Study guide
Home > Master's degree > Master of culture and arts, creative design management > Master of culture and arts, creative design management

Master's Degree

Master of Culture and Arts, Creative Design Management

Autumn 2020

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1 2
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 2 1A 1S 2A 1 2 3 4 5 1 2
Future Operating Environments 5
Leadership and innovation 5
Project management 5
Concept and marketing design 5
Development work methods and design 5
Implementation and reporting of the development project 25
(Select 10 ECTS)
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 40 20 17 23 20 8.5 8.5 8 8 8 10.5 10.5

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Programme description

Objective of the programme

The Master's Degree in Creative Design Management is a professional higher education degree. The objective of the studies in the degree programme is to learn to lead and manage customer-oriented media and communication projects. The Master’s Degree Programme in Creative Design Management is a unique online programme that focuses especially on project management and concept development in the fields of communication and advertising.

The degree programme aims at providing students with skills and competence to work in both local and international online creative project environments. The Master´s degree in Creative Design Management is suitable for advertising, marketing or other creative field professionals interested in managing creative processes and achieving project management and leadership positions in their organisations.

The programme is part of the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) Master School and TUAS Arts Academy is responsible for organising it. The programme leads to a Master’s degree in Culture and Arts.

Contents of the programme

The Degree Programme in Creative Design Management focuses on the students’ capacity to manage creative and media projects from idea to design and implementation. A key element in the programme is the development project for the thesis, which is related to the student’s own creative ideas, customer projects or operations.

The students will accumulate the core competence necessary for project planning, management and leadership together with creative design in the Creative projects and concept design module.

The students may use elective studies (10 ECTS) to expand their competence in areas and methods relevant to their work. Courses may be selected from the course offerings of TUAS and other higher education institutions. Campus Online ( provides a good selection of online courses by more than twenty Finnish universities of applied sciences. The students may also complete project-based studies for example in the RDI projects at TUAS or as their own working life projects. Each student takes elective studies according to their personal learning plan, based on their personal learning objectives.

The Creative Design Management programme is part of TUAS Master School. The wide range of disciplines and professional fields at TUAS Master School offers interesting opportunities for multi-professional collaboration. TUAS Master School puts emphasis on multi-professional and multidisciplinary collaboration and the competence it requires and develops. Students grow into innovative developers of new solutions, capable of working in different operating environments and with various actors.

Structure of the programme

The Creative Design Management Programme (60 ECTS) takes an estimated three terms (1½ years) to complete. The studies are organised as part-time studies and can, therefore, be completed while working. The curriculum is flexible and the studies can be completed in as little as one year with full-time study. The individual study plan supports the students in planning the timeframe for completing their studies.

The degree is composed of the Planning for the Future module (10 ECTS), the Creative Projects and Concept Design module (10 ECTS), the Thesis module (30 ECTS) which comprises the development project (25 op) and a development methods course (5 ECTS) and, in addition to them, elective studies (10 ECTS).

TUAS Master School allows the students to study in a flexible way alongside work, regardless of the location of the student. Studying is practice oriented, with a strong connection to each student’s current work related projects. Learning is achieved through various online learning activities and development tasks. The Creative Design Management programme is based on the online learning approach and includes online tasks, independent learning and collaborative online group work and project work.

Master's thesis

The thesis is based on a development project related to the student’s current work or his/her own business. The thesis project may also be carried out as an assignment to a collaborator or customer. The development work is based on research and analysis and carried out using methodologies and tools relevant to the development task. The thesis also involves documentation and reporting about the development process.

The students may link the development project with the topics and activities of the research groups in the Arts Academy. The students can also find support for their development project from other networks operating within TUAS. The thesis project may also be carried out as teamwork.

