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Media and Storytelling for the Digital Era: RCA Launches Digital Direction MA

From September 2017, a new Digital Direction MA programme will focus on media and storytelling in the digital era. Centring on the interrelated domains of broadcasting, film and experience, it will address emerging issues in contemporary digital communication and the creative economy. Students will gain a deep understanding of critical, experimental communication design, media production and content creation, alongside developing the ability to respond to continually changing contexts, infrastructures and technologies.

Based within the RCA's School of Communication, led by Professor Neville Brody, the new 240-credit, 15-month programme offers training for a new wave of creative leaders, addressing knowledge and skills gaps in four key areas of practice: production, direction, content development and communication, and digital media design.

The new Digital Direction programme is a response to the rapidly shifting fields of communication, media and experience design, and will enable students to respond to today’s challenges as well as innovate for future contexts. The programme will contribute to the School of Communication's continually evolving response to global changes that affect our experience and understanding of media, communications, society, industry and each other.

Neville Brody, Dean of the School of Communication, elaborated: ‘Digital Direction is focused on exploring the nature of storytelling within new media-driven contexts enabled by rapidly developing technologies, where our experience of content and narrative continues to evolve at pace. Interaction in this convergent, mobile and multi-cast media space is mutually transformative, building new possibilities in social communities and industrial cultures.’

Digital Direction addresses the demands of our rapidly shifting digital era, enabling students to bring together skills in media production, direction, content generation and design, to develop highly effective delivery strategies.

This training will enable graduates to excel in fields that increasingly demand traditional skillsets – such as scriptwriting, production design, direction, set design, lighting and sound recording – in combination with previously unrelated practices, such as coding and programming, app building, interactive design, AI, cross-platform and cross-media integration, data visualisation, gamification, virtual or augmented reality and social media.

Digital Direction students will be based in mixed-discipline studios within the School of Communication. The School provides an environment based on contextual, critical thought and takes a cross-disciplinary approach to experimental, disruptive and innovative communication design.

‘Digital Direction students will join us as we inaugurate our new campus at White City, and we are looking forward to getting established there,’ Brody explained. ‘Digital Direction will complement the existing School of Communication programmes and our core ethos of open studios and shared resources.’

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. It will be taught by leading practitioners, both as academic staff and visiting lecturers, who will combine real-world knowledge with the necessary guidance and support for the development of new thoughts, ideas, methods or strategies.

Students from a range of backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the programme. While some will come directly from first-degree programmes in design and broadcasting, others may join the programme with professional experience in industry, or from backgrounds including television and filmmaking, experience design, graphic design, animation and interaction design.

Digital Direction is a full-time, 240-credit, enhanced RCA MA (unlike the standard UK 180-credit MA). It is delivered in a 15-month format (September 2017 – December 2018). Home/EU* students can opt to undertake the second part of their studies (the independent project) on a part-time basis (June 2018 – June 2019). This innovative structure has been designed to give students greater flexibility to combine full- and part-time modes of study. Please note part-time study is not available to international students, due to visa requirements.

Find out more about Digital Direction and how to Apply.