This blog is the hub for students on the MA Managing in the Creative Economy (MACE) programme.

It is an enjoyable if challenging programme that offers a genuinely inspiring and innovative learning experience. The course encourages high levels of creativity, networking and ‘learning by doing’.

Starting in September every year, MACE students spend the academic year building and running their own businesses. Look in the sidebar for Twitter updates and for links to student blogs to keep up to date with their progress.

About the Managing in the Creative Economy MA

Our Managing in the Creative Economy MA programme bridges the gap between creativity and business. This unique business degree programme enables you to combine specific creative practice and skills with a rigorous business education customised for the creative industries. It has been developed by academics and creative economy practitioners at Kingston Business School to help you respond to emerging trends and opportunities to realise value in the creative economy.

The programme is designed for individuals who come from creative industries, or have graduated in another discipline, including engineering and humanities. You will need a strong motivation to look beyond the traditional boundaries of your discipline, a readiness to participate in a start-up, and a willingness to work in a multi-disciplinary and experiential environment. You will work with students from all over the world and from different creative sectors. This diversity challenges you to think differently and exposes you to differing perspectives on creativity and business.

The programme now has nine generations of graduates and an active alumni network. Our graduates work in a range of creative and leadership positions ranging from freelance work in the creative sector, through to business ownership and employment in large innovative companies in the creative economy.

Why study the Managing in the Creative Economy MA?

The course gives you the opportunity to gain a range of knowledge, skills and experiences:

  • Develop your creative, entrepreneurial, managerial and leadership skills – participate in development of a start-up, pitch to real industry experts at our “Dragons’ Den”, and engage with a variety of professionals and entrepreneurial businesses.
  • Experience practical work in a chosen creative industry by engaging with a real creative industries business to develop your CV and your understanding of the creative sector.
  • Learn the fundamentals of business management theory and practice from the specific perspective of the creative industries, in the diverse and evolving context of the creative economy.
  • Experience regular visits from industry experts and entrepreneurs, field trips to entrepreneurial businesses and events such as Frieze Art Fair that connect the creative industry to the local community and enable you to build a valuable network.
  • Experience excellent teaching – Kingston Business School is one of only a few of the 120 UK business schools to be awarded an ‘excellent’ rating for its teaching quality by the Higher Education Funding Council. Kingston University has also won a Guardian University Award 2017. The award for teaching excellence included specific praise for the inclusivity and accessibility of the University’s courses.
  • Earn a degree with prestigious international accreditation – Kingston Business School has joined an elite group of global institutions to be awarded the prestigious international accreditation by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). A hallmark of excellence in business education, the accreditation has been earned by just 5 per cent of the world’s business schools.
  • Finish the course with an international network of contacts – the programme has an active alumni network and our students come from all over the world to study the course.

Course structure

Mapping the Creative Economy

The creative industries are outpacing traditional industries both in the UK and the rest of the world and an increasing number of countries have now placed the creative industries at the heart of their economic development. However, the growth of the creative industries is a phenomenon of the post-World War II period, and the sector is difficult to define and measure.

The first part of the module will be devoted to a critical understanding of the histories and current dynamics of the modern Creative Industries and of western avant-gardism, and their relation to modern capitalism. The second part will be concerned with the critical awareness and understanding of the various challenges facing the creative industries in the UK and in the world: labour issues, the role of technology, the need for funding and investment, the issue of sustainability, legal issues concerning intellectual property (IP), the place of entrepreneurship in the creative industries, and the globalisation of the creative industries.

This module will offer you the opportunity to grasp the contradictions inherent to the creative industries and their potential for changing – for better or worse – our societies, economies and cultures.

The creative industries are an increasingly significant and dynamic part of the world economy. These industries are epicentres of innovation due to the nature of their work, and as such have been recognised as a link between business, economic recovery and long-term growth in the time of challenges to existing ways of doing things, and when delivering fast and meaningful responses to growing market demands is a priority.

Turning ideas into innovative products, services and processes, and developing them successfully, requires a fusion of creative, managerial and entrepreneurship skills.  Also required is an entrepreneurial, agile business strategy that can offer resilience, competitive advantage, diversification and positioning in relation to contextual changes in the creative sector that are both structural (disintegration of ineffective business models) and cyclical (new technology and creative workforce supply and demand).

One of the most widely reported problems in the creative industries is the lack of strategy and appropriate business and management skills. This module addresses the problem by introducing students to fundamentals of business management theory and practice from the specific perspective of the creative industries, in the diverse and evolving context of the creative economy.

Design Thinking for Start-ups

Bridge the gap between creativity and business in this exciting module. You will learn how to develop an innovative product or service and turn it into a viable business by working in a multidisciplinary team. Through design thinking, you’ll learn how to identify opportunities for innovation, develop a product that is centred on the user’s needs, and design a business model to produce your innovation to the public. Combining skills and courses in new product development, business modelling, social marketing, branding, finance, web design, prototyping, empathy, storytelling and more, you’ll learn not only what it takes to become a business creative, but you will also become one yourself. This challenging module is one-year long and combines the knowledge from your background with other modules taken at the University into a live, working business experience.

Experiencing the Creative Industries – Professional Practice

The growth of the creative industries has increased the competitiveness of the globalised creative workforce, and students increasingly seek to learn and develop through real-world opportunities where they can apply knowledge, understanding and skills to actual situations.

This module enables you to specialise and become closely involved in the practices of a specific creative industry through a ‘live’ practical project or competition brief. The ‘live’ project/competition brief will act as an opportunity to commercialise creativity and realise value in the chosen creative industry as part of your ongoing professional development. You will interact with the industry, explore your ambitions and skills, and apply your knowledge and understanding to overcome challenges of a particular creative industry context:

  1. Advertising and marketing
  2. Architecture
  3. Crafts
  4. Product design, graphic design and fashion design
  5. Film, TV, video, radio and photography
  6. IT, software and computer services
  7. Publishing
  8. Museums, galleries and libraries
  9. Music, performing arts and visual arts

At the heart of creative industries is the notion of artistic creativity. However, far from being the result of individual ‘creative geniuses’, artworks and creativity emerge as the results of a collective process. This is a capability that other sectors now need to understand and emulate.

This module aims to give students the knowledge and understanding of management processes and behaviours necessary for managing creativity and innovation in the creative industries. They will also explore the ways in which these processes can be used in other sectors of the economy.

Personal Research Project/Gaining Insights

The Personal Research Project is a self-initiated project reflecting a critical evaluation of all your previous learning. It will draw on the knowledge and intellectual skills you have acquired from the core subjects, and the knowledge and skills you have developed in your creative economy professional practice.

Key to this process will be an awareness and understanding of different research strategies and procedures within a variety of contexts. You will become familiar with different research tools and, more importantly, critically evaluate the various tools based on need, context, issues and purpose in relation to problem-solving.

This module is the culmination of the MA experience, and the most ambitious expression of individual interest, motivation, creativity and ability to deliver.

Find out more and get in touch http://www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate-course/managing-in-the-creative-economy-ma/