Our Master's program enables you to specialize in your professional life, pursue an academic career and qualify for management and leadership positions.


MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)


The MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)* provides a coherent, yet flexible, post-graduate program for professionals wishing to gain an academic degree for their collective work experience. This unique course is designed to help professionals build their creative identity by planning and implementing a personal research project.

The emphasis on hands-on learning should encourage students to put their ideas to the test in their own creative practice. For this purpose, they will be accompanied by an expert mentor from our worldwide network. The task of the mentors is to support and guide the students during their studies, but the gradual transition from supervised to autonomous learning is an essential goal of this training.


SAEs MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)* was developed especially for media professionals in the creative industry. In addition to recognizing the value of professional practice, this innovative and flexible curriculum offers the following:

  • Combination of work and study thanks assessment work based projects
  • Learning and course content tailored to personal interests and career aspirations
  • Enhanced by the promotion and support of expert mentors modern study program
  • Support of independent learning through self-responsible research project
  • Access to an active global network of industry experts

The SAE Institute was founded in 1976 and has since grown into one of the world's largest education providers in the media production sector. Thanks to our unmistakable hands-on learning model and our clear focus on industry and global engagement, many of our students have already enriched the world with their creative talents and have distinguished themselves as winners of Oscars, Grammys and Baftas or as digital entrepreneurs.

For whom is this study intended?

This study is aimed at established creative professionals who want to develop their professional lives, and attracts interested parties from a wide variety of sectors and countries. The flexible study model, coupled with the development of a personal research project, is particularly suitable for:

1. Professionals with 5 or more years of industry experience

Professionals and experts from the digital media and creative industries can further develop their skills and knowledge in MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)* to improve their career prospects.

The program also has broad relevance for professionals who have found interest in the industry and want to open up new career opportunities. Graduates with limited industry experience are welcome, but must be able to demonstrate their aptitude and commitment to the desired field of study.

2. Ambitious managers, innovators and visionaries

Applicants seeking leadership roles in this ever-evolving market can acquire the entrepreneurial, strategic and conceptual skills needed to succeed. Students pursue their own independent research project, which may be business or practice based, or based on a combination of both.

The modern study program, with its extensive research opportunities, appeals to people with vision for the creative industry in the modern era.

3. Busy creative professionals looking for flexible study options

As an online distance learning course, the program is particularly suitable for students who want to arrange further studies with a busy work or private life or irregular working hours.

Structure of study

1. Project Planning - In Module 1, you will make the acquaintance of your mentor, who will help you formulate your final project based on your current working practice and future ambitions.Working closely, the Learning Agreement is established, which sets out what you learn, how you learn it, and what evidence you want to provide for the purpose of evaluating your performance.

2. Theories and Research Methods - You will develop the academic perspective and framework for building your project and your studies.

3. Overview of previous work experience - You critically deal with your professional experiential learning and academic recognition for relevant work experience in your creative discipline. To earn credits for experiential learning, you must provide a portfolio of evidence and provide the necessary arguments to substantiate your claim.

4. Professionalization Plan - You are pursuing deeper studies to professionalize yourself in the areas that have been identified as essential to your graduation project.

5. Final Project - You will present a comprehensive body of work underpinned by advanced methodology. You'll also need to write a self-reflective report and deliver a presentation in front of an audience or in the form of a recording.


A course tailored specifically to your future work experience brings many benefits. You not only signal your employer your absolute motivation, but also your intellectual drive.

In this way, the study may result in a change in job orientation, promotion to a leadership role or a salary increase.


If your project has a complex technological focus, you can submit it to the Assessment Board for a Master of Science (MSc) rating instead of the standard Master of Arts (MA). In principle, the so-called "Master in Creative Media Industries" is awarded. But it is also possible to define a more specific name for the title to be acquired, such as an "MA in Documentary Film". In Module 1, an agreement is reached on the exact title of the degree, which is then discussed and approved by the Assessment Board.

Note: The MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries) is only offered in Germany, at Campus Köln!


  • 28 months
    • 1st trimester (4 months) full time
    • 6 trimesters (24 months) part-time


  • January
  • May
  • September


The MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)* is organized in a blended learning concept and contains proportionally attendance phases, distance learning, e-learning content etc.


  • German

In Partnership with Middlesex University

* This programme was developed and is delivered and assessed by SAE Institute, awarded by and quality assured by Middlesex University.


