THE Faculty of Arts and Communication (FAC) of HELP University offers the Bachelor of Communication (BCom) (Hons) in three major options: Marketing Communication, Media Studies and Public Relations. It also offers a two-year Diploma in Communication (Dip Com) to provide a pathway for SPM/O-Level/UEC holders to enter Year 2 and graduate with the BCom degree in just four years.
Dip Com modules include social and business communication, data analytics, filmmaking for Youtube and social media, video production, advertising and digital marketing.
“The faculty is a hive of activity and creativity. All programmes are heavily hands-on. Classes are fully integrated and designed to address the individual and group needs of students. The emphasis is practical, interactive, fun and immersive”, says faculty dean Prof Andy Hickson.
“They are taught by industry experts, academics and professionals who lead you on amazing physical and imaginative journeys that will take you to places and teach you things you never thought possible.
“The HELP Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Communication nurtures skills and capabilities that put students way ahead of the competition. The curriculum is designed to open up their creative minds to enable them to reach their maximum potential. Students will be amazed by their own capability and astound others with their transformation. I call it transformative communication.”
The faculty’s lecturers are professionals who have worked in production houses, TV stations, advertising and PR agencies and media research houses. This rich background enables them to impart professional quality teaching to students.
Students themselves obtain hands-on experience at the faculty’s facilities, which include a Broadcast Centre for audio and video production; Media Studio for production and post-production work-flow; Radio Station completely run by students and operating on a Mac platform; and a Film Studio where students learn skills like multiple camera production recording, green screen production, broadcast standard work-flow, and professional standard photography.
The equipment includes broadcast quality cameras, DSLRs, lighting, audio recording devices, and editing software. Workstations are equipped with apps such as Hitfilm Express (video editing and visual effects), Davinci Resolve 16 (video editing and colour correction), Motion 5 (visual effects) and Compressor (media export tools).
Prof Hickson provides exemplary leadership to the faculty, being an expert in communication arts and methodology. His wide range of skills and achievements includes social theatre, stage actor, film director and producer, lecturing, writing books and plays, and online virtual learning.
His work has involved using creative activities to deal with issues of bullying, peace and violence with young people and with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the UK and abroad. He is the founder of Actionwork, a theatre and film-in-education company in the UK that promotes empowerment to reduce bullying and violence in schools.
Prof Hickson is fluent in the Temiar language and produced the Neuro Dramatic Play adventure for the aboriginal Temiar community in Malaysia.
Under his leadership and supported by the industry-standard facilities and equipment, the faculty is a hive of activity all year round.
Its signature event Boleh Host?! is a hugely popular annual competition where young people host their own TV or radio show in front of celebrity judges, with attractive cash prizes for the winners. The Damansara Heights campus of HELP takes on a carnival atmosphere as Com students play host to industry guests and students from other academic departments, and together, they attend workshops and visit food and drinks stalls.
Besides staple events like the HELP Film Festival, Prom Night and Halloween Massacre Night, there are active student clubs that organise activities aimed at sharpening their creative and organisational abilities.
The HELP Radio Club is a campus online streaming radio station broadcasting from the faculty’s studio where members learn to manage a radio station and programme content like news, commentaries, sports, young adult and music.
The Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association (IPRMSA), established in collaboration with the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), the professional body for PR practitioners, serves as a platform for students to gain public relations skills and knowledge through PR-oriented programmes and interaction with PR professionals.
True to its name, the Creative Production Society (CPS) explores all avenues to release the floodgates of creativity of Com students to display their talent in diverse fields like photography, graphic design, directing, editing and writing in all media platforms.
This diversity of learning experiences produces graduates who are versatile and easily employable. The faculty’s archives are full of profiles of graduates employed in a wide variety of businesses, industries and organisations. There are also abundant testimonies attesting to the efficacy of the programmes.
Lee May Yan, a Marketing Communication major who graduated with First Class Honours, says,“It was a great experience. The lecturers really go out of their way to help students achieve their dreams. I had countless opportunities to grow and find my potential both as a student and as a person. Their guidance and effort show their dedication and passion for teaching. It was an honour to learn from such amazing people. It was a great three years of fun”.
Graduate and former beauty queen Alexis Sue-Ann Seow, adds,“Studying at HELP didn’t mean I had to neglect my job as a host in the entertainment industry; instead it taught me skills that further educated me and enhanced my abilities. All the subjects are carefully crafted to guide students to perform and achieve the highest success in their work.”
Multi-talented Seow, a BCom (Hons) Public Relations major, was the first runner-up in the 2018 Miss Universe Malaysia contest and winner of the Miss World Malaysia title in 2019.
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