University of Ulster launches Masters in Digital Media CommunicationSince its launch in September 2011, the Postgraduate programme in Postgraduate Digital Media Communication has gone from strength to strength. Following demand from past students keen to further their studies in this dynamic area, a new pathway has been developed. Students applying for the course now have the opportunity to continue their studies beyond certificate level and complete a Diploma or Masters in Digital Media Communication.

The Certificate programme covers the fundamental aspects of digital media, including digital and social media platforms and operational capacity. The Diploma programme focuses on building the strategic capacity to create and manage digital strategy implementation. At Masters level, students have the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of interest by undertaking a research project in digital media communication.

The Postgraduate Certificate is an innovative course specifically designed to meet the needs of professionals working within the field, as well as those keen to embark upon a career in this rapidly expanding industry. Regardless of which point you choose to leave the programme, you will have had the opportunity to develop a solid foundation in the principles and practices of digital media communication.

If you would like more information on the one-year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication commencing in September 2014, or the new pathways to Diploma and Masters level, please email the Course Director, Fiona McMahon at: or Tweet us @dmculster.

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‘Working foEmma DMC Testr smaller companies can mean that there isn’t always someone there for you to learn from, and often you are the “digital expert”. I wanted a course that would provide me with further support to nurture my existing skills.

When I began my search I knew I needed a course that combined academic knowledge with real industry advice to appreciate how theory works in practice. DMC does this perfectly. The course boasts some the best academics in their field from across Communications, Advertising and Marketing and Computing at Ulster, as well as leading industry professionals.

The class environment is really supportive. Not only are you learning from your lecturers and industry experts, you learn from your peers. Importantly, having a strategy that you have developed for your business at the end of the course is a real bonus and a very rewarding process.

The classes provided me with real examples and techniques that I later applied to my own work and made me fall in love with digital all over again! I would happily recommend the DMC course to anyone who is looking to increase their Digital Media skills’ – Emma Leahy, Sync NI

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Its all GO

We are excited to say that our first lecture for the DMC course begins tomorrow exploring challenges for organisations in ‘Communicating in a Networked Environment’.  This lecture will look at how traditional organisations now face problems in adapting to what has changed in the networked world – changing relationships, ways of communicating and organising.  Next on the agenda is exploring ‘Online Consumer Behaviour’, before we finish the day with ‘Developing a Digital Strategy’.  The course last year was very successful and saw students taking what their learning into their respective companies and making a difference. Tomorrow lecture will be from 13:00-21:00 in the University of Ulster, Belfast Campus.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: it’s not too late to register for the one-year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication! There are a limited number of places left on this innovative, industry orientated course. If you feel that this qualification could help you advance in your current career or embark on a new one please email the Course Director, Dr Valerie Purchase: for further information.


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Emma Burdett of Allstate NI

As we start into our 2013-2014 academic year the last year’s cohort of DMC students have been reflecting on their experience. For some, such as Emma Burdett of Allstate NI, the course presented new career opportunities: “Working in marketing, digital media was always going to be important for my role – it really is so much more than just Google and Facebook and this course gave me the knowledge I needed not just to truly understand the ins and outs of digital media but also to help progress my career – in fact this course actually led to me getting a job just by having it on my CV!”.

Corrine Heaney of Save the Children

As for those in established roles, the DMC course ensured that they were able to fully leverage the opportunities that digital media presents. As one student, Corrine Heaney of Save the Children, noted “Digital media provides us with a new platform for our communications and campaigns work so I was keen to gain more understanding of how we could develop these tools in a strategic and planned way. DMC provided me with exactly that opportunity and connected me with others working in this field”.


The innovative, flexible nature of the Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication allows anyone with an interest in digital media communication, from the recent graduate to the established practicioner, to benefit. If you would like more information about the DMC course, please email the Course Director, Dr Valerie Purchase, at


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On Thursday 9th May 2013 from 9.45am to 2.00pm current and future industry leaders will converge on the Belfast campus of the University of Ulster for a free master class on “Growing your Business in the Digital Economy”.

Ulster Business Festival 2013, Digital Economy, SEO, Adwords, Analytics, Social MEdia, Email Marketing, Ambition Digital, DANI, Pierce Communications, PostGraduate Certificate Digital Media CommunicationThis innovative event will cover issues such as how to use digital and social media effectively for your organisation, including which social media channels to engage with; how to get to grips with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as well as analytics and Adwords; and how to avoid the potential legal pitfalls of inappropriate use of social media for your organisation.

The event will feature a number of academic and professional contributors to the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication (DMC) programme, including Jill Robb of Ambition Digital and Naomh McElhatton of DANI, who will update participants on the latest developments in the field. Professor Jonathan Wallace, a member of the DMC course team, and contributor to the event provides an overview of what you can expect on the day.

