If you’ve checked out what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT, then it’s likely you’re now looking for an in-depth opinion on the course.
If that’s the case, look no further because you’ve come to the perfect place!
Luckily, we got to have a chat with Naomi, a QUT Creative Industries graduate, who had all of the answers to our questions.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT?
First, let’s break it down. The term ‘Creative Industries’ is the super broad name for the vast creative world. It encompasses the creative arts, publishing, film, performing arts, game design, music, visual arts and pretty much every other artistic and creative venture imaginable.
The creative industries are responsible for our entertainment. They’re the ones that produce the music we listen to, make the architecture that accommodates us, create the fashion and textiles that we wear, paint the artworks we buy, and act in the movies we watch. They’re everywhere!
What does the degree cover?
The Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT covers all of these components and gives you the chance to specialise and major in a particular part of the creative industries. The majors that you can choose from include:
- Creative and professional writing
- Media and communication
- Drama and performance
- Fashion communication
- Interactive and visual design
- Music and sound
- Screen content production
Naomi, who we got to chat to, majored in Entertainment Industries and she told us that she’s still extremely pleased with her decision — although she does admit that a minor in Animation would have also been right up her alley. In fact, QUT gives you plenty of opportunities to tailor your studies to meet your interests and aspirations.
As a Creative Industries student, you’ll have the options to choose a second major, select two minors or stick with electives! Some of the minor options include:
- Art and design history
- Creative writing
- Character animation
- Design and visual storytelling for animation
- Fashion communication
- Graphic design
- Performance events and festivals
So, there are loads of chances for you to experiment creatively in a range of different areas. While the creative industries is such a far reaching field, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop your theoretical and practical skills that will help you discover your own creative speciality.
You can have a more in depth look at all of the units you’ll be taking right here!
Top 3 Pros of a Creative Industries degree
#1: Great networking opportunities
Naomi told us that a defining characteristic of the Bachelor of Creative Industries degree at QUT is the value that it places on networking and gaining professional connections.
She explained, “You meet so many people through the degree. Also, all the people that are teaching you know other people. The cohort you’re going in with, they’re the people that are going to be your creative professionals once you graduate as well — so it’s important that they’re part of your network too.”
There you have it. As Naomi advised, take advantage of the professional networking opportunities at events, with tutors and with guest lecturers but don’t neglect making connections with your peers too!
You’re all going to be out in the workforce in a couple years and you never know, maybe your future film will need a graduated fashion designer.
#2: Flexibility of the degree
“The second pro would definitely be flexibility. You can dabble in everything. If you’re not an industry specific person it’s really nice to be able to experiment,” Naomi said.
This is a great part of the Creative Industries degree — not only is it an extremely broad discipline but your course format can be tailored to meet your own interests. You have plenty of opportunities to choose multiple majors, pick different minors or broaden your horizons even further with elective options — the world is your oyster.
Naomi told us that not only was she being taught a wide variety of content, but she also got to experiment in areas that she wasn’t studying.
“Even when I was there, I helped friends out who were in fashion and theatre and things like that so it just gave me the opportunity to explore. It’s not like medicine where if you’re studying medicine then you’re just studying medicine,” she explained.
#3: Immersive experience
“The third pro would be how much you vicariously learn. You learn a lot through your degree but then you also learn a lot from everyone you’re around. It’s a very immersive experience — probably more immersive than potentially other degrees. It can kind of be what you want it to be,” Naomi told us.
On top of the material that you cover throughout your degree, you’ll also be gaining plenty of experience in professional and practical situations so that you can build up your resume and portfolio. QUT is one of the few universities that offer the Creative Industries program so you can be sure to gain the knowledge and experience that will be perfect for a future position.
In your final year of study, you’ll also be required to take two Work Integrated Learning (WIL) classes to hone in on your practical skills. This is a great opportunity at QUT because the institution has plenty of valued industry partners like the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia, Brisbane Open House, Australian Parents for Climate Action, World Science Festival and Beyond Zero Emissions.
Top 3 Cons of a Creative Industries degree
#1: Unconventional work life
“If you’re someone that gets anxious or you’re worried about financial security, then going into the creative industries might not be the best option,” Naomi told us.
Just like your degree, the creative industries are extremely broad and cover a load of professions. No job in the creative industries will be the same.
Sometimes you’ll be working inconsistent hours — other times you’ll be working nonstop. It’s entirely dependent on who you’re working for, the project you’re doing and what kind of role you’ve taken on.
Naomi added, “We are moving more and more towards portfolio careers which is basically not having a 9 to 5 but doing lots of projects and things like that. That’s not to say that you can’t have a good life in the creative industries but it is to say that it’s a different structure.”
While this structure does mean being comfortable with uncertainties, it also means that you’ll be constantly doing different things. You’re never going to feel pigeonholed or bored in a creative industries position.
#2: The time commitment
Naomi explained to us that as a QUT Bachelor of Creative Industries student, you’re going to have to be prepared to spend a lot of time getting everything done. On top of your coursework, lectures and tutorials, you’ll also be needing to complete your Work Integrated Learning subjects.
