The term creative director originated in advertising agencies, but in the last few years has also become prevalent in the fashion and beauty industries. The role of creative director within fashion and beauty is multi-faceted and varied. Generally speaking, creative directors find themselves responsible for the creative direction and visual identity of a brand, publication, website or event.
Solent’s fashion and beauty programmes have strong links with industry, giving students the chance to work with experienced academics and industry professionals. Students can leverage these industry links when they are looking for work placements as part of the essential work-based learning unit.
Students also benefit from a programme of guest lectures throughout the course, with representatives from fashion, beauty, media, retail and other creative industries coming to campus and sharing their experiences. Recent events have included a guest lecture from professional makeup artist Laura Mercier, as well as visits from representatives of MAC, Illamasqua, Trendstop and Charles Fox.
The course culminates in a final major project, where students can either write a thesis or produce a major practical outcome. Students will have access to a wide range of industry-standard facilities in support of this project. Available facilities include photography studios; film studios; make-up studios; cameras; location lighting kits; ‘infinity cove’ studios and Mac suites with the latest industry software.
The role of creative director has become prevalent in the fashion and beauty industries in recent years. Generally speaking, creative directors find themselves responsible for the creative direction and visual identity of a brand, publication, website or event.
This course is specifically aimed at those currently working in the fashion and beauty industry who are aspiring towards art direction. The course content is ideal for building knowledge in magazine publishing, event production, e-commerce and advertising.
The research methods unit prepares students for their MA final project by equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to define a research project, select an appropriate methodological approach and investigate a key research topic utilising secondary and/or primary research.
This unit will explore and critically analyse the fashion, beauty and creative industries around the world. The unit will equip students with advanced skills to enable them to research the industry they seek to work in and to critically analyse opportunities. Students will be supported to produce a professional development plan - key to this will be an element of work-based learning.
The primary focus of this unit is on developing the wide range of conceptual skills necessary to effectively and innovatively communicate to a consumer audience. This unit provides the opportunity to develop, in response to a range of set briefs, concepts for different outcomes (for example digital, film, print and fashion shows).
Technical Image Design Skills
This unit covers the technical aspects of creative and art direction. Using a range of software students will focus on understanding technical specifications and design problems aligned to producing web, print and time based outcomes.
In this unit students will design, execute and present an individually demanding piece of work that deploys a systematic and in-depth understanding of the skills and debates relevant to their particular discipline of study.
Available facilities include photography studios; film studios; make-up studios; camera loans; location lighting kits; an ‘infinity cove’ facility; and Mac suites with the latest industry software.
We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.
After graduation, students will be able to apply their knowledge to a range of areas within fashion and beauty including magazine publication, event production, e-commerce and advertising.
Graduates may find themselves working with fashion and beauty brands, magazines, retail businesses, media production companies or communications agencies.
Industry professionals share their knowledge and experiences with students through guest presentations, lectures, one-to-one tutorials and portfolio-viewing workshops.
Recent visiting lecturers have included: Caryn Franklin, Perry Curties, Iain R Webb, Wayne Johns, Bruce Smith, Ellen Rogers, Hannah Al-Shemmeri, Elaine Waldron, Maria Bonet and Richard Billingham.
The programme area and its staff have strong links with the industry, recently hosting a guest lecture from professional makeup artist Laura Mercier, as well as visits from representatives of MAC, Illamasqua, Trendstop and Charles Fox.
The professional practice unit has been specifically designed to equip master’s students with an in-depth knowledge of their chosen industry and to give them the insights required to plan their long-term career. Students will be supported as they produce reflective professional development plans.
Work-based learning is essential to student development. Students will be required to secure a work placement, freelance assignment or relevant work related experience in order to strengthen their knowledge and refine practical skills.
Our unique Creative Practices and Direction programme will develop your creative-practice and leadership skills through engagement with practice-oriented theory and new collaborations.
As a student of this programme, you will develop strong relationships with active professionals in your discipline and learn within a leading theatrical conservatoire that benefits from the intellectual stimulus of a major research-led university.
This unique programme is aimed at creative producers and directors and those who train and work with actors and performers to develop and direct their skills.
