The first Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) study was set up in the Netherlands in 2000. This university of applied science wanted to meet the growing demand for creative professionals who work at the cutting edge of design, technology, media and communication. This demand has not diminished over the years, but it has become more specific. There is currently a clear need for creativity and a people-orientated mode of thinking and working that continues to be inspiring and motivating. A mode of thinking and working that makes permanent innovation possible. Nowadays this is referred to as ‘creative technologies’.
The field does not stand still and this has been true of recent years. New professions and application areas are still appearing within the CMD domain. Through these developments, it has been necessary to continually renew the CMD professional and competency profile, first established in 2008. For this reason, the twelve CMD studies, in consultation with the professional field, worked on the new professional and competency profile in 2011. The profile came about under the auspices of the International Network of Communication & Multimedia Design (INCMD), the platform in which the twelve studies have been united.


The curriculum of the Communication & Multimedia Design studies differs at each university of applied sciences. However, the global format of the CMD studies in the Netherlands is given below.
Foundation Year (year 1)
All the universities of applied sciences have a broad foundation year in which attention is given to all the aspects of design, technology and communication. Subjects on offer include: communication theory, user-centred design, human computer interaction, internet standards, communication systems, social media, entrepreneurship, design, digital culture, language and information architecture. Theory frequently alternates with practical assignments throughout the whole study.

Main Phase (year 2-4)

The moment when a specialisation is chosen differs at each university of applied sciences. The specialisation usually takes place in the second or third year. In the main phase, attention is given to both the creative aspect (concept development and design) as well as the marketing, technical and management sides of multimedia. The design subjects that are given include: visual interface design, animation, prototyping, audio, film design, storytelling and visual language. The subjects that are taught in the field of marketing and management include, for example, organisational structures, e-business and project management. Moreover, a great deal of attention is given to new technology, an internship has to be done and a graduation assignment needs to be completed.

How challenging is it?

The foundation year is important and rather tough at all the universities of applied sciences which offer CMD. During this year, the foundations are laid for the later years of the study. A judgement is made at the end of the first year to determine whether you are suitable for the study. When one considers the large number of practical assignments, it is important that you can work independently and that you are intelligent, curious, proactive and resourceful. In addition, it is important that you develop leadership skills. Expect four challenging, but satisfying years.