Undergraduate Courses (BMS)


The Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS) combines eight Arts disciplines and Computer Science, packaging them into a professional, multidisciplinary, direct entry program. BMS students graduate with competencies in media theory, research, and application – building the foundation for a rewarding and dynamic career.

The BMS combines the traditional Arts degree with added hands-on experience, has access to unique course offerings, and connections to Vancouver’s growing technological and cultural hubs. This four-year program is multidisciplinary and combines course work from eight units at UBC including Creative Writing, Art History, Visual Art and Theory, Film Studies and Computer Science.

The School of Information offers courses in Network Concepts, Information Policy, and Information Visualization in this dynamic degree program. Undergraduates at UBC, in any program, are able to take these courses provided they meet the pre-requisites.

For more information on the program, degree requirements and current course schedules, please visit the Media Studies website.



  • Multi-disciplinary program
  • Take courses from eight units across campus including art history, creative writing, journalism, film studies and more.


iSchool courses offered

3 credits

Introduces network concepts and methods for exploring social and organizational connectivity for work, socializing, and knowledge production. Examines impact of social media on connections that span space and place; peer production on authority structures; ubiquitous mobile connectivity on daily life.

Course Goal

The goal of this course is to provide concepts and methods to explore the contemporary landscape of social connectivity and organization and its relation to changing media and technological information networks.

Course Objectives

  • Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
  • Identify, explain, and apply the basic concepts and principles of social networks
  • Conduct basic, conceptual and technologically-mediated social network analysis (SNA)
  • Conduct basic content analysis of social media data
  • Propose social media strategies to achieve organizational and communicational goals
  • Characterize and analyze social networks, social media use, and social media strategies in multiple domains
  • Explain the relevance of social media for media studies
  • Examine and evaluate critically specific social media applications and the broader phenomena
    of social media in multiple social, cultural, and technological contexts

Course Topics

  • Social networks
  • Social Network Analysis (SNA)
  • Tools for social network analysis
  • Tools for listening, monitoring, and managing social media communications
  • Content Analysis of Social Media
  • Tools for harvesting and content analysis of social media data
  • Social media strategy
  • Social media and society: Crowds & crowdsourcing, Online communities & participatory culture
  • Critical views on social media: social justice, information, labour, democracy, privacy, and surveillance.


3 Credits

Course Goal

This course provides an introduction to information visualization (InfoVis) and critical perspectives on the visual representation of information. The goal of the course is to provide scientifically-grounded design principles to represent information visually, to understand the effect of different representations on understanding and meaning, and to develop practical design skills to visually represent information in a way that effectively addresses the requirements of specific audiences.

Course Objectives:

  • Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
  • Describe the theory underlying the design of information visualizations
  • Explain different ways information can be visualized and the advantages and limitations of each approach in relation to visualization objectives
  • Apply design principles and factors to be considered when creating information visualizations
  • Analyze, describe, and classify information visualizations based on a variety of visual, physical, contextual, and interpretive attributes
  • Critically evaluate an information visualization
  • Use effectively basic interaction techniques to support the visual exploration of data
  • Design and create interactive information visualizations using open source and proprietary tools
  • Demonstrate visual literacy skills

Course Topics:

  • Theories of human visual perception and cognition
  • Basic graphic design principles for the representation of information
  • Understanding needs and use of information visualizations
  • Understanding the data
  • Transforming raw data into visualizations
  • Types of information visualizations
  • Understanding interaction techniques
  • Tools for designing information visualizations
  • Designing effective infographics
  • Case studies in the application of information visualization
  • Critical issues and limitations of information visualizations

Prerequisites: Course can be taken only during the fourth year of the BMS

3 Credits

Course Goal/Objectives

This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to identify, evaluate, adapt and (re)design policy relating to information and communication technology (ICT) and media practices in contemporary societies. Students will develop skills that will enable them to: 1) identify the need for information policy in various media contexts; 2) articulate the different forms information policy can take; 3) determine relevant socio-technical dimensions that influence and are influenced by information policy implementations; and 4) investigate possible implications of information policy for different stakeholders and practice settings.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Explain the relationships between ethics and information policy
  • Analyze the positions of various stakeholders on policy issues
  • Articulate examples of how information policy is enacted through different means (e.g., laws, regulations, tool functionality)
  • Write evaluations of policy issues (policy briefings) with sound justifications and clear arguments
  • Illustrate ethical, legal, and socio-political tensions being addressed through information policy by drawing upon contemporary examples
  • Identify key national and international policy issues affecting information/media-based organizations and the professionals working in those environments
  • Develop and present a policy analysis of a new/proposed ICT and associated technological practices (analysis of direct & indirect stakeholders and value tension)

Course Content

  • Values (Ethics) & ICTs
  • Relationships Between Ethics, ICTs & Policy (i.e., Why is information policy needed?)
  • Information Policy & Stakeholder Analysis
  • Intellectual Property & Copyright
  • Attempts to Shift Intellectual Property Regimes
  • Privacy: Socio-Technical Dimensions & Controversies
  • Freedom of Speech & Forms of Censorship
  • Big Data & Social Networking
  • Professional ethic codes related to the use of information technologies by media professionals
  • Contemporary Contested Topics in Information Policy: Anonymity, Cyberwar, Genetic Discrimination, Digital Currencies, Biometrics, etc.


Learn more about the Bachelor of Media Studies Program

Find information about the program, key highlights, information on how to apply, and important deadlines.