B-Tech Digital Media and Communication Design

Information design, branding, editorial and publication, motion graphics, type design, advertising, and Web/mobile app design.

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DMCD Curriculum

Our curriculum provides an overview of what you will study in each semester of the B-Tech Digital Media and Communication Design Programme.

Our mission is to provide strategic Tertiary education that uses applications in Digital Media to solve Communication Design problems, promote ground-breaking research, entrench skills acquisition and mastery, and stimulate industry expansion in visual communication and education.

 

Semester One

DMCD 111 Introduction to Digital Media (2 Credit Hours)

Digital Media are any media encoded in machine-readable formats. Digital Media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified and preserved on electronic digital devices. Digital Media, in most instances, is a blend of technology and content. Building digital media products requires teams of professionals with diverse skills. Future prospects for Digital Media include design for Visual
Communication and also productions like podcasts, MP3s, video games, radio advertising, apps for mobile devices, video and lighting displays and electronic books.

DMCD 112 Basic Design (3 Credit Hours)

Basic design coursework can cover such subjects as drawing, Graphic Design, colour theory and Art History. This course is usually taken as part of a designrelated degree programme. It introduces First Year students to basic techniques for visual communication using colour, line, texture and form.

DMCD 113 Introduction to Communication Design (2 Credit Hours)

Communication Design is a mixed discipline between design, informationdevelopment and communication. It is concerned with how media interventions (printed, crafted, electronic media or presentations) communicate with people. Therefore, it is an aspect of Communication and Visual Communication that values Design as process.

DMCD 114 Introduction to Computer Applications (3 Credit Hours)

Traditional design processes have been supplanted by digital technology, the result of a merging of computer technology with graphics applications software.  Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics software designed for professional graphic designers and artists. Students acquire skills in using Adobe Illustrator to render visual communication. Students are encouraged to acquire Wacom ® tablets (Bamboo®, Intuos® or Cintiq®) and electronic styluses, to facilitate quicker learning through frequent independent practice.

ACDT 114 Basic Drawing (3 Credit Hours)

This course introduces basic drawing techniques and it is designed to increase observation skills. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of drawing. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate various methods and their application to representational imagery. This course also impresses upon students the fact that, the knowledge and understanding gained through drawing from life, directly enhances our ability to draw from the imagination.

ACDT 115 Introduction to African Art & Culture (2 Credit Hours)

This course seeks to introduce students to a good understanding of African societies in order to fully appreciate the true meaning of the art developed by the various societies in Africa. It will also introduce students to recent cultural history of Africa, the importance of culture in the creation of modern Africa, and key issues of cultural production.

ACDT 116 Communication and Study Skills I (2 Credit Hours)

This course is designed to help students to develop effective language and study skills for their academic work; improve vocabulary, become familiar with the conventions of standard English Language usage, and develop strategies for preparing for, and taking examinations. The course also aims at equipping students with the mechanical skills for writing academic essays. Participants of this course should be able to enhance their skills for communicating effectively in an academic environment.

At the end of the course, students should be able to: demonstrate acquired study skills in the presentation of information; use appropriate language and writing style in the presentation of information; write good academic essays with appropriate documentation; and communicate effectively in the academic environment.

Course content includes but not limited to the academic discourse community, developing study skills, developing reading skills, the relationship between grammar and communication, developing writing skills and documentation. The course is highly interactive and incorporates various levels of individual and group participation.

The mode of delivery includes lecture series, individual and group assignments, and group presentations.

Semester Two

DMCD 121 Basic Programming (3 Credit Hours)

This course is designed for students with no prior computer programming experience. The course introduces the fundamental concepts of procedural programming. Topics include algorithms and problem-solving, data types, control structures, functions, arrays, files, and the mechanics of running, testing, and debugging. The course also offers an introduction to the historical and social context of computing.

DMCD 122 Idea Development Techniques (3 Credit Hours)

This course builds upon the foundation laid by DMCD 112 Basic Design. In thisncourse, effort is made to describe Convergent and Divergent Thinking methods. Techniques discussed include Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking which uses information to bring insight. Idea Development is an iterative process and investigative (heuristic) methods are highly valued.

DMCD 123 Basic Rendering Techniques (3 Credit Hours)

Drawing and illustration train the eye to judge line indication, shapes, proportions, value, and composition. Next, drawing and illustration assist in refining hand-eye coordination and psychomotor skills. This course using  traditional and digital rendering techniques, reinforces lessons taught in Basic Drawing and guides students to illustrate more complex natural forms and manmade objects such as people, places and manufactured products.

