M&C Saatchi London has collaborated with the University of Greenwich on a new creative advertising degree, Creative Advertising & Art Direction, building on the agency’s existing relationship with the institution.
M&C and Greenwich first started working together three years ago on the Carbon Academy initiative, which enables young women from inner city schools to participate in a six-month creative mentor programme, hosted by the agency.
Since Carbon Academy’s launch, 105 students have attended creative workshops or work experience, and 25 have been mentored (including this year’s cohort of nine). Lia Gil De Matos, Carbon 2019 alum and recent photography graduate, was hired to take photographs of the new cohort at the Saatchi Gallery.
Following this success, M&C Saatchi has worked closely with Greenwich to develop the new degree, which will commence in September 2022.
The interdisciplinary degree seeks to develop graduates with an appropriate, adaptable skillset for any creative advertising or communications environment, allowing participants to specialise in art direction, copywriting, moving image, experiential, digital content and a variety of other visual and written branded communications types.
The degree offers a combination of experiential, active, studio-based activities as well as research and reflection.
M&C Saatchi and the university have put the changing needs of the industry at the centre of the course, also consulting a number of other agencies, practitioners, community groups and academic networks to design modules including Visual Thinking, Consumer Culture, Side Hustle, Creative Communications, Brand Storytelling and Brand Worldbuilding.
The degree has a strong vocational focus, with M&C providing the opportunity for students to train at the agency in their second year as part of an Ideas Lab module. Spending time at the agency, participants will work on live projects, experience life in the industry, and benefit from mentoring sessions with some of its creatives, including chief creative officer Ben Golik.
In their third and final year, students will take part in Black Book, an opportunity to learn more about working with industry partners such as directors, production houses and illustrators.
The programme is built upon the knowledge that diversity in a team brings creative strength, and recognises that advertising creative departments need more diverse representation across gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, age and disability.
The university has a tradition of supporting diversity. Last year, 57% of its full-time population identified as female, and 56% of students came from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Ben Golik said: “After three fantastic years of Carbon Academy, we’re thrilled to be further building on our collaboration with the University of Greenwich with the creation of this new degree course.
“I thought back to what I wasn’t taught and really wished I’d known. That led to the new Black Book module – helping creative students understand how to collaborate with composers, animators, coders and all the other craftspeople that help bring ideas to life.
“I can’t wait to meet the next generation of creative superstars as they embark on this journey.”
University of Greenwich programme lead Miriam Sorrentino: “Carbon Academy provided a great opportunity for Ben and me to work together, to share an understanding and a philosophical approach. Co-designing a degree with diversity, creativity and industry at the heart was a natural evolution of this collaborative process.”
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