It’s important to understand this commitment because it’s quite a lot and takes the right state of mind to make it work.
“The second con is something that I have definitely struggled with. It’s all about the hours outside of your degree that count. So, I did the two Work Integrated Learning subjects — I did over 500 hours of volunteer work throughout my degree,” Naomi said.
She added, “The hours outside of uni and all of the opportunities that you’re willing to take are really important and if you’re not prepared to do that, which some people aren’t, for financial or other reasons, then be prepared that it might not have the best outcomes for you.”
Naomi also explained that with COVID-19 throwing everything off, it was hard to not feel discouraged by not beginning work straight away — especially after hundreds of hours of experience.
“Obviously it was a very specific occasion but I did all of those hours so that I could get into working in events like Brisbane City Council because I did 100 hours with them. When I went to go and apply, COVID hit and so the creative industries was the first industry to get heavily impacted.”
#3: All or nothing networking
“This is similar to the pro but if you don’t network, you’re doomed. Not in a depressive sense, but to get a job you have to rely on the people you know,” Naomi told us.
So, there you go — it goes both ways. If you’re willing to take the initiative and meet new people and try new opportunities, then you’ll be set. On the other hand, if you don’t enhance your network, it’s going to be really difficult job searching once you graduate.
The creative industries is one of those sectors where everyone knows everyone. It’s a tight knit group and you’re going to need all of the help and support you can get, so go meet people!
“I don’t think so. I think if I never did it, I would have always wanted to study Creative Industries,” Naomi said.
She told us that despite the cons listed above, she is extremely pleased with her experience at QUT even though a part of her would have liked to study Animation as a minor.
“I did a lot of visual arts, I still draw and paint, which is why, if anything, probably my only regret would be not doing Animation. I would have gone into Animation full-time but because it was a minor, I wouldn’t get as many opportunities outside of uni and I wouldn’t get to meet as many people as I probably would have wanted to.”
Naomi told us that while animation looked like a great option, she’s well aware that her Entertainment Industries major gave her plenty more chances to network and connect with other creatives.
What do you wish you had known before starting the degree?
Like we mentioned before, the Bachelor of Creative Industries, and most other degrees for that matter, depend a lot on your state of mind. They require a lot of commitment, dedication and most of all, time.
Naomi told us that she wished she knew these things or at least was made aware of the big uni commitment so that she would know to take care of herself a little more.
“The only thing I would say is I just wish I had known how many hours to put into it and then maybe know more about self care and how to finance better — all those kinds of things. So, I could still do it, just not at the cost of mental health,” she explained.
So, here’s your reminder to take that bath, have breaks and keep in touch with your pals so that you’re never feeling too overwhelmed by the uni stress.
This is also a good time to mention that not everyone has the same experience at uni. In fact, you could have a totally opposite experience to Naomi. Maybe what she doesn’t like, you’ll love! It’s super dependent on the person but Naomi is very pleased with her choice.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
Luckily, Naomi was the perfect person to answer this question. She’s a proud QUT supporter and was ready to hit us with her thoughts.
“When I was looking, initially, QUT was the only degree that offered the general Creative Industries degree. QUT has the most contacts with creative practitioners in Brisbane. So, for me, I was able to get my foot in the door with Brisbane City Council because QUT already had a relationship with them,” Naomi explained.
Not only does QUT work with valuable industry partners that are going to assist you in gaining practical experience and enhancing your network, but you’ll also have access to great facilities and resources.
Naomi added, “There are dance studios, fashion studios, animation studios — everything’s just at your fingertips there. So, I would definitely recommend QUT over everything else. Also, if you want to go into different disciplines, there are so many opportunities available.”
As a student in the Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT, you’ll also have valuable access to QUT’s new Creative Industries Precinct that houses a number of performance spaces, music studios and visual art galleries so you can be sure of being supported by professional facilities.
What inspired you to choose this degree?
Naomi told us that after she realised how much she enjoys the types of activities and events that the creative industries produces, she wanted to give it a go for herself.
“At the time, my partner was in a band and was studying music so I was getting really involved. I’d be the door girl at gigs around Brisbane and things like that. I always loved the creative nightlife in Brisbane and I just really wanted to give it a go. I’ve also always appreciated the hands-on nature of events in terms of it being a potential career opportunity,” Naomi explained.
Naomi knew that she wanted a profession down a creative avenue and so choosing a university came down to finding the one that would best support her, professionally and creatively. QUT just happened to be that choice.
What are the possible career paths?
Your future profession is going to depend heavily on your major which is great since you have such a huge variety to choose from at QUT. You could become a screenwriter or a novelist or the next top fashion designer! Really, there are so many options and this degree will build great foundations.
No matter what you decide to pursue, a Bachelor of Creative Industries at QUT will teach the essential creative skills and theoretical knowledge to be qualified for any position within or beyond the creative and artistic sector!
Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!