DMCD 124 Design History (2 Credit Hours)

To become a true design professional, it is important for students to obtain a complete overview of Design and the forces that have shaped it. Also vital, are the contexts within which it has manifested itself and gained relevance. This course outlines the history of Design from pre-history, through the Renaissance, to the present era.

DMCD 125 Typography (3 Credit Hours)

It is imperative that production managers and graphic designers understand typography: the art of selecting and setting type. This course establishes knowing Typography as a fundamental skill in Visual Communication. Students must understand and apply the following four concepts when selecting and reproducing type: appropriateness, legibility, harmony (of all elements) and emphasis.

DMCD 126 Image Manipulation (3 Credit Hours)

Images have become dominant in contemporary Visual Communication. It is mandatory that students master software developed specifically for transforming images into thought-provoking memories. Vector-based images often, it is debated, lack the refinement and subtlety of raster-based images. This course introduces students to raster-based image manipulation using Adobe Photoshop and other allied software.

ACDT 126 Communication and Study Skills II (3 Credit Hours)

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to communicate professionally on many levels including writing; speaking; conducting meetings; giving presentations and interpersonal dialogues; and using electronic media. It will also help improve students’ ability to speak and to understand spoken English through a variety of listening, pronunciation, and speaking activities.

Semester Three

DMCD 231 Logos, Symbols & Trademarks (3 Credit Hours)

Globally, branding for individuals, groups, corporations and “ideas” has produced numerous cultural icons. This course teaches students in the Digital Media programme how logos, symbols and trademarks elicit shared meanings over time, assist in visual communication for different clients, and often permanently alter our villages, towns and cities.

DMCD 232 Print Design (3 Credit Hours)

In the mid-1400s, printing fostered the development of commercial art. Print design has for centuries been at the forefront of information dissemination. Many items, ephemera and books, are still printed on paper and other substrates. Increasingly digital printing equipment, able to print on all surfaces, have taken over from traditional printing machinery. This course is designed to teach students the rudiments of industrial best practices in planning and executing print and packaging label designs.

DMCD 233 Advanced Typography (3 Credit Hours)

Different readers react differently to the same setting of type. Emotions and moods lie at the root of human communication. Typography that is persuasive is guided by long established conventions or present-day tests for novel ways of designing with type. This course, a continuation of DMC 254 Typography, provides students with skills for handling different readership, large volumes of text, and also for determining type specification for special interest groups: children, the aged, and so on.

DMCD 234 Photography (3 Credit Hours)

Photography is integral to Visual Communication. Photographers use the basic tools of photography – cameras, lenses, lights and graphics applications software
– to create images. The camera of choice for Visual Communication is the DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera which combines the traditional optics and mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with digital imaging sensors. The technology in the DSLR has advanced spectacularly in recent years rivalling the clarity of silver halide coated film and photos printed on bromide paper. This course gives students basic skills in DSLR photography so they have demonstrable practical skills to undertake field or studio assignments of varying difficulty.

DMCD 235 Print Production (2 Credit Hours)

Print production has evolved over the last 700 years. Now, printing instructions can be customised in real-time using the internet and conference calls. Students must be abreast with these emerging technological advancements. This course instils knowledge and understanding for mass production. Students are taught to apply their knowledge to source for the optimum output from print-houses.

DMCD 236 Design Seminar (2 Credit Hours)

The course offers opportunity for industry practitioners to present thoughtprovoking insights to students and for discussions to ensue. Emphasis is placed on explaining Visual Communication as an industry. Next, the course launches a realistic view on how real-time events in industry occur and offer lessons to practitioners.

ACDT 231 Introduction to Entrepreneurship (2 Credit Hours)

This course is designed to build the entrepreneurial, managing and marketing competence of students with focus on effectively enhancing the skill and attitudes of managing and operating a business.

Semester Four

DMCD 241 Brand & Identity Systems (3 Credit Hours)

The course exposes students to branding and identity design, ensuring they appreciate client needs and the entire spectrum of items and services that require visual identity. Consistency and standardisation in presentation and production values are particularly highlighted.

