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Approval of Germany's first Master's programme in Management of Creative Industries

17.04.2015

The first programme of study with a holistic approach - geared towards the cultural creative industries - suitable for the businesses in the creative industries - for everyone who is striving to obtain a managerial position and wants to be part of the creative city of Berlin

International, open, tolerant, creative and unique - Berlin is the epicentre of the digital and creative industries in Europe. And so is also the new English-language Master's course in the Management of Creative Industries - the first with a comprehensive profile. In line with the challenges of this growth sector, which generated a total of 16% of all turnover in the German capital in 2013 alone, the bbw University of Applied Sciences is launching an exclusive offer for young professionals with Bachelor's degrees that have a creative element and who have the ambition to take up management positions or start up new businesses.

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A city like Berlin, with its booming creative industry, constantly needs new leaders. Whoever comes here - people and companies - can take their ideas and become part of the European IT, media, art and cultural scene and help shape the Creative City of Berlin. For many this is a great prospect. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for recruiters and HR staff to fill demanding management jobs because many creative people lack the necessary business knowledge. In addition, the founders of start-ups often fail due to their insufficient knowledge of the market.

That is why the bbw University of Applied Sciences is starting the Master's course in the Management of Creative Industries, a first in Germany, in the upcoming 2015/16 Winter Semester in Berlin. “The approval of the new course is a milestone in the German university system and the development of the Management of Creative Industries as a subject. The digital shift affects the entire creative business sector, so holistic concepts are needed. With this course we are taking on the issue for the first time,” says Prof. Dr. Malte Behrmann, Professor at the bbw University of Applied Sciences, an internationally recognised industry expert and one of the initiators of the course.

This English-language course means that for the first time a master's programme is aimed at ambitious professionals from all sectors of the creative industries, also making it possible for industry professionals to change within the sector. For example they might move from the print media or performing arts and want to switch to new positions, where they need to be up to speed with the management of the drastic changes affecting this market. However, fresh undergraduate graduates with a suitable degree also have access. The Master's degree programme at the bbw University of Applied Sciences is approved as a full-time study course. However, it can also be studied alongside the student’s everyday work in busineses in the Creative Industries and in line with his or her lifestyle.

Details can be found in the following interview with Prof. Dr. Behrmann or at http://www.bbw-hochschule.de/Management_of_Creative_Industries.html


INTERVIEW

Manager for the Creative Industries in Berlin

A new study programme at the bbw University of Applied Sciences aims to become part of the success story of the Creative Industries in Berlin.

Interview with Prof. Dr. Malte Behrmann, Professor of Media Law, International Management, Entrepreneurship and Economic Communication at the bbw University of Applied Sciences, and long-term CEO of the GAME German Federal Association in Berlin, as well as General Secretary of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), Helsinki.

Is the Master’s degree in the Management of Creative Industries really unique?
Yes, it is. It is the first one in the country to employ a cross-industry approach.

How did the idea of implementing it at the bbw University of Applied Sciences come about?
It fits the university profile exactly. On the one hand, because the bbw University of Applied Sciences sees itself as a business school for business and the new Master's programme was conceived in order to professionalise an important business area, and not just for Berlin. On the other hand, the Master’s course fits neatly into the already established Bachelor's degree courses in economics, with specialisations such as Modem Management, Media Management or Tourism and Event Management. Our graduates can benefit from it themselves.

What do you learn in this Master's programme?
First of all I would like to avoid a misunderstanding. Our Master's programme is not a course of artistic study. If you want to become a film director or fashion designer, you are certainly in the wrong place. Here we give training in management skills and develop students’ skills still further. Our ambition is to enable graduates in any company that is part of the creative sector to be able to make a substantial contribution to management. This is unique in Germany, so our course of studies is, in a sense, experimental.

To what extent?
At the end of the day it has to deal with the enormous differentiations resulting from the very different development curves of the individual sectors in the Cultural Creative Industries. The degree is intended to enable a graduate, for example from Theatre Studies, to take on management tasks in a theatre, but also in the digital economy, in fashion management, and in classical media, as well as the traditional cultural industries. Or to master management jobs that no one knows about yet, jobs that may perhaps develop over the course of the next few years. There may be new job profiles and positions in the Cultural Creative Industries such as a purely mobile business or even something in the traditional areas.

Is not that the approach of many cultural management courses? Isn’t the Master's degree in the Management of Creative Industries similar to a modern cultural management degree?
No. Unlike traditional cultural management studies, we are guided by the creative industry concept. It is therefore a janus-faced structure, facing both ways. In addition to the classical cultural track, we pursue the profit sector more than a cultural management course would do, with an emphasis on independent private-sector activity. It's all in the mix. I think that is the most impressive aspect in a private university such as the bbw University of Applied Sciences, which is particularly closely linked to the Berlin and Brandenburg economy and ultimately belongs to it.

