Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS) in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS)
Academic Year 2017/2018
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 9224
Degree Programme Class LM-43 - Information technology methods for the humanities
Years in which the programme is being held I
Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Admission typology Open access with assessment of personal competencies
Place of teaching Bologna
Type International Degree Programme
Degree Programme Director Francesca Tomasi
Teachers Teachers
Language English

Programme profile

The Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge second cycle degree is a multi-disciplinary programme designed with the intention to promote knowledge integration and valorise advanced transversal competencies.

Overtime, the words Digital Humanities (DH) have come to refer to a polyhedral dimension that here indicates the study of computer thought in the management of heterogeneous resources (texts, documents, audio-visual material, multi-media data, etc.).

The second cycle degree programme focuses on valorising information to achieve knowledge; to this end, during the two-year programme, students need not only to acquire the expertise required to manage and edit, old and modern books, archived documents and process cultural, artistic and museum resources, but also the competence necessary to manage the documentation using the information systems of organisations, institutes, bodies and companies, in order to oversee the data's entire life cycle (data curation), with the continued ability to reinterpret the role and purpose of the humanities.

This also means acknowledging the role of the concept of information science in a wider context, which leads to consider the relation between humanities and computing methods. The social, cultural and philosophical aspects of information become part of the knowledge adding value to the programme.

This vision requires adopting a teaching perspective that brings digital component and knowledge of humanities together, not as a simple association between disciplines, but with deep integration and hybridization in mind.

Therefore, while it is essential to provide students with principles to process and represent information and knowledge, which they will require to be able to plan and create complex digital objects, these principles must be accompanied by a stronger humanistic approach to data, from a literary/philology and linguistic point of view, as well as from a general historical/cultural point of view. These competencies need to be completed with the knowledge required to oversee an entire project: the legal aspects with reference to digital documents; the economic aspects in connection with marketing and business; the communication aspects with particular regard to the social media context; and lastly the aspects concerning the complex relation between humanities and computing.

Humanities – in this context considered particularly in connection with literature, philology, archive keeping, bibliography and museology, philosophy and history, linguistics and communication – need to be reinterpreted as both competencies and knowledge factors. The objective of the information technology/computing approach is to valorise these sectors and contribute to rethinking research methods to bring new value to knowledge: organisation, manipulation, representation and extraction of new knowledge.

Therefore, the programme will have to be structured in order to provide students with knowledge and competence in the following areas:

1. information technology – in particular, teaching activities have the following learning objectives: programming principles and languages; data modelling and multi-media database design; design and creation of web application and interface management; extraction and representation of data; production of multimedia applications in a cultural heritage context;

2. literary, linguistic, historical/cultural and artistic, in a digital context – In particular, teaching activities have the following learning objectives: digital representation of humanities texts; management and valorisation of the cultural heritage of archives, libraries and museums; digital editing and issues related with editing text, documents and other media; acquisition and extraction of information from text corpora;

3. complementary: economy, law and communication – in particular, teaching activities have the following learning objectives: web and digital marketing; management strategies; start-up and self-entrepreneurship procedures; web project planning; social media; communication principals in heterogeneous digital contexts; issues connected with multimedia digital writing and writing for the web; web data analysis methods; intellectual property management in a digital context; legal issues in relation to open access and knowledge access.

The first year of the programme focuses on acquiring knowledge in the first two areas. Instead, the second year aims to provide the additional competencies necessary to strengthen students' education, i.e. the activities included in the third area.

Course units

Consult the course units in the study plan Link to course structure diagram

Career opportunities

Expert in Web Resource Planning, Production and Valorisation

role in a work context:

This figure, oversees the entire valorisation process of digital objects intended for the web. In addition to project coordination competencies, particularly in the humanities sector, professionals have the ability to work on the complex concept of man-machine interaction, designing usable interfaces and effective architectures, effectively manipulating text and multimedia content, aware of the role of social media and conscious of the need to create open and interconnected data, in compliance with W3c directives. This figure can work on small as well as very large collections of data, applying the adequate techniques to extract information and translate it into knowledge.

