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BA (Hons) Creative Direction

BA (Hons) Creative Direction spans the creative economy. You'll learn how to engage and develop ideas into full-scale projects that apply themselves to the entire industry – your role as the director oversees them.


On BA (Hons) Creative Direction, you'll develop the conceptual thinking, creative problem-solving skills, and strategic vision necessary to occupy a role that's the beating heart of the creative industries – the Creative Director.

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BA (Hons) Creative Direction course information

Creative Directors are employed across all sectors of the creative economy, whether that's advertising, the arts, design, fashion, gaming, music, publishing or TV and film. They develop an intimate knowledge of their brand’s customers and direct all communication, controlling every point where their brand encounters their audiences, customers, and users. They do this by developing a team of creatives from a range of disciplines to assist in the design, development and delivery of their organisation’s products or services.

On BA (Hons) Creative Direction, you'll work with a team of designers and content creators of illustration, photography, video and many other mediums and environments to deliver creative solutions to defined problems.

This course aims to nurture innovative and forward-thinking individuals who can shape and influence the creative landscape. It provides a platform for you to explore your creativity, develop leadership qualities, and become industry-ready professionals capable of making a significant impact in the evolving creative industries.

On this course, you'll be introduced to design thinking, learn to encourage problem-solving by learning about the freedom of ideas. You'll learn innovative brainstorm techniques, capturing even the smallest of ideas that'll nurture and grow into solutions that have impact. You'll learn to listen, placing people at the very heart of design projects; being empathetic and responding to client needs and aspirations.

You'll discover industry and consumer insights that lead to the development of innovate solutions to problems. You'll also gain confidence in the idea generation process, learning to trust your own judgement, your design team and to know your customers and users; becoming adept at managing projects, people, and resources to deliver on time and on budget, surpassing expectations at every stage of the process.

There'll be opportunities to engage in a range of hands-on projects, collaborative exercises, and industry simulations, applying learning in real-world contexts. You'll also have the opportunity to work with industry professionals, agencies, and clients, gaining valuable insights and building a professional network.

It's the blend of real-world experience, project management and design skill that makes BA (Hons) Creative Direction unique. At AUB, we're a creative community that represents the industry as a university-wide team. This course places you at the very heart it as you learn to express yourself, design, develop and deliver as a Creative Director.

Course duration

3 or 4 years (full-time)

Placement year

Option of a 1-year placement

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Placement year

All undergraduate courses at AUB offer an optional placement year, to be taken between your second and third years of study.

If you’re unsure about this optional placement, you don’t need to decide now. Once you’re here and studying with us, the course team will discuss the placement options with you, so when the time comes, you can make a decision that’s right for you.

If you’re required to have a Student Visa to study in the UK, it won’t be possible to undertake the one-year placement option; there’ll be other opportunities for you to engage with industry during your study at AUB.

Level 4 (first year)

Forming small production teams with support from course tutors and the technical team, you'll learn to design and deliver creative projects; delivering your first project during the first term of the first year of the course.

With guest lectures from specialist speakers, you're introduced to different sectors of the creative industries and the way they operate. We'll also take some time to research and understand the potential impacts of creative work on the environment and the communities and stakeholders that engage with it. Finally, student-led creative projects will be delivered to an external audience during the summer term.

Level 5 (second year)

In the second year of the course, you'll progress to more specialist study, building on experience gained during the first year. Creative projects will provide an opportunity for you to work with an external client, designing a solution that responds to their needs. You'll also acquire strong research skills, developing their insights into industry and learning how to pitch for investment for a new creative enterprise.

During second year, you can choose between undertaking a six-week work placement during the final term or spending a whole year on placement before returning to complete your studies. This allows you to put your skills into practice, working within an industry setting.

Level 6 (third year)

In the third year, the focus is on independent learning, preparing you to transition into the world of work. Students can design a major creative project and pitch their idea to colleagues, stakeholders, and alumni. Working as part of a production team with funding from the course, support from tutors and the technical team, the culmination of learning will be to conceive and deliver a project that helps each student to stand out from the crowd and become a source of inspiration to those that'll follow them.

You can also choose between either working with an organisation from industry, researching their business to operate as a consultant and make recommendations for their future strategic planning; or researching a topic in depth and producing a dissertation that allows you to become an expert in your chosen field.

Our alumni from similar, previous courses have gone on to win great things:

  • AEME Student Event of The Year 2022

"We're all creatives at AUB, and the Creative Direction course is an opportunity to place yourself at the centre of a vibrant community that reflects the wider creative industries. The most creative act is to design projects that inspire those around you and stimulate the interests of your client’s, their customers, and their users. I look forward to being inspired by your creative ideas."

Kevin Chambers, Course Developer

Application process

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66 for courses taught at Arts University Bournemouth. For courses based at Bournemouth and Poole College, use code B49. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

If you decide to undertake an optional placement year, the tuition fee is £1,850. This is subject to inflationary increases based on government policy, and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

This course doesn't require a portfolio as part of the application process.

There are only a few courses where you'll be asked to attend an interview or audition.

The courses currently requiring interviews are BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance and BA (Hons) Textiles. BA (Hons) Acting and BA (Hons) Dance require auditions. If you're invited to one you'll have at least 10 days notice.

Studios and resources

You'll learn in flexible spaces with the very latest in technology, with equipment sourced specifically for your projects, including audio visual, the latest digital technologies, and sector leading printing facilities.