TUAS Arts Academy covers a wide range of arts and media disciplines, which provide the students with opportunities to focus on different types of research and development tasks in their thesis and other learning assignments. The Arts Academy research groups include Film and Media; Arts, Health and Well-being; Contemporary Art; and Art Education and Art Pedagogy. The Arts Academy study programmes include visual arts (animation, photography and visual art), performing arts (dance, music and theatre) and media (film, journalism, communication and advertising). Innovative research and development cooperation takes place across disciplinary boundaries within TUAS and with other higher education institutions and working life.

Qualifications and career opportunities

Graduates from TUAS Master School lead creative teams and processes as project managers, design directors or marketing designers. They will have the necessary knowledge and tools for developing creative concepts in customer-oriented advertising and media projects. The strong project management and online working skills provided by the programme will also be a major asset when seeking employment in various expert roles.

The programme leads to a Master’s Degree in Culture and Arts. Master’s programmes in TUAS Master School comply with the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Finnish National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Learning outcomes of Master’s programmes are at level 7, as in any other Finnish or European university.

A Master’s degree awarded by TUAS Master School gives formal eligibility to pursue suitable postgraduate studies and for public posts and positions that require a second cycle university degree.

A Master’s degree awarded by TUAS Master School gives formal eligibility to pursue suitable postgraduate studies.

Competence objectives

After completing the programme, the students will be able to
• analyse and resolve complex creative operational environments and processes
• manage creative processes and experts in advertising, marketing and other creative fields
• coordinate creative customer oriented projects and manage their budgets and schedules
• design creative concepts and develop professional communication and marketing design
• develop, evaluate and test creative solutions as a part of a multidisciplinary team in order to solve customers’ and users’ problems.
• produce new knowledge through appropriate methods
• communicate about competence and development work to domestic and international networks in a professional manner

Pedagogic approaches

The Creative Design Management Programme is implemented online. After a one-week orientation phase, all the studying and learning takes place wherever the students want to. The lectures, discussions and group works are carried out in the TUAS online environment, approximately two to three times a month on late afternoons. The students will participate in online meetings from their own laptops and they will need a proper web connection, a microphone or a headset and a webcam. Each online meeting will take up to three hours.

In addition to the online meetings, the studies are conducted independently and through different group and project assignments.

The Creative Design Management Programme is multidisciplinary, as its students come with a wide range of educational backgrounds, professional experience and skills in the field of media. The educational and professional diversity of the students is seen as a strength. When working as part of multi-professional teams, the students have an opportunity to create fresh ideas, solutions and innovations.

Learning process supported by teachers

The teachers in the Creative Design Management trainer team support the student’s learning process and competence development, supervise the development project carried out for the thesis and facilitate networking and teamwork across disciplinary boundaries. In addition to strong pedagogical qualifications, the trainer team has high professional expertise in the fields of project management, advertising and leadership as well as media. Our Master’s degree programme students and faculty form a learning community, in which peer learning from other media and culture professionals plays a key role and where the teachers and students learn together and from each other.

Each student meets with the tutor teacher online at the beginning of his/her studies and during the following semesters according to the student’s needs. The purpose of the tutoring meetings is to discuss the personal learning objectives and the personal learning plan of the student.

Combining work and study

The learning tasks are ideally carried out as part of the student’s own work. Usually, the assignments are flexible, which allows students to learn by combining work and study efficiently. Generally, the independently completed learning tasks are shared with the group through the online platform for discussion and learning. Peer assessment plays a key role in the completion of the learning tasks for the courses and the development project.

Student-centred learning and teaching methods

The courses of the Master’s programmes in Arts Academy are planned and built around a student-centered learning process and authentic, motivating learning tasks. Many of the learning tasks are linked with the students’ own development projects for the thesis and support their thesis writing process. Learning tasks can also be based on real-life cases, problems and assignments provided by our working life partners.

A professional autobiographical process is included in the studies of the Arts Academy Master’s students. For Creative Design Management students, it is included in the course of Leadership and innovation. The professional autobiographical process supports the students’ continuous reflection on their professional identity, leadership skills and style, strengths and development needs, as well as on their competence development during the studies.

