"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." – Arthur C. Clarke
Introducing the Digital Futures graduate program options:
Our program is offered in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab. The graduate program in Digital Futures responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a magical catalyst for integrating societal, cultural and economic change. Students in the program essentially participate in and prepare for Renaissance 2.0 — the global digital revolution that fuses together disruptive technology and new thought leadership. This revolution is catalyzing our innovation in digital applications, products, media content, practices and services.
The graduate program in Digital Futures is deeply international in terms of the student cohort and faculty, our collaborative overseas eGlobal courses and our industry partners. Fostering a global perspective is key to securing our graduates’ futures in the eclectic international creative digital industries — the United Nations definition of these encompasses design, arts, culture, creative services, media and new media.
The focus of the program is to develop what Program Director Tom Barker calls "X-shaped innovators" for the creative digital industries. Each point of the X is an expertise: in art, design, science and enterprise. Students acquire practical knowledge in these areas but also learn to collaborate brilliantly with industry and experts across the fields. Students at the heart of the X work with faculty to develop their own unique creativity. Industry is now demanding X-shaped innovators to lead the Renaissance 2.0 into the future.
Our student-centred learning approach applies to both research and practice. This allows participants to gain core foundation knowledge and also to explore specific areas of interest through electives that include access to courses across the whole of OCAD University, internships or independent study.
There is an emphasis on projects and prototyping and an enterprise component is personalized through collaborations with industry to help students build a career runway in advance of graduating. Master's degree and Diploma students are encouraged to work with industry on an individual basis during their studies. Additionally, Master’s degree students can collaborate with industry during their 12-month project-based research thesis. Most students have backgrounds in design, technology or enterprise.
The program is open to designers, artists, marketing, media and cultural industry participants, entrepreneurs, technologists, educators, social scientists, scientists and engineers. This diversity drives peer learning, collaboration and group working across numerous parts of the program.
The Master's in Digital Futures is available as a two-year full-time program. With its framework of critical thinking and practice, business and innovation studies, computation/computer science and contemporary and emerging digital methodologies, the Master’s in Digital Futures will develop practice-based and scholarly research in technologically advanced design, art and digital media.
This is a full-time 48-credit program comprising:
Students entering the program will have strong disciplinary expertise in an area of media art, design, engineering, computer science, technology and/or the social sciences, as demonstrated by an undergraduate degree and ideally several years of relevant work experience. Students will declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or the Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application.
The outcomes of the chosen degree are distinctive, with a focus on scholarly practice-based research creation with a supporting thesis in the MDes/MFA; and the scholarly research thesis with a supporting creative project in the MA.
The Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures is available as a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time program. Both diploma programs comprise:
Candidates for the Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures may be practising designers and working professionals in fields such as IT, media and communication, entertainment and the cultural industries who wish to augment their skills and knowledge in order to play leadership roles within industry and organizations. Graduates of the program will be well equipped to take on leadership, management, entrepreneurial and socially responsible roles at local and/or global levels in design and technology, IT, ICT, in the media and communication industries, the entertainment industry, and other cultural industries and organizations.
An important part of all Digital Futures programs is the selection of electives offered. These cutting-edge courses cover theory and practice in science, design, art and enterprise. Each year, a selection of elective courses is offered with new courses created in response to trends and events. Some examples include:
Graduates of the program will be poised to play leadership roles in research and development concerning media and communication technologies, in the arts and education sectors, in the cultural industries and entertainment, and in government and the voluntary sector. With their creativity, practice-based research skills and ability to navigate complex systems, graduates will be well positioned to engage in meaningful dialogue and informed critique of crucial issues of technology and society, and prepared to make important contributions toward socially transformative change.
Like to know more? We invite you to read a letter from Tom Barker Chair of Digital Futures Initiative.
The program hosts an exciting series of talks from leading professionals and you can view the Digital Futures Talk Series 2012.
You can also download samples from our 2012/13 syllabus:
The thesis documents for the Master's program are:
For more information, download the Graduate Handbook.