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Bridging the gap between industry and education

By UCOL on Monday, 05 February 2018

Two people on set of a movie behind the camera lense

Hundreds of creative graduates have passed through UCOL over the years, many of these studying and graduating in the creative industries with a Bachelor of Visual Imaging (BAVI).

These graduates have achieved excellent outcomes within industry, however feedback from industry has focused on how we can continue to improve and make our graduates more work ready. In response to this feedback, UCOL is now replacing our BAVI degree with the Bachelor of Creative Media (BCM), which is designed to bridge the gap between education and industry.

Morphing the core successes of BAVI – the BCM retains the multidiscipline approach, the biggest point of difference for future students is that those entering 3rd year things are changing. In response to having talked to students, graduates and industry about what they want, and an Industry Immersion Design Workshop now being set up.

Third year students will now be able to undertake a full year of Industry Immersion, working with actual clients within UCOL's new Industry Immersion Design Workshop. The industry projects that will be based out of this facility be aimed providing services for non-profit organisations, industry & community stakeholders, Iwi, and UCOL itself, in a specialised work-simulated environment. In this environment, BCM students will also be working alongside other degree students in other areas at UCOL, including business and ICT, where within collaborative projects students will be utilising each-others expertise within these industry projects to meet the clients needs.  A workshop coordinator will liaise with industry around potential projects and make sure they are a good fit for UCOL and our students learning, while ensuring we are not competing with industry as these are our students’ future employers. Through the development process of this new degree, our stakeholders have provided us with great feedback and are very supportive of this new innovative approach, while also being keen to work with us as we implement it. They see real value to the students who will learn in this environment doing real projects for the industry. The projects will not only provide an amazing learning opportunity for our students but will also provide real benefits for our clients within industry and the community.  

Heneriata Te Whata - a UCOL creative student in the library (scene from Bachelor of Creative Media promotional video).

BCM students will experience subject workshops that can be mixed and matched to the students enquiring minds – there is guidance at to what works well together and they can choose from a mix of 3D, Design, Photography, Film, Illustration, & Visual Journalism. While students will have a key focus on one speciality area, the goal is to also ensure our students have a wider understanding and skills in other areas of Creative Media that will make them more employable at the end of their degree. 

Issac Evans - a UCOL creative student (scene from Bachelor of Creative Media promotional video).

The programme is designed so that those who graduates will have creative problem solving skills, with practical experience and applications, in a mix of different creative media areas so the student will be adept at manoeuvring around the ever changing industries that emerge for our futures and work well with clients. This knowledge will be very valuable for future employers both in the area of Creative Media, as well as wider application across any business.

Tricia Falkner, Programme Leader and Lecturer says “Graduates have been in the past, and will continue to be very employable with these skills sets developed and with the new Industry Immersion course in year 3 they will also be Industry experienced as well – boosting their employability and readiness for the market place.”


For those wanting to find out more about the new course, check out this video which was created in-house by our Video Lecturer Derrick Sims and students, you see a student go on a journey from finding out about course, first day at UCOL, through to what they can expect throughout their time in the programme – and let's not forget the haunted elevator.

Enrolments for 2018 are strong with limited spaces still available, the first cohort will begin their studies at UCOL in the first week of March. 

Pictured top: UCOL video and visual journalism lecturer Derrick Sims and creative student Heneriata Te Whata on set of UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media promotional video.