DMCD 242 Advanced Print Design (3 Credit Hours)

High-end or prestige printing jobs are increasingly commonplace. Continental free-trade is imminent. Print production quality could increase revenue coming into Ghana. This course trains students to develop professional skills in big budget and high-profile business requirements. It focuses on attaining high production standards and exemplary communication.

DMCD 243 Web Design (4 Credit Hours)

The commercial explosion of the internet occurred in the 1990s. When the first commercially available web browser software that accommodated graphics (Netscape Navigator) was released in 1994 the internet drew more public attention. The lucrative potential of the internet has indeed revolutionised global communication. The advertising potential of the internet has spawned a web design and development service mostly provided by graphic designers as well as other IT specialists. Students are introduced to web design and development.

DMCD 244 Advanced Photography (4 Credit Hours)

Advertising and marketing constantly require imagery to propel their persuasive messages. Africa lags behind the world in the total amount of imagery available as stock imagery. This course is designed to guide students to produce images that meet technically demanding specifications laid out by art directors or clients. The primary tool is still the DSLR camera.

DMCD 245 Advanced Print Production (3 Credit Hours)

The offset press is the most cost-effective way of producing large volumes of printed materials, while the digital press is more commonly used for smaller volume and lower production cost. The course seeks to give students advanced skills in estimation of production costs and production management for both offset and digital printing.

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Semester Five

DMCD 351 First Practical Training & Internship (3 Credit Hours)

The first of two Practical Training referrals, students register this course for work already completed during the Long Vacation. Students are given two weeks upon resumption of academic work to submit a report on their internship activities. This industrial attachment programme exposes students directly to the standards and expectations of employers and clients.

DMCD 352 Book & Magazine Design (3 Credit Hours)

This course sequences lessons in the proper approach to creating Book and Magazine Design. It is an exploration of the complex planning and organising that goes into book and magazine design. Magazines, though less formal, often have niche markets and therefore, this course highlights the importance of studying readership surveys and learning the idiosyncratic preferences for different types of readers.

DMCD 353 Advertising Design (3 Credit Hours)

Advertising campaigns depend on partnerships and collaboration. Graphic designers, Art Directors, Copywriters and Account Executives select and structure the sound, look and ‘feel’ of an advert. It is the responsibility of the Graphic designer or Visual Communicator to set a style – the manner in which a thought or image is expressed. They do this by choosing suitable artistic elements and synthesising them. Next, the course introduces students to packaging design as the “silent salesman” and an advert in itself. This course prepares students for the challenging world of Advertising by introducing them to problem-solving for print and television advertising.

DMCD 354 Online Media Technology (3 Credit Hours)

The rapid growth in communications, High Definition 4K and UHDTV, the internet and mobile technologies has created a demand for graduates with broad technical skills, specifically in operational areas, systems design, broadcast engineering and networked media technology. This course will enable students to learn the basic theory behind video, audio, IT and IP practices which lay the foundation for a variety of technical industries including broadcast and cinema, radio, TV and internet-delivered media. This course is also specifically a skills acquisition course for current and future applications of online digital technology. Students acquire knowledge and skills for online media technology that they can apply to business, education, entertainment, shopping and advertising using the internet and interactive television.

DMCD 355 Animation (3 Credit Hours)

Animation – cartoons, dancing puppets, and demonstrations by which inanimate objects come to life – can effectively communicate difficult messages or reach special markets such as children. This course is a basic introduction to animation and seeks to offer basic skills in creating visual narratives through animation.

ACDT 351 Business Management and Sustenance (3 Credit Hours)

Business Management is simply the management of a business and includes all aspects of overseeing and supervising business operations. Sustaining the business entails making sure resources are allocated to accomplish desired goods and objectives efficiently and effectively.

Semester Six

DMCD 361 Copywriting (3 Credit Hours)

Truth is, there is much more to be learnt about storytelling and the writing process, from writing words designed to sell or inspire action. This course enables students to study techniques that ensure they understand the importance of every single word they use, as they get inside their readers’ heads, while mastering the art of working within deadlines.

DMCD 362 Advanced Advertising Design (3 Credit Hours)

As students draw close to the world of work, it is beneficial that they work in real time and deal with the changing nature of professional work. This course facilitates considerable interaction between students and industry professionals in advertising from account execs and art directors to media buyers. Lessons will be conducted using Skype or other video-conferencing systems. Arrangements will be made so industry professionals can suggest assignments and relay feedback to AUCDT lecture rooms in real time.