Study structure

Trimester Modulcode Module name ECTS
1 MPP701 Project planning 10
1 MPP702 Theories and research methods 20
2 & 3 MPP703 Overview of previous work experience (up to 15 ECTS according to the recognition and accreditation of previous work experience) 15+15*
4 & 5 MPP704 Professionalisation plan 30
6 & 7 MPP705 Final project 30
    Gesamt 120
  *MPP706/7/8 Additional projects are only agreed if not enough credits can be claimed according to the recognition and accreditation of previous professional experience.

Module 1 - Project planning

You can already join the course with a clear study plan of your own, or you come up with a series of loose ideas that pertain to your area of ​​study. In both cases, you will be assigned a personal tutor ("Learning Advisor") who will go through all aspects of your ideas with you and accompany you throughout your studies.

The core of module 1 is the close collaboration with the tutor to prepare and develop the Learning Agreement. Your personal skills, your academic knowledge and your plans for further professionalization will be bundled together for the rest of your studies, with the master project as your crowning achievement.

The Learning Agreement is the individual foundation of the study project, which, depending on the focus, is oriented towards a MA or MSc as a degree. Accordingly, the Learning Agreement may also establish a title other than the "Master in Creative Media Industries", for example to obtain a more specific degree such as the "MA in Documentary Film".

Learning objectives

  • Analysis of the relationship between work practice and work-based learning principles
  • Critical awareness of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and a concept to work on them as part of their studies
  • Representation of a complete and continuous commitment to professional development

Special features of the module

During the development of the Learning Agreement your tutor will define the following aspects together with you:

  • Research approaches, design, organization and production of creative projects
  • Prepare a claim to academic recognition for previous work experience
  • Proposal to broaden and deepen existing knowledge and skills
  • Evaluation and risk assessment of project design and execution

Module 2 - Theories and Research Methods

In Module 2, theoretical perspectives, research methods and basics of the practical project are elaborated in Module 2, as agreed in the Learning Agreement.

It is important to further study these perspectives on the subject and to assess their relevance in the larger context of the creative media industry. It is important to learn to discuss theories of contemporary culture and industry, to conduct concrete research and to plan the application of different methods.

Learning objectives

  • Formulation of aesthetic concepts and principles relevant to the creative industry
  • Analysis of the economic, aesthetic and technical dimensions of action in the creative industry
  • A dedicated reflection and sound constructive analysis according to academic standards
  • Communicating these considerations with self-critical and evaluative reports

Special features of the module

The course content includes a selection or all of the following, depending on the study approach:

  • Text analysis, semiotic, rhetorical and historical analysis, content analysis, critique of ideology and psychoanalytic critique
  • Interviews, surveys, experiments, participant observation and case studies (action research)
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods, ethical aspects

The theoretical aspects of the proposed project may include these topics:

Cyberspace and cyberculture concepts, multimedia theories, postmodern theory, cultural and political implications, globalization, mass communication and personal freedom, questioning the term "infotainment".

Module 3 - Overview of previous work experience

The aim of the module Overview of previous work experience is the systematic and critical consideration of your previous professional practice. This will enable you to take on tasks that will allow you to develop the skills needed to study level 7 in analysis and synthesis. Your process of identifying experiential and certified learning practice leads to the accreditation of your work experience. Asserting academic credentials for actual knowledge and competencies gained through experience is provided through arguments and credentials that you provide through your resume, portfolio, and critically reflected report. As part of this, you also develop a complex and in-depth personal understanding of your individual creative processes, problem-solving techniques, and technical mastery of your chosen medium.

Learning objectives

  • Systematic identification and evaluation of theoretical perspectives underlying your own work experience and professional development
  • Critical and systematic evaluation of the importance of survey methods, action planning and problem solving in your work practice
  • Summary of experiential and accredited learning practice
  • Substantial discussion of the importance of your previous work experience in the execution of your project
  • Application for the accreditation of previous work experience through critical assessment and convincing and substantiated arguments for the systematic evaluation of your working practice

Special features of the module

  • Write a reflective report on your past and current work experience and how it has evolved over the course of your career to date
  • Writing a comprehensive resume that demonstrates your high level of work experience
  • Formulate convincing arguments for the recognition of relevant professional experience
  • Individual evidence for all listed points, including certified and non-certified learning, if appropriate

Expiration of module 3

In total, up to 15 of the 120 credit points required for the course of study can be achieved in this module. In addition, you can receive up to 15 credit points for existing work experience based on the recognition and accreditation of previous work experience. These credit points are available in modules 6 and 7, no matter in what combination. If you are unable or unwilling to claim all or any of these credit points, you must submit a short project proposal that will allow you to replenish the missing credit points.

Modul 4 - Professionalization Plan

The aim of the professionalization plan is to give you the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your final project, and to prepare you for continuing education and a successful career in the creative industries. With the support of your tutor and study management approval, you are taking targeted action to develop the knowledge and competencies that have been identified as essential to your own training and the completion of your final project.

Learning objectives

  • Demonstration of your determination, expertise and personal responsibility for your professional development
  • Critical and systematic evaluation of the importance of survey methods, action planning and problem solving in your professional development
  • Systematic identification and evaluation of theoretical perspectives underlying your own work experience and professional development
  • Sound discussion of the importance of your professional development for the execution of your project
  • Sound discussion of the importance of your professional development for your future work practice

Special features of the module

Your tutor will assist you in designing and developing your "professionalization plan". But you are then responsible for the details of the project planning as well as the costs that may be incurred in the process.

  • This module can integrate supervised projects, it can include the development of skills through participation in courses or quick courses or internships.
  • It is expected that you can take the completion of crash courses and submit a review.
    Expiration of module 4

Expiration of module 4

This module enables you to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help you in the execution of your final project and in your ongoing personal and professional development. Your professionalization plan usually consists of a specially designed series of short projects and short courses for competence development (self-employed or supervised), responsibility for the management of other professionals (practice or teaching) or another internship in your field.

Module 5 - The Final Project

Your final project in creative media is the culmination of the entire MA or MSc program. The entire program aims to qualify and professionalize you for this thesis. Your tutor will balance your needs, the requirements of study and the demands of future employers and contractors. As a result, you develop a qualification at the highest level, which is transferable to a variety of tasks.

In addition to completing the project itself, you will write a self-reflective report in Module 5, presenting your project in front of an audience or as a recording.

It has to be shown what relevance and significance the thesis will have for further careers in the creative industries.

Learning objectives

  • Presentation of the ability to develop impressive creative media projects or a corresponding academic investigation
  • Self-organization and, to the extent necessary, management with the participation of third parties in the execution of projects with professional claims
  • Self-reflective and evaluative reports
  • Development and presentation of results and results in the context of effective presentations

Expiration of module 5

You have to realize your final project as agreed with the tutor and projected in Module 1 as part of the Learning Agreement.

If your graduate project is more theoretical in nature, you will need a thesis with a volume of around 12,000 words. If the project has a practical or creative component, the written work may be shorter; This is already agreed under the Learning Agreement. Most of the practical and theoretical parts are weighted at 50% each for grading. Deviations from this can however be made individually in the Learning Agreement.

Entry Requirements

You are able to speak the language of instruction:

  • MPP Cologne - German

Furthermore you need:

  • Bachelor Degree with "Honors", rated with "Second Class" or better, in a field relevant to the field of study.
  • One year of practical work experience in a field relevant to the majors.


  • Five years of professional experience in a field relevant to the majors.

You have submitted a draft of the project proposal together with your application.

Fees & Funding

"Mein MPP-Projekt ist ein nuanciertes Zusammenspiel von gesponserten Kurzfilmen und Nation Branding. Ich versuche, einen Kurzfilm mit ansprechender Story zu produzieren, der ein Land effektiv bewirbt, ohne zu viel Nachdruck auf Nation Branding zu legen. Das Online-Studienkonzept ist für meine Situation optimal. Der MPP eröffnet mir trotz eingespanntem Berufs- und Familienleben den Zugang zu weiterführenden Studien."

Pierre Guersing, Head of Audiovisual Services - Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce

Improve your job prospects

The MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries) is tailored to your personal professional development, taking into account precisely your wishes for your professional development, that is, what interests you personally to study. That's why it opens up a wide range of career opportunities and career options.

The competition for the top positions in the creative sector is high. The demands of private and public employers are becoming ever more demanding. Being able to offer a higher formal qualification than the competitors is one thing. The Other is the research / practice project that demonstrates your imagination and commitment in the realization of your creative projects. Both together give you a significant advantage in the competition for the jobs. Our MA / MSc has also inspired many of our alumni (our former students) to perfect their entrepreneurial skills and start new businesses in their field.

Whichever direction you want to go, our study program and our tutors will help you and guide you on your journey.

* This programme benefits from the strengths and outstanding reputation of both organisations: SAE Institute for industry credibility and its global network of expert industry practitioners and educators in 27 countries; and The Institute for Work Based Learning (IWBL) at Middlesex University for its initiatives in developing work based learning within industry and the workplace (for which it has been awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize).