Studying interactive media: creative and practical approach
Vietnamese student Quy Nguyen Van is delighted to have secured an internship in digital media based on work he did for his Master’s in Interactive Digital Media in Griffith College Dublin. And while the pandemic has meant he hasn’t travelled in Ireland as much as he would have liked, the country has been a great source of creative inspiration!
Hello there! My name is Quy, from Vietnam. I am a masters student in Interactive Digital Media at Griffith College Dublin. I started my course last February 2020. Yes, you got that right: February. That is how flexible Griffith College is. We have spring intake opportunities for those who want to come here earlier than the mainstream autumn intake that most universities in Ireland offer. February 2021 marked one year in the course for me. I really hope that my experience will be wide and deep enough for those considering studying media in Ireland, just like I was last year.
Okay, let’s get straight in!
How is the course structured?
This full-time digital media Masters course is one year long, with 8 compulsory subjects and 2 electives, being delivered in 2 semesters. The course ends with a dissertation project which will take place in the last 3 months of the course length. So to sum up, you will find yourself studying 5 modules for each semester and will get a chance to challenge yourself in a final practical project, which can then be used as your portfolio! (Yes, one step ahead to embark on your job search).
How heavy is the class schedule?
In my personal opinion, the course work is not very heavy since it still allows students enough availability to work part-time (for 20 hours per week) without affecting the quality of your education. However, if you like to be high-achieving academically, you have to invest time more heavily in your reading and assignments. I have seen many students choose to work only the weekend (16-20 hours) and dedicate the whole weekdays for studying, socialising and exploring Ireland. I think that is a great strategy to get the most out of student life in Ireland, and more importantly it keeps the work-life balance healthy.
Media is very practical. How does this course empower students to integrate into this competitive industry in Ireland?
The course requires many actual projects. Each module has about 2-3 assignments that will challenge students to activate their creativity and sharpen their media skillsets. Examples of some creative briefs I used to receive are: designing an interactive web application that allows users to check the weather forecast by entering city names, or taking 4 photographs that visually convey 4 messages of FEAR, JOY, DANGER and SAFE, or shooting a documentary film that tells a compelling story. This documentary film is actually a 12-week project, using industry-standard equipment and working processes. If you put in sufficient effort you will get projects that deserve to sit in your media portfolio.
Practical – and helpful
I’m especially proud of two assignments which helped me to secure my internship offer in the field of digital media last summer break. The first was a stop-motion video I did for my animation class, where I created a fiction story about the shamrock–the Irish symbol for luck. I tell the story by using plasticine characters, applying the principles of animation covered in class. For an idea of what you can achieve with the utmost personal effort and a lecturer’s support, view my stop-motion video here.
The second project is a 2-D animation video using a motion-graphic technique, where I converted the 12 pages of Griffith College’s intake policy (adapted to the Covid-19 situation) into a 2-minute explainer video for the audience to grasp the main ideas quicker. This video can be viewed here
Studying digital media in Ireland, particularly at Griffith College, has been an astonishing journey where I have been gained new knowledge and challenged myself through the learning curve to obtain new skills, all with the college’s and my lecturer’s support. I very am grateful that I had the courage to choose Ireland. As a beautiful country and full of vivid culture, it has also been a great source of inspiration for my creativity. Though I have not got enough opportunities to travel much over the last year because of the global pandemic, I hope that 2021 will be a fuller year with trips and more friendships made!