In particular, this professional profile can be associated with the following roles: Web Project Manager; User Experience Designer; Web Information Architect; Web Content Specialist; Social Media Expert; Open Data Expert; Web Analyst.

Experts in Web Resource Planning, Production and Valorisation have the following functions:

- plan the entire project of an information resource (project management plan), coordinating the web team;

- manage the issues related to web content creation, from both a heterogeneous multimedia content production point of view, and a communication point of view, including with the use of social media;

- create web environments, in particular those designed to host cultural collections, using the technical knowledge necessary to implement complex infrastructures in the humanities area and collaborating with wed developers;

- design usable and effective interfaces, using their knowledge of the main theories and methods adopted in web information architecture;

- resolve issues related to the creation and open access of data, from a legal point of view, collaborating with legal experts, and from a technology point of view, collaborating with web developers;

- apply automatic computational analysis techniques to acquire information from web data.

skills associated with the role:

- ability to organise and coordinate entire digital projects, particularly on the web, with a special attention to the humanities sector;

- advanced competence in planning and assessing usability and user experience, particularly on the web, and ability to analyse information and functional elements;

- advanced competence in producing text and multimedia content, depending on the medium and target;

- advanced competence in valorising the knowledge of bodies, companies and institutions, using systems to represent, extract and organise knowledge;

- advanced competence in managing user interaction activities via social media and social networks;

- advanced competence in planning, producing and assessing the quality of projects for the publication and use of open and interconnected data.

career opportunities:

- organisations, firms, companies and entities involved in planning and producing web content;

- self-employed professionals involved in planning and producing digital information resources, particularly in the humanities sector.

Cultural Resource Digital Management Expert

role in a work context:

This figure is in charge of valorising cultural content. Duties include managing projects having knowledge of the entire valorisation process: production, adopting the relevant reference standards; conservation, adopting the most adequate metadata processing methods and infrastructure choices; manipulation, to acquire information from the data; dissemination, in particular on the web; and final user access. Cultural Resource Digital Management Experts also deal with knowledge manipulation issues: they are able to use techniques to organise knowledge effectively (e.g. indexes, thesauruses, taxonomies), but also have the technical tools to represent it and extract it (semantic web tools).

In particular, this professional profile can be associated with the following roles: Digital Publishing Expert; Digital Library Specialist; Metadata Specialist; Data Curator; Multimedia Object Specialist; Knowledge Organiser; Knowledge Engineer.

Cultural Resource Digital Management Experts have the following functions:

- overseeing the entire life cycle of the cultural resources (production, conservation, manipulation, dissemination and access), working in collaboration with software developers;

- delivering a cultural resource valorisation project, having knowledge of the relevant standards (languages, terminology, ontology);

- disseminating cultural collections, in different types and formats, having knowledge of the methods required to access content;

- using tools to manage the networks of relations between cultural objects, including in an open data context;

- defining the methods and tools to adequately preserve cultural resources, in order to conserve digital objects over time;

- manage the knowledge, transmitted through the entire documentation of an information system, in organisations, bodies, companies and institutes, to valorise the full expressive and cognitive potential of the data, with the ability to extract information and organise knowledge effectively.

skills associated with the role:

- advanced competence in digital editing: ability to design, plan and produce editorial products;

- advanced competence in the digital management (production, preservation, meta data processing, dissemination and access) of cultural resources, in both public and private sectors;

- advanced competence in the use of term bases for the description of cultural heritage;

- advanced competence in valorising the life cycle of document collections;

- advanced competence in designing and producing cultural multimedia resources;

- advanced competence in representing and extracting knowledge from data belonging to bodies and institutions. With ontology and semantic web cognitions;

- advanced competence in organising the knowledge extracted from the data and documents owned by organisations, companies, bodies and public and private institutions.

career opportunities:

- companies involved in the digital publishing sector;

- bodies involved in valorising cultural heritage;

- organisations, firms, companies and bodies required to manage an information system;

- self-employed professionals involved in the manipulation of cultural objects.