We provide all the resources that you'd expect to find in a real creative business. Our exhibition spaces include TheGallery, a major resource for contemporary art and design in the South of England with exhibitions that've received both national and international recognition. It hosts several artist talks, panel discussions and other events to support the exhibition programme and is open to the public.

Students on BA (Hons) Creative Direction will also have access to AUB's specialist arts library, print workshop, dedicated Mac suites and a base room.

Students working at computers in a library. A set of stairs leads up to a second landing with a balcony running along.

The Library

The Library at AUB holds an excellent range of print and online collections

Open space at TheGallery at AUB during the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition 2024.


Our in-house gallery, TheGallery, is a major resource for contemporary art and design in the South of England

Ten rows of empty seating viewed from the front of a large lecture theatre.

Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms

We have a number of lecture theatres and seminar rooms scattered around campus to assist students with their studies.

Student wearing safety goggles using a machine in a workshop.

3D Workshop

Our 3D workshops with manual and digital manufacturing equipment and computers

A model sits on a chair in the centre of a room while a group of artists draw them.

Drawing Studio

Our iconic blue Drawing Studio is used by student from all courses and was designed by alumnus Sir Peter Cook​...

Four banks of desks in a computer suite with monitors on them.

Digital Suites

Our Digital Suites offer a digital post-production facility and digital teaching space.

A member of AUB staff talking about a camera with a student at the Central Media Store counter.

Central Media Store

The Central Media store houses a diverse array of equipment, offering students the means to craft and capture...

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an exterior wall with two reverse-L shaped windows and three semi-circle panels visible. A person walks past towards the right.

Innovation Studio

The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises and an industry engagement hub.

Person stands by a table. Two printing presses are in the foreground.


Our printmaking facilities are a hub of creativity on campus and have been inspiring students since 1964.

Three people working on projects in a print room.

Letterpress and Bindery

The Letterpress and Bindery studio is a central resource, where students can learn and explore bookbinding and letterpress printing.

Teaching, learning and assessment

In consultation with the Course Developer, staff are responsible for co-ordinating individual units of study, and for selecting appropriate methods of delivery, according to subject matter and student experience. The methods employed introduce you to the disciplines required of a creative practitioner and promote the development of transferable skills.

The study time allocated to each unit in the course incorporates a balance of formal teaching, tutorial support and independent learning. The course is structured progressively to provide increased opportunities for independent learning as you reach the later stages of the course.

Teaching is directed at supporting individual engagement in learning and there'll be opportunities for you to work in teams to enable you to learn the value of peer co-operation.

Lectures, seminars, and tutorials are by team members, as appropriate, in the creative course spaces.

The progressive promotion of independent learning reflects your anticipated maturity as a student and allows you to direct your learning towards individual goals. The teaching in Level 4 is directed at providing you with the knowledge, concepts, and skills to take increasing responsibility for the management of your own learning.

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time which is scheduled in the studio for independent study, which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

You'll receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which'll be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you'll be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you'll be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you've joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

For further information on assessment, progression, awards and classifications, please visit

All your assessments reflect the world of work and are designed to accurately reflect typical tasks that you'll undertake regularly when you graduate and embark on your career. The core of the course is based on practical project-based assessments with some reflection and evaluation on your learning via reports and presentations. You'll also have to pitch ideas to your colleagues and your clients. Finally, you'll undertake research tasks that have a written output, either as a report or extended essay.

What our BA (Hons) Creative Direction graduates are doing

Roles achieved by graduates of a similar course, which shares learning with this new course, include:

  • Head of Operations at Designwerk
  • Global People and Development Manager at Moving Brands
  • Marketing Manager at Spotify
  • Owner, Founder, Director, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee/Entrepreneur

Upon successful completion of the BA (Hons) Creative Direction course, you'll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue a range of exciting career paths. Graduates typically go on to find opportunities as creative directors, art directors, brand strategists, advertising managers, marketing consultants, or digital content creators in a wide variety of sectors, including advertising agencies, design studios, marketing departments, media organisations, and as self-employed consultants.

Trips and visits

The academic year is planned to include educational visits. During the year, at least one excursion to London or another UK cultural hub is available. Due to Bournemouth's proximity to London, excursions can easily be planned to London’s art galleries and museums to supplement academic work. Professional progress as practitioners depends on primary research; trips give you confidence, promote independence, and present opportunities for your future professional and personal development. Any additional trip fees are disclosed before the visit.

You'll be introduced to a range of industry experts over the course of your studies who'll deliver their view of the latest thinking in their field. This ensures that your studies reflect current best practice in industry. You'll also visit relevant professional organisations and creative businesses, and be provided with opportunities to network with practitioners who'll be useful contacts when you graduate.

Visiting tutors play a pivotal role in the BA (Hons) Creative Direction course, as they bring diverse perspectives and unique skill sets, enriching the learning experience and fostering a deeper understanding of the standards and expectations of the creative industries. Industry professionals provide invaluable insights into the creative industry, sharing their expertise and experiences. They conduct workshops, lectures, and participate in critiquing student work, offering constructive feedback from both an education and industry perspective. Their presence can also offer students the opportunity to network and learn about potential career paths, industry trends, and professional practices.

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Through this course, you'll gain skills to lead, innovate and impact the evolving creative industries.

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