence of the research proposal, where you demonstrate your knowledge (vocabulary, repertoire and discourse) of the field of New Media & Digital Culture in general and your thesis topic in particular. After the presentation the supervisor and second reader assess the proposal according to the proposal guidelines, and, in case of a satisfactory result, you are given formal permission to proceed. If you need to rewrite certain aspects of the proposal, you will receive feedback on what those aspects are, and will be asked to hand the proposal again. After final approval, all parties involved sign both the Plagiarism Rules Awareness Statement (a copy of which can be obtained here* and the Humanities Thesis Protocol (found here**). * **

Research Proposal guidelines To ensure you are well prepared for the oral exam for the thesis, your research proposal should include the following: ● a brief introduction to the subject, including a justification of its relevance; ● a clearly formulated research question/problem and a number of additional sub questions; ● a presentation of a preliminary literature survey (working bibliography), consisting of at least 15 academic titles/references of which at least five will have to be presented in reading analyses (circa 600 words each) that discuss their academic and argumentative relevance; ● a description of the proposed theoretical framework as it relates to the research question (e.g. fundamental concepts, central arguments, key authors, and relevant theoretical traditions); ● a description of the proposed research method as it relates to the research question, including methodological literature (handbooks, key examples of use) and a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses; ● a substantiated indication of the envisioned/projected research material and of the considerations that play a role in determining and limiting it (how much, how long, what and why, and what not), taking into account the accessibility of the prospective material. The overall schedule of Block 3 looks like this: Block Week


Before the start of block 3 (6 February 2017)

Start thinking/writing on preliminary research proposal

Week 1

Hand in preliminary research proposal

Goals of discussion/meeting with supervisor

Process feedback on preliminary research proposal



Week 2

Hand in final research proposal

Present and discuss final research proposal

Week 4

Hand in draft version of theoretical/methodological chapter

Discuss and process feedback on draft version of theoreticalmethodological chapter

Week 5

Hand in final version of theoretical/methodological chapter

Discuss final version of theoretical-methodological chapter

Week 8-9

Hand in draft version of thesis

Discuss draft version of thesis

End of Block

Hand in final version of thesis

Present thesis findings at graduate seminar

Students who have switched around the order of the thesis and research internship, please note that during the summer holidays the student is not entitled to supervision. This means that in order to benefit fully from supervision feedback, the final version of the thesis should ideally be near completion on June 15. The final possibility to hand in a thesis in time for graduation during the active academic year is August 15, but keep in mind that this generally will be a version that has received little additional feedback. ASSESSMENT FORM The assessment of the thesis will be done by two evaluators by filling out a standard evaluation form. This form can be found here*. Please have a look at it to know what to expect. The document also explains formal preconditions which need to be met as well as the aspects of the thesis which need to receive at least a satisfactory evaluation in order to earn a passing grade. *

PROCEDURES AND GRADING Your thesis will be graded by the two supervisors, who will now act as evaluators. They will fill out the assessment forms separately and come to a final grade after joint consultation. Once you have handed in the final version of the thesis, your supervisors have 10 working days to evaluate the thesis and inform you of the final grade. If the first and second evaluator request assistance, and in cases in which the first and second evaluator cannot agree on the final grade for a thesis, a third evaluator will be approached and consulted by the first evaluator. The student will be given notice by the first evaluator that a third evaluator has been employed and that the grading period of 10 working days will be extended by another 10 working days. The third evaluator evaluates the grade of the first and second evaluator by examining their provisional grades and argumentation. The judgement of the third evaluator is binding. If the third evaluator agrees with the other two evaluators on the proposed grade (if all evaluators agree), no further argumentation is needed. A brief explanation will otherwise suffice. For more detailed information on this process, see the assessment form here*. After the graduation period you will receive the filled-in assessment forms of the supervisors. Eventually the master’s thesis should be uploaded in the digital theses archive of the University Library (the Utrecht University Repository). This is a compulsory part of graduating. It is also possible to view the work of other students in the Utrecht University Repository, sorted by faculty. For more information on the graduation process, see chapter 7.3.



