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Initiating change: A Degree Apprenticeship for the Creative Industries

Dr Tim Riley will be discussing his research and design for the new BA Creative Digital Design Professional Degree Apprenticeship.

About this event

Welcome to the 2023-2024 Work and Learning / CERS expert seminar series.

Dr Tim Riley is leading the way for this year's seminar series by discussing his insights about the development of a new degree apprenticeship at Middlesex University that is designed to provide transformative impact for the Art and Design creative industries.


Speaker Dr Tim Riley

Senior Lecturer, Branding & Digital Media

Faculty Arts and Creative Industries
Programme Leader: Creative Digital Design Professional degree apprenticeship


Title: Initiating change: A Degree Apprenticeship for the Creative Industries


Middlesex University’s Arts and Creative Industries Faculty recently validated its first integrated degree apprenticeship in Creative Digital Design and the programme will commence delivery in January 2024. This offer diversifies the faculty’s provision so that it can offer degree-level learning that predominantly takes place in the workplace and is completed while the apprentice/student is employed in industry.


The UK’s creative industries have long sought to fill skills gaps and to increase diversity within the workforce. Art and Design higher education programmes need to match the future needs and skills of these industries, which are continually evolving. However, there are well documented social and economic barriers to entry in these industries, a situation further compounded by the cost-of-living crisis. The development of BA Creative Digital Design Professional Degree Apprenticeship addresses these demands by creating a new entry route that enables social mobility and increased diversity within the creative workplace.


However, modifying traditional university procedures, preparation and development processes to the needs of apprentices and employers has required deft negotiation and a reorientation of pedagogical practice.


This project emerges out of research into the potentially transformative impact of degree apprenticeships for SMEs in the Creative Economy (Riley, T. 2020). The impact for the apprentices will derive from them being able to access an alternative, lower cost model of learning while receiving the university level education that employers in this sector expect. They will develop graduate competencies directly in the workplace, whilst also benefiting from the same quality of structured support that students on traditional degree programmes can expect.


From a University perspective, this provides the start point for a diversity of provision that encourages social mobility and meet the needs of skills gap within the Creative Industries and helps to address the challenges around recruitment in a post-Brexit economy.


This presentation will highlight and discuss the challenges and successes of developing this programme for work-based education in the creative sector.


We will send reminders - but the seminar will take place at this address:

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