Digital Media Aesthetics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course focuses on rhetoric, aesthetics and hermeneutics in the new digital medium through cultural artifacts and practices such as hypertext, simulation systems, computer games, multi-user forums, and digital artworks.

Through exploration and analysis of new media and digital works, the students should develop theoretical and critical perspective on media development, the idea of a digital media evolution, and on the roles that technology plays in the media's cultural development. Topics such as computer art, technological visions and practice, electronic literature, virtual reality and computer games are examined and interpreted using various theories within the humanities.

Learning Outcomes


The candidate has knowledge of:

  • rhetoric, aesthetics and hermeneutics in new digital media
  • aesthetic and historical features of new cultural digital phenomena
  • theoretical and critical perspectives on new media and media development


The candidate can:

  • analyze various aesthetic and cultural aspects of new media
  • carry out analyzes of digital, cultural phenomena on an independent scientific basis
  • compare competing frameworks of understanding within digital aesthetic theory and assess their relevance for the understanding of digital works
  • design knowledge goals as a basis for method development in the master's degree project in Digital culture with a focus on aesthetic and literary approaches

General competence

The candidate can:

  • apply in-depth knowledge of artefact analysis, for example electronic literature and digital art forms
  • criticize general aesthetic perceptions in the media based on theory
  • formulate and communicate this reflection to both an academic and a general audience, including practicing digital artists or writers

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master and PhD

Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course

The course is open to all students with the right to study in the master's program in Digital Culture at UiB.

Students enrolled in other master's programs at UiB may apply to LLE for permission to enroll in the course.

Teaching and learning methods

There are twenty weeks in a semester, where ten weeks usually have classes. In the weeks of teaching there will usually be a two hour seminar. The class schedule will be available by the beginning of the semester. It is expected that students take active part in class discussion.

If fewer than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department's guidelines regarding this on Mitt UiB. Regarding a course where this is a possibility the students get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration 1.September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance is mandatory for everything the course covers. Course participation is approved by the course responsible. If the absence exceeds 25%, the student cannot take the exam.

During the semester, the student must submit two short written assignments.The mandatory assignments are either approved or not approved.

The mandatory assignments are valid in the teaching semester.

Forms of Assessment
Term paper at about 4000 words.
Grading Scale

Grade scale A-F. An explanation of this scale can be found on Mitt UiB.

PhD students grade scale Pass/Fail.

Assessment Semester
Reading List

The students must read an extensive common syllabus (equivalent to between 500 and 1000 pages) of books, articles, web-based texts and material and digital artefacts. Students must be prepared to read longer texts.

All material is usually in English. Students can use and refer to sources in other languages ¿¿in assignments.

In collaboration with the course responsible, the students themselves must choose theory-based additional readings corresponding to the joint curriculum.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.