But the creative industry is booming in Berlin, turnover is growing a lot - it is a real economic factor for the capital of Germany. Do the Cultural Creative Industries actually need more management?
Overall, turnover is growing, but, as in other industries, the digital shift leads to rapid progress on the one hand, while on the other there are shifts, upheavals and overall a high level of process dynamics. Particularly in young companies, developments can be professionally managed and the companies can find well-trained employees who can keep up with the international market. The industry needs new, creative managers for the Creative Industries. Berlin is especially attractive to the creative business sector at the present time. Many companies are comparatively small and volatile and there are many freelancers. At present, the digital economy (software development, e.g. games development) is developing very rapidly. And here we are already clearly facing a shortage of skilled labour today. Yet it should not be acceptable that we have to rely on Brazilian specialists in this area whilst at the same time we are not providing our own talented people with sufficiently high-quality qualification programmes. There are still enough employees for simple work. But there are relatively few who are able to manage projects independently as part of middle and higher management, or to directly manage creative teams and perhaps take on more responsibilities.

Is the introduction of this course almost a political issue?
Let others judge that. In any case, it is a contribution to supporting the creative economy, which is a significant part of the economic life of Berlin. This can result in us being well regarded, but it also means responsibility. I see this course as being an important step towards the professionalisation of the sector. “The approval of our new course is a milestone in the German university system and the development of the Management of Creative Industries as a subject.

Why do you not need more and more specialisation when you complete a Master’s degree?
On the one hand, the digital shift affects the entire creative business sector, overlapping different parts of it. That is why the holistic concept that we are implementing here for the first time really makes sense. On the other hand, the digital shift in the various sectors of the industry is completely different - take, for example, film production or the game industry. Of course, anyone who has studied our Master’s course can also become a film producer. But film makers today are faced with the problem that, in the face of digital change, they are not necessarily making progress with their traditional skills and methods. And for them it is certainly not easy to change to another sector. In this respect, in this development phase of the Creative Industries it is necessary to gain a greater overview and to learn more about various economic strategies that have been developed by various sectors within the Creative Industries in order to make it through the changes brought on by digital. It is necessary to provide the professionals from the various sectors with comprehensive business and management know-how - in the future, the speed of change means that.pure specialists are probably more likely to be at their wit’s end. This does not mean, of course, that we do not want to preserve a cultural profile in our studies. High-quality creative work is always oriented towards classical cultural values.

To which profession does the qualification lead?
The main focus is that a manager can only be successful if he cooperates directly with the artists and creatives. He must enable and market their activities and make them financially secure. This is an exciting task, if not the most exciting task. In this respect, the professional profile is characterised by a special hands-on mentality too. This must be trained into the student in a very goal-oriented and practical manner. It is clear that no one can do everything, and the generalist approach must not under any circumstances be seen as superficial. The study content is therefore not simply a collection of buzzwords, but addresses demanding research subjects.in their depth and breadth.

What impact does your selection of lecturers have?
We will employ lecturers who will put across the skills and methods that matter. The University of Applied Sciences attaches great importance to the fact that they must have already worked in at least two different creative sectors, such as film, game development, fashion, music or design.

If, come the autumn, creative people from the theatre, film, journalism, design and the media etc. are sitting together in a seminar, we can expect an interesting exchange between the students.
I presume so. Of course, the students, who already have a first academic degree in their pockets and often have a lot of professional experience from internships and jobs, will themselves bring a lot of industry knowledge to the seminars . This will also ensure a good professional level in such seminars. And the students will learn a lot from each other. This is always a very special effect in Master’s courses. A high degree of interactivity must be taken into account in the study subjects and sometimes it must be sustained as well. For me this is always a kind of experiment, but also an exciting challenge. Better learning by working together will be an important and new method of developing knowledge for many students, for whom we professors will provide the appropriate stage. I am convinced that this is the only way to learn and understand management in the creative industry sector.

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The bbw University of Applied Sciences, the business university for business in Berlin and Brandenburg, has been established for eight years as the largest private, state-approved university in Berlin and Brandenburg. The study programme covers, in the main, economics, industrial engineering and engineering science Bachelor and Master courses. It is supported by the Akademie für Betriebswirtschaftliche Weiterbildung GmbH, a company of the bbw group. For more information see: www.bbw.hochschule.de

Your contact for further questions about the course: Prof. Dr. Malte Behrmann, Tel.: +49 30 65214472 malte.behrmann@bbw-hochschule.de

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