Annual Report 2001 - School of Communications

annual report 2001

school of communications

Unit Report
Head: Professor Farrel Corcoran

This year saw the emergence of digital media as a core theme in the University's strategic vision for the next five years, centrally positioned in "Leading Change." The School of Communications contributed enthusiastically to the shaping of this theme because it is also central to its own development plan.

The M.Sc. in Multimedia graduated its first class in October 2000 and the B.Sc. this year too is in its second cohort. This degree will be enrolling over 200 students by September 2002. These two new programmes in Multimedia complement the School's six other taught Masters and its two other undergraduate degrees.

The second part of the School's digital plan was advanced with the renaming of the research centre COMTEC. It is now known as STeM, or the Centre for Society, Technology and Media. Its work focuses on socio-economic trends in the digital media sector, competencies and strategies in Contents production for new media, users' engagement with media in different contexts and regulation and policy objectives in the Irish context.

The number of social scientists working in Ireland on these issues is small, so collaboration is all the more necessary at national and international levels. In May 2001, STeM collaborated with DIT in organising a conference on "Digital Landscapes: Media Transformations in Ireland," and members of the School contribute regularly to the inter-disciplinary conferences organised through the Joint Faculty of Humanities with St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. STeM projects involving staff, post-doctoral Research Fellows and post-graduate students in collaborations with other European universities include: EMTEL (European Media Technology and Everyday Life); MUDIA (Multimedia Contents in the Digital Age); COST A-20 (The Impact of the Internet on the Mass Media in Europe); COST A-16 (Policy and Regulatory Responses to the Use of Electronic Communications by Transnational Communities in Europe); Digital Games: Production and Consumption Processes in Ireland; SIGIS (Strategies for Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society).