Image: Wintec design student Kirstin McLachlan works on a design for Creative Waikato during her internship.

Both degrees include a substantial workplace-based component, to ensure that students graduate with a strong understanding of freelance and business skills. Opportunities for collaborative projects with industry experts is another point of difference in a move to support and extend classroom-based learning.

Head of Wintec School of Media Arts Sam Cunnane says the challenges we are facing in today’s world can’t be solved by using old ways of doing things.

“We need to be good at change and we need to future-focus what we teach so it will stand up to the needs of rapidly changing workplaces.

“Our design graduates for example have to be good at the craft of design, but they also have to understand how design is relevant to a raft of fields that may not have been considered previously.

“We’re moving into a world where half of the creative workforce are working outside the creative industries. For example, business consultancies are employing design thinkers, and there’s a huge role for design in social innovation.

“Students also need to learn the soft skills that are going to make them thrive in a range of roles within the creative industries, and as problem-solvers in organisations across many sectors.”

Industry feedback has been a critical part of the consultation for these new degrees. Wintec engaged with some of New Zealand’s top media people, broadcasters and designers to gain an insight into what needs to be taught now.

Both three-year degrees can be studied full-time or part-time. The Bachelor of Communication is for those who want to work in media, journalism, communication and public relations. The Bachelor of Design will lead to a range careers in visual communication and design or fashion design.

Sam says these new degrees are just the start. A further two degrees are in development to be launched in 2019 using a similar model of project-based design and industry consultation to create programmes of learning that give graduates the tools for success.
“The element of magic here is how we nurture and guide individual students as part of a creative community so they are confident and equipped to navigate their way in the future world of new jobs and ways of working.”

Enrolment is now open for the Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Communication degrees.

The government’s new fees-free policy means all New Zealanders who have done less than half a full-time year of post-school education or training will be eligible to study fees-free from 1 January 2018.

New Zealand students can check their eligibility here.
Find out more about the new Bachelor of Design degree here.
Find out more about the new Bachelor of Communication here.

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