Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies

Traditional figurative study in art institutions involves the rendering of the human form through studio techniques grounded in historical practices.  These observational investigations of the body are not only a basis for figurative painting and sculpture but they also have roots in scientific methodologies generally.  It is at this intersection, that of science and art, where the understanding of physical bodies necessitates thinking outside of “human” and consider wider definitions: the post-human, the non-human and of organisms broadly.

The intention of the Life Studies specialization is to map all existing and potential studies of the figure and the body in contemporary art practices. This interdisciplinary specialization applies scientific methodologies of observation and discernment to investigate the body and embodied knowledge in a studio practice. Students will move through the specialization by studying across course offerings in Art and Liberal Arts & Sciences while building observational and technical skills.”

More About the Program

In this program, instructors who work in the advertising field will teach you:

  • Design
  • Storytelling
  • Digital
  • Copywriting
  • Typography
  • Layout
  • Strategy
  • Consumer behaviours and market research
  • Art direction
  • Film
  • User experience
  • Public relations

You will learn storytelling from many different points of views. You will be encouraged to challenge tradition and consider different viewpoints and values.

In fourth year, you’ll work in boot camps with real clients and create real campaigns. In the past, students have worked with McCain Pizza Pockets and Sony Playstation. This means you can say you’ve sold a creative concept before even finishing school – a huge advantage when you’re looking for a job.

You’ll also benefit from guest speakers from Canada’s biggest ad agencies and have the opportunity to do internships.

Get more details about the program.

  • For Ontario high school students, a minimum overall average of 70%
  • Portfolio (samples of your work and a visual representation of who you are)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Official transcripts
  • Other requirements

More than half of fourth year students have jobs lined up before they even graduate. Many of Canada’s top advertising creatives are graduates of OCAD U’s program.

  • Advertising agencies and marketing firms
  • In-house marketing for companies
  • Digital agencies
  • Design companies
  • Production and film studios

OCAD U offers so much more than co-op because creative careers take many forms. Our approach is specialized, and individual to every student’s needs and goals. You will be able to take advantage of:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

OCAD University’s dedicated support services will help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills necessary for a meaningful career.



In first year, you’ll take intro to advertising courses and a good base of art and design classes including:

  • Typography
  • Drawing
  • Colour and two dimensional design
  • Writing
  • Design history

In second year, you’ll learn advertising strategy and concept. You’ll also take:

  • Digital advertising design
  • Typography
  • Photography
  • Your choice of classes in English, social sciences or humanities

Third year features:

  • Advertising concepts
  • Advertising research
  • Art of persuasion
  • Advertising storytelling
  • Advertising copywriting
  • Retail advertising and user experience
  • Your choice of classes in English, social sciences or humanities

In fourth year, you’ll work with real clients in advertising boot camp. You will create real campaigns from scratch and present it to clients such as McCain or Sony. You’ll also work on your thesis project and showcase your work at OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with over 40,000 visitors.

Past Event

Festival of the Body

Thursday, January 15, 2015 (All day) to Thursday, February 5, 2015 (All day)
In the Great Hall at OCAD University

A month-long series of events and exhibitions for the Pan Am/ParaPan Am games and the launch OCADU’s new specialization Life Studies on contemporary studies of the body in art and science.