5.4. Research Internship (Block 4) Step 1: You can find internship positions via our Facebook Group (, the internship offerings on the NMDC website (see, via the general internship site of the faculty (, via Mediastages (, via VillaMedia ( n/vacatures.shtm), via your supervisor or via other avenues. Let your choice be guided by your work interests as well as your research interests, and bear in mind that an internship of at least 15 EC requires a time investment of approximately three months full time. Step 2: As soon as you have found an internship position, you need to prepare an Internship Agreement and a Work Plan, the forms for which you can download at Your work plan should consist of the filled out Internship Work Plan Form and a content section, which must contain all of the elements stated in the Internship Guidelines (for the exact details, please see Name, student number, supervisor, name of your mentor at the internship position, their address, telephone number and email address (if available), plus the total length of the internship; ● ● ● ●

A justification of the choice of internship and the learning goals you would like to achieve; A description of your research proposal, which clearly states the kind of academically relevant question you would like to answer, and with what theory, method(s) and sources; A description of the content and time frame of the work to be carried out, both the practical as well as the research related aspects; Agreements about the nature and intensity of supervision, both from the internship institution and from your supervisor.

Once all has been approved and signed, turn the entire dossier in at the Student Desk Humanities (‘Studiepunt’) at Drift 8 and you will be automatically registered for the research internship. N.B.: Once you have handed in the internship contract at the Student Desk you will be enrolled for the internship, this does not happen through Osiris! Step 3: What you do during the research internship consists, by definition, of two parts: practical duties and research activities. The practical duties consist of the work that the organisation took you on for: editorial work, advice, logistics, etc. Usually this results in delivering a specific product (report, website). Concurrently with these duties, you carry out academic research that is embedded in your specific work environment. In an ideal scenario the practical duties and research activities will overlap one-for-one; that is, when your internship mentor asks you to conduct academic research for them. In most cases however, the two activities do not overlap as easily, which means that in your planning and approach you should bear both assignments in mind. Make sure that both the practical duties and research activities (questions and methods) are described in your internship plan of work. Your supervisor must approve this plan before you can start! Step 4: Your research internship report needs to be a description and reporting of your research. Evaluative attention to the practical duties – including, where applicable, (a summary of) the products delivered – can of course be integrated into the research report, or you can include it in an appendix or in the introduction. It should be clear that no two internship research reports are alike; the final form of your report will be the result of choices you make in consultation with your supervisor. In terms of size, you should think of around 8000 words (not including additional internship products). You will further write about 300 words of academic reflection on the internship and your research findings and post this on



Step 5: Your supervisor will in most cases visit you at your workplace at the start or at the end of your internship to discuss the setup or the evaluation of your internship with you and your mentor. The final evaluation of your internship will take place on the bases of these discussions, the evaluation form filled out by your mentor, and of course the quality of your internship research report. You will get the chance to share your findings and experiences with the rest of your cohort at the end of the block.

5.5. Career orientation During your programme you will improve your knowledge, but you will also work on academic and professional skills. Such skills, like doing oral presentations for clients, reviewing work written by peers, organising a workshop or conference, managing and editing a journal, will be part of the Research Lab 2 module. Besides this, there will be a variety of extracurricular events that will take place in Utrecht and the vicinity, in which you can further sharpen your professional and organisational skills. Internship opportunities in the wide field of new and social media businesses and organisations with which the programme has connections, further allow you to gain professional experience. While it may not always be clear when you are dealing with career orientation during your entire master - apart from the events and workshops explicitly dedicated to career orientation - it is advisable to prepare yourself for your future career during your master by going through – as research shows - the following phases: reflecting on your motivation and work values, researching your opportunities on the job market, creating ties with potential employers and practicing skills as needed for your job application and the following interview. This way, you will establish yourself as a professional. The following outline shows the department-wide career orientation events per block, which takes place on top of the professionalization within the courses and extracurricular activities of the master programme. Most of these events are organised by the programme in collaboration with the study association and the department. Block 1 Introduction: your classmates are part of your future network. Your coordinator is there to help you with your studies but also knows where alumni have ended up working. Workshop Selfanalysis for the job market (or internship) in collaboration with Career Services. Do a test on the website of Career Services and discover your work values. Guest lecturers in various courses offer insight in how you can benefit from your programme and skills in your future career.

