Shake up of Creative Arts leads to good things

Flinders University is making some proactive changes to its creative arts degrees in 2019.
Shake up of Creative Arts leads to good things

Photo: Richard Lyons. Image supplied.

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Flinders University is making changes to its creative arts degrees in 2019. 

Alongside the practice-focussed degrees offered by the university, a new focus on business and entrepreneurship will be available through the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Enterprise).

‘We became aware that there were a lot of students who were putting together their own degrees – combining their creative arts studies with topics from the business school and other areas so they could come out with the skills they needed to negotiate contracts, do their own marketing, be sole traders, and understand how accounting works for creative people,’ said Dr Tully Barnett, Lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University.

Flinders University has responded to this by creating a formalised course that fills a need for business skills in the new gig economy and prepares arts students for the future of work in the creative industries.

‘The Bachelor of Creative Arts (Enterprise) is  about the business of arts and culture for the twenty-first century”. Rather than focusing on a specific creative practice, the degree looks at the engine of creative enterprise itself,’ explained Barnett.

‘Students will cover topics like Cultural Industries and Enterprise, and Creative Cities: Ecologies and Social Transformation, which allows for us to look at how a city operates as a cultural environment, and what kind of enterprise knowledge we need to have to understand the opportunities for culture and creativity in the changing landscape. And to achieve this our degree runs in partnership with the South Australian cultural sector

It also offers a unique partnership opportunity with the New Venture Institute (NVI), which is dedicated to creating opportunity in uncertainty. 

‘The New Venture Institute runs courses on innovation such as Innovation and Creative Thinking, Innovation and Social Impact, From Intuition to Insight, Creating a Roadmap from Opportunity to Action, Entrepreneurial Strategies – those kind of subjects,’ said Barnett. 

‘There’s a lot of opportunities through NVI for incubators and for people to put their ideas into practice.’ 

Students who enrol in one of the practice-specific creative degrees – such as drama or visual arts – will also have the opportunity to complement their studies with subjects in entrepreneurship and enterprise through the Bachelor of Letters.

‘That is just one extra topic a semester over four years to allow them to complement their traditional creative arts degree with a bunch of innovation, entrepreneur and enterprise business related topics,’ said Barnett. ‘The best of both worlds’.

What’s in a name?

In another proactive change, Flinders University will also rename the degree previously known as Bachelor of Creative Arts (Digital Media) as the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) – which prepares students for careers in gaming, animation (2D or 3D), production and illustration.

Lecturer Katie Cavanagh said the name change connects students with future career opportunities. It  follows the University’s success in The Rookies, an annual awards program open to young creatives in film, animation, games, VR, motion graphics and 3D visualisation.

Last year, Flinders University was ranked as the number one illustration school in the world judged on the quality of students work.

'The degree is really good and the name change allows us to communicate that in more detail,’ said Cavanagh.

‘Back when the digital media degree began, the terms “digital media” meant something because it was new, it was still in that transition from print to digital. We have changed the name to Visual Effects and Entertainment Design to help clarify both for the students and for prospective employers what the students have studied.’

Flinders University has also completely revamped the degree previously known as Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing to Bachelor of Media and Communication.

The new degree will prepare students for contemporary careers in the constantly evolving field of communications.

'In many ways, this is more than just a name change,' said Professor Vanessa Lemm, Vice President & Executive Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University.

'We’ve completely overhauled the degree to better prepare students for the world they’ll enter.'

This world is one where digital communication remains pivotal to everyday life, where careers in content management, social media, and writing and editing for online platforms are the new normal.

'Graduates will be equipped with the skills to create graphic and images, publish and maintain a consistent voice on various platforms, including blogging and social media, and well as the traditional skills of researching and writing for different audiences,' said Lemm.

'This degree provides students with the skills and knowledge to research, write, design and produce communication content for a range of media platforms.'

Visit flinders.edu.au/creative-arts to find out more.

Brooke Boland

Wednesday 1 August, 2018

About the author

Brooke Boland is a freelance writer based on the South Coast of NSW.