Interactive Media Practice MA

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  • Course description

    This exciting new multidisciplinary master's programme is fully designed to reflect the needs of contemporary interactive media industries, bringing together creative technologies, interactivity and design practices within digital cultures with the user in mind.

    Interactive Media Practice combines a wide range of digital creative technologies primarily combining digital literacies design, technology and interaction, through user centred design for commercial outputs to an industry standard.

    Interactive Media Practice places the user at the centre of the experience and focuses on design and content creation in areas such as: mobile app development, wearables, games, rich media websites, interactive guides and installations, immersive VR, next generation advertising and virtual and augmented reality systems, through to social media powerful eMarketing and entrepreneurship through innovation protocol.

    According to the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, the app industry "is worth several billion pounds annually and employs around 40,000 people, representing approximately ten per cent of the total audio-visual workforce. Sectors such as sound-driven games and apps show an even wider growth where providers such as Apple have paid a total of two billion dollars to apps within the US alone".

    Adobe Systems (UK) fully support the programme with high recommendation, based on the development and key principles the course offers, which is rare and unique. We embrace excellent contracts within the interactive media and games industries, including regular visits and master classes from industry professionals at the top of their game from Adobe to Sony.

    Adobe Systems (UK), said: “This Interactive Media degree offers an ideal grounding for those wishing to work in the digital media industries, which increasingly require people who work with technology from a creative perspective. This is the course that will create the next generation of interactive media stars…! ”

    The course embraces a hackathon culture with specialist hack labs boasting newly designed flexible learning spaces for students to work more collaboratively on innovation protocols fostering cross-pollination of new ideas creatively. Many students will be working on live industry briefs as well as their own projects independently within and outside our course clusters. This collaborative approach to learning and research often leads to successful projects, which are commercially viable, and quickly gain industry recognition through our end of year show.

    “It’s a really multi-faceted MA, bringing together creativity, technology skills and digital media, with an entrepreneurial thread.” – 2015 Graduate.

    Our students learn to examine the communication of ideas in a networked world through our entrepreneurship incubator programme and consider the many impacts of digital media in everyday life, for commercial trajectories through practiced based projects.

    As one of the top 100 international universities in the world, the University of Westminster's School of Media, Arts and Design currently boasts a series of professional recording studios, a new teaching recording studio, professional technology labs and access to an array of post-production, and multimedia facilities built and equipped to the highest standards.

    Using the leading industry software, you will be involved in designing and making interactive digital media content for delivery over the Internet, on tablets and mobile devices and for installations to designing compelling user interfaces creating a great user experience, this also extends to the development towards creating content for the ‘internet of things’.

    The MA in Interactive Media Practice course will prepare you for this sector, by leveraging and integrating the fine blend between creativity and technical capacities. You will also benefit from having access to a range of highly regarded industry practitioners who will offer you exceptional insight and working knowledge within the field, both challenging and encouraging your technical and creative fair. On this master's degree you will develop commercial-level interactive media and digital content production skills.

    Course content:

    This multidisciplinary course prepares you to work in a wide range of industry combining theory, practice, and bringing together technical, creative perspective on new media systems, interactive technologies and digital culture as well as exploring new emerging creative technologies, producing an industry professional who can produce as well as explore future creative technologies.

    Students are encouraged to work with technology experimentally in a creative way, collaboratively, and to apply emerging and existing technology in new and innovative ways, research and the experimental application. You will also have hands-on experience creating content for, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Playstation , Xbox, Oculus Rift and content rich media websites, advanced web production and design, design for interface all of this with the user in mind. The course will provide skills in the relevant multimedia software, media rich web production, Unity, UdK, website design and development to mobile app development. You will be taught creative coding, interfaces and the course encourages the use a wide range of programming languages delivered by industry practitioners. We also have accreditation opportunities within Adobe and Apple for those students wanting to develop their skills more prolifically within select software.

    These include mobile apps, mainstream games, interactive installation, sonic media and eMarketing, with an emphasis on core creative skills. The course also prepares and enhances your ability in producing interactive media, methodologies and production workflows, supported by a robust understanding of the technologies and theories involved.

    The Interactive Media Practice degree offers an ideal underpinning for those seeking employment in the digital media industries, which increasingly require people who work with technology form a creative perspective. This is the course that will create the next generation of interactive media talent who are both enterprising and creative.

    Our approach on the course is implemented through hackathon culture as seen in technology start up sectors, where cross collaboration through interdisciplinary approach is very welcomed. Students are encouraged to apply from design, non-programming or non-technical backgrounds as well as technical backgrounds.


    Applied Innovation and Interactive Design

    In this module you will explore and experiment with innovation interactive media applications in a range of areas and technologies. This module explores the development of new idea from concept to completion through applied innovation and interactive design. The focus I to exploit and experiment with creative technologies to produce work with assigned USP within the digital spectrum through user-centred design, creating a compelling and enriched user experience. There is an option to gain an additional Adobe certification subject to module performance and passing relevant exams.

    Mobile Apps and Wearable Devices

    This module focuses on producing and designing powerful mobile applications, professional practice and the skills required for targeting mobile devices including wearables from concept to completion in alignment with current industry practices for maximising commercial viability, for a consumer-faced outcome. You will explore the requirements and various challenges designing for module and wearable devices and hack together ideas, which solve real work problems within our hack lab. You will also develop critical and speculative theoretical and practice-based research on the ways computational media technologies are embedded in the technical, cultural, aesthetic, structures of society and how we interact with them on a daily bases for a deeper understanding.

    Entrepreneurship and Project Management for Creative Industries

    This module is designed to address reflective practice, entrepreneurship and developing your creative skills through enterprising activity. You will develop your ability to assemble creative projects and bring them to the market using PRINCE2 (Projects IN controlled Environments) methodologies for a commercially viable outcome. You will learn project management theories and mind mapping, explore project management practices, as well as critically evaluate workflows and develop the competencies and skills of a future project manger in industry. This will move towards the development of utilising your contract and new skills to formulate and contract an SME or creative micro business for creative industries from concept to completion, which is consumer faced and commercially viable.

    Social Media and E-Marketing

    The module examines the role of the social media within the eMarketing and developing powerful marketing campaigns and knowledge within digital media. This module will equip you with advanced knowledge of managing digital marketing campaigns, using social media and web-based technologies. Also developing a cultural understanding, critical and speculative theoretical and practice-based research in order to predicted future trends. You will also gain wider knowledge marketing competencies of email marketing, google analytics, PP, SEO protocols, as wells as trending tools for future forecasting insights, and associated powerful eMarketing and web based tools in order to enhance, build and manage a campaign successfully using a variety of technologies creatively on time and on budget inline with industry demands.

    Hack Lab and Creative Technologies

    By definition hackathons provide a venue for self-expression and creativity through technology. Individuals with technical backgrounds come together, form teams around a problem or idea, and collaboratively code a unique solution from concept to completion these generally take shape in the form of websites, mobile apps, and robots more recently to wearable’s and VR otherwise described as creative technologies. This module is designed to equip students with advanced knowledge of managing and assembling ideas, using a wide variety of creative technologies and advanced programming, in a real world context. Also developing a cultural understanding, critical and speculative theoretical and practice-based research in order to solve real world problems.

    UX Design and Development

    This module prepares students ability to develop and design for emerging technologies enhancing the user experience for websites, interactive media, games, robotics and the internet of things - through a series of challenging briefs. Students are expected to engage with innovative practices in designing advanced UX and UCD principles in developing GUI, demonstrated and implemented through a range of practical coursework using best industry practices based upon theoretical research and assigned readings.

    Major Project

    The Major Project is your opportunity to negotiate a large-scale, self-determined, original and inventive project, based upon several areas explored in the taught stage of the course. At this stage you will be developing a project within your specialist area and may seek to work with a commercial entity or professional body in the development of your learner contract.

    Associated careers

    There are many highly desirable careers that students from this course can go on into such as: interactive media, app development, new media production, interactive development, advanced web producer, content manager, UX designer, project management, media, digital marketing, media design, online branding, interactive game design, web production, game designer, media advertising, information design, digital production, strategic development, online advertising, UX architect, digital SAM, mobile UX, front end development, wen development, email marketing executive, ecommerce digital marketing manager, .net developer, UX designer academic publisher, UX researcher, social media executive, digital designer, digital advertising, SEO consultant, content marketing specialist, interaction designer, digital project manger, optimisation manager and digital content production. Digital marker, creative technologist, rich media website developer, games producer, social media manger, museum installation, VR gaming, VR advertising.

    Course Leade

    Savraj Matharu,Course Leader

    Educator and technologist is a leader in digital media, interactive media and creative technology for well over the past decade. Savraj has a wealth of experience with significant industry expertise within developing, solving problems and creating ideas from concept to completion through creative technology across digital platforms. Ranging from developing and creating powerful apps, creating compelling user interfaces to digital online branding through innovation and contemporary work flows. His stellar expertise relies on combining technical (sciences) with media and design, with a prestigious commercial portfolio. He is also rated by Adobe as the 0.5% of the UK population of developers who can both program and design, based on left brain, right brain pragmatics. Being widely recognised for his entrepreneurial skills with the ability to monetize creative ideas through technology, Savraj’s work relies on building on innovation protocols with consumer faced outcomes for creative industries, and has been responsible in co-founding and spearheading several successful technology start-ups.

    He now works closely with a variety of enterprises, to develop USPs through the use of technology, interactive media, eMarketing and social media, media rich websites through cross collaboration initiatives. Savraj is an active contributor to a series of monthly publications, a beta tester for Adobe, and certified apple App developer and PRINCE2 certified. His current clients include JISC, 2Simple, BBC, Deathrow Records, Adobe, Virgin Media, and Sony Ent.

    Inside the University Savraj is best noted for his teaching and learning practice, industry engagement and cross-pollination activities, such as coca-cola hackathon, and teaches within Media Arts and Design. He has won several educational awards for his teaching and learning practice and is a resident speaker among many symposiums. A reflective practitioner, he is considered as a new wave of academic with deep understanding and knowledge of creative technologies, associated media disciplines and is passionate for driving teaching and learning using technology as an enabler, technology enhanced learning through blending learning pedagogies. The British Council also recently published his research and methodologies for innovations in CPD in early 2015.

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