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Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies

While digitalisation brings many opportunities, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and social media platforms involve an unprecedented collection of personal information, raising global challenges about privacy and security. Social media monitoring can sway elections, spark civil strife and serve to predict expected social patterns and behaviour. Algorithms determine who gets to see which online information and advertisements, but also who is considered a public threat. Also in everyday life, useful apps or tools may induce surveillance. Easy access to messaging and surveillance cameras compel neighbours to report on anything suspicious in their neighbourhood. Location tracking of family and friends has become common practice in ways perceived as both caring and controlling. Health and lifestyle apps provide insights about one’s well-being, while provoking their own privacy and ethical concerns.

The integration of digital technologies into a range of everyday practices create and perpetuate a number of contemporary and cross-sector issues that require critical reflection about data collection, discrimination, privacy violations, and disruptions by and through digital media. 

Programme features

The curriculum is small-scale, intensive and interactive. Seminars, workshops, field trips and guest lectures provide a varied and challenging programme. Much attention is given to academic skills: you learn to present, debate, write and analyse. You receive support from an enthusiastic team of international lecturers. Your own input is valued and counts as part of your assessment. In addition, you can expect intensive, individual guidance when writing your master thesis.

Program content

Year 1

  • Term 1
    • Digitalisation and Societal Transformations
    • Surveillance and Society
    • Methods of Media Research I
  • Term 2
    • Privacy and Ethics in Context
    • Methods of Media Research II
    • Research Workshop, choose from
  • Term 3
    • Active civilians and communities
    • Elective Seminar, choose from:
  • Term 1-4
    • Master Class
    • Master Thesis


The fee ("wettelijk collegegeld") is determined annually by the Dutch government. 

  • €2,209 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €11,900 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €11,900 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)


MA in Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies

ECTS: 60

Continuing studies

If you want to proceed with advanced, research-oriented education in the field of media studies you can apply for our Research Master’s in the Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts. This programme is specifally designed to prepare you to carry out research leading to a doctorate degree.

If you have demonstrated academic excellence and motivation during your Media Studies programme and your English meets the standard, you will be allowed to complete an abridged research Master’s programme of approximately one year.

Career paths

Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies graduates are widely employable professionals with excellent career opportunities. At the forefront of social and technological change, they produce digital strategy as advisors and advocates.

Given the timely and interdisciplinary focus of this master, it will enrich the profile of those pursuing careers in high profile areas such as the tech sector, corporate communication, artificial intelligence, regulation and privacy, journalism and policy work.

In addition, graduates will gain expertise well suited to research positions at tech companies, NGO's, universities, and consultancies as well as public and private think tanks. Graduates will be to collaborate with developers and business strategists to address the social impact and social responsibility of innovative technological solutions.

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About this institute

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

The Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) is one of the schools of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. ESHCC hosts the departments of History, Arts and Culture Studies, and Media & Communication. ESHCC offers high-quality education, based on academic...

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Why study at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Besides guaranteeing a high quality study programme and an internationally recognised degree, Erasmus university offers you a good time. It’s safe and everything is close by. After a few weeks, you’ll be doing everything by bike, eating sandwiches for lunch and saying ‘gezellig’ (try to pronounce that typical Dutch word!) when you’re meeting your friends. You’re welcome in the Netherlands!

Do you want to know more about our institute? Please check out our website or send us an information request!

Contact info

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 Rotterdam

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Message the school

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