MSc Digital Scholarship: Curriculum
The course comprises the following curriculum:
- Elements of Digital Scholarship: a presentation-based overview of key topics (Michaelmas and Hilary Terms) arising in the ‘data life-cycle’ which structures most leading projects in the field.
- Methods of Digital Scholarship: offering students the choice of two Technical Options Papers which provide the hands-on training needed to equip students with specific methods relevant to their project (Michaelmas Term).
- Subject-Specific Paper: providing graduate-level work of a more traditional kind in each student’s ‘home discipline’, selected from a list of existing Master's papers in other Faculties which can be studied in Hilary Term.
- Practicum placement: offering students immersion in one of Oxford’s vast array of flagship Digital Humanities projects and/or the Bodleian’s technical departments in preparation for their dissertation project (Trinity Term).
This core paper provides a systematic overview of every stage of a digital project and its data life-cycle. Each topic is illustrated by ongoing work in one or more of Oxford’s flagship digital scholarship projects, the key problems they have encountered and the solutions they have developed. As such, the series also serves to introduce students to the Division’s major projects in the field, with a view to choosing the Practicum Placement and the dissertation topic.
The paper is taught for 8 weeks in each of Michaelmas and Hilary terms (16 weeks total). It is delivered via a two-hour session per week comprising a lecture from a guest speaker and a seminar discussion of assigned readings led by the MSc course director, thereby ensuring continuity across topics.
The paper is assessed by 2 x 2000 word essays, one due by the start of Hilary Term and the other due by the start of Trinity Term.
The outline of the sessions is as follows:
|Michaelmas Term||Hilary Term|
|Week 0 Introductory meeting. Outline of the course / Requirements and assessment.|
|Week 1 Digital Scholarship and the Data Life Cycle. What is digital scholarship?||Week 1 Analysing data. People: Network and prosopographical analysis.|
|Week 2 Project Planning. Collaboration and credit / Building and sustaining a community / Modes of interaction / Project management||Week 2 Analysing data. Place and time: Geospatial and chronological analysis.|
|Week 3 Data Modelling. Place, Time, and People / Texts, Topics, and Images.||Week 3 Analysing data. Visualization / Working with algorithms and machine learning|
|Week 4 Data Collection & Assembling Metadata. Modes of data capture / Collaborative data collection.||Week 4 Sharing data. Exchanging metadata / Crowdsourcing / Communication of Data|
|Week 5 Assembling Text. Representing documents / Generating text / Intellectual Property, copyright, and licensing of data / Ethics||Week 5 Sharing data. Engaging with the Public / Gamification / User Interfaces / Social Media and Podcasting|
|Week 6 Processing Text and Digital Editing. Standards, tools, and problems / What is a digital object? / Genetic editions
|Week 6 Digital Preservation, Sustainability, and Archiving. From data life cycle to data life cycles|
|Week 7 Processing Metadata. Reconciliation and disambiguation / Correction.||Week 7 Open Access and Reproducibility.|
|Week 8 Biases and Ethics in Digital Scholarship.||Week 8 Convergence. General principles / practical initiatives|
Each student chooses two technical papers from the list of possible options below, each to be taught for 4 weeks in Michaelmas Term. Each paper will normally be assessed at its conclusion by a practical test. It is anticipated that a selection of the following papers will be available in 2022-23:
- Introduction to Python
- Introduction to R
- Advanced Imaging
- Network Analysis
- Text Analysis
- Data Visualization
- Linked Data
- Spatial Mapping and GIS
- Digital Musicology
To enable each student to remain rooted in their 'home discipline' and develop a research area in that discipline which will feed into their dissertation, in Hilary Term each student will take a Subject-Specific paper delivered by one of the faculties in the Humanities Division.
The paper will normally be assessed by a 5,000-word essay due by the start of Trinity Term.
Each student spends a minimum of 20 days of Trinity term as a research assistant on one of Oxford’s flagship digital projects. The placement will be assessed by submission of a digital asset and 1,000-word report due by the end of this term. Most, if not all, of the following projects will be able to host a student placement.
Each student writes a 10,000-12,000 word dissertation on a topic approved by their supervisor, due by the first Friday in August. In some cases it may be appropriate for the wordcount to be reduced if a practical component is included.