Block 2 Workshop Networking and job interviews in collaboration with Career Services. LinkedIn profile Creating such a profile helps you to think about yourself as a professional (workshop available). Excursion / Festival The Research Lab offers insight in the job market, together with other extra-curricular activities. Speed-dating with alumni or a dinner with several company representatives? Talk to your study association!

Block 3 As a welcome change of scenery from writing your Thesis: find someone interesting in your LinkedIn group and meet up for coffee to discuss his/her job! Become a member of the alumni community of your programme and of an alumni LinkedIn group and keep in touch with your teachers. Alumni have a right to the services of Career Services up to half a year after graduation.

Block 4 Your internship will help you to put your skills and knowledge into practice. The trajectory Entrepreneurship teaches you more about creating and managing your own business. On the Career day (organised together with the study association) there will be room for meeting company representatives and increasing your network. At the Media of Tomorrow event, alumni share their experience regarding the transition from university to the job market.



Graduates of this Master’s programme await a large and expanding professional field: • Educational and cultural institutions: graduates are well prepared to transfer knowledge and skills in ways that connect with the expectations of many types of audiences in educational and cultural settings. Think of schools and universities, or public organizations that help advocate new media literacies • Governmental institutions: graduates fill advisory positions in governmental institutions and shape policies that make a difference in how our society gives its citizens the (digital) opportunities to act and have influence. The political ramifications of new media are often hidden in hardware and algorithms, but our students will know how to bring them out in the open and make them subject of critical reflection • Media industries: graduates enter careers in media, information, communication, and cultural industries as advisor, producer, developer, interface/software architect, festival organizer, presenter, designers engineer, etc. Looking at the LinkedIn profiles of alumni on, a rough estimation is that some 70% find a job in a new media-related context within six months of graduation, and others find jobs in other areas in which they are able to deploy academic skills. This indicates that the programme’s learning goals and end-terms sufficiently comply with the demands of the professional field.

5.6. Policies and Procedures EDUCATION AND EXAMINATION REGULATIONS Every programme has its own Education and Examination Regulations (EER), in which the specific rules and regulations of that programme are described. There are also general Education and Examination Regulations that all Humanity programmes have to adhere to. The EER of your programme can be found by visiting

FRAUD AND PLAGIARISM The most serious forms of deception that can impair integrity are fraud and plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of fraud and is defined as the wrongful appropriation of another author’s work without proper citation. The text below provides further elaboration on what may be considered fraud or plagiarism, along with a number of concrete examples. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list! If the university discovers a case of fraud or plagiarism, the study programme’s Examination Committee may implement sanctions on the offender. The most serious sanction that the Examination Committee may implement is the submission of a request for expulsion to the Executive Board. Fraud Fraud may include: Copying answers from another person during an exam. The person providing the opportunity to copy is considered an accomplice to fraud; Being in possession of (i.e. having/carrying) tools and resources during examinations, such as pre-programmed calculators, mobile phones, smartwatch, smart-glasses, books, course readers, notes, etc., consultation of which is not explicitly permitted; Allowing others to complete all or part of an assignment, and passing it off as your own work; Acquisition of the questions or answers of an exam prior to the time the exam is to take place; Fabrication of survey- or interview answers or research data. Plagiarism Plagiarism is the appropriation of another author’s works, thoughts, or ideas and the representation of such as one’s own work. The following are some examples of what may be considered plagiarism: Copying and pasting text from digital sources, such as encyclopaedias or digital periodicals, without using quotation marks and referring to the source; Copying and pasting text from the Internet without using quotation marks and referring to the source;







