All the minors from CMD
All the minors from CMD Leeuwarden
Survey of the CMD Degree course and all the minors from CMD


With its innovative educational concept and its advanced Multimedia technology and techniques, the department of Communication and Multimedia Design occupies a unique position within NHLStenden University of Applied Sciences.
Our mission is to encourage motivated students and people from industrial and civil service organizations to come together and develop their talents, creating multimedia solutions for communication problems in an inspiring, dynamic environment. Our students will get hands-on experience in any of a great many projects, gain knowledge of the industry and develop a network for future career opportunities. As bachelors of Multimedia, our graduates will find employment in a great number of organizations both commercial and non-profit; or they may start their own enterprise.
Game design being one of its showpieces the department has now established a lectorate in serious gaming; in addition, it has, together with partners from the industry.
Currently, the department launched an International Master Program in Game design.

Communication and Multimedia Design: An Overview

The Communication & Multimedia Design Degree Programme is a 4-year professional education program leading to a Bachelor of Multimedia diploma. The program consists of a propedeutic year (60 EC) and a post-propedeutic phase (3 years, 180 EC, encompassing minors, industrial placement, and graduation project). Its unique character expresses itself in a novel approach towards teaching and learning in which competencies, self-directed learning, and professional practice are key concepts.

Educational concept
• A competency is the personal ability thanks to which a professional is demonstrably capable of performing professional tasks adequately, on a bachelor level
• Self-directed learning assigns to the student himself primary responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating his learning process
• Teachers play effective roles as coaches, in dialogues with learners, in securing resources, evaluating outcomes, and promoting critical thinking
• Individualized study-options offer students the possibility of creating their own study path.
• Professional practice is used both as an example and in a real working environment.

Knowledge Centre Multimedia
The link between the CMD department and external clients (enterprises, institutions, government services, etc.). Students work continually on projects for external clients. Examples of products are: 3D animation films, 3D visualizations, videoclips, documentaries, websites, games

In the post-propedeutic phase, education has been organized into minors. Students must declare 4 minors, one of which may be a ‘shop minor’ (a course offering from another department, or university). Possibilities are 3D visualization, Concepting, Game design, The Next Web, Entrepreneurship, Art ‘n’ Sound, Branding Advertising & Design, Sustainable Design Solutions.

Description of the Minors

Since you may be planning to spend a semester or more as an exchange student at the Dept of Communication and Multimedia Design here are some things you should know:

  • Communication and Multimedia Design is a young and dynamic department (established in 2001) and has in the past years, already grown to a sizeable 850 students plus 50 staff. Here at CMD, you will find state-of-the-art facilities and an exciting, innovative learning environment. You will be offered opportunities to hone your skills and develop new ones in domains belonging to Multimedia; in addition, you will acquaint yourself with professional practices through contact with real-life clients.
  • At CMD the educational approach is through projects and based on the gaining of competencies, rather than swotting for exams. You will not have to sit tests: instead, you will be assessed, either individually or in a small group.
  • After the first year, projects mostly fall within the sphere of one of nine minors: Frisian Design Academy, 3D-visualization, Game Design, Entrepreneurship, Art ‘n’ Sound, Branding Advertising & Design. Successful completion of a minor will yield 30 EC.
  • Participation in a minor can be achieved by digital enrolment.

Minor 1: Art ‘n’ Sound

Would you like to learn how to produce a jaw-dropping art and sound event?
Are you interested in what makes interactive video work?
Would you like to explore the elements which determine the success of a podcast?
Would you like to know how Mozart overcame his composer’s block?
And are you prepared to learn all this in an all-English environment?
Then this minor might be just what you’re looking for.

Together with talented fellow-students, you’ll be working on a perfect integration of design and audio elements to produce a work of art fit to be shown at exhibitions, events, in real life, or on the internet. You’ll need to have some (basic) skills already in visual- and/or sound design. And lots of creative talent. And, perhaps most important of all, the will and enthusiasm to overcome all the problems and pitfalls that are a creative artist’s lot.
If this description fits you then here’s what you’ll learn:
* How to kick-start your creativity
* How to collaborate in a group consisting of visual design- and sound specialists
* How to merge sound and visuals into an end-product that is more than the sum of its constituent parts.

More specifically you may work on:
Composing, Recording, Producing, Mixing, editing, mastering
and/or Storyboarding, Scriptwriting, Filming, Editing

Imagine the fun you will have learning the tricks of a trade that already engages the most creative talents, and pouring all your own artistic skills into a dazzling production that’ll boost your portfolio no end.
The student who wishes to join should be:
- an impassioned graphic designer with a strong affinity for audio in combination with multimedia, who has built up an above-average portfolio or
- a sound designer with extensive musical knowledge who, apart from being able to work with various music software applications, is also at home in the designing side of things.

