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Programs / Media Production and Design

Program Summary

A new space is opening where media, information, public engagement and design intersect. Organizations – from those in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors to corporations and governments – want to tell their stories online to engage audiences and explain complex issues. To accomplish that requires skilled communicators who can combine creative storytelling and explanatory skills with the design thinking and online production expertise rooted in information technology. The Bachelor of Media Production and Design (BMPD) will prepare you to meet the demand for innovative graduates who can operate across all facets of narratives – designing and telling non-fiction stories that engage, inform, entertain and ultimately contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of how we connect with each other in the 21st century to build stronger societies.

Carleton led the way with Canada’s first School of Journalism more than 70 years ago. It is once again in the forefront with the launch of the innovative BMPD.

This new honours degree program takes its place beside the university’s internationally recognized Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Journalism programs. In a logical expansion of the continually evolving School, a partnership was forged with Carleton’s School of Information Technology to develop the BMPD, which will prepare students to be leaders in the broader world of media into the future.

The BMPD will combine the best of professional hands-on skills instruction with an extensive and deep university education embracing the arts, humanities, social sciences and other spheres of knowledge.

Utilizing the university’s Journalism facilities, where students work with the latest in video, audio and online production technologies, the BMPD welcomes those with a passion for storytelling and design to their new home at Carleton.

Co-op opportunities
You can choose a co-op option, working for 12 months after the fall term of third year before completing the final three terms of your degree. Placements are arranged through Carleton’s Co-operative Education office with media companies, online design and production houses, not-for profit and non-governmental organizations, corporations, and governments both in Ottawa and across the country.

There are few better places in which to live and study than Ottawa, Canada’s capital. With more than 1,800 technology companies, the city is one of the country’s major high tech hubs and a global technology leader. It is home to Canada’s federal government, national non-governmental organizations, diplomats and embassies from around the world and active arts, culture and business communities. Many national media outlets and organizations, staffed by some of the country’s leading media professionals, also have Ottawa bases. Sharing a city with some of the world’s best tech companies and government laboratories offers excellent opportunities for co-op and internship placements, as well as exciting prospects for future employment.

A combination of intensive hands-on workshops and lecture courses gives you a strong foundation in data, research, writing, and narrative abilities across media formats (text, photography, audio, video, graphics). The classroom experience will build fundamental production and design skills and thinking into the development and application of narratives, with the understanding that design shapes how and what information is delivered to audiences, making “story” and “design” inseparable.

As well as acquiring editorial and technical skills, you will develop the theoretical knowledge and understanding of the power of “story” through coursework in ethics, law, civic institutions and citizen interactions via policy vehicles, data and information technology theory and the history of persuasive narration and imagery. You will learn how to combine storytelling skills traditionally taught to journalists with the design skills that come from information technology, exploring where the two intersect to engage audiences in distinctive ways.

You will receive much of your instruction in small class sections of no more than 30 with plentiful opportunities for hands-on work and constant feedback, especially in the early years of your program. As you progress from year to year, developing your expertise in those core program elements, your coursework will be augmented by instruction delivered in larger lecture-size courses in subject areas such as ethics and digital media law, as well as in emerging media industries and practical aspects such as freelancing.

Housed in the Faculty of Public Affairs, the program is the first in Canada to merge core information-based story skills and interactive multimedia design to give graduates the foundation from which to lead in the evolution of online communication in all its forms.

The option of a minor will be available to students in the BMPD. Students will be encouraged to consider developing their entrepreneurial thinking and skills through the incorporation of the Entrepreneurship minor offered by the Sprott School of Business. Other subject-area specializations or a combined honours degree will also be possible.

The workplace
BMPD graduates will apply creative production and design thinking to information strategies and narratives that help empower citizens, strengthen communities and help organizations of all sorts tell their stories online:

  • media producers for mainstream and new digital media
  • information-based producer/designers for not-for-profits, NGOs, corporations and governments
  • digital communications experts
  • data analysts/conceptualizers

Graduate programs
With your Bachelor of Media Production and Design degree, you will also be able to pursue studies in Master’s programs such as Journalism or Digital Media.