Copying information from printed materials, such as books, periodicals or encyclopaedias, without using quotation marks and referring to the source; Using a translation of the texts listed above in one’s own work, without using quotation marks and referring to the source; Paraphrasing from the texts listed above without a (clear) reference: paraphrasing must be marked as such (by explicitly linking the text with the original author, either in text or a footnote), ensuring that the impression is not created that the ideas expressed are those of the student; Using another person’s imagery, video, audio or test materials without reference and in so doing representing them as one’s own work; Resubmission of the student’s own earlier work without source references, and allowing this to pass for work originally produced for the purpose of the course, unless this is expressly permitted in the course or by the lecturer; Using other students’ work and representing it as one’s own work. If this occurs with the other student’s permission, then he or she may be considered an accomplice to the plagiarism; When one author of a joint paper commits plagiarism, then all authors involved in that work are accomplices to the plagiarism if they could have known or should have known that the other was committing plagiarism; Submitting papers provided by a commercial institution, such as an internet site with summaries or papers, or which have been written by others, regardless of whether the text was provided in exchange for payment.

For more information, see COMPLAINTS If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond in a number of ways. A complaint relates to conduct towards you. You cannot submit a complaint about a general rule or scheme. For more information, see APPEALS Every university has an Examination Appeals Board to which students can appeal. This Board is an independent appeals board established in accordance with the Higher Education and Research Act [Wet op het Hoger Onderwijs en Wetenschappelijk onderzoek]. It includes members from various different faculties. The chair and the deputy chair are both lawyers. Students also serve on the Examination Appeals Board. You can appeal decisions relating to: • Satisfying the requirements of the final academic review in connection with the performancelinked grant • Examination eligibility • A colloquium doctum (entrance examination) and addressing any deficiencies • Admission to the university teacher training programmes that qualify graduates to teach all classes at senior general secondary education (havo) and university preparatory education (vwo) level • Negative binding recommendation concerning the continuation of studies • Admission to a Master’s degree programme • Admission to a degree programme for which selection criteria are applied • Decisions made by Boards of Examiners and examiners. For more information, see



6. Extra-curricular activities While we can only offer a select amount of courses during our MA programme, there is plenty of opportunity to enrich your MA experience by being part of some of the following extra-curricular activities: Social Media Community New Media and Digital Culture has a large and active social media community of both current students and staff as well as hundreds of alumni of the programme. In the Facebook group especially, you will find an ongoing stream of links to interesting articles, events, guest lectures, and new internship positions. Simple follow the link and ask to become a member to get access to the Facebook group: Research Groups Within our department, several research groups are active which deal with new media and digital culture related themes and topics. These groups consist of research staff, PhD students and interested (R)MA students and often organize lectures, seminars, expert meetings, and other activities. Have a look at the websites of the groups for more information: - The Datafied Society: This research group presents a platform for the investigation of the algorithmic turn in the humanities & the datafication of everyday life & cultural artefacts. Humanities scholars should work in the field, alongside practitioners and ‘get their hands dirty’. They should embrace their capacity for critical inquiry and use the ‘new empirical’ resultant of the unfolding data revolution to provoke questions and generate insights. - [urban interfaces]: A platform for a critical investigation of urban interfaces for creative and participatory engagement at the crossing of academic research and cultural practices. Focusing on mobile and situated media, arts, and performances, the platform brings together and initiates critical reflections on, and actual interventions in, these socio-spatial activities and their shaping and staging of urban culture. - Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play: Here, we examine digital games as well as the role of play in our contemporary culture. Due to an increased ludification of culture, we aim to re-evaluate the manner in which we study media and culture. One approach we use for this purpose is the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. The study of digital games and play therefore enables us to address fundamental changes in the way we create and use media. - Television in Transition: The Centre for Television in Transition, or TViT, is a research initiative of television and media scholars attached to the Department of Media and Culture and to the Research Institute for History and Culture (OGC) of the Faculty. They develop, coordinate, carry out, publish and promote the study of television in transition from its early beginnings. Main research areas are television’s screens, histories, discourses, and practices. They pose that television is a medium that never just is, but constantly is in the state of transition, especially in relation to new media and the digital environment. Utrecht Data School The Utrecht Data School (UDS) is a research project in which students analyse and visualise data for organisations. Students of Master New Media and Digital Culture can opt to do a research internship with UDS. Under the guidance of experienced scientists from UDS students actively apply their knowledge to data collection, analysis and visualization of data and the formulation of a comprehensive analysis of their findings in a professional report for external partners. The Utrecht School Data can be summarised



