Multimedia & Entertainment Technology (MSc)

Introduction

Introduction
The Master of Science in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology (MScMET) in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design offers the relevant, up to date degree that students need to compete in today’s digital media marketplace. The programme operates in close consultation with our industry partners. As a unique accelerated programme, students are assured that what they learn on day one is still highly desired by industry the day they graduate.

The 2011-2012 programme features streams that are aligned with the latest advances in both research and industry. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the latest video game development, management, and marketing techniques in our Game Development stream. Fast track their career by specializing in the latest content technologies in our Social, Mobile, and Internet stream. Become a highly valued and respected member of any multi-media design team (games, social media, etc.) by learning how to use the latest psychological advances to maximize commercial success and value, and literally change the world with our Applied Design Psychology stream.

Focused on Your Success
As a MScMET student you’ll not only learn from a first class faculty that has been recruited from all over the world, you’ll also get invaluable exposure to leading industry experts (both inside and outside the classroom). We help you to start building the connections you’ll need to take your career to the next level right away. As a polytechnic university our focus is on partnering with industry. Our teaching and research places a priority on commercial success. We are Hong Kong’s largest university and are in a unique position to partner with leading organizations across Hong Kong, Asia, and the world. The programme is part of PolyU’s School of Design, which is rated as one of the world’s top design schools by Business Week. The programme maintains academic ties with other leading institutions such as: New York University, the MIT Media Lab, the University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

As a 10 year old programme, our graduates are spread throughout the multimedia industry and form a powerful professional network for you to draw upon. They are creative directors, directors/executives, scholars, and even VJ’s at leading organizations across Asia. From the Jockey Club to Channel [V] to Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Singapore), our distinguished graduates are leading the way and waiting for you to join them in pushing the industry to new heights.

Incredible Opportunities
New digital entertainment opportunities emerge with each generation of technology. In the six years since the MScMET started, the digital world has completely changed. Six years ago were you on Facebook? Twitter? What video games were you playing? How were you consuming media? Can you imagine a world without your iPhone or Android smartphone? If you go back another five or ten years, you’ll see the same is true. Why do you need to upgrade your phone or laptop? For e-mail? Word-processing? Since the mid-90’s, consumer entertainment has driven digital innovation. The reality is that this is an incredibly exciting, constantly transforming industry…and this continual change means endless new opportunities. The possibilities don’t stop here, however. The types of technologies covered in the programme extend deep into virtually every industry. Consider the number of ‘very traditional’ companies that have transformed how they interact with customers by using mobile applications and social media. Or, the revolution that is occurring in the education space through the advent of ‘serious games.’ The latest interactive technologies are revolutionizing human engagement and design processes. An MScMET from PolyU can open up any of these doors and countless more for you.

Entrepreneurial Direction
With the MScMET you can pursue a traditional position or forge your own path by starting your own organization. We have faculty and resources that are dedicated to support whatever direction you want to go, including an in house group with a strong business development background and focus.

We also collabrate with a 10,000+ square foot commercialization and research laboratory at Lai Chi Kok. Here we create new commercial opportunities that relate to the MScMET programme tracks. The lab assists students with obtaining funding for early prototyping and research, incubates startup companies, offers consultancy services, and works to create networking opportunities that give our companies and affiliates every chance to succeed.

Even if you are seeking a traditional position and not looking to start your own company, the lab is an invaluable resource for you. It allows you to explore and get experience in many of the commercial aspects of the industry that are generally not accessible to students. The lab enjoys a constant flow of leading innovators from around the world, giving you unprecedented access to both emerging technologies and local, regional, and global networking opportunities.

Aims

Programme Aims
Our programme is designed to best prepare our students for industry by integrating academics with industry experience to give a more well-rounded education focusing on the digital media industry. Our aim is to open creative possibilities in the minds of the students by exploring cross-disciplinary media applications and technologies. Students are encouraged to look into all aspects of how media impacts our lives, while utilising this knowledge to best adapt to the constantly changing industry. This programme seeks to develop a balanced level of expertise through delivery of subjects that complement and extend the student’s existing knowledge.

The course starts with the building blocks of recovering creativity, production processes, project management and globalization, then allows you to select your stream(s) of specialisation: game design, psychology of design, and social/mobile internet. Guest lecturers and speakers from industry add to the curriculum by sharing their experience, while giving students an idea of what to expect in the working world.

Overview

  • Create an overview of the domain ranging from design to technology
  • Generate planning and coordination strategies
  • Develop collaborative skills with those from other disciplines
  • Provide foci in game design, human-technology interaction, digital media production, and design psychology
  • Emphasize innovative products and applications
  • Develop the skills for sustained future learning beyond the university
  • Collaborate with industry to prepare students for life after academia
  • Teach students the fundamentals of entrepreneurship

Programme structure

The programme consists of 36 credits, involving 5 Compulsory Subjects, 6 Elective Subjects and a Master’s Project.

