Why study a masters in the creative arts

Written By

Think Postgrad

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is creative arts?
  • Best Creative Arts Universities UK?
  • How to apply for Art and Design Degrees UK?
  • How to fund a masters in Creative Arts?

Growing up many people discover that they have creative skills. For those that seek careers in the creative arts sector they can find huge personal and career satisfaction. Here are some tips to explain why you can study a masters in the creative arts.

Is the creative arts sector that important?

The creative arts sector is massive. It is one of the most valuable components of the UK economy. Up to 2018 creative sector jobs employed up to 2m people and contributed £111Bn to the economy. This figure is greater than automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil & gas combined.

Jobs in the creative sector include a wide range of careers and vocations. Companies can be structured with separate creative and management teams, such as in advertising and marketing. Creative roles in advertising include studio graphic designers and digital roles in the web team. This blend of creators coupled with experienced administrators and organisers can pay big dividends for businesses.

The Creative Industries Federation include sectors such as architecture and museums in its estimation of the sector. Also included is crafts, design, film, TV, video, animation, visual arts, creative technology/games design, music, performance, and publishing. All masters degrees contribute to the Graduate Premium which is the calculation of the additional earnings that a student can enjoy as a result of university.

With arts subjects attracting attention from the Government and media it is important to make the right choices of subject. This will enable you to be able to attain your full earnings potential.

How far can I take my interest in creative arts sector?

Well done for chosing to study a creative arts subject at university. Continuing the process through with a masters degree is a natural next step. A masters degree will build upon the core knowledge and skills you have acquired and allow you to focus on a specific area.

At undergraduate most creative degree students will get access to specialist workshop equipment. This equipment is to learn the basics and to complete assignments.

Students have the opportunity to complete industry projects and also undertake a period of work experience with relevant employers. However, at masters level the course will introduce a whole new level of sophistication, including equipment and skills needed to operate it successfully.

Assignments that lead to the completion of the masters will be geared towards future internship and employment. In most cases students will have access to facilities and equipment used daily in the workplace.

For example, some of the hardware required in a typical textiles masters degree can include a wide range of traditional and digital textile design equipment, including: -

  • Laser cutting,
  • Multi-head embroidery
  • Screen, digital and 3D printing
  • Jacquard weaving
  • Shima Seiki and Stoll power knitting machines.

The academic standards required for a masters will also include the completion of a piece of research as part of the final major project, which is a stepping stone into further study at PhD level. We shared some tips on how to conduct research at masters level in a recent post.

Where can I study Art, Design and Creative Arts?

Modern universities

Creative arts masters students study the perfect masters degree course from the wide variety of universities listed on Masters Compare. Many modern UK universities have creative arts portfolios. They have updated their science and workshop facilities in order to offer digital based design and creativity masters degrees.

Many universities have recognized the rapid evolution in creative arts degree courses. As technology has become embedded in our daily lives, the crossover between IT and creativity has fuelled the growth of interest in subjects such as video, animation, digital arts and computer games design. Modern universities offer a rich tapestry of opportunities in the creative arts. This is one of the major benefits from choosing a UK university with a diverse portfolio of courses and faculties.

Creative students look for inspiration from many sources. The more integrated a university is with its users and its surroundings the better it will be for the individual.

The traditional Art Schools

There are a number of specialist art institutions with a heritage spanning many years. London was for many years the centre of all things creative but that is not the case now, with universities all over the UK offering amazing masters degree courses.

They are as established as the traditional research universities, and like them they are very popular. With their origins in the early Arts and Crafts Schools these world class institutions have become hugely successful, and they attract applications internationally.

They have maintained their brand profile, helped by the status earned by designers who have gone on to enjoy global recognition. For the masters student they can earn significant kudos from the recognition that they have studied at one of these universities. Understandably there will be tough competition for places.

However, one of the big study advantages that a creative arts masters student has (over other subjects) is that the sum of their achievements will be based on the evidence of their ability, as demonstrated in their work.

Careers in Art, Design and Creative Arts

The majority of individuals working in the creative arts sector are part of SME’s or self-employed. This is typical in most modern companies, so roles in the creative sector require highly adaptable individuals who can multitask and redeploy their skills into new areas and interesting challenges.

Using talents to see things differently is a valuable asset. The leading global companies that dominate the consumer services sector are creative adaptations of an existing idea to make it better.

The creative arts sector is closely woven into modern business. This is a key component of successful long-term employment. Being able to apply creative skills in an area that can be monetized shows how the industry has evolved. These abilities are nurtured through the completion of masters degree courses.

The creative arts sector has developed beyond jobs that were once only associated with art schools. Many mainstream careers in creative arts combine the use of technology with an aptitude for design and visualisation.

In the past web programming was classified specialist skill set of a traditional computer software expert. This has evolved to become mainstream. Similarly, a database expert has its origins in science but its application in business.

Tips for selecting a creative arts masters degree that will help you secure a job.

  • Employability is the primary motivator for most masters students, so the effort you invest in researching your next steps will pay dividends in the long run.
  • Reach out through LinkedIn to ask contacts if having a masters in your chosen specialty makes a difference. Weigh up the pro’s and con’s and conduct an honest appraisal to make sure that your aspirations can be met.
  • Researching opportunities for paid internships and work experience is very important. Consider if volunteering your creative skills with a company is a viable proposition. Details on student destinations is included in the profile information that universities share about their courses on Masters Compare.
  • Universities will have established links with industry. At masters and PhD level these connections can contribute to research studentships so their significance to the department is embedded in the research culture of a university. These provide opportunities for internships and projects that will enhance to your experience. They are every bit as important as your creative portfolio so take every opportunity to apply for them.
  • Industry accreditations are evidence that a course is delivered to a standard that is required in a particular sector. Look out for these details and check what they mean with the university programme team and how they are relevant to the field.
  • Networking with alumni from universities you are considering is really valuable. Those former students that have shared their views on their university masters experience will have been in the same position you find yourself in now. Enquire about meeting in virtual sessions.

Remember that the additional talents you acquire through your masters experience will pay dividends when it comes to future employability. Expertise in organizing, presenting, time management, multi-tasking etc are all fundamental to businesses, and creative candidates are well placed to offer these soft skills.

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