DMCD 363 Video Production (3 Credit Hours)

This is an introductory course to video production. As an emerging medium, Video Production is fast becoming an important and cost-effective way of reaching audiences. It is simply the production of videos from conception to the final product. It is generally handled on a small scale ranging from a team of a few individuals to a single person who does everything from shooting of the video to setting and editing. Here the primary tool is the digital camera or camcorder.

DMCD 364 Advanced Animation (3 Credit Hours)

The course further develops animation skills introducing them to basic 3D Animation. Students work in groups to produce creative 30-second to 120-second 3D animation using Cinema 4D as projects in advertising or as instructional technology showpieces.

DMCD 365 Sound Production (3 Credit Hours)

Digital audio recordings have become integral to modern day communication. On no other continent are sounds so diverse and compelling. Africa is a sound reservoir. The power of visuals supported by audio cannot be understated. It feeds trillions of dollars of businesses around the world: from movies to smartphones. Sound itself is an evolving landscape. Digital sound recording has expanded possibilities for sound design, recording and broadcast. This course in sound production taps into this rich vein of creative possibilities. Students are inspired to understand the dynamics of visuals supported by natural or manmade sounds.

DMCD 366 Motion Graphics (3 Credit Hours)

Motion graphics create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are combined with audio in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are usually displayed via electronic media technology, but may also be displayed via manual-powered technology. The course equips students with skills to communicate concepts or messages using motion graphics.

ACDT 367 Research Methods (3 Credit Hours)

Research is a very vital component of every academic endeavour. Against this background, the department developed this course to offer students the understanding and application of the basic concepts of research as well as its methodologies. It will also introduce students to formal research and the research process in education for them to identify appropriate Digital Media and Communication Design related research topics for their final year project work.

Semester Seven

DMCD 471 Second Practical Training & Internship (3 Credit Hours)

The final or second of two Practical Training referrals, students register this course for work already completed during the Long Vacation. Students are given two weeks upon resumption of academic work to submit a report on their internship activities. This industrial attachment programme during the Long Vacation exposes students directly to standards and expectations of employers and clients. For Final Year students this is particularly crucial to their obtaining quick job placement.

DMCD 472 Project & Report Writing I (3 Credit Hours)

Students embark on yearlong Practice-Based or Practice-Led research project, and submit an accompanying project report with APA referencing. Practice-Based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice.

DMCD 473 Professional Portfolio Development I (10 Credit Hours)

Students work on between fifteen and twenty world class print design projects for the duration of the semester. The exception is made for video, animation or motion graphics projects which could number from two to five ground-breaking projects.

DMCD 474 Contracts & Copyright (3 Credit Hours)

Professional survival requires building a client base, marketing your business and protecting your work. Contracts lay out the services provided, project costs and terms of engagement. Working without a contract exposes the professional to liability and makes it difficult to enforce claims to money. This course seeks to make students aware of legal issues that protect and constrain them. It gives them basic legal tools to improve their negotiations with clients and regulating agencies.

 

ACDT 471 Accounting & Finance for Entrepreneurs (3 Credit Hours)

This course is designed to help our students to acquire a basic understanding of accounting and finance that will enable them to use profit and loss statements balance sheets and cash flow reports as tools to help set budgets and control costs.

Semester Eight

DMCD 481 Project & Report Writing II (3 Credit Hours)

Students finish a yearlong Practice-Based or Practice-Led Research Project, and submit an accompanying Project Report with APA referencing. Exceptional research projects are edited, upgraded and submitted for publication in a refereed journal.

DMCD 482 Professional Portfolio Development II (10 Credit Hours)

Students are guided to complete work on their professional portfolio, in both digital and analogue form. Video, animation or multimedia projects are completed; all post-production issues covered.

DMCD 483 Ethics & Career Planning (3 Credit Hours)

Career management is the combination of structured planning and the active management choice of one’s own professional career. This course teaches students how to study the continuous process of thinking about one’s interests, values, skills and preferences.

DMCD 484 Taxes & Regulations (3 Credit Hours)

Increasingly, the GRA (Government Revenue Authority) sets its eyes on particular industries and tries to monitor its tax behaviour. The creative industry contributes substantially to Ghana’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Visual Communication is a rapidly growing industry and should expect tougher monitoring from GRA as it grows and becomes extremely lucrative.

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