Five core subjects lay an important foundation, and are required:

  • SD5902 Production Processes in Multimedia and Entertainment (3 Credits)

  • SD5953 Successful Project Management (2 Credits)

  • SD5954 & SD5955 Innovative Multimedia Project Development I & II (2 Credits)
  • SD5905 Recovering Creativity (2 Credits)

  • SD5906 Globalization in New Media Design and Technology (3 Credits)

Production Processes in Multimedia and Entertainment, Innovative Multimedia Project Development, and Successful Project Management provide the practical foundation students will need to complete their final project and maximize their success in the marketplace. The remaining compulsory classes are designed to broaden their perspective, enable them to recognize and capitalize on diverse opportunities, enhance their personal creativity, and understand how to manage creative processes in ways that get the most out of their collaborations with others.

Timeline
Five compulsory subjects are taught over the course of the first two semesters, in conjunction with student’s choice of specialized stream(s) or other electives. During the first two semesters, students will refine and plan their final project. The third semester is allocated for completing it. The project gives them the opportunity to showcase what they have learned for potential employers or lay the foundation for an enterprise of their own.

Streams Elective Subjects (3 Credits Each)
Students take two courses for each stream specialization. Electives for each stream are as follows:

Applied Design Psychology

  • SD5958 Psychology of Design I
  • SD5959 Psychology of Design II

Design Psychology is an interdisciplinary field that applies insights from psychology, aesthetics, art, and communication theory to design. Design psychology studies and communicates the socio-cultural and physical environments that impact human psychology and behavior to help designers create and communicate more effective ideas. Through research of users and designers, aesthetics and art, graduates will be able to meet the demands of a global and diverse market. By understanding people and why they make the choices they do, design psychology students gain a competitive edge in the fast paced multimedia technology and entertainment industry. These are the types of skills that will make students an invaluable member of any team, maximizing the commercial success and popularity of every project they work on.

A focus of the MSc programme is media psychology. Media psychology is a key part of entertainment, advertising, and design industries. In the past two decades, rapid changes in media and communication technologies have transformed the world and how people engage it. Media psychology critically reflects upon the role of media and its effects upon individuals, societies, and the world. The relationship humans have with objects and digital media goes beyond physical and audiovisual interaction. Media interactions also include cognitive, perceptual, and emotional needs and desires. Within the Applied Design Psychology stream, students learn to use concepts and tools from psychology to analyze and develop new media. It introduces the qualitative means to assess people’s needs, expectations, fears, and desires. Designs integrating these insights are more connected to and fulfilling of complex psychological needs. Media psychology teaches the theories and tools needed for affective design.

Game Development

  • SD5922 Game Design
  • SD5923 Game Development

For over ten years, our Game Development stream has served the fast growing local and international needs for professional and inventive game designers. This stream is aimed at developing the students’ capacity to conceive of digital games of various sorts and to understand the methods, practices and processes involved in their design and development. The essential principles of game design are taught alongside the ability to identify trends so that students can differentiate, discuss and synthesize their own ideas. With a focus on design and innovation, students consider game development of different scales, audiences and purposes and actively follow the latest technological developments and uses of digital games and playable structures also in non-entertainment areas such as advertising and education.

Understanding of users and players as active co-creators of their gameplay experiences is explored through looking at their socio-economic, techno-cultural, and personal contexts as well as gameplay habits, skills and preferences. Methods for testing and co-design as well as considerations towards game localization are taught. Throughout the stream, students engage in practical exercises of ideation, concept development, design iteration, documentation, prototyping, teamwork, presentation, user research, pitching and testing. Students will also learn how to integrate related game design and analysis theories, while recognizing the evolution of the games industry, different genres of games and technological developments. Supported by elective courses of the MScMET programme, students integrate concepts and strategies for developing a game, including the appropriate use of tools and skills, as well as formulation of a timeline and budget.

Social, Mobile and Internet

  • SD5951 Emerging Multimedia Technologies for Digital Media Industry
  • SD5952 New Opportunities in Digital Media

This course combines together the elements of theory and practice of entrepreneurship to teach students emerging mobile and Internet technologies in a hands on and practical way. Students are kept up to date with the latest industry trends and its competitive landscape, and are encouraged to work towards commercializing their school project at the end of the school year. Topics that will be covered include creation of novel concepts on mobile devices, social network content sharing capabilities, mobile search and browsing technology, and web-based applications and concepts. For all three areas (mobile, social and web) students will be given the tools to create their own innovative applications for use and learn the means of development and distribution through these platforms. Students will learn to identify, manage and solve technical, organizational and design aspects related to the global digital media and web market.


Other Electives (3 Credits Each)
Electives are designed to allow students to explore additional areas of interest, or go even deeper into subjects they are interested in. They change all the time to keep up with emerging industry trends and the latest research, but may include:

  • SD5933 Sound Design and Technology

  • SD5934 Story Development

  • SD5936 Independent Study

  • SD5944 Marketing Management for Digital Entertainment

  • SD5950 Integrative Team Project

  • SD5960 Building Interactive Systems

  • SD5961 Concept Art & Production
  • SD5963 Reinventing Traditional Businesses Using New Media & The Internet

  • SD5964 Intellectual Property Strategy for Designers

  • SD5965 Interactive Mulitmedia Environment
  • SD5966 In-line Event Production and Transmedia Promotion

  • SD5967 Innovation in Corporations: How to make a sustainable creative impact in large companies
  • SD5968 Design Ethnography

Master’s Project (6 Credits)
SD5900/SD5901 is the capping project which concludes the programme. It is the implementation of the proposal as developed in SD5954/SD5955 Innovative Multimedia Project Development I & II.

