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Creative and Cultural Industries: Art Direction BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P990 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

This course prepares you for a career in art direction in the creative industries. You will develop practical and analytical skills in visual communication to create effective advertising and visual identities for organisations and projects.

The course is taught within Kingston School of Art and is driven by our ethos of ‘thinking through making'. You will learn to visualise, collaborate, experiment and project manage as you work on real-world projects with other students. You will also develop your knowledge of the creative industries, exploring topics such as design theory, branding and strategy for creative organisations.

Kingston University is an associate of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Creative Industries Federation (CIF). You will receive free ICA and CIF memberships, 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 events and gain curation experience. The course also offers opportunities to work on live projects with creative companies and institutions.

The following Creative and Cultural Industries specialisms are also available:

What are the creative and cultural industries?

Find out about the creative and cultural industries:

What you will study

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

Year 1 is common to all our creative and cultural industries courses. It examines the management and strategy of creative enterprises, and the history and development of art and design practice. You will also explore 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. The modules and projects will develop your skills and understanding of what art direction brings to creative enterprises. This will include interpreting briefs and transforming the ideas of a company into a coherent visual identity to communicate with key audiences. You will study conceptualisation and visualisation, visual narratives and storyboarding, artwork commission, branding, entrepreneurship, managing risk, project management and strategy.

You can choose to take part in a summer internship at the end of Year 2 to gain valuable experience and increase your employability.

Year 3's research project will be a dissertation, business or marketing plan, or consultancy project for a company. You will research, collect and analyse data, structuring your project with help from supervisors.

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

  • This module builds the skills and understanding needed to create and deliver effective visual and verbal communications, through Design Thinking. Students will be introduced to theories on perception and communication and will apply them to the analysis of persuasive visuals used in advertising communications and marketing messages. Students are simultaneously introduced to a fundamental set of conceptual and practical, thinking and decision tools.

    Practical project tasks will give students the opportunity to develop or enhance their digital design software skills through the creation of visual concepts, hacks, short/long form video narratives, content creation for social and experimentation with VR and emerging platforms to explain the possible visual identities of an event, campaign or product. Drawing on Design Thinking, a creative problem solving approach and technique, students will learn to examine and redefine problems through close observation, and investigate the use of empathy with users. User experience, interface design and prototyping are used to enhance the quality of communication and the explanation and sharing of ideas. Concept testing then helps reveal the match between the problem and the solution. The module develops the principle that decision making can be enhanced and innovation more likely if the attitudes and processes of design are applied to organisational decisions, services and activities.

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  • This module enables students to create a critical, historical and theoretical framework within which to investigate and understand practices of creativity in relation to art, design and culture.

    The module explores the connections between creativity and social and cultural change by focusing on a variety of case studies both historical and contemporary. It will place emphasis on the ways in which significant moments in cultural history, and the creative products and solutions that emerge from them, have been shaped by the input of multiple stakeholders who inhabit a variety of positions from artists and designers, to muses, theoreticians, patrons and engineers.

    Alongside, they will also consider how both producers and consumers can play a role in instigating and influencing such change.

    Students will be introduced to the context of creative industries, classifying them and exploring what makes them distinctive and arguably idiosyncratic. Their development will be traced alongside the creation of intellectual property and protection legal frameworks. The economics of cultural production will lead into how digital innovations are disrupting existing models and value propositions. Running through the module will be the view that firms in the CCI can benefit from strategic thinking.

    With a close focus on analysis of key case studies, a series of lectures, hacks, seminars, workshops, and tutorials will support students' own emerging research interests and encourage the development of their historical knowledge, critical thinking and research skills.

    The module thus helps students to make sense of the concerns emerging in their own disciplines and to take a critical and analytical view of their own ideas, motivations and interests and how these views can translate into commercial project work.

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Year 2

  • This module aims to build understanding of the role of an Art Director in the conceptualisation and development of advertising, communication, content creation and branding messages for a business, institution or movement. The module will further develop theories of visual communication and graphic design skills introduced in HA4301 and HA4302 and explore the structure, processes and practices of the advertising sector. The focus within the module is on the visual appearance of advertising 2 or content (print, digital and video) and how the intended moods, information, concepts and values are translated into print, still, video and VR/AR work.