The programme offers three specialist pathways, including choreography and movement direction, directing, musical theatre creation, and you will also have the opportunity to develop a specialist practice within your chosen pathway.
The programme is primarily designed for graduates in drama, theatre and dance from universities and conservatoires, but will also appeal to those who have established themselves professionally and wish to refresh their skills and perspectives and take on leadership, coaching, creative or directing roles.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an Advanced Creative Practice module.
Students enter the MA Creative Practices and Direction to a specified pathway, personally supervised by their pathway leader, an expert in the subject area.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Movement Direction and Choreography pathway
Students on this pathway follow and practically investigate a number of techniques and ideas dealing with onstage physicality.
The focus is also on the development of movement language, through the investigation of the ideas and practices of seminal dance-based ideas (Laban, Bausch, Cunningham, Fosse, Graham, Horton, etc.) and methods for working with music and sound.
This programme is a practice-led pathway incorporating methodologies and techniques that focus on approaches to theatre directing, dramaturgy, collaboration with other practitioners.
Musical Theatre Creation pathway
This pathway is designed for those who wish to study writing, and creative roles specifically in Musical Theatre. These might be as a director, choreographer, composer, librettist, musical director or creative producer.
Educational aims of the programme
The School of Arts facilities include the 200-seat theatre in the Ivy Arts Centre, dark and light studios, digital creation stations and editing facilities, scenic, props and costume workshops, and interconnected sound recording and music facilities.
Teaching and workshop activity takes place largely in GSA’s dedicated rehearsal rooms, performance studios and design workshops. Lectures, presentations and seminars will occur in rooms across campus.
The University Library contains the majority of set texts, key journals, scripts, play texts and video materials necessary for the programme. Students have access to extensive facilities through the virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, and IT Services.
Additional support is available in the Learning Resource Centre in the University Library.
Equipment is provided on a project-by-project basis according to the nature of the work in hand and the parameters of the project, which are negotiated with the tutor.
Facilities and equipment for production work will be booked by students according to specific project briefings and advertised resource parameters.
Academic support is provided by way of ongoing contact with the programme director and module leaders, group briefings and feedback, individual tutorials, and mentoring.
The programme makes use of a peer feedback system designed to provide a useful and supportive account of areas of strength and effectiveness, along with areas for improvement.
You are encouraged to identify personal learning and creative objectives that can be pursued in alignment with group project work.
The School of Arts includes study in dance, digital arts, film, music, sound and theatre, with research activity in all areas, often with significant interdisciplinary connections.
With an integrated approach that comprises documentation, analysis and performance, Surrey’s agenda for research aims to engage critically with the past and present, while rigorously articulating new frameworks for understanding and practising the arts and culture in the twenty-first century.
Research infrastructure includes the Digital World Research Centre and the Laban Archive in the National Resource Centre for Dance (NRCD).
The School of Arts hosts and supports established research centres, research groupings and networks as well as individual research projects. Our research extends to partnerships with the artistic community, for instance, in support of public debates or in the dissemination of documentation for arts practice through the digital and print media.
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Think you’ve got what it takes to succeed as a creative entrepreneur? Based in Southampton Solent University’s own on-campus creative agency, this master’s programme is ideally suited to savvy graduates who are looking to make their mark in the creative industries. If you have ever thought about setting up your own creative enterprise or working as a freelancer, this intensive course will help you develop the essential skills required to succeed.
The tutoring team on Southampton Solent University’s MA Creative Enterprise programme believe that the best way to learn freelance and enterprise skills is to get involved with real commercial projects.
Our established industry links and on-site creative agency provide students with access to these projects, where they will be expected to take full responsibility for managing the client, communicating successfully and delivering projects to budget. Past students have even had the opportunity to pitch for paid work as part of the course.
Taught portions of the course closely examine the creative economy, helping students to understand how the different sectors of the creative industry operate. Students also learn a range of strategic thinking and problem solving skills, building a set of transferable skills which will help them throughout their career.
