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Creative and Cultural Industries: Art Direction BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P990 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Please note this course is subject to validation.

Why choose this course?

If you are considering working as an art director, in the fields of advertising or marketing, this degree is ideal preparation. It gives you the opportunity to develop analytical, practical and technical skills for professional work, and eventual leadership, in one of the largest economic sectors in the UK – the creative industries.

What are the creative and cultural industries?

Find out about the creative and cultural industries:

Industry partnerships

Kingston University is an associate of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). You will get free membership, participate in seminars and events, and have the opportunity to become a Kingston/ICA intern. Our Stanley Picker Gallery and Dorich House Museum offer you the opportunity to participate in and propose events, and gain curatorial and programming experience.

What you will study

This degree develops visual communication skills and judgement. You will gain the knowledge and experience of organisation and project management necessary to help deliver the visual aspects of a client's marketing communications.

Studies take place in a renowned art school, with its philosophy of "thinking through making and doing". You will develop organisation, communication and collaboration skills through projects with fellow students, and live case studies with creative companies and institutions.

Year 1 is common to all our Creative and Cultural industries courses. It examines core learnings in the management and strategy of creative enterprises, the history and development of art and design practice, visual communication techniques, use of design software, storytelling and design thinking. You will learn individually and as part of a team of creative partners and professionals.

Years 2 and 3 examine art direction in depth. Modules and projects develop skills and an understanding of what art direction brings to creative enterprises and their projects. This will involve interpreting briefs and transforming the messaging, concepts and ideas of a company or project into a coherent visual identity in order to promote to, and communicate with, various audiences. You will study conceptualisation and visualisation, visual narratives and storyboarding, artwork commission and evaluation, collaboration and communication, entrepreneurship, recognising and managing risk, project management, strategy and branding in the creative economy.

An optional summer internship in the area of art direction at the end of Year 2 offers invaluable experience and increases your employability. Other opportunities include an entrepreneurship challenge, and a mentoring programme, preparing you for your future career.

Year 3's research project may be a dissertation, consultancy report into a company-specific issue or challenge, or an enterprise/business or marketing plan. You will research, collect and analyse data, structuring your project with help from supervisors.

The following specialisms are also available:

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

    • Design thinking and wicked problems
    • Service design thinking
    • Collaboration, teams and discipline boundaries
    • Prototyping techniques and software skills
    • Creativity– theory, tests and types
    • Visual communication/storytelling
    • Multi-media storyboarding
    • Conceptualisation, pitching and persuading
    • Digital Media software skills (eg Illustrator/Photoshop)
    • History and development of the sector (policy)
    • Public policy and internationalisation
    • Economics of the creative economy
    • Business models and technology
    • Competition and strategy
    • History and development of art and design – the role of the avant garde
    • Political art and design
    • Internationalisation and globalisation

Year 2

  • Conceptualisation, storyboarding, art work evaluation and commissioning, location evaluation and production co-ordination.

    • Project management software and tools (eg basecamp/liquid planner)
    • Planning and critical path analysis
    • Resource allocation, task design
    • Agile methodology
    • Budgeting and finance
    • Monitoring and rescheduling
  • Live case study on an enterprise in the creative economy (pathway specific). Students working in groups given a brief by a company in the creative economy of their pathway. Students apply design thinking approach to identifying, ideating and crafting a response to a problem they are experiencing. In groups students research the sector and the issue and prepare questions for an interim/guidance meeting with company representatives. Pathway specific tutor provides guidance where needed.

    • Marketing research
    • Consumer behaviour
    • Marketing planning
    • Digital marketing
    • Branding

Year 3

    • Opportunity recognition – research and prototyping
    • Resourcing the creative enterprise (finance/people)
    • Risk – assessment and protection
    • Business planning – structure and pitching
  • Conceptualisation, storyboarding, art work evaluation and commissioning, location evaluation and production co-ordination.

  • Either a dissertation, a consultancy report into a company specific issue or challenge or an enterprise/business or marketing plan.

    • Research methods, data collection, analysis and structure
    • Two supervisors – one on structure and one pathway specialist for the content of the inquiry.



You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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