as a unique experience for students to reflect on the transformation of society through data-driven practices. More information at: Utrecht Game Lab The Utrecht Game Lab (UGL) is a space where scholars and designers meet to design and study games. It is a research project that bridges research in computer science and humanities. The UGL pursues several on-going projects and organizes weekly meetings, some with a specific agenda and others dedicated to project work. Participants will learn to make and remix games using tools like Game Maker: Studio, Unity 3D or paper prototyping and to use them as a means of analysing games; existing programming skills are not required. Rather, students with non-technical backgrounds acquire experimental game creation skills and learn how to productively incorporate practical design activities into their theoretical work on and with games. The game lab is part of the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play (GAP) and Utrecht University’s Focus Area Games Research. Participation if free. More information at: SETUP SETUP is an Utrecht-based medialab for anyone interested in the fusion of technology and culture. They focus on current developments that are grounded in –and accelerated by– new technologies. Their mission is to contribute to a new kind of media, algorithm and data-literacy, necessary to understand the processes behind our very daily lives. Current themes address digital redlining, data profiling, algorithmic ethical decision-making and machine-learning. In every project, they work closely together with (visual) artists to construct a new iconic visual language for topics that are hard to grasp. Therefore, many of their events, workshops and campaigns are not just informative, but often also provocative or hilarious. For example, their Koppie-Koppie campaign sold coffee mugs with Flickr photos of other people's children (licensed to be used commercially), to address privacy issues. This campaign even got featured on CNN. In DIY-NSA they address data profiling by building a birthday calendar of all Dutch citizens; this workshop featured on SXSW and in numerous German newspapers like Der Spiegel. In addition to more critical topics, they organise light-hearted events to celebrate popular culture and media art. This ranges from building your own VR world (Coffee & Cardboards) to bringing together 80 artists for a huge pop-up exhibition (Bring Your Own Beamer). SETUP welcomes students interested in learning how to translate academic new media research into appealing formats and accessible events for a broader audience. An internship at SETUP also includes sharpening your production and marketing skills. SETUP is wellestablished in the Dutch e-culture scene and is often a gateway for those interested in working in this field after their master’s degree. See Impakt Impakt deals with questions about society, digital culture and media from different angles and disciplines such as arts, academia and technology. Or, to be a bit more specific: Impakt presents critical and creative views on contemporary media culture and innovative audio-visual arts in an interdisciplinary context that are presented in events, film programs and talks. Impakt organises the annual Impakt Festival, this year taking place from 26 – 30 October 2016 and themed ‘Does Authenticity still matter?’ A five-day multimedia festival with exhibitions, lectures and screenings at different locations in the city of Utrecht will engage the issue of whether in our hyperlinked network culture, the valuation of characteristics like hybridity and reproducibility have shifted. At the same time, omnipresent marketing and self-representation strategies more than ever emphasise sincerity as both a life goal and an experience. How may we understand this paradox? Impakt presents a great place for doing an internship. They need interns especially in the months from August to October 2016, but also in the Summer months. See Studium Generale Studium Generale offers lectures, symposia and debates to students, teachers and anyone interested in science and the arts and the way they are related. Topics also include the impact of new technologies and philosophy of science and technology. All the activities are free and open to anyone without prior reservation. Make your selection of individual lectures, talks or discussions or attend a whole series of activities covering a subject from the angle of different disciplines. You will find most of their activities in



the evening in the University Aula at Domplein in Utrecht or during lunch time at the University Library in De Uithof. Some of the activities are in English to cater the international public in Utrecht and surroundings. Check out their events at:



7. Practical information 7.1. Study delay Study delay can be caused by different circumstances and situations and can have serious consequences. If you are a full-time student and your studies have been delayed as a result of circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to receive (financial) compensation or other facilities. Always contact your Study Advisor if you are expecting a delay in your studies for over one month, and if necessary you can schedule an appointment with a Student Psychologist or Student Counsellor (via Student services) for guidance and advice. Note that in the following situations a study delay is to be foreseen, and compensation is not guaranteed: • Pregnancy • Longer than expected time to start/finish an internship • Board activities in a student organisation • Disabilities or (chronic) illness • Student athletes For more information please also see

7.2. Workshops There are a couple of workshops available to help you with your studies; workshops in training academic skills for instance, but also in training academic writing. Most courses are offered in English (even though some are not listed on the English website), others are only taught in Dutch. If you are interested in taking one of these workshops, it might be best to visit Additionally there are language courses on offer by Babel ( This organisation offers Dutch and English courses in English and a couple of foreign language courses in Dutch and/or the target language.

7.3. Graduation Your faculty’s Board of Examiners determines when you graduate and what your final examination date (the date on your diploma) is. You will have graduated when you meet all examination requirements. The Board of Examiners will inform you by email as soon as you have almost met these requirements. Please note that graduating does not always mean your enrolment will end automatically! If you wish to terminate your enrolment before the end of the academic year, you have to do so yourself. Do you wish to postpone your graduation? You will have to file a request for postponement with the Board of Examiners within two weeks after their informing you of your imminent graduation, so keep a close eye on your UU Gmail account. On the International Diploma Supplement your GPA will be mentioned. The GPA of a master programme is based on the weighted average of all final grades of the programme. This weighted average is calculated on the basis of the following table:



CUM LAUDE As it is written in article 6.2 of the faculty part of the EER 2016-2017: a)

The Master's Degree may be awarded 'cum laude' if each of the following conditions has been met: a weighted average mark of at least 8.0 has been earned for the components of the study programme; the mark for all components is 7.0 or higher; the credit load of exemptions that do not count does not exceed 15 ECTS; the Board of Examiners has not taken any decision as referred to in Clause 5.15, Subclause 4 under b; the mark for the final thesis is 8.5 or higher; has passed the final examination of the Master’s Degree Programme within one year (parttime within 2 years; 90 EC full time Master’s Degree Programme: within one and a half years). b) Results that have not been expressed in a mark will not be counted in the assessment of the degree classification. c) The Board of Examiners may, on its own initiative or the initiative of a teacher, in individual cases make an exception to this rule, to the advantage of the student. d) The cum laude classification will be stated on the degree certificate.

TERMINATION OF ENROLMENT Your enrolment can be terminated as of the 1st of the month following your request for termination of enrolment, no sooner. This means that if you submit a request for termination in the month of September, your enrolment will be terminated as of 1 October. You cannot terminate your enrolment retroactively. When you graduate, you may choose to terminate your enrolment as of the 1st of the month following your graduation date. You may also stay enrolled for the rest of the academic year, in which case your enrolment automatically ends as of 1 September. Do you want your enrolment to end as of 1 September? Or do you decide to stop in the month June, July or August? Then there is no need to request termination of enrolment. Your current enrolment will automatically end as of 1 September. For more information: VALIDITY RESIDENCE PERMIT If you are a non-EU/EEA student and hold a residence permit for study purposes, your residence permit is only valid as long as you are enrolled as a student at Utrecht University. From the date you are no longer enrolled, your residence permit becomes void and you will be required to leave the country within 28 days. For more information please contact the visa department:

7.4. Solis-id Your Solis-id is your user name for most university services. Used in combination with your Solis password, it gives you access to services such as OSIRIS, Blackboard and SURFspot. You should also sign in using your Solis-id at university computers. You will have been sent your Solis-id and password in two separate emails when you enrolled at the university or took part in the matching programme. If you have not received these emails, please take your student card or proof of enrolment to UU for U Student Services. If you have received your Solis-id but not your password, go to the password self-service ( to change your password. Here you can also create a new password if you have forgotten your password. Once you are no longer enrolled at Utrecht University you will be sent an email warning you that your Solis-id and password are only valid for another 180 days. After this six-month period you will no longer



be able to use the IT services associated with your Solis-id. Your email address will also be terminated. It is therefore important that you save and secure any files and emails that you want to keep. Do you want to backup your emails? You can easily do this by making a copy of the data from your account via Google takeout. For more information, please see

7.5. Osiris Osiris Student is the internet portal to the Osiris study information system. Here you can register for courses and tests, and review your results and course schedule. Access Osiris Student with your Solis-id via or click the Osiris-icon you find below every page on the Humanities students website at

7.6. UU Gmail Every student has access to his/her own UU Gmail account at All university communication is expected to make use this account. You log in with your UU Gmail email address (for example: and the password that has been sent to you via an external mail address. Please note that your UU Gmail password is not always the same as your Solis password.

7.7. Blackboard All Utrecht University students and staff use the digital learning environment Blackboard. You can use the Blackboard Mobile Learn app to access Blackboard information on your mobile devices. This app is made available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. In Blackboard, under ‘Support’ > ‘Support students’, you will find a Quick Start Guide to help you get started.

7.8. WiFi Utrecht University has a wireless network called eduroam in most of its university buildings. Log in using your (for example and your password. You can find help setting up this network on your device on Eduroam is also available at other educational institutions, both nationally as well as internationally. You can log in on the Eduroam network at any location using your UU Solis-id and password.

7.9. Library Utrecht University has multiple libraries, but the most important ones for Humanities are the one in the city centre and in the Utrecht Science Park (sometimes referred to as ‘de Uithof’). Both locations have a large collection of not only books but also manuscripts, journals, films and audio files. It is also possible to make use of the computers and printers and study in the designated study areas. Borrowing books You must have a library card to be able to borrow books. This card is available for free for UU students and can be created for you at the library desk. The standard loan period of books is 28 days, although you can borrow some books and journals for a shorter period. Using the website, you can extend your loan multiple times, unless someone else has reserved the book. You can borrow up to 15 books at the same time. Should you need more books at once due to exceptional circumstances, permission may be granted to raise the amount of books you are allowed to borrow at the same time. Using the catalogue, you can make a reservation on books. Once you have done that (and if the book is available/not on loan at that time) the university library team will collect the book and place it on a



bookshelf at the entrance of the library (‘de afhaalkast’). Books that are not stored in the depot are easily accessible, as they are on their shelves. Look the shelf number up in the catalogue or browse through the bookcases until you find what you are looking for. If you do not return your books in time, you will receive a reminder and a 7 days extension to return them. If the books are not returned by the end of the seventh day, you will be fined. The height of the fine will depend on the amount of books and the amount of days they are due. You can pay your fine at the desk or the designated pay machine. You will also be fined for damaged books, so make sure you look after them! ‘Collegeplanken’ Teachers can choose to reserve certain books and have them placed on a specific shelf for the duration of their course. These shelves are called ‘collegeplanken’ and cannot be borrowed for the duration of the course. This way students can all take a look at the books and make copies if necessary. The collegeplanken can be found in the city centre library and are labelled after the title of the course. Practical information The library buildings are opened from Monday to Friday from 08.00-22.30, on Saturday from 10.0018.00 and on Sunday from 10.00-22.30. Opening hours may vary during the holidays. During exam periods the library usually closes later than normal opening hours. Universiteitsbibliotheek Binnenstad Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht Science Park