From the second year onwards students of Communication & Multimedia Design (or students from abroad) may join the minor. In real-life projects, students work on the development of campaigns with a focus on Art, Sound, and Design.
This minor is offered twice a year: in September and in February for the duration of 1 semester (20 weeks).
During this period students may gain +/- 30 EC.
No doubt you’ll wish to know more so detailed information can be obtained from Gerjan Kelder email:
Gerjan Kelder (

Minor 2: 3D Visualization & Game Development
(THIS MINOR IS IN ENGLISH and we have a MAX of 5 exchange students)

You will work in project groups with students from CMD but also other departments from in- and outside the NHL. Lectures and workshops will, whenever necessary, be presented in English and the sessions with your project group will also be conducted in English.

Objective: to work, within dedicated projects, on specific assignments from external clients. You will pass through all the stages necessary for creating visualizations or computer games; you yourself, together with your fellow students, will determine what kind of game you will be designing.

Examples are:
• Spatial visualization SPACE DESIGN
• Production and post-production of entertainment/ serious games
• 3D architecture visualization where you will work closely together with the client
• Visualizing historical or futuristic objects, images, and/or processes
• 3D animation film (TV and/or festivals)

Setup: students can enter on any one of the three levels: basic, advanced, expert
Types of lectures: guest-lectures, workshops, consultations, projects, visiting events, excursions

Assessment: at the intake session a personal learning route will be outlined. Progress will be evaluated by means of a portfolio (e.g. a weblog and video report) which should include a self-reflection report. In addition, we will require you to participate in peer-assessments. And last but not least, any end-products will play their part in the assessment.

Organization: each student will devote the first 4 weeks of the semester to mastering the basics of 3-D Image production. Instruction sessions and tutorials will be provided. The same 4 weeks will be used for the composing of groups and the analyzing of the assignments.

Professionals in the field both home-grown and from abroad will be giving workshops and lectures. In addition to excursions and work, visits will be organized to various companies and 3D studios such as Motion capture, Studio MOTEK.
Assignments in case: NHLStenden uni location visualization, historical HCL new multimedia exhibition, domotics light simulation, 3D visualization of Frisian landscape, graduation projects, 3D animation film (Holland animation festival)

Assessment: At the intake session a personal learning route will be outlined. Progress will be evaluated by means of a group assessment using a Game Design Document, written by the group itself, as proof. In addition, we will require you to participate in peer-assessments. And last but not least, any end-products will play their part in the assessment.

Credits: 30 EC

Minor 3: Entrepreneurship

THIS MINOR IS IN ENGLISH in FALL ONLY and we have a MAX of 5 exchange students.

Target group: students from Communication and Multimedia Design with vague, or concrete plans to become entrepreneurs. Students eager to acquaint themselves with the hows and whys, the dos and don’ts in industrial life are also welcome.
Are you unsure whether you really want, or have the nerve, to join? Just do it! You have nothing to lose in this semester and afterward, if you want to, you can just stop. You’ll learn a lot anyway, and chances are you’ll want to continue.

Objective: To have students discover for themselves the full spectrum of entrepreneurship under the supervision of professionals with loads of practical experience, and to have great fun in the process.

Setup: students can enter on any one of the three levels: basic, advanced, expert. By the end of the minor, some of you will have started their own business, others will have decided entrepreneurship is not their cup of tea. Students who already had a business at the start of the minor will have further professionalized it.

Work modes: guest-lectures, workshops, consultations, practical assignments, role-playing.

Assessment: at the intake session a personal learning route will be outlined. Progress will be evaluated by means of a portfolio (e.g. a weblog and video report) which should include a self-reflection report. In addition, we will require you to participate in peer-assessments. You will have ample opportunity to demonstrate your multimedia skills

Organization: every week you will be assigned the task of researching or organizing a specific aspect of entrepreneurship. This may vary from drawing up a business plan to developing your own house style, from making a promo-film to drawing up a contract, from attending a multimedia fair to estimating returns, from optimizing your portfolio to making a pitch.
Students will be coached by teachers and external specialists such as a bookkeeper, a lawyer, a banker, an expert on grant schemes, a representative from the Chamber of Commerce, etc.
In addition, CMD alumni owning a business will come and share their experiences with you and answer all your questions.
The assignments’ results will be presented to each other on a weekly basis, so as to profit from each other’s experiences. Originality, humor, spunk, enthusiasm, and quality will be rewarded.
Credits: 30 EC and maybe even a couple of thousand Euro as starting capital. You will get a chance to promote your plans or your business in the presence of investors and other interested parties. Also we will help you acquire assignments.

