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MA/MSC Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries)


Boundaries of creativity will only be broken by the inherently curious...

Do you have an idea that you’re curious to explore?

Whether you’ve worked within the creative industries for years, or are seeking to refine your knowledge to pursue greater career prospects. SAE Institute’s online MA/MSc course is the next step to defining your creative niche.

Come and learn from industry thought-leaders, collaborate with your peers, extend your network through our global reach and solidify your own reputation within the creative media industry.

SAE Institute’s MA/MSc is unique to you - literally. We tailor your course modules to suit your area of speciality whilst driving you to explore and further your ideas within a learning framework of one-on-one supervision, interactive webinars and online discussion groups that will lead you to test your ideas within the culmination of your Creative Media Major Project.

All ideas need a place to grow and people to nurture them and our reputation as the world’s largest creative media educator comes from almost 40 years of pioneering creative minds.

Your personally prescribed Learning Advisor will encourage you to tap into this bank of knowledge enabling you study in confidence whilst giving you the most current perspective of industry trends across the multiple disciplines of web, animation, audio, games and film.

We offer a progressive, learning experience like that of no other.

SAE Institute’s programme of further study is designed in a bespoke manner for you, even down to the category of your overall award…

Master of Arts MA or Master of Science MSc

If your project is based on a particularly complex area of technical content, then you may present your degree to be awarded a MSc, instead of the default MA, to the Assessment Board. This is determined early on as part of your Learning Agreement and will be dependent on evidence of significant technical content in Module 2, leading into your Creative Media Major Project in Module 5. You must provide evidence that you have the appropriate knowledge and skills in Module 3, or the ability to acquire them during Module 4.

Award Title

Our masters degree is titled Creative Media Industries. However, you may present a case for an alternate title if you wish to be more specific to your genre, for example: MA in Documentary Film. This will be agreed in your Learning Agreement during Module 1 and will be considered and approved by the Assessment Board. Approval is dependent on evidence of significant discipline-specific content in Module 2 which leads into your Creative Media Major Project in Module 5. You must provide evidence that you have the appropriate knowledge and skills in Module 3, or the ability to acquire them during Module 4.


Dr Greg White, PhD Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Programme Leader
Dr Andrea Santini, PhD Learning Advisor Team Leader
Dr Fares Kayali, PhD Learning Advisor
Gert Gast Learning Advisor
Elisa Rho Milan Masters Programme Coordinator
Hardy Tucker Learning Advisor
Dr Nico Pizzolato, PhD Middlesex University Link Tutor, Institute of Work Based Learning
Prof Dr Peter Rodenberg Chief External Examiner, Universität Hamburg
Matteo Conti External Examiner, Royal College of Art







In Partnership with Middlesex University London


Programme Structure

You can undertake the programme in either a full-time or part-time mode. 


  • 1 Year
  • 3 Trimesters


  • 2 Years
  • 6 Trimesters
Module Code Module Name Credit Points
 MPP401   Programme Planning 20
 MPP402   Theoretical Perspectives and Research Methods 40
 MPP403   Recognition and Accreditation of Learning  
  Choose MPP403, MPP404 or a combinaiton of the two 60
 MPP404   Professional Development Scheme  
 MPP405   Creative Media Major Poject 60
  Total    180


Module 1 - Project Planning

It might be that you come to the course with a clear concept that you’re keen to explore, or you may have a number of ideas that all pertain to your chosen area of study. Either way you will be prescribed a personal Learning Advisor who will discuss all elements of your ideas with you and guide you through the participation of seminar discussions online with your peers.

The core of Module 1 is to work closely with your Learning Advisor to prepare and agree the terms of your own Learning Agreement. This will bring together your personal skills, academic knowledge and professional development plans for the remainder of the programme, culminating in your Creative Media Major Project.

Your Learning Agreement contain the rationale which leans towards the MA or MSc award based on the nature of the project. Similarly, the Learning Agreement may contain a rationale for a change of award title from the general (Creative Media Industries) to one specific to the project focus (eg Documentary Film).

