Published: 26 April 2016

World of Work: Introducing modules with a practical twist

magazine cover

School of the Arts student, Claudia Wentworth, explores degree modules tailored to giving students the practicial insights needed to step into jobs in the creative industries.

The skills required of a graduate are ever expanding. Certainly in the creative industries, employers today are looking for candidates with practical and vocational skills as much as theoretical understanding and critical thinking.

Work-based modules in the School of the Arts form part of a wider drive to support students to develop their employability and prepare for work beyond university, alongside the offer of other practical learning such as work experience, internships and careers workshops.  The modules aim to strike a balance between theoretical and practical learning in a supportive environment.

In the first of three articles, we start this report on the ideas and creatively behind the ‘Understanding Magazines’ module:

Understanding Magazines
Third year module

Despite fears about the future of print media, new magazines continue to appear on the shelves. ‘Understanding Magazines’ explores the commercial realities of the medium, as well as the messages magazines give to readers.

Putting industry knowledge into practice, students are tasked with creating a concept for a new magazine for their first assignment, using Adobe InDesign software in the School of the Arts Mac lab to design front covers. Students must additionally write a ‘sales pitch’ explaining their design decisions, market research and strategies for generating income and using digital platforms.

Module co-ordinator, Dr Georgina Turner, said: “By the third year I know you can write an essay, and you know you can write an essay, so I want to do something that challenges and excites you. Rather than regurgitating what you’ve learned in an essay or an exam, you have to engage with the ideas that we’re discussing, roll your sleeves up and get stuck in to something creative.”

Third year English and Communications student, Heather Christian, said: “I took the Understanding Magazines module last semester and I just cannot recommend it enough. I think if I had to pick one thing that was my favourite part of the module it would be the flexibility. For example in assignment one, you design your own magazine to fit anything that interested you. Or, in assignment two – the more analytical written piece – there were themes that were suggested to us, such as race and gender, but ultimately you could pick anything you wanted.”

Dr Turner added: “If you’re thinking of working in the publishing industry, you’ll have something to show potential employers at the end of it. Watching students develop a magazine idea from scratch, and showing off their feel for design, is terrific.”

To find out more about what the University of Liverpool’s School of the Arts has to offer, go to the website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/arts/.

Click the here to view all of the Communication and Media modules on offer this year.

 

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