Cardiff School of Art & Design’s new MA Creative Enterprise & Innovation programme students used the School’s FabLab as the focus for their practice based learning module, focusing on how its marketing and social media campaigns can successfully respond to the new challenges created by Covid-19.
Development and Delivery
The launch of the Creative Enterprise and Innovation Masters programme in 2019 built upon CSAD’s Incubation Unit that had run successfully for six years. It was always intended that the University would develop a Masters programme focusing on the launch of a creative enterprise, reflecting the School’s commitment to learning that is transdisciplinary while also enabling students to dive deep into their chosen specialism.
The success of both the Incubation Unit and the undergraduate dissertation option of a ‘Creative Enterprise Research Proposal’ confirmed the demand for a post-graduate programme for creative entrepreneurs motivated to generate multiple forms of value such as positive social, ecological and environmental impacts.
The MA is designed to foster enterprising behaviours, attributes and competencies in students to enact their own entrepreneurial ventures through research-led practice and practice-led research.
There have been significant benefits to students, the School and the FabLab resulting from the launch of the MA Creative Enterprise & Innovation programme and its adaptations due to Covid-19. Entrepreneurship is embedded in the undergraduate curriculum, underpinned by the University’s EDGE principles (Entrepreneurial, Digital, Global, Ethical). The programme was designed to provide a continuation for entrepreneurship and enterprise education at level 7 for students wishing to follow this pathway and to develop social enterprise and civically engaged projects with real world impact.
With the challenges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic, and the restrictions on movement and collaboration, the Research, Empathise, Discover module this year focused on Cardiff Met’s FabLab as a vehicle to develop entrepreneurial and enterprise thinking. Student research outcomes advised FabLab on how it should raise its profile and improve its social media and market strategy in the context of a post Covid-19 landscape.
Students interviewed the FabLab team about the impact that Covid-19 and the resulting loss of commercial clients, new challenges faced by small local businesses, entrepreneurs seeking to launch creative ventures and students working remotely.
Student proposals presented the FabLab with valuable research into market developments, social media trends and data on customer groups’ communication preferences. Social media and marketing strategies were presented and advice on refreshing and consolidating branding provided. Advice about how the FabLab could better connect with the School’s students was suggested. All the information was judged to be valuable by the FabLab team who are now implementing ideas and addressing the new challenges and opportunities faced.
Launching the MA Creative Enterprise & Innovation programme has provided the next step for the undergraduates for whom entrepreneurship has been central to their studies.
It has provided a structured opportunity underpinned by academic qualifications for those wishing to launch a business or social enterprise, complementing the strong extra-curricular support from the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship.
The programme builds the School and University’s links with business and the third sector and has promoted student and external engagement with the School’s FabLab making it a stronger commercially and socially engaged unit, alongside being one that supports curriculum strategy.
The School continues to review the breadth and depth of the programme to foster the further development, ensuring that learning & teaching and research & entrepreneurship continue to be intertwined. Links with external enterprises will be expanded and built upon and links with FabLab maintained for the benefit of the MA Creative Enterprise & Innovation students, the FabLab, the School and the wider community.
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