Learning Outcomes

  • To analyse the relationship between professional practice and work based learning principles
  • To show critical awareness of your personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and a plan to address these within the course
  • To demonstrate an unfailing/persistent commitment to continual professional development

Module Specifics

In the process of determining your personalised Learning Agreement your Learning Advisor will work with you to determine the following:

  • Approaches to research, design, management and production of creative projects
  • Preparation of a claim for postgraduate academic recognition for prior professional experience
  • Proposal to extend, deepen and/or broaden existing knowledge and skills
  • Ethical and risk assessment implications in professional project design and execution

Module 2 - Theoretical Perspectives and Research Methods

Taking the lead from your definitions of work laid out in Module One, Module Two further develops the connection between the theoretical perspectives, research methods and your project as per your Learning Agreement.

You will further explore these perspectives and their impact on the wider context of the creative media industry to be able to discuss theories in contemporary culture and industry through applied research and project methodologies.

Learning Outcomes

  • To articulate aesthetic concepts and principles relevant to creative media
  • To analyse commercial, aesthetic and technical dimensions of creative media activities
  • To engage in the reflection and deep constructive analysis central to graduate study
  • To convey this thought process within self-critical and evaluative reports

Module Specifics

Topics relating to research methods, specific to your project proposal may include some or all of the following:

  • Textual analysis, semiotic analysis, rhetorical analysis, historical analysis, content analysis, ideological criticism and psychoanalytic criticism
  • Interviews, surveys, experiments, participant observation, case studies and actionable research
  • Quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, and ethical issues.

Topics relating to the theoretical perspectives of your project proposal may include:

Concepts of cyberspace and cyberculture, theories of multimedia, postmodernist theory, cultural and political dimensions, globalisation, mass communication and personal freedom, and discussing issues of ‘infotainment’.

Module 3 - Recognition and Accreditation of Learning

This module provides the opportunity for you to claim academic credit for an advanced level of relevant experience through the submission of a body of evidence as shown in a detailed portfolio. The level of experience is defined as ‘having taken specific responsibility for, or within, professional projects for the creation, production or delivery of creative media products or events.

Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate, within a digital portfolio, the ability to analyse commercial, aesthetic and technical dimensions of creative media activities
  • To identify key professional achievements and formulate a set of personal development objectives
  • To write self-critical and evaluative reports
  • To deliver clear and effective presentations of plans and outcomes

Module Specifics

  • If your Learning Advisor feels in Module one that Module Four is relevant to your course you will go ahead and compile the following
  • Development of a comprehensive CV to clearly identify the high level of your professional experience
  • Proof of certified and uncertified learning if appropriate
  • Ability to formulate evidence and a persuasive argument to support your case for proposed credit

How Module 3 works

Credit awarded for this module is ungraded but may constitute up to 60 credits points out of the 180 required to complete the qualification. The MA/MSc in Professional Practice programme requires 60 credit points from any combination of MODULE 3 and/or MODULE 4. If 60 credit points are claimed from this module, there is no need to claim more from the other. Due consideration is given to this choice and determined within your Learning Agreement in Module 1.

If, however, it is decided with your Learning Advisor in Module 1 that you have not gained the necessary criteria for credits within Module 3, you will simply move straight to Module 4.

Module 4 - Professional Development Scheme

Here, with thorough guidance from your Learning Advisor, you will undertake targeted programmes of advanced study and professional development specifically designed to address essential elements as identified within your Creative Media Major Project.

Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate a keen knowledge of relevant creative media theories in contemporary culture and commerce
  • To analyse key commercial and technical dimensions of creative media activities
  • To devise, deliberate and deliver effective presentations of in-depth plans and outcomes

Module Specifics

Your Learning Advisor will assist you to develop and plan out a Professional Development Scheme. You are then responsible for making your own detailed arrangements and for covering any cost that may arise within the process.

