In recent years the creative industries have been one of the sectors of strongest economic growth, expanding the fields of culture, science and art. Graduates of universities and specialist art, music, theatre and film schools who seek to operate in this field are often faced with the challenge of how to productively bring their strengths and capabilities to organizations and companies or how to operate successfully independently. How do ideas become sought-after concrete projects? How can creative knowledge be translated into products or services? The Master's program Pioneering in Arts, Media & the Creative Industries | AMC aims to identify and support bespoke solutions to these and similar questions. Applying strong project leadership together with experts from within the specialist fields, the AMC program provides rigorous theoretical and practical courses and workshops towards these solutions.
Closing event of the "Creativity & Performance" workshop Photo credits: Immanuel Grosser
The MA AMC is designed around the individual needs of wide range of students, from those who want to work within traditional academic frameworks in the art and media sector as well as those who want to create new models of cultural production, for those who wish to develop start-ups and innovative working models in the non-profit sector, the independent scene or the dynamically growing creative industries. Going forward, the course will be address itself to potential, to founders and agents-of-change in the field of culture, science and creativity. The study program emphasizes knowledge and understanding of communication and cultural and political practices with the aim to focus on socially reflective, artistically inspired and entrepreneurially responsible activities in the fields of culture, science and creativity.
Digitalization has led to a profound change in the production of culture and knowledge and has produced a new form of cultural public sphere. Against this background, new creative industries are developing, the traditional media sector is eroding and expanding, new forms of co-determination and networking are emerging. Globalization, migration and digital networking have changed access to the fields of artistic, cultural and media practice. The actors are more diverse and heterogeneous, the boundaries between work and leisure, production and consumption, private and public have become permeable. As a result, rising expectations regarding the co-design and co-development of cultural formats have emerged.
This upheaval in cultural practices, forms of knowledge, ways of working and - as a result - in the economies of the cultural and media sectors calls for pioneers and creatives of a new type. The reorganization of social participation structures and civil society engagements requires specific management. Alternative cultural projects are looking for alternative financing strategies, tailor-made operator models and independent communication channels.
The MA AMC is intended to equip students for precisely these task profiles in the public and private cultural and media sectors and the creative industries, and for the development of participation processes in these areas. The course offers a program that enables its graduates to research and penetrate these processes of change and at the same time trains them to become critical entrepreneurial actors and agents-of-change. It trains those entrepreneurially thinking cultural producers who do not presuppose the concept of culture, but question it critically.
Within the program, the discussion of new ways of political and public communication are addressed as are questions about the role the arts play in processes of social transformation. Cultural and social science aspects will not only be examined analytically and theoretically, but also interwoven with a planning perspective.
In addition to a theoretical and research-driven confrontation with the public sphere, communication and culture, the program will prepare students to familiarize themselves with operatorational models for cultural institutions, cultural and media economics issues, organizational forms and management cultures through field studies and participation in concrete practical projects (such as the development of cultural models, curatorial projects, consultations and development plans, media campaigns and analyses of communication processes). This project-based work is accompanied by management events, which are especially sensitive to participation processes in the public sector, change in the non-profit sector and cooperative forms of leadership.
The teaching is divided into four fields:
The MA AMC offers the opportunity to set individual priorities. The study program promotes refined theoretical thinking, the practice of research on concrete questions and a cooperative understanding of management and leadership. A broad interdisciplinary spectrum of theory and project modules introduces current communication strategies, innovative cultural and event formats and field-specific organizational strategies and offers theoretical perspectives on the society of the 21st century. In particular, the focus is on the consequences of digital change, cultural upheavals, and the new formation of public spheres in the course of digitalization. Consequently, the understanding of planning, management and organization focuses particularly on participatory approaches.
Possible fields of work for graduates are media houses, social network markets, the music and film industries, edutainment, game industry and the overall cultural sector: festivals, the independent scene, cultural start-ups, cultural planning, exhibitions, art markets, cultural policy consulting, music and event agencies, concert organizers, the management of off-spaces and socio-cultural projects, publishing, design offices, as well as cultural and communication departments in companies. The creative sector is a dynamic field in which many new and specialized professional profiles are yet to differentiate themselves. The MA AMC program aims to prepare its graduates for this.
In addition, the MA AMC program can provide the basis for subsequent cultural or communication studies doctoral study with a sufficient proportion of theory-oriented modules.
Selected projects of ZU-students in Culture, Media & the Creative Industries
ZU is an inspiring environment, characterized by student initiatives, social entrepreneurs and commitment to civil society and direct and personal contact with the teachers. There are significant opportunities in areas of work such as the artsprogram and the media laboratory, student-directed initiatives such as CampusRadio and festivals which enable a critical, self-aware attitude and promote initiative in thinking and acting. In close cooperation with practical partners (e.g. innovative cultural promoters, communication agencies, museums, local authorities) and in exchange with teachers, this program leads to conceptual, critical and responsible thinking. In a personalized working environment, strategies are developed jointly in marketing cultural projects and social ideas as services or event formats without damaging their idealistic approach. This context of lateral learning among students within a concentrated and very well-equipped campus provides an ideal framework for personal development.
The MA AMC program is open to BA graduates from the entire spectrum of humanities and social sciences, media and communication sciences and artistic disciplines including design and architecture. Individual admissions are on the basis of the University’s well-established two-stage selection process, highly regarded by ZU students.
Although a good number of courses are offered in English at ZU, students will not be in a position to complete a degree program in English. Knowledge of English is preferred; knowledge of German is an absolute necessity. ZU requires that all degree-seeking applicants demonstrate a minimum of intermediate-level German skills.
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