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Digital Media


Offered as:
Full-time and Part-time

Entry in:
Summer, Fall and Winter

This program is offered collaboratively by AMPD and Lassonde




Digital Media

As a Digital Media student, you will devise and use tools to create engaging, interactive digital objects and experiences that integrate imagery and sound, including effects and animation, 3D modelling and simulation, and responsive interfaces bridging the physical and virtual world.

You will also study larger concepts like aesthetic theories and the cultural impact of media as a catalyst for artistic, social and industrial evolution. Most importantly, you will learn to simulate, build and create.

You will begin the program by completing a common core of courses in first year. You will then select from one of three streams based on your interests.

Digital Media Development focusing on design of core tools and technologies for digital media practices.

Digital Media Arts focusing on the creation and application of digital media for creative production in the visual, performing and screen arts. 

Digital Media Game Arts focusing on allied artistic and scientific aspects of innovative game design.

We offer courses in a range of subjects, for example, virtual reality user interfaces, graphics, games and animation.

Woman silhouette in front of Digital art panel in one of the Expo in Dubai


Why Digital Media?

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Ontario’s only degree program that integrates Art, Computer Science and Engineering

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Gain in-demand software development skills for applications like 3D graphics, sound/music, games and mobile apps.

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Unleash your creativity in cutting-edge research labs and state-of-the-art facilities.

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Jumpstart your career with comprehensive portfolio development and internship opportunities


The Common Core

In the first 18 months of the program, students in the Digital Media program complete a common core curriculum.

The Digital Media common core curriculum is built from a mix of courses from Computational Arts and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Topics such as interactive art, programming and critical studies provide students with the theoretical and practical background needed to succeed in the program, as well as in the future of the field.
Fundamentals of Digital Media Studies
Media Signal Processing
Publishing in Digital Media
Net-Centric Computing
Programming for Digital Media
Introduction to Interactive Digital Media I & II
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Your Choice Of Three Streams

During the second year students choose between three streams according to their interests and goals. The Digital Media Game Arts stream engages students in game theory, design and development in the cutting edge and future domains of game development and design, Digital Media Arts stream focuses strongly on digital arts creation and production where the use of computational systems and thinking is the primary mode of expression, and Digital Media Development is oriented to the more technical side of the field with a deeper dive into areas that cross into computer science, such as low-level computer graphics pipelines and game engine development. These streams represent pathways through the program with the intent of highlighting broad study areas. Each stream also provides students with options and opportunities for students to combine elements from other streams, as well as courses from across York University, to tailor their studies to fit their particular needs.


Digital Media Game Arts

Combine your love of Game Design and Development with future forms and contexts for gaming.

Digital media student testing Virtual reality

Video Games are a defining cultural form of the 21st century. The Digital Media Games Arts stream has an expansive and forward-looking perspective on game education through the exploration of a range of delivery platforms. In the Digital Media Game Arts streams students learn the skills of game development and design from concept to production. Students gain hands-on experience working with professional game engines, with the dissemination of work in various platforms and cultural contexts (mobile media, web-based, gallery, urban gaming, etc.), with an approach that incorporates interdisciplinary collaboration and new frontiers of gaming. In addition, the Digital Media Game Arts Stream examines new and cutting edge trends in video game development, such as in the areas of alt gaming, queer games, Not Games and urban gaming, where the potential and boundaries of games and game play are being challenged and tested.
Game Development I & II
Game Mechanics
Introduction to 3D Modelling
Introduction to 3D Animation
Game History, Genre, and New Directions
Collaborative Project Development in Games


Digital Media Arts

Are you interested in exploring technology as an expressive medium?

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The Digital Media Arts stream focuses on the creation of digital media performance and artistic expression through technology. With its blend of offerings in digital performance, physical computing and fabrication, and mixed reality, the program inhabits the spaces between the virtual and the physical, encouraging a seamless continuum between virtual reality and the world we inhabit. While placing more emphasis on offerings in AMPD, the stream in Digital Media Arts emphasizes the use of creative coding, computational and systems thinking as methods for creative expression. The Digital Media Arts stream has the most flexibility of the three streams. Students can pursue a range of interests from creative technology to art who are exploring the cutting edge of new media and new contemporary art forms.
Physical Computing I – III
Digital Fabrication
Artificial Life, Generative Art and Creative Code
Creative Data Visualization
Electro-Acoustic Orchestra
The Interactive Stage


Digital Media Development

Want to create the future of Digital Media with the most advanced tools and technologies?