  • This module may include supervised projects, skills development by participation in teaching sessions, short courses, or placement experience.
  • You will be expected to provide evidence of any completed short courses and provide a critique of them in your learning journal

How Module 4 works

Credit awarded for this module is un-graded but may constitute up to 60 credit points out of the total of 180 required from you to complete the qualification. The programme requires 60 credit points from any combination of Module 3 and/or Module 4; if 60 credit points are claimed from this module, there is no need to claim more from the other. This balance will be agreed with your Learning Advisor in your Learning Agreement during Module 1.


Module 5 - Creative Media Major Project

Your Creativer Media Major Project serves as the pinnacle of the entire MA/MSc and constitutes an important developmental focus throughout the course. Your Learning Advisor will triangulate your needs alongside that of the programme and future employers; in doing so, a number of high-level transferable skills are developed.

In addition to completing the project itself in Module 5, you are required to write a substantial reflective and self-critical report and to create a live or recorded presentation.

Your work must be of demonstrable relevance and importance to future professional practice within the creative media industries.

Learning Outcomes

  • To show the ability to devise effective creative media projects and/or investigations
  • To manage one’s self, and others if applicable, in the undertaking of professional level projects
  • To critique and evaluative reports
  • To devise and communicate results and outcomes with effective presentations

How Module 5 works

You are required to complete your Creative Media Major Project as agreed with your Learning Advisor in your Learning Agreement from Module 1.

If your Creative Media Major Project is theoretical in nature, a written report of circa 12,000 words is required. If your Major Project involves a practical or creative element, a shorter report is required, as negotiated with the Learning Advisor and approved in the Learning Agreement. In most cases, the practical/creative element and report are weighted 50% each, but variations can be proposed in your initial Learning Agreement.


Entry Requirements

Each applicant is expected to have at least one year’s work experience in a field relevant to their chosen course of study and be able to provide the following four items:

  1. Prerequisite Qualification;
  • Bachelor degree with Honours, second class or higher, in a relevant field or professional qualification deemed to equivalent. The degree may be in any subject area.     
  • If you have no degree it is possible to establish equivalence by presenting substantial and demonstrable creative media work experience at an expert professional level with at least five years work at this level supported by documented evidence. The evidence must be presented in the portfolio. Students with demonstrable relevant professional experience may claim up to 30% of the total credit required for completion of the programme in MODULE 3 Recognition and Accreditation of Learning.
    • Examples of evidence are:
      • credited, commercially released media products
      • industry prizes
      • private and public commissions
      • employer endorsements
  1. CV & Portfolio:
  • You must provide evidence of aptitude and achievement in a creative media discipline in the form of a CV and portfolio. 
  1. Written Statement:
  • You must write a personal statement (no longer than one A4 typed page) outlining your reasons and interest in the programme, an intention of what you are seeking to achieve personally and professionally throughout your potential studies, and an indication of the type and nature of a project that will form the basis of your study.
  1. Identification:
  • You must provide a certified copy of photo identification such as your passport, national identity card or equivalent.


The language of tuition and assessment for the programme is English; a candidate whose first language is not English and/or whose first degree was not taught and examined in English must present evidence of having passed an English test. The minimum acceptable pass grades for English tests are:

  • TOEFL iBT*: 90 (with no less than 21 within each component)
  • IELTS : 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 within each component)

* SAE Online TOEFL DI Code*: 3831 - Please ensure you include this code when registering for your test.

Fees & Funding


For more information please contact the Study Advisors.


How can your career benefit from our MA/MSc program?

Because SAE Institute’s MA/MSc is tailored to your own professional development, taking into account your personal wishes for future study, it is designed by its very nature, to open up a wide range of future career opportunities.

Competition is high for the top jobs in the creative sector, with employers, both private and public becoming quite demanding in their requirements. Standing out not only with a higher level qualification than the rest but also with a research project that defines your commitment and imagination in your chosen sector is a massive plus point. Our MA/MSc has also inspired many of our Alumni to refine their entrepreneurial skills and start their own businesses in their genre.

Whatever direction you wish to go in, and you may not realise it fully at the start, our programme and personal learning advisors will develop and elevate you to reach the learning outcomes you desire.

SAE Institute’s MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries) is validated by Middlesex University, London. 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).