In an effort to bolster Singapore’s arts, design and media (ADM) ecosystem, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) has redesigned the curriculum of the Media, Arts & Design (MAD) School to launch a first-of-its-kind Diploma in Media, Arts & Design (DMAD). The new course will nurture a generation of key-shaped graduates who are skilled in not just one but across multiple disciplines, transforming the way ADM professionals are trained and developed for our future economy.
This revamp comes at a time when disruptions have blurred the lines of vocations in the ADM sectors. The skills and traits expected of an ADM professional in the future are fast-changing, and there is an increasing preference for graduates who can work with multi-disciplinary teams to tackle challenges beyond their core discipline.
Big brands such as Netflix, Facebook and Google are already competing with or replacing traditional news, entertainment and communications platforms. Journalists111, designers0 and artists- are among the many who are fast recognising the importance of expanding their skillsets beyond their core disciplines so as to build greater career resilience.
A New ADM Order
In consultation with leaders in the creative industries, SP’s MAD School has streamlined all its existing diplomas to create the new DMAD course with eight distinct specialisations, the most for any diploma in Singapore. The specialisations are:
- Animation and game art
- Applied drama and psychology
- Design for communication and experience
- Game design and development
- Integrated marketing communications
- Motion design and effects
- Music production
- Story and content creation
The new DMAD course is timely as it addresses the creative industries’ need for graduates with cross-disciplinary training and exposure. It will build upon the success of SP’s existing courses in the MAD school. DMAD students will graduate with a specialisation of their choice while having the opportunities to pick up complementary skillsets beyond their domain specialisation, through a unique broad-based curriculum.
In the revamped MAD educational experience, students who enrol in the new DMAD course will take MAD foundational modules during their first semester. These foundational modules will equip them with basic story crafting skills as well as fundamental knowledge in human behavioural insights and design principles.
Additionally, students will also take on ‘taster’ modules in the first semester, which introduce them to the fundamentals of the eight specialisations. To encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and broaden their learning experiences, the grades from the ‘taster’ modules will not be included in their Grade Point Average scores. Upon completion of their first semester, students will choose one specialisation to focus on for the next two and a half years of their diploma.
After the students are posted to their specialisations, SP will provide them the opportunity to take up selected modules from the other specialisations as electives during their second and final years. This pedagogical approach aims to not only widen the range of students’ skillsets, but also foster a multi-disciplinary and collaborative mind-set, as students work on real-world projects that demand creative thinking and problem solving across various disciplines.
SP will admit its first cohort of DMAD students in Academic Year 2021 through the existing admissions exercises, including the Early Admissions Exercise in June 2020.
Strengthening Singapore’s Creative Hub Position
The creative sectors in Singapore have continued to witness steady growth in recent years. In 2018, revenue in the media industry reached S$7,803.3 million, an increase of 12.7 per cent from the previous year ’11-, while the economic value of the arts and cultural sectors stood at S$1,781 million in 2016.1-51
Many international ADM companies, such as LucasFilm, Ubisoft and Dentsu Aegis, have regarded Singapore as a leading creative hub in Southeast Asia.1-0-1, 121 Recognising the advantages of Singapore’s pro-business environment, companies have established their regional headquarters here to gain easier access to the ASEAN markets and tap on Singapore’s pool of skilled workforce.
The DMAD course will provide another talent pipeline for the ADM ecosystem and support Singapore in strengthening its position as the region’s creative hub.
One Diploma, Multiple Career & Education Pathways
With the broad-based DMAD course, graduates can look forward to pursuing a wide range of careers such as animators, designers, drama educators, games developers, content producers, assistant producers, motion graphics artists, music producers, journalists, social work associates, and so on.
Additionally, DMAD graduates can seek articulation into degree programmes with local and overseas universities and educational institutions. They could also receive module exemptions if they enrol in relevant continuing education and training (CET) courses offered by SP and other educational institutions.
Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal & CEO of Singapore Polytechnic, said, “The consolidation of eight diplomas into one is a bold move for our polytechnic, in our efforts to build a competent and sought after talent pool for the arts, design and media industries. The future prospects of graduates from the new diploma are promising. They will become a new generation of key-shaped professionals who are resilient and versatile across multiple disciplines, possessing the skills and qualities that will position them well in their creative careers in an evolving business landscape marked by volatility and constant disruptions.”
Mr Howie Lau, Assistant Chief Executive, Media and Innovation, lnfocomm Media Development Authority, said, “We applaud Singapore Polytechnic’s efforts to nurture a pipeline of future talent for the industry as we continue to grow as a media hub, bridging the east and west while connecting tech and media.”
Mr Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council, said, “We are pleased to endorse Singapore Polytechnic’s new Diploma in Media, Arts and Design course. We welcome this move as we believe that it will go a long way in helping to advance the growth of a global and resilient work force in Singapore. We are confident that SP’s DMAD curriculum will, in time to come, bear fruit in helping to increase the pipeline of our design talent — those who are equipped with transdisciplinary and adaptive skillsets, and will be empowered to drive innovation wherever they may be, and can in turn facilitate organisational innovation by design.”
About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 30 full-time diploma courses and three common entry programmes for close to 14,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 212,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals