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The programme begins with a little more than a semester of courses where you learn technologies and concepts that are important in designing and building digital media applications. These courses are cooperative information systems, computer-mediated collaboration, and interaction technology.
You will use and deepen these skills in the projects you carry out with your classmates in the course Media Design Projects. In these projects you work closely with researchers and industry contacts in areas that can include e-health, social media, and mobile applications. The course runs over the second and third semester. Your work in these projects could be the starting point for your future research, business, or job interview.
In these projects, and probably in your future work life, you will be working with people of varying professional backgrounds. The course cross-disciplinary project management will help you develop effective work processes, in areas such as project management, software design and development, and communication. In the business development course, you learn about the commercialization process, with a focus on digital media. In the research methodology course, you learn about how to design a research project, as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Finally, in your Master thesis, you carry out an in depth independent study.
You will take some of the courses toghether with students from the Computer Science one-year master programme. Detailed course descriptions can be found on the tab Syllabus.
Cooperative Information Systems, 22.5 credits:
Advanced Web technologies, System architecture, Intelligent software
Computer-mediated Collaboration, 7.5 credits:
Concepts of distributed and co-located technology-supported collaboration, such as awareness, communities of practice, and virtual organizations. Technologies supporting collaboration, such as wikis and social network services.
Interaction Technology, 7.5 credits:
Classical topics from human-computer interaction, Physical interaction (using e.g., the Arduino microcontroller platform), Visualization technology
Cross-disciplinary Project Management, 7.5 credits:
Project management methods and tools, Software development methods, Theory and practice relating to cross-disciplinary team work
Media Design Projects (part 1), 15 credits:
(Runs over two semesters) Four to six concrete design and development projects, Possible themes: social media, digital games, e-health, physical computing, e-learning, mobile computing, Several in collaboration with Media Technology and Interaction Design.
Media Design Projects (part 2), 15 credits:
See Media Design Projects (part 1)
Business Development, 7.5 credits:
Learn about the whole chain from idea to product or service in the area of digital media, Business models, Entrepreneurship, Business plans, Intellectual property rights
Computer Science: Research Methods, 7.5 credits:
Formulating research questions, Finding and evaluating research articles, Choosing among different research methods
Writing and presentation skills
Master Thesis in Computer Science, 30 credits
Axel, Mathias and Timo are first-year students in the newly started Master’s Programme in Media Software Design. Having received his bachelor’s degree at Malmö University, Axel was encouraged to pursue further studies. Mathias chose Malmö because he wanted to study somewhere abroad; further, having read about Media Software Design, he decided that the programme suited his needs ideally. Timo applied for several universities, but chose Malmö University as it was at the top of his list.
What do you think about Malmö?
Mathias and Timo are both from Germany, but only Timo had been to Sweden before. They have been living in Malmö for almost a full semester and both feel at home here. Although they have started to learn Swedish, they think it is an advantage that most Swedes speak such good English.
Timo: “Malmö is a nice city to live in; the Swedes are friendly and helpful. If you happen to want to see something else, you can hop on a train and be in Copenhagen in half an hour. There, you can go to a variety of different art exhibits, for example.”
Tell me something about your programme.
Mathias: “The programme is quite new, and the students are given the opportunity to influence its organisation and content. It’s great that the teachers listen to our suggestions and that we contribute to the further development of the programme.”
Timo: “Being the first group of students in this programme, it is interesting to take part in the improvement process.”
Axel: “I find it especially interesting since we focus on both the technical aspects of software and its impact when used.
Mathias: “We are currently conducting a project; and by the end of the semester, we’re hoping to have a working prototype ready. Later on, we’re hoping to be able to do some cross-disciplinary projects with students from another master’s programme: Interaction Design. Thereby, we can combine our knowledge of programming and designing, hopefully with good outcomes.”
What have you learned so far?
Axel: “We have a diverse class of students with different backgrounds from all over the world and all classes are taught in English. This enables you to see things in different perspectives when you have discussions with fellow students.”
Timo: “We have also had different guest lecturers. So far, when working on our own project, we have really felt encouraged and supported by our teachers, who have even provided us with great feedback on our project.”
Text and photo: Sonja Gustavsson
How do you teach people to be creative problem solvers? That’s the main question for Daniel Spikol, leader of the master's program in Computer Science, Media Software Design. With his creative business and research background, he wants to inspire his students to be innovators and entrepreneurs.
Daniel Spikol describes the Media Software Design masters program as a very challenging one, where the students need to think independently about how to envision the future of software.
– The aim of the program is to train the next generation of software innovators, in creating their own software start-ups or applying their skills in existing companies, he says.
Both this program and the one year master of computer science are very international. The 20 students in the master's program come from all over the world. Daniel Spikol thinks this diversity makes things interesting and relevant.
– We are able to have a perspective of what life is like in Africa, China, India, Iran, Germany, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and the US. We share a common ground in technology, and at the masters level, it’s time to learn how to be a creative and independent problem solver. However, these skills are a craft, and you have to really work at practicing them.