This course equips students to identify opportunities that are appropriate to their skillset and aspirations, helping them to take their existing creative skills and apply them in a commercial setting. This may take the form of in-house employment, freelance work, entrepreneurship - or a combination of the three.
The enterprise skills that students develop can be used throughout their careers and will help to maximise their employability. This includes a thorough understanding of how business is conducted within the creative industries and a toolkit of general business and enterprise skills.
This course is a must for entrepreneurial graduates or ambitious professionals who are keen to start their own creative enterprise or work as a freelancer in the creative industries.
Students have access to a range of facilities to suit their creative discipline, from printing presses and photography studios to animation suites and green-screen spaces. The University also offers a range of digital cameras, recording equipment, multi-camera studios, audio booths and an extensive media loans scheme.
Solent is also home to a 24-hour library, modern IT facilities and a range of expert learning and employability support services.
Suitable occupations for graduates include:
There’s a chance of progression to further study, including a PhD, on successful completion of the course.
Solent Creatives have excellent contacts with industry across a range of different sectors, having worked with over 800 business since it opened for business. These have included Marks & Spencer, Southampton Airport, Sodexo, Oxfam, the NHS and many small and medium sized organisations from the local area. Past projects have seen students filming live events, managing social media content, designing corporate brochures and organising charity fashion shows.
Solent Creatives is also active in various networking groups including the JCI, Creative Network South and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.
Do you have a passion for creative communication? Would you like to improve your employability within the advertising industry? This challenging master’s programme focuses on the development of hands-on creative advertising techniques, helping you to build a set of skills that you’ll use throughout your career. You’ll also develop a thorough understanding of relevant academic theory, exploring popular culture and the ways in which it is shaped by promotional media.
Southampton Solent University’s MA Creative Advertising curriculum focuses on industry relevant workplace skills, teaching students to function as part of a professional advertising business. These skills include idea generation, working to a brief, research, copywriting, strategy and presentation. Students will also complete a master’s project, which is an ideal opportunity to focus on the specific areas of advertising that interest them. For further details on the course’s academic content, please visit the ‘course content’ tab.
Students benefit from creative guidance throughout the course, receiving regular feedback from the tutoring team, other students and specially invited advertising professionals. This feedback helps students to craft a portfolio of commercially appealing work, and encourages them to reflect on their own creative process.
Advertising students at Southampton Solent may get their first taste of the industry by freelancing at Solent Creatives, an on-campus advertising and marketing agency that specialises in connecting students with business clients. This offers students the opportunity to gain work experience, create additional work for their portfolios and make industry contacts.
Students are encouraged to take on work experience throughout their studies. Advertising students have previously secured placements at Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Erickson, EHS 4D, Chemistry Communications, B&Q, Channel 4 (Jersey) and Palmer Hargreaves.
Following this course, you will be well placed for a variety of careers in national or international advertising agencies. Students will work on competition briefs for organisations such as the Design & Art Directors Association (D&AD) and the Young Creative Network (YCN).
Solent’s creative advertising master’s degree is ideally-suited to those looking to progress their career in the advertising industry. The course will help those looking to further develop their career by covering creative strategies, building a creative portfolio, and professional practice.
We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.
Students will have access to a range of specialist facilities throughout their studies. These include Mac computers, professional creative software, digital printing facilities and traditional printing presses.
Solent also provides a comprehensive media loans scheme, giving students access to high-end photographic equipment.
Suitable roles for graduates include:
Our experienced teaching team has strong links with high-profile professional bodies, enabling you to develop useful contacts in the advertising world and to meet key industry figures.
You will be encouraged to complete work experience and we’ll help you to find a suitable placement, if possible at a top agency. Leading creative directors will be among those to critique your work, giving you valuable feedback.
Industry guest lectures, agency visits and careers events will help to boost your insight into the advertising industry and your network of contacts.
You’ll also have the chance to develop your industry connections and freelance portfolio through real-world work for Solent Creatives, our in-house creative agency.
We’ll encourage you to complete work experience as part of the Professional Practice unit. Through this you’ll gain real-world experience of working in an agency environment, helping you to plan your future career. You’ll also have the chance to develop your industry connections and freelance portfolio through working for Solent Creatives, our in-house creative agency. Students are invited to pitch for work at Solent Creatives, our on-campus creative agency. These projects involve real businesses and are ideally suited for portfolio development.
