DIGITAL AESTHETICS - 2018/9

Module code: DMA2007

Module Overview

An optional course of the second year of the programme, aimed at students particularly interested in gaining skills of aesthetic approach and analysis of digital media arts and objects.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

POULAKI M Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


Introduction to aesthetics
Aesthetic approach of various digital objects, processes and metaphors (e.g. the desktop metaphor, crashes, bugs, errors, and glitches)
Aesthetics of code
Interface aesthetics 
Aesthetic analysis of digital arts case studies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework INDIVIDUAL ESSAY 60
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PROJECTS & PRESENTATION 40

Alternative Assessment

An individual presentation (live or recorded) may be submitted as an alternative to the group presentation

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test students’ subject knowledge and analytical skills (Essay) and to design and share a digital art project that self-consciously thematises and develops the aesthetics of a digital object (Group Project).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Written essay (2500 words), (week 10)
Group Project with presentation  (week 14)


Formative assessment and feedback

Will include individual short essay tasks (weeks 2 and 7) and group presentation of project ideas (week 3). Feedback will be given in one-to-one tutorials and during seminars.

Module aims

  • Demonstrate how digital objects and interfaces transform our aesthetic experience (along with our everyday conduct and behavior)
  • Consider the role of digital arts in the transformation of aesthetic experience
  • Highlight the visual, material and processual forms of digital culture as aesthetic objects, rather than simply as tools, services, or diagrams
  • Provide an overview of the ways digital arts intervene in these forms

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate understanding of aesthetic dimensions of digital objects and their uses. KC
2 Demonstrate understanding of the implications and potential of digital aesthetics within the field of Digital Media Arts KC
3 Understand the potential of Digital Media Arts to intervene in other cultural forms through aesthetic placement and design of (transformative) texts KC
4 Produce an artifact designed with the remits of digital aesthetics in mind, with skill and imagination, by making appropriate use of relevant materials and processes. PT
5 Respond to time-constrained briefs in creative and imaginative ways PT
6 Study independently, set goals, manage their own workloads and meet deadlines T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 27

Seminar Hours: 6

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Train students to reflect on the aesthetics of digital arts and objects
Provide students with skills of aesthetic analysis that they will apply to the design of a digital object


Encourage students to experience in a knowledgeable way the aesthetic 


dimension of digital objects and digital artworks
Enrich students’ overall engagement with the programme’s learning object and their creative practice as part of it


The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (3 hrs x 9 weeks) Seminars (3 hrs x 2 weeks), Group and individual formative tasks, Class discussion, Presentations.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DIGITAL AESTHETICS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/dma2007

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Digital Media Arts BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.