Information on Project Work
In contrast to most Bachelor programmes in Germany, Cultural Engineering runs for eight semesters of study. Students will devote one semester’s extent of work (30 CP) to transdisciplinary projects with social relevance.
- Introduction to project management
- Project forms
- Project portfolio
- Credit recognition
The project module aims at fostering cultural engineers’ specific skill set and their ability to manage interfaces by putting these skills and abilities into practice in transdisciplinary projects. At the basis of the project module are identifying cultural processes or problems, combining cultural studies methodology with methodologies from logistics, economics, and computer sciences, and, finally, implementing them in projects with social relevance. These may be research-oriented projects in an academic context or, fir instance, cultural industry events in cooperation with external partners. In so doing, students will harness and cultivate their abilities to formulate, structure, and research cultural inquiries, to aim their research self-reliantly at user- or product-oriented needs, to plan, implement, and present interdisciplinary projects, and to reflect on and evaluate their own academic work process. Concomitantly, students will learn communication skills and to work in teams. The project module consists of an introduction to project management (PM 37, 5 CP) and project work (PM 38, 25 CP).
At the start of the second year of studies, students are offered a block seminar (3 semester periods per week) which covers the basic knowledge of project management according to PMI standards. Thus, students will be equipped to recognise differences between different project types in the cultural field and to define SMART project goals, to devise a project plan which covers the main phases, and to adjust the project organisation accordingly. Moreover, the block seminar will cover methods to regulate projects and basic principles of team leadership. Besides working on exemplary projects, students are expected to devise a plan for their own subproject.
The project module can be completed over the course of several semesters, even cumulatively. This opens up many opportunities both within the university and in cooperation with external partners.
Especially in the first semesters it is recommended to embrace the project seminar offers by the different OVGU faculties which are involved in the Cultural Engineering programme. Most of them are of an introductory character in, for instance, cultural studies, IT management, logistics, or economics. Among the recurring course offer the following seminars are recommended:
- "IT project management"
- "IT software project"
- "Logistic projects in practice"
- "Business simulation iDECOR"
- "Project transform:MD"
Students can implement their own projects if they are planned independently and grounded empirically. These projects are supposed to aim at working self-reliantly on a cultural studies topic (i.e. develop and work on a social, economic, political, cultural or geographic research question). At the heart of the project is the identification of current cultural phenomena or problems, which are tackled with the help of these academic short-term projects. Thus, analyses during the study abroad lend themselves perfectly to project work as they foster the understanding of foreign cultures. Students can, of course, also design studies which investigate cultural and economic aspects in Magdeburg in an anthropological or socioempirical manner.
In any case, students are recommended to consult with the student advisor before planning their own projects. Furthermore, student projects should ideally be supervised by an academic instructor. The empirical phase of the project should consist of approx. five to ten days and the results should be presented in a project report. As a general rule, these reports should consist of approx. ten pages full text, follow the general form of an academic term paper, be ordered thematically, and include empirical data which the student gathered themselves. The report should conclude with a short list of works cited in order to make the reference to relevant academic literature clear.
The university offers ample opportunity to implement projects and subprojects in the context of one or several of its institutions, such as:
- Subproject within the "Kustodie-Projekt OVGU"
- Organisation and implementation of student conferences, panel discussions or film festivals with reference to a cultural studies topic with social relevance
- Commitment with project character to the student representatives, the cultural department of the student council or other student groups
- Magdeburg symposium: The association "Symposium Magdeburg e.V. " was founded in 2013 by students from the OVGU. Its purpose is promoting political education for young people.
- KanTe e.V. stands for "Kultur auf neuem Terrain erleben" and offers a platform for creative cultural projects in and for Magdeburg. The association’s unconventional projects focus on enriching Magdeburg’s cultural life on a broader spectrum.
- Storm e.V.: The student organisation for marketing offers students the possibility to put their theoretical knowledge into practice in cooperation with regional businesses.
- in:takt works to use empty spaces in Magdeburg’s city centre in order to address topics relevant to both the city and the society at large in a public space. Besides reflecting critically on the potential of Magdeburg’s city centre, the project strives to create cultural events beyond the offers of established institutions.
- Participation in existing projects or initiation of new projects of the Sustainability Office
- Project work connecting academia and economy at the Transfer and Entrepreneur Centre
- Project work in the fields of logistics, business information systems, and social innovations at the In-Institut METOP
- The AKTIN Emergency Department Register is a project to set up a national emergency department register which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 2013 to 2019. Since the funding has ended, the project is continued in form of an association and thus needs a new public relations strategy. Students are expected to create and implement a marketing strategy for online and print content.
Projects with external partners
It is recommended to turn to projects with external partners by no later than after the semester abroad. This adds to the academic profile and the development of practical competencies. Students are acquainted with project management in the cultural field or economic organisations, develop projects in the area of cultural politics and the culture industries, acquire sponsors and generate billings, create art concepts and are responsible for organising. Saxony-Anhalt and Magdeburg offer ample opportunities in this regard:
- Die INSEL is a place for relaxation at the Adolf-Mittag-See in Magdeburg’s central park. In June of every year it offers several days of cultural events, such as concerts, a bar, sports, family events, theatre, and many more.
- f/12 is a photography competition which focuses on analogue technologies. Participants take one picture each for 12 topics in 24 hours. The results are presented in a travelling exhibition across the city.
- The intercultural garden in Magdeburg’s Neue Neustadt district brings together the young and the old, people with and without migrant backgrounds in order to use the fallow land and to landscape it.
- Im Stadtfelt // Shopping Street Management strengthens the districts around the Diesdorfer Straße and the Olverstedter Straße in order for them to become and remain an attractive space for merchants, tradespeople, residents, and visitors. Small projects, ideas and proposals of individuals, associations, or groups from Magdeburg’s Stadtfeld Ost and West districts can be funded with up to 50% of the total costs.
- Künstlerstadt Kalbe pursues sustainable city and regional development and stimulates innovations with culture and art. They are seeking regularly cultural scientist for the organisation of their projects, such as the "Potentiale Festival". Students can be grated a scholarship and a project fund which is supposed to help them implement their own project for the town of Kalbe.
- MAKER-THEK Börde strives for the modernisation of the library in Wanzleben. In the process of modernising, the library’s offer will be supplemented with a mobile maker space in order to provide the Börde region with a space for creative development and design.
- LeseZeichen organises reading events which offer a stage for (supra)regional authors and Magdeburg residents with literary enthusiasm.
- Living Room Gallery is an event which transforms a living room into a colourful art exhibition for a few hours. While enjoying good music, regional artists exhibit their works in a casual atmosphere.
- Pappsatt is devoted to sustainability and seeks to stimulate a more conscious approach to food consumption. During open-air cooking events in Magdeburg, the team prepares fruit and vegetable dishes for which they get the ingredients from organic shops, supermarkets, and regional freuit and vegetable farmers and merchants.
- Silbersalz Future Science Media is an academic film festival in Halle/Saale. The festival takes its visitors into scenarios of the future and tells scientific stories with the help of interactive events, esp. in the context of the festival’s youth day.
- Upgrade-Festival is an international music and art festival in the heart of Magdeburg which provides a socio- and intercultural platform for people from different European countries.
- The "Urst Urbanes Straßenfest" in Stadtfeld invites residents to experience space in a new way and, above all, to participate in the creation of space and inquire how they want to live in the district. The street festival is organised by the GWA Stadtfeld Ost and the Bürger für Stadtfeld association.
- "Europa macht Schule" is a DAAD programme which seeks to bring international students into contact with pupils at local schools. The pupils get to know the students’ respective home countries, whereas the students are offered access to German society outside of the university. Moreover, they will inevitably come into contact with their fellow students in the organisation team. At the moment, the programme is looking for organisers who will help establish the programme in Magdeburg.
- AIESEC is an exchange organisation which offers voluntary projects abroad in the context of a "Global Volunteer" programme.
Other, also supraregional, examples can be found in the projects database. It is recommended to consult with the student advisor re the project choice. The workload will be credited according to the students’ individual working hours which have to be documented in the portfolio.
Besides the "Introduction to Project Management" (third semester), the key skill module PM 45 "Academic Identity and Conduct" (fourth semester) supports the students’ development of a disciplinary-specific self-image as cultural scientists as well as interdisciplinary communication and creative techniques to develop research ideas and practical projects. The seminars in the module PM 46 "Communication Training" (e.g. "Moderation and Communication Training", "Organisation and Personnel Development for Teamwork") foster project-relevant competencies such as rhetoric, moderation, and presentation skills.
The project work has to be documented in a portfolio in order to record the project steps from planning to completion, document the workload, and to provide evidence for the work carried out. Moreover, the portfolio serves as a reflection of methods and tasks. The project manual offers help with putting together the portfolio.
The portfolio should include the following items:
- Title page
- Overview of all projects: Name, duration, workload, tasks/position
- Individual projects: Short summary of the project, goals and social relevance, project plan, phases, time sheet, explanation of individual tasks, reflection of the lessons learned
- Appendix: Illustrative material such as flyers, pictures, poster designs, social media postings, newspaper articles, etc.
The results of either one bigger project or several subprojects have to be presented in the context of a public event organised either by the university or the Cultural Engineering student and teaching body. The following regular events are, among others, suitable for presenting a project:
- campusDate (open day)
- Introductory week
- Markt der Möglichkeiten
- Student conferences
- Research exhibitions
- Special exhibitions
- CE website
Current events suitable for presenting projects are regularly announced on our website's news section. Besides talks you can use, for instance, academic posters or other means of presentation.
Students will have to present the student advisor with the project portfolio in order to get credits for the project module. The portfolio will have to include evidence for the total workload of 750 hours and the project presentation in order for the student advisor to issue a certificate for 25 CP which has to be submitted to the examination office.