Murdoch film students are worried their chance to enrol in an industry-recognised postgraduate course may disappear.
The university’s Graduate Diploma in Media studies has run once as a post-graduate program, but the invaluable 12-month program is already at risk.
The course, which provides participating students with a unique, industry focused experience did not run in 2017, and students are now battling to see the program go ahead in 2018.
Brooke Woolcock, President of the Murdoch Film Club has been gathering signatures from soon to graduate students in the hopes of pushing Murdoch into running the course.
Brad Major, a Perth based producer and Murdoch alumnus who has worked with the likes of James Cameron, is one of the key voices throwing much needed weight behind the Diploma.
“It’s not a cheap program to run… in comparison to the Honours program, which is far more of a money in, money out kind of system.”
Mr Major, who helped set up the program, believes the university would do well to invest in the program and take a loss for the first few years in order to establish the program as a staple for Murdoch.
Glen Stasiuk, the Academic Chair of Screen Production at Murdoch, confirms that money is the Diploma’s biggest enemy.
“Until a more cost-effective business plan is derived and accepted, the School of Arts will be reticent to run the course… it would have to be budgeted to make a profit for the school,” Dr Stasiuk says.
The 2016 program, which ran with 16 students, was deemed a massive success by participants. Dan Stone applauds the course, saying it taught him professionalism and discipline alongside specialised skills, attributes which have led to paid work within the film industry
“It was the best year of my life. Everyone was there because they wanted to be there, everyone was passionate.”
Stone said he was disappointed about the university’s reluctance to take a loss in order to run the program again.
“The quality of the professionals produced from that course is insane…. it’s an investment for the future. The university needs to do their part, I think a degree takes more than three years to refine.”