January 18, 2014

Knowledge gained is knowledge shared | University of Westminster

This is an entry for a contest by the British Council on Indiblogger.com. For more details, please visit: http://knowledgeisgreat.in/ 

After recently completing my MBA in communication management, my next quest was to understand ‘Subliminal communication’ as a subject. Having presented an award winning research paper on the topic at one of the oldest universities in India, Banaras Hindu University, I finally identified my calling.

A subject that merely gets a page in communication management books, or barely a one-hour lecture in most business schools, definitely means more to me. Moreover, the lack of awareness on the topic in my country made me run after it even more. Currently pursuing a career in communications at a reputed branding and communications firm in Delhi, I realised the pressing need to pursue this subject more aggressively. Hence, began my quest on researching options in the subject abroad.

A quick search on the top communications colleges in the world to pursue this passionately was the first step. The countries that topped my list for this were US, UK, Netherlands and Australia. These countries were selected on the basis of various factors like college rankings, weather and culture, opportunities for foreign nationals, suggestions from friends and relatives, etc. That’s when I learned about the University of Westminster and the research options available in my field of interest. The research areas available in Communications and Media Research; and Research and Education in Art and Media were exactly what I needed. After a little more seeking, I learned that their media research was previously awarded an excellent (5 out of 5) rating in each of the three past Research Assessment Exercises.

The clarity in instructions on their official website for research applications was more than impressive. Since each college has its own requirements for research programs, exploring research opportunities that fit one’s bill can be quite a tedious process. The step-by-step instructions on their official website were extremely helpful. Moreover, the new QS Worldwide University Rankings places Westminster above the London School of Economics in the UK, second only in Europe and number 19 in the world. These ratings are based on the university’s reputation among academics and employers and citations to published works. There was no doubt that this was going to my list of most sought-after colleges for research opportunities abroad. The university receives more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and has been continuously encouraging new developments, research projects and new ideas. All this makes this university unerringly one of the best media research hotspot where I want to flourish.

CREAM – Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media is one of the UKs leading centres for research in visual and media arts, design and music. Being a connoisseur of music and wanting to streamline my research in the subject around the music industry, this was the best place to be! I have been strongly influenced by music and arts since childhood. With a strong background in Indian classical music and dance, I slowly meandered into western styles of music and dance. This is how I got acquainted with the music scene in the UK. Especially Indian artists who found great reception in the UK and other countries were awe-inspiring. Understanding subliminal expression and messaging in the music industry has now become more of a habit than just an aspiration.

CREAM’s members include internationally renowned artists, filmmakers, photographers, ceramicists, theorists, critics, historians, designers and musicians. CREAM focuses on critical and cross-disciplinary approaches. Whilst its individual members cover a wide range of subject areas and expertise, they do encourage cross-connections between areas. It is also home to a range of research centres and projects including: Africa Media Centre, Ambika P3, Ceramic Research Centre, Documentary and Experimental Film Centre, India Media Centre and Screenplays. With all this information, I can already see an opportunity with CREAM on my subject turning into an obsession that I’ve been losing my sleep on, for the past one month. All that’s left to do on my end is to make that cutting-edge proposal that they can just not say no to. The rest will be a dream-come-true with a fairy-tale ending!

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