Drift 27, 3512 BR Utrecht Heidelberglaan 3, 3584 CS Utrecht

For more information and the library catalogue:

7.10. Course evaluations Good quality education is important to you and also to the Faculty of Humanities. In order to guarantee the quality of education, the faculty and programme would like to know your opinion on the courses you have attended. At the end of each block, you will receive an invitation via email to fill in a questionnaire and to provide feedback for each course. The digital evaluation system Caracal ( is used for the course evaluations. You can log in to Caracal using your Solis-id and password. You will then see the course evaluations that apply to you. By answering a couple of open and closed questions you evaluate the courses you have attended. All of the answers will be processed anonymously. After the deadline you will be able to see the results for evaluated courses in Caracal. All the answers to the open and closed questions are visible for students who attended the course and the lecturer(s) of the course. The lecturer(s) can also post a reaction to the course evaluation. Students who did not attend the course only see the answers to the closed questions and not the reaction of the lecturer(s). The Curriculum Committee will carefully review the results of the course evaluations and address potential problems or compliment good initiatives. They will publish their advice as a result of the course evaluations in Caracal for all students to see. This will occur twice each year, prior to the course registration period. It is therefore advisable to log in now and again to see if the Curriculum Committee has already posted their advice, or the lecturer has responded to your course evaluations.

7.11. Locations The staff offices of the New Media & Digital Culture team are at Muntstraat 2A and at Kromme Nieuwegracht 20 (entrance via Muntstraat 2a, then via the canteen). Address: Muntstraat 2A, 3512 EV Utrecht, The Netherlands Tel: +31 30 253 62 27 (reception)



Opening hours on workdays: 08:00-19:00 (8am - 7pm) On this website you can find an overview of all Humanities buildings used for educational purposes, including information on opening times, locations on the map, and contact details:

8. Getting around Utrecht

Utrecht is an amazing city with old canals, a lot of sightseeing spots, and nice bars and restaurants. The city centre can easily be covered on foot, while the rest of Utrecht is best visited using a bike or public transport. The Utrecht Visitors Website ( provides you with interesting historical locations, museums, festivals, shops, and group activities in the city. Before and during your stay in Utrecht this website may be very useful to you for all the questions you might have and more: Make sure to check it out!

Muntstraat Area You can find a link to the map of the Muntstraat area at:

Housing Finding an accommodation in Utrecht can be quite a challenge. Utrecht is one of the most popular university cities in the Netherlands, and the demand for student housing is surging. It is therefore absolutely necessary to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible. You may find accommodation via Dutch housing websites such as Kamernet ( and SHH (, which are both accessible in English as well as in Dutch. The latter reserves fully furnished rooms for international students (limited availability, and therefore on a first come, first served basis), so you might want to give that a shot first. Searching for a room online may or may not prove successful for you, so it is advisable to ask the International Office of the UU for help. Usually, Dutch accommodation websites offer housing to the person with the ‘oldest’ registration number. Some of the accommodation is available immediately, for others you need to be registered for a longer period of time (between 4-18 months). In some cases you will be invited to a Present Yourself Night. You visit the floor or house in which a room will be vacated, in order to both view the room and meet your prospective co-tenants.



9. Quick links ● • • • • • • • • • • • •

New Media & Digital Culture website: New Media & Digital Culture Facebook page: New Media & Digital Culture university website: Course catalogue: Student Gmail: Student apps for education: Student study spots: Blackboard (Electronic Learning Environment): Course evaluations: University library: University library catalogue: University library app (Android): University newsletter:



Š Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht, 2016

Programme book Master New Media and Digital Culture 2016-2017  

The master of New Media and Digital Culture's programme book provides you with all the relevant information on the programme itself (course...

Programme book Master New Media and Digital Culture 2016-2017  

The master of New Media and Digital Culture's programme book provides you with all the relevant information on the programme itself (course...