Everyone – copywriters, art directors, creative technologists and planners – learns together in our virtual studio, where we aim to simulate a real-world working environment. We describe it as a bit like a mash-up of Zoom and Minecraft.
You will get into the practice of working in teams from day one, and although many students have a clear idea as to which creative pathway they want to follow, we find quite a few change their minds.
And that doesn’t just mean that copywriters become art directors, and vice versa.
The focus on strategy and planning within the course means a number of students choose to follow careers as strategic planners.
And our overall emphasis on ‘finding your personal creative vocation’ has led to students branching out into careers in PR, illustration and filmmaking.
Many students join us without any pathway in mind, but just feel the school is right for them – and it’s a pleasure to take them on that voyage of discovery.
By the end of the 1-year full-time course, SCA graduates are seen by the advertising industry as being the most employable copywriters, art directors and strategic planners. One agency ECD called it ‘Smarter than a Masters’ and that name has stayed with us ever since.
Here’s a short overview of how the three semesters break down:
On a typical day (9.30 am to 6.30 pm), there will be a couple of hours of lectures, and about five hours of time to book some one-on-one mentoring with one of the faculty. There will always be at least three of them waiting to see you, all with current industry experience – a copywriter, an art director or a strategic planner.
We also bring top industry professionals into your virtual studio to support you on your briefs and to encourage networking. They come from agencies, mainly in London, but increasingly from around the world. Some visit because of their relationship with the School as a sponsor and so are looking to hire the best talent.
All lectures are live, but we also record them so that you can replay them later.
In Semester 1 you will learn:
What is an idea and how to have one on command
- What is an idea
- Hundreds of creative techniques
- How to evaluate your ideas
- How to sell your ideas
An introduction to copy
- Introduction to copy
- Introduction to headlines, straplines and body copy
- Introduction to Tone of Voice
An introduction to art
- Introduction to art direction
- Layouts, templates, grids and formats
- Semiotics and advertising
- Typography and Tone of Voice
An introduction to strategy
- Introduction to strategy
- How to write briefs
- Spotting an insight
- Strategic exploration
The quality of work steps up several leagues this semester, and we start entering international student competitions. You are following in the footsteps of SCA alumni who regularly win the big prizes, and we will start putting just enough pressure on you to step up at the right time.
In Semester 2 you will learn:
How to spot the best of your ideas and develop them
- Six hat thinking
- Cannons and traps
- Platform ideas
- Getting ideas made
Strategy – taking your thinking to the next level
- When things go wrong
- Semiotic research
Art Direction – taking your work to the next level
- Presenting stats in work
- Practical tips for working with Adobe
- The magic of vectors
- The power of iteration
- Making pages that have never been seen before
Copywriter – taking your work to the next level
- The power of persuasion
- How headlines interact with visuals
- Script writing for radio
- Script writing for tv
- Script writing for case study videos
- Writing jokes
- Writing dialogue
This is the semester when we really put our portfolios together and leave with a great body of work. Most students will have settled into teams.
In Semester 3 you will learn:
How to find out which agencies you want to work for
- Dozens of agency showcases from the world’s top agencies
- Learn from dozens of SCA alumni who will tell you how they identified which agencies they wanted to work for and how they (mostly) made it happen
Final Semester – Strategy
- Meta narratives
- Narrative patterns
- Positioning matrix
FInal Semester – Art & Copy
- Campaign looks
- Fearless iteration
- Checking for errors
- How to make a portfolio (online & offline)
- How to present your portfolio
- How to get a placement
- How to turn a placement into a job
- How to turn a job into a promotion
- How to start your own agency
The total cost of the course is £7,495 which is paid in instalments, before the start of each semester.
This might be an online course, but we take selection just as seriously as on our London course, because we want the industry to know that SCA students are top quality, whether they learned online or in our physical studio.
After you have applied for a place on the course you be invited to book a video call from the Dean, Marc Lewis, to find out more about your talents and aspirations. This will take place inside the SCA virtual studio, where you will be taking your course if you get in.
If Marc thinks the course is right for you (and you are right for the course) you will be invited back to the virtual studio to deliver a 4-minute presentation to students and teachers. Don’t panic. We won’t be expecting you to present lots of ads or anything like that, we just want to find out a bit more about you and your passions.
Your presentation can take any form you like, so long as it can be delivered online. You could share a video, talk to us live, show some presentation slides or blow us away with some ventriloquism. Every week, we are inspired by how inventive, passionate and unique our prospective students are.
After the presentation, you’ll meet the current intake of students, then you’ll be set a couple of fun tasks so we can find out more about how you think and work with others.
At the end of the day you’ll have the chance to ask the students anything you like about the course (without the staff in the room, if you’d prefer!) so you can get an absolutely honest view of what the course is like, and have any questions you have honestly answered.