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Placing more emphasis on offerings in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Digital Media Development stream focuses on the design of core tools and technologies supporting digital media practices. This stream provides a specialized track into our most advanced options in Digital Media such as low-level game development, human-computer interaction, signal processing, virtual reality, machine learning, and simulation. Students in this stream are well situated to work in areas of low-level digital media and tool development that represent a high-demand sector in the creative industries. As with all of our streams, topics are taught in a manner that encourages resilience and adaptability in the ever-shifting landscape of new media technology, so that graduates are positioned to adopt new technologies and paradigms as they arise and keep on the cutting-edge of the field for the unforeseeable future.
Mobile User Interfaces
Digital Audio
Introduction to Virtual Reality
Simulation and animation for Computer Games
Advanced Topics in 3D Computer Graphics
Human-Computer Interaction




Learning Outcomes

Throughout the program students will:

  • Develop a computational basis for the creation of digital media imagery and sound, using cutting-edge technology in the creation of games, new forms of art, and the simulation of 3D environments
  • Explore the theoretical, artistic, aesthetic and experiential ideas that provide a comprehensive understanding of digital media creation
  • Get hands-on experience creating digital media works and investigate the ways in which culture is, and can be, produced though technology
  • Examine the broad socio-cultural effects of digital media, and contemporary theory and research the uses of, and response to, digital media
  • Build a foundation of skills for the future, including new media literacy, design mindset, transdisciplinary, computational thinking, sensemaking, enterprise, resilience and human-machine collaboration.

Year 1

Gain the theoretical and practical background needed to succeed in the program and the future of the field.

Year 2

Specialize in one of the three streams:

  • Digital Media Game Arts
  • Digital Media Arts
  • Digital Media Development

Year 3

Ambitious large-scale projects and team building.

  • Work on large-scale projects with real-world clients and collaborators
  • Learn role assignment, task management, multi-stakeholder engagement and project frameworks

Year 4

Refining your independent creative voice and professional practice.

  • Develop self-directed, ambitious projects that explore cutting-edge topics in the domain of Digital Media


Digital Media Course Clusters

Courses in Digital Media are organized into six thematic clusters, providing students with flexibility of personal direction they can pursue in the program, regardless of the stream they choose. These clusters have been carefully curated so that students can build strong foundations in the area(s) that interest them most, building a trajectory to their future careers.


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  • Introduction to Interactive Digital Media

    Provides the basis for the exploration of computational art through fundamental tools needed for the analysis, evaluation, and creation of interactive computational art works, including the exploration of generative art, sound manipulation and effects, video manipulation and effects, and 2D graphics in run-time environments.

  • Fundamentals of Digital Media Studies

    Offers students a survey of digital media through an investigation of historical and theoretical sources that explore the intersection of art and technology. Potential topics include cybernetics, artificial intelligence, humman-computer interfaces, artScience, hypertext, net technologies, and the philosophy of science.

  • Media Signal Processing

    Introduces the concepts and techniques of digital signal processing and their application in both sound and image resulting in the development of works that are cross-modal hybrids between sound and image, such as found in the Visual Music aesthetic.

  • Publishing in Digital Media

    Introduces techniques and strategies for the documentation and dissemination of work in the digital age. Students will expand their skills in traditional and internet-based research in tandem with developing competence in the clear, concise communication of ideas through appropriate integration of text, visual, sonic and interacive components.

  • Net-Centric Computing

    The objectives of 1012 are threefold: providing a first exposure to event-driven programming, teaching students a set of computing skills (including reasoning about algorithms, tracing programs, test-driven development, unit testing), and providing an introduction to computing within a mobile, net-centric context.

  • Programming for Digital Media

    Introduction to program design and implementation focusing on digital media projects including sound, images and animation; includes algorithms, simple data structures, control structures, and debugging techniques.


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  • Game Development I & II

    Provides a hands-on approach to the study and practice of games, gamification, and game play and their use in various applications, including video games, simulations, serious gaming, and art making context. The course will take practical and theoretical approaches to game production in a variety of gaming contexts.

  • Game Mechanics

    Explores the rules and procedures followed by players and games-more broadly and not limited to computer games-that are the building blocks that make up gameplay. Students look at the various aspects of game mechanics; what they are, how they can be formed, how they interact with each other, what values they transmit and topics relating to the application of game mechanics.

  • Introduction to 3D Modelling

    Provides a foundation in 3D modelling using state of the art render time 3D modelling software such as Maya, Blender, and 3DS Max. The course will provide a survey of various modelling techniques and approaches with an emphasis on modelling used in 3D art, 3D animation and games.

  • Game History, Genre, and New Directions

    Examines the development of computer and video games from an historical and genre perspective. Provides a foundation for thinking critically about the history of games and how they are situated in culture, including their practices of representation of women, racial minorities and others.

