channel_4Channel 4 is to fund six bursaries for the new Executive MBA for the Creative Industries, which has been launched by Ashridge Executive Education alongside Creative Skillset and Atticus Education, supported by Lord Puttnam and an Advisory Board of business experts.

As part of Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to increasing diversity and social mobility within the creative industries, it will fund two bursaries across three two-year programmes (six in total). The bursaries will enable those who otherwise would not be able to fund their own placement to participate in the Executive MBA for the Creative Industries at the leading global business, Ashridge.

The new EMBA will be delivered online over two years, with three weeks of residential face-to-face tuition at Ashridge and an additional international business week overseas. The qualification has been specifically created for those already working in creative businesses or those looking to make a transition into the sector.

The commitment follows Channel 4’s recent announcement that it is contributing £1.5m to the National Film and Television School – with £1m funding a new expansion of the school’s building in Buckinghamshire, and a further £500,000 establishing a bursary to fund students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to attend.

Channel 4 is also expanding its partnerships with other higher education institutions, aimed at supporting training across the media and creative industries. These include a new Investigative Journalism Masters with De Montford University in Leicester, being designed in collaboration with Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs team. The corporation is also expanding its collaboration with University College London; where students work within Channel 4’s Audience, Technology and Insight (ATI) department alongside a PhD in data science.

Channel 4 also has existing partnerships with Bournemouth University, as part of its graduate programme; the University of Westminster, as part of its Software Developer Programme; and Abertay University, as part of its Dare to be Digital Award. It also contributes regular funding to leading educational and skills-focussed organisations including Creative Skillset, the NFTS, and The Research Centre.

Additional skills commitments already funded by Channel 4 include the broadcaster’s award-winning 4-Talent scheme – which encompasses industry wide pop-ups attended by young people seeking careers in the creative industries; and the Production Trainee Scheme – in 2016 focused on training disabled production staff for the Rio 2016 Paralympics; a screenwriting training scheme; and the Dispatches investigative journalism scheme.

Channel 4 also supports emerging production companies, writers and directors with on-screen opportunities through its Alpha Fund, Growth Fund, Creative Diversity team and dedicated on-screen talent strands such as First Cut and Comedy Blaps.

About the Executive MBA in the Creative Industries

Designed by world-ranked, triple accredited Ashridge Executive Education with the expertise and contribution from an Advisory Board of senior level professionals from the creative industries, and two experienced industry partners: Atticus Education and Creative Skillset, this Executive MBA is for those looking to gain the strategic skills and vision required to respond to global and digital markets. Students will learn how to balance the demands of creating a culture of creative excellence alongside the demands of a commercial enterprise.

Research from Creative Skillset* this year concluded that many senior professionals lack the management and strategic skills needed to shape and lead businesses in the creative industries; many are driven by short-term goals which hamper long-term strategic planning and business growth. If the UK is to maintain its position as a world leader in the Creative Industries, the learning and development of managers and leaders needs to be drastically improved.

Students will learn a range of skills through 12 subjects including innovation, operations management, creating strategic value, developing sustainable business practice, leadership, finance and managing globally. The Executive MBA will also address the ‘Five tensions of creative leadership’* – commercial constraints v creative freedom, fear of failure v appetite for risk, competition v collaboration, automation v craft skills and long term v short term.

The course features a series of talks by leading creative industry managers, practitioners and commentators to provide students with further insight into leading in the creative sector. Students will benefit from working with and networking amongst their own peers, allowing them to gain transferable skills across the whole sector.

Due to the flexibility of the combination of online learning and residential weeks at Ashridge, creative professionals can immediately begin to apply their learning to the workplace, without waiting until the end of the qualification.