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Why you should study an MA in Creative App Development

Fri 08 Nov 2019

Why you should study an MA in Creative App Development

Technology has transformed the creative industries. Studying an MA in Creative App Development can give you the skills and know-how you need to successfully harness the power of technology and incorporate it into your creative practice.

We sat down with Falmouth Flexible’s MA Creative App Development Course Coordinator Al Parker for a Q&A to find out more.

Q: Al, can you tell us about Falmouth’s MA Creative App Development?

A: The course is all about developing the holistic skills needed to become a successful creative app developer. Students on the course study the various elements of app development, not just a specific coding language, as is the case with many other courses available.

Students will learn aspects of app development such as Agile project management, HCI research methods, user testing and UX design, which are all crucial elements of successful app development. Armed with this knowledge, they’ll be able to understand the wider context to their creative practice.

The course also provides students with the opportunity to work on real-world industry projects with local and international organisations, such as the Eden Project, ShelterBox and the NHS. These industry briefs aim to provide students with the opportunity to design and development meaningful app solutions to these worthwhile causes and make a real-world difference.

App development is far more complex than just having an idea for an app and designing it – there are so many elements at play. This course is very research-driven and provides focused mentoring and support from tutors so that our students can effectively develop a holistic, human-centred approach to app development.

Q: Who is the course best-suited to?

A: Someone who has an interest in technology as a medium and wants to incorporate technology into their creative practice.

That can be anyone who has an existing creative practice that’s looking to enhance their practice with digital technology, such as illustrators, sculptors, game designers, graphic designers, advertisers, and a host of other creative professionals.

We’re not looking for computer scientists, and you don’t need to have a strong technical background to succeed in this course.

Q: Why would students looking to study app development get more out of this MA than a short course?

A: Firstly, unlike short courses that tend to focus on one specific coding language, such as C#, this course takes an in-depth, holistic approach to app development.

It’s a research-driven course with the academic rigour you’d expect from a masters course. Rather than a certification of technical competence from a short course in app development, graduates of this MA will gain a masters degree that provides a pathway to PhD studies. We have a world-renowned reputation for academic excellence in the creative industries, and we’ve been ranked among the top 25 schools in the world for game design.

Also unlike short courses in app development, this MA offers advanced, intense study that produces specialists and leaders in app development, rather than just technically-competent graduates.

Another big difference between this MA and short courses in app development is the tailored support. With our MA, you get tailored support and mentorship from our expert tutors. They help you identify the most efficient way to meet your personal goals and the right tools you need to achieve those goals. This is your journey as an app developer, and we mentor and guide you to make sure you’re on the right path with your learning.

Additionally, once you’ve completed your MA with us, you’ll have an extensive portfolio of work gained from working on a variety of projects that you can show to potential employers.

Q: What have your MA graduates gone on to do?

One of our graduates went on to work as a software tester for Facebook. They came into the course with limited programming skills, but a strong passion for immersive technology. Their research and experimentation throughout their studies focused on augmented reality and VR. Their strong portfolio, along with their MA, got them a job with Facebook. This MA really opens up job opportunities at high-level organisations such as Facebook.

Another of our graduates made the switch from a career as a designer to a front-end developer halfway through completing the course. They went from drawing up and designing UIs to coding them and making them happen.

Yet another of our graduates received Y Combinator seed accelerator funding for their AI startup project. Y Combinator is basically the place to be for up-and-coming startups around the world. It’s a big deal. It would’ve been hard to get into Y Combinator or similar opportunities without a masters.

Q: What would you say are the top 5 benefits of this MA?

1. You’re part of a community. It’s much easier to learn when you’re surrounded by experts and like-minded peers.

2. Its flexibility. You have the flexibility to focus on something you’re really interested in, in your own time.

3. It offers an individual, tailored learning path. We look at your individual aspirations and how we can best serve them.

4. You can tap into Falmouth University’s wealth of learning resources, such as journals and the GDC Vault, to help you along your learning journey.

5. Continued engagement. Every week, our students get to talk about their projects. They also participate in discussion forums and get the opportunity to form collaborations and build global networks.

 

Falmouth Flexible’s online MA in Creative App Development will give you an in-depth understanding of the app development process and equip you with the specialist knowledge and skills you need to successfully incorporate technology into your creative practice.

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