Digital Direction is a new 240-credit, 15-month Master’s programme starting in September 2017.
Digital Direction addresses media and storytelling in the digital era, assessing emerging issues associated with contemporary digital communication and the creative economy, training new creative leaders who are responsive to continually changing contexts, infrastructures and technologies and engendering a new wave of creative leadership. Graduates will develop a deep understanding of critical and experimental communication/media production, creation and design practices, and through applied innovation will address current and future contexts.
The programme prepares students to evolve and lead new approaches to media and storytelling through predictive innovation, enabled by rapidly changing cultural and industrial practices, plus uses of, and developments in, digital technologies. Centring on the interrelated domains of broadcasting, film and experience/brand, the programme addresses knowledge and skills gaps in four key areas of practice: production, direction, content development/making/writing and communication/digital media design.
The programme proposes new imperatives for storytelling in an age of alternative facts and fictions; challenges associated with multiple media forms and systems; and methods for engaging publics as audiences, users, consumers, (co-)creators, stakeholders and participants.
Established approaches to production, direction, content creation and communication/digital media design are transforming at an exponential rate, employing innovative forms of storytelling and narrative experience to engage audiences in new ways. The programme is informed by associated transformations in digital technologies, including the prevalence of post-broadcast models of On Demand media; the proliferation of networked forms of production and distribution; source- and platform-agnostic, multi-cast, multi-access and multi-layered, multi-linear media; cultures of openness and control; and the primacy of interactivity.
The programme acknowledges human adaptations to living with digital technologies. Contemporary media platforms are mobile, embedded in multiple types of environments, infrastructures and products, and user-controlled with an engagement in more democratic forms of content generation and curation. In parallel, core discrete professions within the media and communication design industries are being challenged and broadened by increasingly transdisciplinary requirements. .
The programme equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to engage productively with the creative, design and commercial demands of this emerging and rapidly evolving multi-platform and multi-layered world. To match, a transdisciplinary approach is demanded with a strong narrative sense and a honed instinct for communication. Our contemporary uses of new digital technologies have prompted a reconsideration of communication borders and different types of responsive modes; and content developers and distributors are, in turn, converging within an increasingly fluid space.
Traditional skill sets involving narration, scriptwriting, production design, direction, set design, casting, photography, filming, lighting, and sound recording, for example, are now increasingly accompanied and informed by hitherto unrelated practices such as coding and programming, interactive design, AI, cross-platform and cross-media integration (e.g. transmedia), data visualisation and analytics, visual design, gamification, virtual/augmented reality and social media. Digital Direction addresses the demands of this new world – for example, by enabling designer-directors to produce and create content for social videos with an accompanying strategy for ensuring delivery to their target audiences, including deployment of mechanisms for openness and input.
The programme draws on six key principles from the School of Communication – conceptualisation, experimentation, expression, information, contextualisation and interdisciplinarity – which are in turn supported and developed through strategic research clusters based on the broader themes of identity, experience and publishing.
MA Fashion Art Direction will provide the opportunity for practice-based postgraduate study in the creation of innovative visual communication and imagery for fashion end use. Outcomes could be related to print and pattern design, promotion, marketing, branding, visual merchandising, art direction, illustration, publishing or pursuing further postgraduate study.
You will be encouraged to engage with contemporary fashion audiences through the creation of work that explores original approaches to product, concept and/or communication. Your work should demonstrate a keen sense of contextual awareness, knowing where the work fits in the world and how the world might affect it. The programme will emphasise the importance of being digitally articulate and you will be able to combine this with traditional media and design processes should you choose to. Collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches will be encouraged, as will engagement with the creative industries beyond the School of Art.
Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Design: Fashion Art Direction is part of an innovative design network — a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.
While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.
Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.
The MA Design: Fashion Art Direction is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.
The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.
You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.
You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.
Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – whatever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.
If you choose to progress to MFA Design: Fashion Art Direction award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.
This route is focused on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.