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AWARD School- “It’s a course about IDEAS, CREATIVE THINKING and the PROCESSES involved in coming up with great ideas and ultimately good ads.”

I was told by most of my uni lectures that it was the next step to landing a job in the industry, so off to AWARD school I went for the next 16 weeks.

The Class Structure

There were lectures for 80-100 students every Tuesday (non-compulsory), and tutorials every Wednesday or Thursday (depending on the agency/tutors timetable). Tutorials are made up of groups of 6-8 students each group. Your group attends one agency for the first half of the course and then goes to another one for the remaining half of the course. Each agency has two volunteers that teach the tutorial.

The major project

Your major project is the portfolio that you build week by week- each week you are assigned a different brief to answer. The final product being your portfolio is judged and a ‘Top 10’ are selected (these 10 generally get head hunted on the night by the agencies that volunteer their time).

The teachers definitely helped guide my own creative style and teach will you how to delve deeper into your ideas, rather than being all curriculum based.

The agencies

I worked at The Monkeys and The Works during my tutorials which were both great, though I could definitely see myself working more at The Monkeys- they seemed younger and more enthusiastic.

Working at these agencies I definitely got to get a feel of what type of agency work suited me.  Definitely Art Directing or Copywriting (that’s pretty much where you are directed to go from Award School), though Accounts didn’t seem to be my thing from my degree.

I’ve heard that a lot of people did find jobs as a result of their enrolment, and it does give you a good opportunity to network.  I didn’t network as much as I normally would due to having full time work at the same time- staying back after class to meet people got exhausting as class finished pretty late.

Most people in the course were either suits that worked in ad agencies wanting to move over, or graphic designers. Whichever you are though, I could not recommend the course enough to recent grads looking to get their foot in the door, or for those already in the industry too. It was the best thing I’ve ever done- enjoyable, and taught me depths about the industry.


Not sure what AWARD School is about?

AWARD School is a special course run by AWARD for people who want to become copywriters/art directors in the advertising industry. It’s simply about helping you recognise good ideas, how to judge them & how to find INSPIRATION from them.

NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED. AWARD School students are chosen purely on the merit of their ideas in their application, not what they are currently doing with their lives!

There are no age restrictions or particular tertiary requirements to be eligible for AWARD School.

To be accepted into the course, each person must submit a folio of work based on the brief set by the co-ordinators of AWARD School. This brief changes each year, but usually consists of writing some ads and submitting them in a very basic form – no professional artists required! AWARD School accepts up to 200 students throughout Australia and New Zealand every year and more than 800 students apply.

The 12-week part time course runs from March to June each year in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart. Auckland will run from July to November.

Each week all students must attend a Monday evening lecture and a weekly evening tutorial session, both commence at 6.30pm. All lecturers are leaders in their field within the advertising industry. They cover topics ranging from idea creation, promo/experiential, television, radio, outdoor, online/viral, creative strategy, integrated media and new thinking.

See Also

Tutorials are held at selected advertising agencies. All tutors are professional Art Directors and Copywriters. Each week students are given a brief to work on (there are ten briefs in all) and tutors critique the work accordingly. Most importantly tutors are there to encourage students in the creation of great ideas.

The Costs

NSW- $2200 (incl. GST)

VIC- $2200 (incl. GST)

QLD- $1210 (incl. GST)

WA- $1210 (incl GST)

SA- $1210 (incl GST)

Auckland- $1210

Register your interest for 2015 here.


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