  • Collaborative Project Development in Games

    Students will work together as a development team by taking on roles where they focus on specific aspects of the project (such as Director, Designer, Artist, Programmer, Level Designer, Sound Designer, Publicity). The development team structure is modeled on teams used in large-scale project development within fields related to games that rely on multi-stakeholder collaboration and interdisciplinary research.


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  • Screen-Based Fluid Interfaces

    Looks beyond the vocabulary of the point-and-click gesture to fluid mouse gestures in interactive new media art. Fluid mouse gestures, those that involve reacting to movement, provide a vast array of possibilities to generate complex meaning.

  • Creative Data Visualization

    Explores data visualization as an artistic practice. Engage with interdisciplinary practices involving the mapping of data to aesthetic form, gaining inspiration from a wide range of topics as musical graphics/abstract notation. conceptual/instructional art, animation, social media analyses and computational sciences.

  • Artificial Life, Generative Art and Creative Code

    This course addresses computation as a creative medium from a biologically-inspired standpoint to develop artworks, adaptive media and simulations approaching the fascinating complexity of nature.

  • Introduction to Virtual Reality

    Introduction to the basic principles of Virtual Reality and its applications. The necessary hardware and software components of interactive 3D systems as well as human factors are discussed.

  • Human-Computer Interaction

    Introduces the concepts and technology neccesary to design, manage and implement interactive software. Students work in small groups and learn how to design user interfaces, how to realize them and how to evaluate the end results. Both design and evaluation are emphasized.

  • Mobile User Interfaces

    This course introduces object-oriented programming and essential computing skills like algorithmic reasoning, UI design, and software tool usage. It uses a problem-based approach and practical labs, utilizing mobile software infrastructure like Java and Android programming. Labs tackle real-world problems, fostering computational thinking based on lecture concepts.

  • Advanced Topics in 3D Computer Graphic

    This course deals with fundamental concepts and algorithms of three-dimensional computer graphics, including object modelling, transformations, cameras, visibility and shading.

  • Hypermedia and Multimedia Technology

    The course explores hypermedia concepts, historical origins, and key innovations. It covers multi-linear texts and digital information found on the web and other platforms. Students will engage with historical figures and complete a course project implementing hypermedia concepts using software.


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  • Introduction to Physical Computing

    An introduction to the use of computers focusing on concepts of computer technology and organization (hardware and software) and the use of applications such as spreadsheets and information retrieval tools for problem solving.

  • Physical Computing I & II

    This course builds on the material covered in Introduction to Physical Computing to explore more advanced topics in physical computing such as circuit board design and manufacturing, embedded computing, communications and protocols, among other topics, with an emphasis on research-creation in the development of novel projects.

  • Generative and Parametric Modelling

    This course explores generative and parametric 3D modeling using scripting with tools like Rhinoceros/Grasshopper, Maya, SolidWorks, Blender, Max/MSP/Jitter, and Processing. It also incorporates software libraries like OpenGL and GLSL Shading Languages (OpenFrameworks, Cinder) for real-time 3D graphics. Students create fixed image-based content and 3D fabricated objects.

  • Digital Fabrication

    Introduces students to the possibilities for translating digital objects into physical objects using three-dimensional printing technologies, and the related conceptual concerns.


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  • The Interactive Stage

    Explores the creation of interactive stage environments for live performance. Students investigate various strategies whereby on-stage ‘events’ (physical, vocal, physiological, etc.) manipulate audio, video and/or lighting events. Students are introduces to dedicated interactive and show control software, and become adept at programming interactive environments.

  • Digital Signal Processing

    Introduces the concepts and techniques of digital signal processing and their application in both sound and image resulting in development of works that are cross-modal hybrids between sound and image, such as found in Visual Music aesthetic.

  • Digital Audio

    This course introduces the basic principles of digital audio, and presents several of its applications. Students will learn the physics of sound and the human auditory system, how analog audio is converted to digital, and the properties of different digital audio formats.

  • Electro-Acoustic Orchestra

    This course engages an electro-acoustic musical ensemble as a site for composing interactive multimedia works. Students develop an interactive system through weekly sessions in collaboration with the ensemble, and iteractively refine this over the course of the term. Projects from the course are presented in public concerts.


'18 Digital Media

My Life at Lassonde

Passionate About:
Art in all its forms, math, coding, travel, books, food, people

My Lassonde Journey:
• My program combined the best of both worlds – art and logic – and I learned from inspiring profs and mentors
• VP Media & Design, Lassonde Engineering Society
• Design & deliver workshops for high school students
• Prototyping Lab mentor aka Sandbox Guru
• Hackathons

Life Beyond Lassonde:
• Junior Designer/Business Technology Analyst at Deloitte
• Stay connected to Lassonde by supporting hackathons & share my knowledge with young professionals

Connect with Us

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