Passionate about creating film, animation and video content but don’t want to be limited by format or ambition? Want to be first in line for meeting the high demand for skilled workers in a rapidly evolving industry? There are many reasons why the Bachelor degree in Screen Media or Animation and Visual Effects at Victoria University is the ideal place to start that journey.
One, says the Chair for both courses, Dr Marc C-Scott, is the unique VU Block Model approach to teaching, which puts an emphasis on ensuring students are workforce-ready from the second they graduate.
‘The VU Block Model is about active learning in four-week blocks,’ he says. ‘We have small class sizes, no more than 30 people, and those classes are hands-on, with the same teacher across that block. That means we get to know all the students and are able to mentor them through each particular unit. For example, in TV production, students work in our TV studio for 11 sessions, across four weeks.’
C-Scott, who designed and developed both degrees, says there’s variation not just between the two Bachelor courses but within them.
‘The Screen Media course is not the traditional film and television training where you must produce a TV show or a film – it could be anything from a short video to an ad. We do motion graphics, we do TV production, we do podcasts. It’s about removing that silo of saying “everything is for film and TV”. It’s about screen more broadly, which can obviously include YouTube, social media and other types of content.’
As for the multiple career pathways, C-Scott cites one graduate who is now working with the Western Bulldogs in the team’s media department, and another who has started her own business creating social media photography and video for clients. Indeed, the courses are designed to give students a glimpse at various potential pathways before they specialise later in their degree. This includes, in the second year, placements with media and production companies, including the ABC.
‘The philosophy is to really get students ready for industry from year one,’ C-Scott says. ‘So, at the end of the first year, they’re already creating a portfolio, preparing their CVs and getting to know people in the industry. In second-year, we build on that through industry placements at any number of organisations.’
In addition to developing hands-on skills that are attractive to employers, students are also given guidance on starting and maintaining their own businesses.
‘We have two specific units – common to both courses – where students look at budgeting and at pitching ideas, the kind of business skills that other degrees don’t generally offer. This gives them the foundational skills to go out and actually create their own businesses, develop products and pitch those to clients.’
Both courses, he says, are continually evolving. ‘In terms of facilities, we’re about to introduce virtual production for both courses. We have a new stop-animation studio too, and continue to improve the courses as we go.’
Victorian University, he adds, is the first Australian university to be a certified training partner for the Australian digital cinema company and hardware manufacturer Blackmagic Design.
As to what end such improvements are being made, C-Scott gives a positive and straightforward answer that will be music to students’ ears:
‘We want you to make a living after you graduate.’