Unconditional degree place offered as prize in competition

Falmouth’s course in creative advertising takes unconventional admissions route

August 3, 2014

A university is offering a “completely unconditional” place on its BA in creative advertising to the winner of a competition that challenges potential students to “sell me something you own”.

Now in its fifth year, the course at Falmouth University will be taking about 50 students this autumn, mainly school leavers selected through the standard admissions process.

For the 2015 cohort, one student will take up his or her place though what Sion Scott-Wilson, Falmouth’s head of creative advertising, believes to be a unique competition.

Open to any British citizens able “to newly enrol at Falmouth University at the start of the new [2015-16] academic year”, the competition has the simplest of briefs – “sell me something you own” – though applicants are urged to respond “in the most creative way you possibly can”.

“Your idea can take the form of a film, a story, a poster, a tweet, anything. You can email it, hyper-link it or even go old skool and post it. It’s all about how good the idea is and whether it solves the brief,” the project pack explains. 

“There is a high level of awareness of advertising – we are exposed to it thousands of time a day and enjoy much of it – but people are not so familiar with the profession and how one enters it,” said Mr Scott-Wilson.

“And, because there is no obvious bridge into a BA in creative advertising, it is often neglected by careers officers and is not an obvious choice for students or their parents.”

Those who flourish on such courses often have a passion for writing poetry, drawing, photography or designing games, though not necessarily as part of the formal school curriculum highlighted by the applications process, he added. Some of them may be more attracted by the competition than by more familiar routes into higher education. 

“The industry gets people coming to it from all sorts of places,” said Mr Scott-Wilson. “Through the competition, we may get more mature students, people from a different profession – we are open to being surprised. We want to find people who can think laterally and surprise us, so we’re open to all sorts of respondents.”

Entries need to be submitted by 1 December and will be judged by members of the teaching department for the degree. The winner, who also “need[s] to apply to Falmouth University in the normal way via Ucas”, will be informed by 1 January 2015.


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