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MA Experimental Digital Media

See our Experimental Digital Media program site for more information.

The Master of Arts in Experimental Digital Media (MA-XDM) is dedicated to exploring the creative and critical processes provided by digital media. The XDM program emphasizes a lab-based, hands-on approach to digital technology. Students in the program learn to use digital media as a critical tool, combining theory and practice in the production of objects-to-think-with. The program's rich mix of theoretical and practical study prepares graduates for a variety of careers in media industries, as well as in digital/social media positions within more traditional fields—private industry, government, educational organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Other students go on to doctoral programs, taking the creative methods and theories of the XDM program with them to craft innovative PhD projects. 

The MA-XDM can also be taken in the co-op stream.

The MA-XDM program operates out of the English@Gaukel satellite facility, a centre for, among other things, the experimental production of digital objects and exhibitions where students, faculty, and local digital artists interact:

  • XDM courses are frequently held in the lab, entirely or in part 
  • Project teams meet in the lab to use the equipment and engage other lab researchers 
  • Researchers from English and other disciplines, including visiting researchers, are around for informal and formal consultation and brainstorming.

Full program information and regulations are available in the Graduate CalendarMA XDM specific requirements can be tracked with the help of our department checklists.


The XDM pragram requires six term-length courses and a Major Research/Creative Project (MRP), along with an academic-integrity workshop requirement and a language requirement. The courses must satisfy this distribution: 

  • ENGL 700 with the "digital bootcamp" element
  • 2 Experimental Digital Media (XDM)
  • 1 Literature
  • 2 Elective (which may be extra-departmental)
  • Master Research/Creative Project*

Major Research/Creative Project

Students must arrange for a supervisor and a reader, both of whom must be members of the faculty, and under their guidance prepare a proposal to submit to the English Graduate Committee.  The proposal is due the first day of the last month of the second term of study: April 1 for Winter term, August 1 for Spring term and December 1 for Fall term.

*The project centres on the design and creation of a digital artefact, accompanied by a critical analysis  focusing on the theoretical and cultural context of the project and its aim, 30-35 pages in length. The passing grade is 70%.

The MRP is due the first day of the last month of the third term of study: April 1 for Winter term, August 1 for Spring term and December 1 for Fall term.

Hard copies of the completed and approved MRP should be supplied to the supervisor and reader(s) by the student, unless the supervisor specifies otherwise.

Arts graduate student careers website

Faculty of Arts 3 Minute Thesis heat

Faculty of Arts 3 Minute Thesis