Class delivery mode & duration

Mode of Study: Mixed Mode

Daytime session: 10am to 12pm/1pm; 2pm to 5:00pm; 2:30pm to 5:30pm
Evening session: 7pm to 9pm/10pm
Saturday session: 2:30pm to 5:30pm

* The programme provides an option for students to engage in a full-time or part-time study load, and to attend classes in the daytime, evening or a combination of both.

Specialism leaders

Gino Yu — PhD, EECS UC Berkeley

Gino Yu

Our international staff was chosen to reflect different aspects of digital entertainment. They are chosen for their academic and professional expertise in order to offer the best and the most challenging learning experience in a cross disciplinary application of the media. Be that coming from film, game, cultural studies, sound and/or special effects.

Program Leader
Areas of Expertise: Digital Entertainment, Creativity, Experience / Consciousness

Hanna Wirman —

Hanna Wirman

Areas of Expertise: Game design & Game Development, UX (User Experience), Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Animal Play, Gender

Bryan Rill —

Bryan Rill

Areas of Expertise: Anthropology, Media Psychology, Design Ethnography, Sound Design, Consciousness, East Asian Aesthetics

Teaching staff

Application

Entrance requirement

This programme seeks those with Bachelor’s degree or mature applicants with creativity and professional experience in related fields. Sample backgrounds might include graphics design, marketing, game development, interactive media, film, web design, application programming, and software engineering. English is the medium of instruction, so competence in that language is required.

Application Period
The main application period is normally from December to March of next year. Please refer to "Study@PolyU" website (http://www.polyu.edu.hk/study/) for the application deadline. We will consider applications on a rolling basis until places are filled. Applicants are, therefore, urged to submit application as early as possible.

A complete application includes

Making Application

  1. Interested applicants may obtain latest application materials via the "Study@PolyU" website (http://www.polyu.edu.hk/study/).
  2. Applicants should make application online through the eAdmission System (http://www.polyu.edu.hk/admission/).
  3. Applicants should submit the following documents to the eAdmission System
  • Academic Transcripts & Certificates
  • English Language Test Result (TOEFL, IELTS, Chinese mainland's College English Test Band 6 or other equivalent qualifications are required for applicants who are not a native speaker of English, and their Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification is awarded by institutions where the medium of instruction is not English.)
  • Personal Statement (max. 2 pages; in English)
  • CV
  • Certificate of Service from Previous/Current Employer (for Mature Applicant only)

Portfolio Submission
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit portfolio in due course. Applicants donot require sending portfolio to us by email or by mail before invitation. 

Selection Criteria
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an admission interview. Online interview will be arranged for non-local applicants.

We consider applications on a rolling basis until places are filled. To secure a study place, applicants should apply as early as possible before the application deadline.

  • Number of credits: 36

  • Normal Period of Study: 12 months to 3 years

  • Tuition: Local students: HK$3,100 per credit; total tuition fee for 36 credits is HK$111,600 Non-local students: HK$4,000 per credit; total tuition fee for 36 credits is HK$144,000

Financial Aid

Continuing Education Fund
The Continuing Education Fund (CEF) subsidizes adults with learning aspirations to pursue continuing education and training courses. Eligible applicants will be reimbursed 80% of their fees, subject to a maximum sum of HK$10,000 (whichever is the less), on successful completion of a reimbursable course. The fees for more than one reimbursable course may be reimbursed, subject to the maximum ceiling of HK$10,000 per applicant not being exceeded.

This programme and the following subjects are under Continuing Education Fund (CEF) reimbursable course list and Hong Kong local residents can apply for financial support from Continuing Education Fund

  • Master of Science in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology
  • Production Processes in Multimedia and Entertainment
  • 3D Animation
  • Game Design
  • Game Development
  • Advanced Digital Video Production
  • Digital Visual Effects
  • Sound Design and Technology

Government Non-Means Tested Loan Scheme
Students who have the right of abode in Hong Kong or the right to land in Hong Kong, or students who are permitted to stay in Hong Kong without restriction, or have resided or have had their home in Hong Kong continuously for three complete years before commencing their studies at PolyU (i.e. local students. This does not cover those holding student visas.), are eligible to apply for the Government Non-means tested Loan Scheme. The scheme offers interest-bearing loans to eligible students for covering tuition fees. An administrative fee and a relatively higher interest rate are charged. Applications are non-means tested, which means that there is no assessment of family's income and assets. For details of the scheme, please refer to the Government's website.


Scholarship
A number of scholarships are donated by organizations and individuals to postgraduate students. Normally, scholarships are recommended by the School Director (based on academic merit). Details can be obtained from  the Student Affairs Office's website.

Miscellaneous