Students' learning is assessed through a variety of methods. In addition to the assessment conducted by the teachers, self-assessment and peer assessment are also systematically used in addition to external assessment by working life partners. The assessment covers the competence attained by the student as well as his/her competence development during the studies. The main aim of the assessment is to support the students’ competence development.

Diverse learning environments

Online learning environment: The online Learning Management System (LMS) of TUAS is the home base for all learning; providing students with general information about the degree programme as well as the schedule, learning materials and instructions for each module or course as well as the tools used for completing, sharing and/or submitting the learning tasks. Some of the learning activities take place online in interaction with a group or a team of students. The tools of the LMS may also be complemented with other e-learning technologies, such as Skype for Business, Teams, Zoom and social media tools. Learning Management System applied in the programme is provided by TUAS and each student will install and use the system.

Professional networks: The Creative Design Management programme is offered in close collaboration with working life networks and the students are encouraged to make active use of their own professional networks in their development projects and other studies and to build new networks to support their future business activities.

Research groups and RDI projects: The students may also complete the development project for their thesis as part of one of the research groups at the Arts Academy or other research, development and innovation projects at TUAS. The students may also include project-based studies in the RDI projects of the Arts Academy as elective studies.

Feedback system

The Creative Design Management programme is based on continuous feedback: the students meet their tutor teacher online to discuss matters related to their studies. In addition, the students are asked to give general feedback of their studies on an online feedback form at the end of the first academic year and on completing their studies.

The degree programme is constantly developed in dialogue with working life. Feedback is received from, for example, the Arts Academy advisory council, project partners and working life partners.


The studies of the degree programme are carried out in such a way that it is possible complete them while working full time, regardless of location, in an online environment. The pedagogical e-learning methods and environments used have been tested and well-proven in the previous online implementations of the TUAS degree programmes. The studies in Creative Design Management are mainly based on practical work supported by theory. Independent work, working online and implementing projects are an integral part of the degree.

The assessment of each course is based on competence goals detailed in the curriculum, which is in turn based on the competence goals set for the entire degree programme. The innovation competences of TUAS are taken into account in the competence goals for the degree. The scale of assessment is pass–fail, except for the development project for the thesis which is graded on a scale from 1 to 5.

The assessment of the development project is based on the common assessment criteria for Master’s Degree theses at TUAS. The thesis is always evaluated by two examiners, one of whom also supervises the thesis work. The second examiner may be a teacher from the Turku University of Applied Sciences or a working life representative. The students will receive a written statement on their thesis detailing the grounds for the grade awarded.
Prior to the summative assessment at the end of the thesis process, the students receive feedback from their thesis supervisor(s) with the purpose of helping the students improve the final outcome. Process assessment takes place in an online group situation in connection with the presentation of the research and development plan and at later stages of the development project, during individual supervisory discussions and following the submission of the draft thesis report.

Assessment by teachers: The course assessment by the teacher covers all learning assignments submitted during the course in accordance with the principle of continuous assessment. The focus of the assessment is both on the final product (such as a report or a presentation) demonstrating the student’s competence (learning outcomes) and the student’s learning process (competence development). The learning process is made visible in the online learning environment e.g. by sharing draft versions of learning assignments in the discussion forum, by giving and receiving peer feedback and editing the work based on feedback, during online meetings, where students present progress reports on their projects, during supervisory meetings with the teacher and in the reports written by the student on their work.

Self-assessment: The students are expected to reflect on the progress of their learning in all reports written during the studies, such as the project-based course reports in elective studies and the thesis report on the development project.

Peer assessment is used in many learning tasks on the online platform, with students sharing drafts and final versions of their learning tasks amongst each other and giving feedback on their respective performance. The students will give peer feedback during online contact learning sessions in the context of presentations of development projects and discussions on learning assignments. Peer assessment is an essential part of each course.