Creative juices fizz at Bucks New University

Students need to work across disciplines – and that is what’s happening in High Wycombe

‘‘I don’t teach advertising, I help develop ideas,” says Bruce Sinclair, principal lecturer at the Bucks New University Advertising School. “An important part of that is getting students to think laterally, beyond their own discipline, but you can’t just throw an Edward de Bono book at them.”

To illustrate this style of thinking, Sinclair quotes the time De Bono was asked by the Foreign Office to design an advertisement for how to solve the Middle East crisis. He listened to arguments from all sides, then said the solution lay in Marmite. “His reasoning,” laughs Sinclair, “was that if your diet is deficient in zinc it makes you bad-tempered and warlike. We get most of our zinc from the yeast in bread. But in the Middle East, they eat unleavened bread, so Marmite, which is a yeast product, could change their temperaments.”

Sinclair and his colleagues running the creative MAs at Bucks, the niche university in High Wycombe, have always aimed to expose students to as broad a knowledge of the creative industries as possible. But next year they will take this approach a big step further with the Finishing School – a name coined to represent a concept, not an actual programme, says Sinclair. Students from different creative backgrounds, doing a variety of MAs, will be brought together to work in groups on the same brief. This way, instead of being limited to the subject of their MA, they will learn about – and try working in – a range of disciplines such as advertising, music management, video and production and computer design. It is an exercise in cross-fertilisation. “We aim to disrupt predictable approaches to problem-solving, innovation and creativity and give students the skills to be creative in a whole range of subjects,” says Sinclair.

Teresa Moore, who runs the music and entertainment management MA, sees the Finishing School as an important way of further equipping students to meet the needs of industry. “We already have key guest speakers from the industry – for example, I have a global media lawyer who dealt with Michael Jackson – and this is important because the industry is changing and reshaping all the time,” she says. “The creative sector no longer has silos of isolated activities. When an agency is producing an advertisement, it wants someone who understands how to bring together design, copywriting, music, marketing and who can think all around this process.”

Bucks New already has strong relationships with industry, and students do regular projects and placements. But Stephen Partridge, the manager of the production department, shares the conviction of Sinclair and Moore that the Finishing School will make his students even more employable. Impressive, considering graduates are working in agencies worldwide. Their time will be reorganised on the MAs, enabling students to work together on briefs from industry and to be tutored together, as well as to devote time to their separate studies.

“I listen to industry to understand the needs and to identify gaps in the market,” says Partridge. “I hear over and over that students don’t have enough broad knowledge. So, on the Finishing School, we will increase the opportunities for students to learn, for instance, to help a marketing person understand the language of a film-maker. I’m talking with Sennheiser about how to bring students together on a live music event involving marketing, branding and so on.”

Waqar Riaz, strategist at the global creative agency Rapp, thinks the Finishing School can only enhance an MA he already found very valuable. He worked as a copywriter at JWT, moved to a job in Bahrain, then returned to Britain. In spite of his impressive range of experience, he still found it difficult to get employment, so he signed up for a Masters at Manchester Metropolitan University. “I left after three months because I wasn’t getting what I wanted,” he says. He heard about the Bucks MA in advertising and won a place |on it.

“After 25 days, I began work on a project with the agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and won a placement there. The connections with industry are a very valuable part of the course. This was how I met Ian Haworth, the global chief creative officer of Rapp, and I’ve found this agency has the same spirit as the Bucks MA. They want you skilled up to react to changing times and ideas, and at Bucks they’re always thinking how to push that approach further.”

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: 1st Line IT Support - Surrey - £24,000

£20000 - £24000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpd...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Audit Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Audit Graduate Opportunities ar...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

SThree: TRAINEE RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT - IT - LONDON

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?