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  • This module is intended to establish the importance of the customer or end user during the production of the students' creative work. This is not necessarily a given as when work includes aesthetic, craft or technical codes, values and stakeholders there can be powerful alternative interests and requirements. Creative producers need to balance, determine possible areas of trade-off and occasionally deny or defend against commercial or cultural considerations. This module therefore problematises the cultural consumer, investigates their needs and behaviours, and analyses and discovers how (interactive) communication can be established with them, including consideration of ethical practices within the sector. A multi-channel perspective will be adopted with particular emphasis on digital consumer decision journeys and the creation of social media brand advocates.

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  • This module introduces students to the principles and practices of project management. Students will have had some limited experience of working in projects during the Design Thinking (HA4303) module and will be able to use this as recognition of the need and benefits to developing skills in this aspect of creative professional practice. Much work in the Creative Industries is organised in projects and many creatives work as freelancers or in small agencies operating in a project based manner. Project management involves the identification and organisation of resources, aligning them to milestones and objectives so that at the completion of the project the outcome is valued by the client and the project team generates a return on their effort. While it is the case that creative projects share similar characteristics to those intended to be run by methodologies such as Prince2, they are also different. The module explores this difference and aims at providing an approach and encouraging attitudes to their organisation that will enable creative projects to be better managed.

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  • This module provides students with an opportunity to apply their developing understanding of creative problem solving to real-world examples of problem conceptualisation, research and solution design. It will draw on the skills and problem solving techniques developed in the Visual Narrative and Design Thinking (HA4301) modules and the Creative Project Management (HA5305) module. Its main objective is to create a situation requiring professional level of interaction and the application of creative and design skills to the creation of a solution. This will prepare students for when they need to create and sell ideas into companies either for an agency or as a freelancer. Cases will be selected according to their relevance to each degree. Two scenarios are expected. One, the case will involve aspects of each degree and can be tackled by all students. Two, separate cases will be found to match each degree. Each organisation will bring a live or ‘as live', project for the students to work on and produce a solution. The ‘liveness' of the project refers to the fact that it is a current issue that the organisation is currently experiencing and that the students are working on a problem that therefore could contribute to, or change, how the organisation responds.

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Year 3

  • This module deepens students understanding of the role and practices of an Art Director in advertising introduced in HA5301. In this module, the task of translating messages and moods, benefits and values is extended to that of the design of a fully integrated campaign. This module will allow the student to experiment with a core advertising campaign message and produce a number of visual, typographical, editorial, social or content ideas that all adhere to the same core messaging

    Students will be provided conceptual frameworks through which to critically analyse integrated 360 campaigns, further explore how emerging technologies such as Snapchat Spectacles and Ad Blocking software are changing the advertising landscape. Narrative and digital. Practical projects involving the creation of prototype integrated advertising campaigns which will give students the opportunity to explore the practices and theories of producing concepts and content across multiple channels (social, TV, online, digital, experiential, immersive). The module will investigate how the multi-channel nature of advertising strategies affects the design of the message.

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  • This module explores what attitudes, skills and activities equip the entrepreneur in the Creative and Cultural Industries with the resources and decision-making skills to survive and thrive. It takes the term culturepreneur - originally one of derision, and problematises the distinctive features of enterprising people and teams that attempt to craft desirable value propositions for their users or customers while at the same time ensuring they capture sufficient revenue and build and deploy necessary reputational capital. The module is not intended to be a business planning module as though there maybe cases where enterprises are conceptualised and pitched it is also the case that entrepreneurship is a broader concept concerning the creation and execution of creative projects that involve enterprising or new formulations of value. In these cases ideas still need to be conceptualised, prototyped, resources identified and won.

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  • This is the programme's capstone module, a double weighted individual piece of work that provides an opportunity for the students to consolidate and apply previous knowledge gained and skills acquired during their degree. It will be an opportunity to develop and express their creative self, demonstrated through the production of a major enquiry into and response to an issue experienced by people and organisations operating in the creative industries. The work will be theoretically informed and practically orientated and be relevant to the field of their degree; either Art Direction, Curation Exhibition and Events or Design Marketing.

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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.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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