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New degrees set the stage for careers in the creative sector

The new Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts degree is a dream come true for Wintec’s David Sidwell

The new Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts degree is a dream come true for Wintec’s David Sidwell (left) who says there is nothing like it on offer in the North Island.

New Music and Performing Arts and Contemporary Art degrees complete a suite of four new degrees designed to take Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) students into the future world of work in the creative sector.

Enrolment is open now for the two new, specialised degrees which join the Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Communication degrees launched earlier this year, at Wintec’s School of Media Arts.

Head of Wintec School of Media Arts, Sam Cunnane says the new suite of creative degrees will set the stage for future careers in the arts, design, communication music and performing arts sector.

“We’re not offering your usual tertiary programme, this is a response to the needs of a changing world and the demands of a future workplace that requires people who can work together, think creatively and solve problems.

“Wintec has a longstanding reputation for excellence in creative education and this suite of specialised degrees build on that foundation.

“As educators, we become by default the guardians of our future workplace, and it’s our job to lead and inspire. That means responding to the need to take a major shift in the way we teach and learn,” says Cunnane.

The new Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts degree includes theatre, audio production, composition and performance. For Wintec music team manager and theatre director David Sidwell, it’s a dream come true.

Sidwell says staying true to Wintec’s philosophy of real-world learning, the degree will be taught away from the classroom and on to the stage.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to learn theatre in this way. There is nothing like this degree on offer in the North Island. One of the points of difference is that we will teach in a theatre environment, students will not be in a classroom, they will be on stage.”

“In their first year, the theatre students’ classroom will be at Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre, the second year will be spent learning at Clarence Street Theatre and the third year at the new Waikato Regional Theatre.”

“I’ve taught music at Wintec for almost 18 years, and I have a long history as a theatre director for the past 30 years, so this degree means I can share my passion for music and theatre, and help others hone their professional skills.”

The new Bachelor of Contemporary Art degree will see students spending the majority of their time in the studio bringing their ideas to life.

Cunnane says that while students will create relevant work by exploring, painting, photography, screen-based media, installation, street art, sculpture, curation or illustration, there’s more.

“From the start, students will be connecting with specialists and mentors, problem solving and learning about the professional and cultural context their work operates in.

“We wrap a supportive community around our students so they can develop a strong sense of rōpu or cohort, but they will also be challenged and they will learn through real-life projects, exhibitions and industry experience. This hands-on, practice-led style of learning is at the centre of the student experience at Wintec, where students enjoy a highly-integrated programme of skills training while also giving them the autonomy to nurture and develop their talent," says Cunnane.

“These programmes will have students become super-literate in new media, social technologies, and the demands of a globally connected, fast moving, adaptable world.” 

The two new degrees start in February 2019.

Wintec School of Media Arts degree programmes include:

Bachelor of Contemporary Art

Bachelor of Communication

Bachelor of Design (Fashion)

Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts

Wintec also offers certificate, diploma and postgraduate programmes. For more information or to enrol in time for 2019, visit Wintec’s website.