Daniel Spikol, born and raised in New York City, is quite international himself. He initially wanted to be an artist, and studied design and photography. An interest in holograms took him to a Master of Science in Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Through his work at MIT’s Media Lab, he developed a relationship with Lego Group in Denmark and was hired to help launch LEGO into the digital world. After working for LEGO, he started two digital design companies in Copenhagen. He became interested in researching how technology can improve people’s lives, and was hired as a researcher for the Interactive institute in Sweden.
This led to him finishing his Ph.D. at Linnaeus University’s Center for Learning and Knowledge Technologies in the department of Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics. His field of research is on designing and developing technology-enhanced learning with mobile and ubiquitous devices.
– I'm interested in how to get people to use mobile devices and other technologies in constructive and creative ways, not just for consuming media. Secondly, how this type of creation of personalized learning materials and how these digital artifacts can be shared, remixed, and integrated into education.
He appreciates the opportunity to live and work in Malmö with its progressive attitude and diversity.
– At Linnaeus, I wouldn't be able to flex my wings to see if I can fly by myself. Now I have to flap very hard.
At Malmö University he hopes that his flapping can inspire his students to develop software products that haven't been thought of yet, that can make peoples lives better. He sees great potential for different types of learning, not only in higher education, but also in everyday learning.
– How do we design software to support everyday life that empowers curiosity and creativity? Currently my research is focused on creating software that people want to use for learning that captures their use of new technologies across their everyday lives, he says.
Text: Jennie Larsson
Photo: Sara Appelquist
Could you tell us a little about your current research?
– I am involved two reasearch projects at Medea. One project, Peripheria is about "Internet of things" and "smart cities". The project tries to answer the question: "How can smart technology promote sustainable lifestyle in cities around Europe?". Examples as energy savings and resource sharing are studied in the project. The other project Living Lab the Stage is about engaging audiences in participating in professional creative processes. A particular emphasis is put on questions related to how place and time-specific media can enhance both events and more persistent media objects such as books, music albums, art works etc.
How do you aim to integrate research into your teaching?
– My research is very "hands-on", where working prototypes are devoloped. Prototypes can be working apps for mobile phones. This forces me to always follow the latest trends and technologies, which I can share with my students.
How would you say masters’ students in your courses benefit from the fact that you are an active researcher?
– At the master student level, we have a close cooperation between research projects and student projects. The research projects I am involved result in several relevant student projects.
You’ve just spent some time teaching in Africa, could you tell us something about the difference to teaching in Sweden?
– The differences are actually not very big. I was teaching at UCAD in Dakar in Senegal, one of the largest universities in Africa with 70000 students, and the structure is very similar to a university in Sweden. The biggest difference was that their skills in English were limited and I had to do most of my teaching in French for the first time in my life.
A few years ago, the Department of Computer Science started a one-year master’s programme in computer science, and last year added another master’s programme in Media Software Design (MSD). This master’s programme focuses on the design and development of innovative digital media services such as social media, mobile applications and digital games. Marie Gustafsson Friberger, assistant professor in computer science, is one of the driving forces behind the programme.
What was the reason for starting the Media Software Design programme?
– So much is happening all the time in new media, and Malmö University is capturing this by creating a new research profile: New media, public spheres and forms of expression (NMOG), which focuses on this particular trend. Computer science has a clear role here, since these new media are applied with the help of computer science. New applications require new technology!
What’s the difference between the one-year masters programme and the two-year masters programme?
– The one-year programme focuses on traditional computer science, while the MSD programme clearly focuses on media, and the software on which digital services are based. Most of the one-year programme is included in MSD, but MSD obviously includes more, and is more interdisciplinary. For example, students collaborate with media technology, and with K3’s interaction design. MSD also includes courses in subjects such as project management and business development.
Who do you think will apply?
– Admission requirements include a bachelor of science degree in computer science or equivalent. That said, applicants do not have to enter the programme directly after graduation; we believe that many people who have work experience would be eligible for the programme.
Is the programme in Swedish or English?
– We’ve received considerable pressure from international students so we decided to hold the courses in English. Our Swedish target group already has such extensive experience with required reading in English and/or work for international companies that we don’t believe the language requirement will be an obstacle for anyone.
Finally, perhaps the most important question: what will candidates become after graduation?
– Candidates will become incredibly good at the specific part of computer science that focuses on new media! The programme provides cutting edge expertise so graduates can find a niche in a field that has not been mastered by all computer scientists. More experience and knowledge are always desirable when applying for a job afterwards; the candidate with a master’s degree will have a better chance against the competition. But the programme also includes courses that prepare for self-employment.
– There is also a continued academic future as a graduate student; we conduct research in computer science at the department and of course we hope to see applicants to our doctoral positions after graduation.
There are many exciting opportunities for MSc graduates in Media Software Design. For instance, you will be well able to work with the development of novel digital media applications in cross-disciplinary teams. Moreover, you will be prepared to work as a consultant and as an IT business developer in the area – or start your own business.
The degree also prepares individuals for PhD studies and from this may follow work as an educator or researcher.
Need help deciding what's the best choice for you? Malmö University offers career advice service for students, including guidance and counselling.
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The programme was established 19 November 2010.
This programme syllabus (version 2) was approved 06 October 2010 by the Study Programmes Board/Study Courses Board at School of Technology.
The syllabus is valid from 01 September 2011.