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Creativity, Making and Innovation Practice - MA *

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: City Centre

MA Creativity, Making and Innovation Practice is a creative, future-thinking Masters course. It is designed as a multi-disciplinary practice-based programme that combines creativity, innovation, technology and enterprise.

Addressing challenges on a range of societal issues, you will research and develop concepts and prototypes. Working collaboratively, in an open lab environment, you will be supported by technical and innovation experts.

Students on the course will apply their previous experience in creative, artistic, design, making, engineering or computing backgrounds.

What's covered in the course?

The emphasis in this course is on the application of creative thinking to technology in the development of innovation concepts. You will work collaboratively across disciplines, supported by lecturers, technical and enterprise specialists to develop working prototypes, service designs and business concepts.

Teaching will be through workshops, masterclasses from subject experts, tutorials and technical instruction. During the course you will be able to access facilities at BCU’s innovation space, STEAMhouse. These include rapid prototyping and manufacturing such as CNC, laser cussing, 3D printing, metal work and print technologies.

A key element of the course content are two one-week Open Innovation Labs in the second semester of the course.

At the end of the course, participating teams will produce working protoypes and demonstrate how these will be taken to market.

The Creativity, Making and Innovation Practice Masters will bring opportunities for employment in innovation in areas that include; technology start-ups, the creative industries, innovation teams in global businesses and governments or NGOs.

Why Choose Us?

  • Utilise BCU’s exciting innovation space, STEAMhouse and connect with our expanding community of makers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • As a multi-disciplinary programme there are no specific skills for entry and it is an ideal programme for curious people who are keen to take creative risks.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to take part in two one-week Open Innovation Labs focussed on innovation practice.

Postgraduate lunch drop in

Open Event

Our next Postgraduate Open Event will take place on Wednesday 1 April from 4.00pm - 7.00pm. Drop in at your convenience to chat with our staff about your subject interest. Plus, we’ll have experts on hand to answer your questions about entry requirements and student support.

Book your place

This course is open to International students

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Discover School of Games, Film and Animation

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Mark Brill.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements 
Essential

MA Creativity, Making and Innovation Practice is open to all applicants who hold an Undergraduate Degree or equivalent. 

A portfolio review is a required as part of your application. This should evidence competency in those skills relevant to the area of practice you would like to focus on for your MA study.

International Students

Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.

Apply now

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,500 per year

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Portfolio Guidance

You will be asked to demonstrate previous experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Creative: Artistic or practice-based creativity, especially concepts that apply technology
  • Design: Architecture, built environment, urban design, service design, computer games art or digital user experience
  • Making: Technology or traditional making (such as jewellery), product design or engineering
  • Computing: Computer software development, especially in an artistic context including coding such as apps or computer games

These can be demonstrated by a brief portfolio of work, examples of artefacts, prototypes or media such as photographs or video.


Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation aim to connect students with industry locally, nationally and globally, in alignment with student aspirations. Opportunities to engage with industry in an alternative location are always promoted but are never compulsory so students can make a decision based around their individual responsibilities, lifestyle and finances.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

What's included in your course fees? 

Travel and accommodation costs for the overseas Lab are included, but you will be required to cover subsistence costs. Making materials and some technology (such as sensors, Arduino, Raspberry Pi) are included, however some projects might require further expenditure by students.

Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules:

Creative Thinking for Innovation

This four-week module will introduce you to techniques in innovation and creative thinking models that can be applied to develop concepts.

Problem Framing and Design Thinking

This eight-week module will focus on the challenge areas and the process of understanding the problem. You will discover approaches such as Design or STEAM Thinking to drive innovation concepts forward.

Innovation Skills Development

For this 12-week module you will develop your skills to create your prototype. You will identify your own learning pathway and have access to STEAMhouse, Faculty facilities and technical support. At the start of this module there will be a one-week Open Innovation Lab that will consider problem framing and empathy. At the end of the module there will be a second lab at STEAMhouse that will support rapid prototyping and development.

Final Major Project

The last 12-week semester will be spent on the delivery of the final prototypes and developing enterprise concepts. Assessment during the course will be through student reflections, work-practice reports and portfolios.

Underpinning this course is an aim to create prototypes and concepts that address key societal issues in areas such as health, sustainability and urban development. Taking these as broad challenges, you will identify specific problems and apply creative thinking to find solutions. 

You will participate in workshops, tutorials and master classes on themes covering creative thinking, problem framing, user empathy, rapid prototyping, innovation and enterprise. Additionally, through a self-directed study programme, there will be opportunities to develop specific skills in technology and making, supported by technical experts.

At the end of the course, you will have developed a prototype of your concept and will demonstrate how it can be taken to market.

Trips and visits 

There is the possibility of working with partners in Europe in the context of the Open Innovation Labs.

There will be occasional one-day visits to innovation spaces and companies in Birmingham and London.

Enhancing your employability skills

Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation are built upon workplace simulation and industry-standard work, ensuring you behave less like a student and more as a professional, gaining the workplace experience and attributes you need. The aim is to produce confident, work-ready graduates.

At the end of your studies you’ll complete a Major Project. This project may lead you to working directly with a client depending on individual aspirations. This direct contact will give you the experience, confidence and freedom to put into action all you’ve learned on your studies. Aligned with this course-specific experience, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:

  • Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
  • Career planning and decision making
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
  • Developing portfolios
  • Networking with employers
  • Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship

Links to Industry

The course connects with a number of organisations in the creative industries including local and national companies.


Placements

Whilst there is no formal programme, students will be able to undertake short placements in companies developing innovation during the second and final semesters.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

The course enhances employability by developing a broad set of creative, technical and enterprise skills, or T-skills, in addition to specific knowledge in innovation, technology and enterprise. This will be shown through your own portfolio of work that will create demonstrable skills.

Graduate Jobs

Graduates from the course will be suitable for employment in one of four areas; technology start-ups; the creative industries, that include advertising, technology, product design, media, digital content, entertainment, industrial design, software, music and games; government or NGO innovation programmes; larger enterprises using a disruptive innovation model.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

As a creatively-driven course, we positively encourage students to bring their direct experience from their own countries and cultures to their creative thinking, problem framing and innovation solutions.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Parkside and Curzon Buildings
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Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.

We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.

Gamer Camp

  • Dedicated games development studio space.
  • Apple and Android target devices.
  • One high spec PC for game development per code and art student and high spec laptop per business student. As a Gamer Camp student you have your own PC and desk in a games development studio.
  • Wacom Cinetiq graphics tablets for selected art roles, such concept, GUI and character.
  • PlayStation 4 development and test kits. We were one of only five universities in Europe to receive PS4 Dev at launch.
  • PlayStation VITA development and test kits.
  • Perforce Source Control.
  • Hansoft Project Management software.

Two-Year Fast-Track

  • High spec PC laptop (Games Development, Digital Art and Design and Production) for the duration of the course.
  • MacBookAir laptop (Digital Marketing) for the duration of the course.
  • Dedicated studio space for projects.

Future Media and Film Futures

  • Access to dedicated studio space including iMac computers to deliver projects with external clients.
  • IMDB Pro.

Staff Introduction

As a practice-based course, staff will bring a wide range of contemporary experience in making, technology and innovation. The team will also be undertaking their own projects that will demonstrate the journey that you will take during the course. Above all, you will find the staff to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic and supportive to all students.

Mark Brill

Senior Lecturer in Digital Communication and Future Media

Mark has worked in digital advertising and marketing for over 20 years and during that time his focus has been on delivering campaigns in emerging channels: web, mobile, social and now innovation through The Internet of Things. He has worked with global agencies such Aegis Dentsu and WPP, and brands including Unilever, Mondelez, Louise Vuitton and Chevrolet (to name just a few). Professionally, his strength is as a strategist – a role that combines data, insights and creative development. Mark’s teaching philosophy takes its cue from the punk ethic by encouraging students to give things a go and try out their ideas: ‘Here’s a chord, here’s a another, here’s a third. Now form a b(r)and!’ 

Read Mark's full profile

Additional Facilities

In addition to classroom facilities, you will be able to access digital, print, wood and metal making tools available at STEAMhouse and elsewhere within the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.