Places are limited, so in order to secure your place register before 4.00pm on Monday 6th May by contacting Karen Reid by on: 02890 366982, emailing or registering online at

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The second year of the Postgraduate Certificate is well underway with a full to capacity class of 20 professionals from a variety of backgrounds including media, the third sector, education and retail. Learning so far has focused on online consumer behaviour, value propositions, and web planning with expert contributions from Paul McKeever, CEO of leading web strategy, design and technology studio Front. Focus will shift to web design and Search Engine Optimisation for the remainder of the first semester.

From Top (L-R): Professor Johnny Wallace, Dr, Valerie Purchase, Fiona McMahon, Olivia Hamill, Emma Gribben, Naomh McElhatton, Karen Reid, Sarah Crowther, Claire McCabe, Barry Adams

Striking a balance between theory and practice is an important feature of the course. As the term progresses, students will continue to benefit from lectures and workshops with several highly experienced practitioners. These include, Jill Robb, Managing Director of Ambition Digital, and contributor to Smart Insights, (the go-to online resource for all things digital, founded by leading digital marketing academic and practitioner, Dr.Dave Chaffey); Barry Adams, Digital Services Director of award-winning marketing services agency Pierce Communications, and an editor for the award-winning ‘State of Search’ blog; and Naomh McElhatton,  Managing Director of online advertising agency DANI (Digital Advertising Northern Ireland), founder of the prestigious DANI Awards and one of NI’s top 40 under 40.

DMC students past and present are encouraged to get involved in Digital Media events taking place throughout the province to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Recent graduates from DMC met up with lecturers at the Culture Tech event in Derry/Londonderry in August, attended the DANI awards in September and more recently an evening with Rand Fishkin, CEO and founder of SEOmoz organised by Barry Adams. Next up is an event on November 15th at 6.00pm at the MAC in Belfast, organised by Digital Exchange (@DigiExNI). This free event will focus on perceptions of ‘Digital’ and ‘Digital Citzenship.’

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In the current economic climate it can be difficult to find the edge that sets you apart from your competitors in the job market. For those interested in business communication and marketing, the Digital Media Communication (DMC) qualification signifies expertise in the flourishing area of digital media.

Recent DMC Graduate Elizabeth Carnahan of NIBC

Recent DMC Graduate Elizabeth Carnahan, NIBC

As our recent graduates Leigh Walsh and Michael Bonner have proved by taking up new posts in marketing communication and social media marketing, it can be a way to develop a new career. Of equal importance however, is the opportunity it provides for existing practitioners to advance in their roles, and help their employer organisation better engage with stakeholders.

Check out testimonials to read and see what our graduates have to say about the course.

As a fully-accredited university postgraduate qualification, the course curriculum, delivery and assessment are externally scrutinised at the end of each academic year. The external examiner for DMC particularly commended the theory–engaged teaching, live projects, formative assessment methods, and regular online discussions for engendering the independent learning ability and deeper thinking required to develop “innovative, postgraduate level workers who are life-long learners and leaders in their field.”

If you would like more information on one-year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication, please email the Course Director, Fiona McMahon: or Tweet us @dmculster.

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On Thursday 5th July 2012, the first graduates of the part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication (DMC) crossed the stage at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall to collect their awards.

Recent Ulster graduate Claire McCabe of before collecting her Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication

Recent Ulster graduate Claire McCabe, before collecting her Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media Communication

The first ever cohort of DMC students comprised a diverse group of recent graduates and established professionals from communication, ICT, marketing and business backgrounds, across the private, public and third sector. The common denominators were a passion for digital media and a desire to develop the tools that will help them better communicate with their stakeholders. As a result, they were able to learn not only from the course contributors, but each other too.

The postgraduate certificate in Digital media Communication is the only course which adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to the field of digital media communication and marketing, bringing together academics and industry leaders specialising in communication, computing and multimedia technologies and e-commerce. Highly interactive in nature, the Postgraduate Certificate blends cutting edge theory and research with best practice.

If you work in digital media and wish to expand your skills, or alternatively if you are interested in gaining a qualification that will help you build a career in this area, please email the Course Director, Fiona McMahon, at

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Pictured with Naomh McElhatton (centre) Managing Director & Founder of DANI are Award Judges Back Left: Mike Fleming, Fleming Steele; Gareth Dunlop, Fathom; Front Left: Fiona McMahon, University of Ulster; Nicola Bothwell, NB Chartered Marketing

The best of Northern Ireland’s digital talent will be competing for awards success at the second annual DANI Awards this autumn. The DANI Awards are being organised by Tyrone based Digital Advertising Northern Ireland (DANI). The awards will recognise the excellence of companies and individuals in the digital media sector in the province. The University of Ulster is sponsoring the awards and Fiona McMahon has accepted the invitation to sit on the judging panel for the 2012 event. Full story on Sync NI.

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