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ISZL Offers A New Creative Media Course
By Bob Sugden, Career-related Programmes Coordinator

Building on a strong culture of media production in the school, ISZL is creating the opportunity for students to develop the technical skills in media production, learn business acumen and knowledge of the media business in an exciting addition to the school’s career-related programme, the BTEC course in Creative Media Production.

Technological and social change and the media industry

As the world becomes better connected through fibre optic cables, internet and cellular connectivity, the number of devices increases in the developing world, and the phenomenal volume of data flows continues to grow, the demand and potential for creative media grows with it. The World Economic Forum describes: “we are witnessing the emergence of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, where technology is more accessible, more widely used and more seamlessly integrated than ever” (WEF, 2018).

This observation identifies the growing importance of creative industries and the impact of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality on media production. With the growth and changing nature of media, the contribution to both national and global economies is more valuable. On a global scale, the entertainment and media market was worth 1.72 trillion US dollars in 2015 and is set to rise to 2.14 trillion by 2020. (StatInvestor, 2019). The United Nations reports that the global market doubled between 2002 and 2015 and has grown at 7% per year (UNCTAD, 2018). 

Among developed regions, Europe is the largest exporter of creative goods. Over in the US, 673,656 businesses are involved in the industry and they employ 3.48 million people. Similarly, in the UK, creative industries contribute £90 billion to the economy, employing more than two million people and are growing three times as fast as the economy as a whole. The British government stresses that the creative industries are at the heart of the country’s competitive advantage and are a crucial part of the future economy. “The cultural and creative sectors are the engine of the UK’s international image and soft power. It’s at the nexus of the creative and digital that our bread will be buttered over the next generation” (Hancock & Clark, 2018).

To meet this opportunity, students will need to develop soft and technical skills, and knowledge and understanding of the media business. In a Linkedin survey, the top skill identified in people most hired in 2019 was creativity (Petrone, 2019). Meanwhile the ‘hard’ or technical skills most in-demand in 2019 include video and audio production, journalism, animation, game development and graphics.  

BTEC Creative Media Production Course

This is where a new creative media course offered at ISZL comes in. We will offer the BTEC in Creative Media Production that blends knowledge and understanding of the media industry and business acumen with research, communication, project management and technical media production skills. There is a culture of media production in the school with some excellent training in the MYP Design course, personal project, IB Diploma Film and service learning demonstrations. We now have an industry-standard production studio to enable the students to develop their technical skills and make outstanding media. 

BTEC stands for the Business and Technology Education Council. BTECs are specialist career-focused courses where learners apply knowledge and skills through real-life scenarios, giving them the confidence and employability skills to succeed in their professional lives. They have been developed in collaboration with over 5,000 universities, employers and professional bodies with employability at the heart, so learners can develop the skills and confidence they will need. 95% of UK universities accept BTEC applicants and UCAS reported that around 1 in 4 students entering university in the UK do so with a BTEC. The UK university admissions service report “many students with BTEC are very successful at university. It is an excellent and proven route”  (UCAS, 2016). A recent report by Pearson Education found that two-thirds of medium-sized businesses have hired BTEC graduates in the last five years.

Our students will be producing music videos to accompany the tracks they have already been recording in the studio. They will make advocacy films to demonstrate their learning in service projects on Personal Development Week and media installations to accompany their portfolios for art courses. The opportunities are exciting. The course has proved motivating in other career-related programmes and students have been successful with excellent progression to university. 

Inspiring present and future students

We are delighted to be offering this new course as part of the Career-related Programme at ISZL. It develops in-demand skills and knowledge and understanding in growth sectors of the economy, responding to wider social and technological change. It meets a demand and culture of media production in the school, motivating students to succeed and further personalising their education with more flexibility and choice in their programmes.

In conclusion, The United Nations recognises the wider contribution that media production can make to society: “Ultimately too, the creative economy has the power to influence and inspire present and future generations, to protect our planet, people, cultures and natural resources and therefore contribute to a more sustainable development path”  (UNCTAD, 2018).

 

 

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