Minor 4: Branding Advertising & Design.

THIS MINOR IS IN ENGLISH and we have a MAX of 12 exchanges students

From the 4th year onwards students of Communication & Multimedia Design (or students from abroad) may join the minor Branding Advertising & Design. In real-life projects, students work on the development of campaigns with a focus on advertising, marketing, and designing. Of course, the application of multimedia solutions plays a central part; in addition, attention is paid to printed material, packaging, and Desktop Publishing.

This minor is offered twice a year: in September and in February for the duration of 1 semester (20 weeks). During this period students may gain +/- 30 EC.
A brief enumeration of possible specializations:
• Art direction, Design, Corporate style development, Typography, LogoDesign
• Video, Motion Graphics, Animation
• Packaging, Brochures, Prepress
• Copywriting, Press releases, Web editing
• Viral campaigns, Guerilla marketing, SEO (Search engine optimization)

No specific pre-knowledge is required, but affinity with advertising and designing is considered an advantage. Should the minor attract (too) great a number of applicants, students might be invited for an interview and a portfolio presentation.

Besides the normal lectures, guest lecturers from the field are invited to speak on a regular basis. In addition, sharing knowledge plays an important part in the minor: students assist and learn from each other. Therefore knowledge and proficiency in minimally one of the tools and skills mentioned below are recommended (but not obligatory):
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Google AdWords/Analytics
Skills: Designing, copywriting, project management, (new) marketing methods, English

Minor 5: The next web

Target group: students from Communication and Multimedia Design eager to work with new technologies and new insights in the field of website design. Innovation and flexibility are keywords.

Objective: During this minor, we will design and develop applications that are “sociable”.
Your average website offers hardly any interaction between provider and visitor. With the aid of hyperlinks the visitor selects the pages he wishes to visit, whereupon the provider determines what the visitor gets to see. The visitor himself has little or no say in the matter.
The last few years have witnessed a growing trend to create more user involvement in websites by means of e.g. tagging, wikis, and blogs. This trend has been dubbed Web 2.0.
A website designed as Rich Internet Application is different from others in that it characteristically makes use of the visitors’ constructing and classifying powers. The focus is on the user and his potential. The architecture features the use of new technologies on the browser side such as Flex and Ajax.

Setup: Students can enter on any one of the three levels: basic, advanced, expert

Work modes: guest lectures, workshops, consultations, project work on an external assignment

Assessment: At the intake session a personal learning route will be outlined. Progress will be evaluated by means of a weblog which should include a self-reflection report; in addition, we will require you to participate in peer-assessments. Any end-products will be evaluated at the end presentation for the client

Organization: the focal point in the minor will be a problem brought in by a real client. During the minor, a solution will be found and designed for this client’s problem. At the same time, all students will collaborate towards creating a collective knowledge bank. This will come about by giving presentations to each other on relevant subjects and by inviting guest lecturers.
Credits: 30 EC

Minor 6 Sustainable Design Solutions

Please note: a permanent part of this minor is a three-day boot camp on location.

The minor Sustainable Design Solutions (SDS) is a multidisciplinary minor within the design study Communication & Multimedia Design. You work on innovative design solutions for various sustainability problems with students from various study programs, from within and outside NHL Stenden, from home and abroad. Think of future-oriented materials, lifelong health, value creation, social sustainability, and diversity. These problems originate from both national and international organizations and are always related to your vision as a designer.

What will you learn?
In order to deal with the complex issues we face as a society, you learn to take structured steps using the Design Thinking method. You will therefore work iteratively, and the development of prototypes is central to this process. The end-user is an essential part of your design process and you are in close contact with it. Through Design Thinking, you are able to structure the most diverse problems and thus design a suitable and sustainable solution for the organization. Innovation, creativity, a committed and open mindset, and guts are important values.

The possible solutions that you design within the minor SDS are just as diverse as the problems we are working on. You can think of a product or an app, but also service or an event. You work at the beginning of the design funnel and develop a proof-of-concept with your group. Whatever the solution may be, it is your design. And so we ask you to take responsibility and invite you to think about good substantiation, the ethical aspects of your work and we encourage you to develop your own design vision. What is your role as a designer in the world? What impact do you want to make? We use a wide variety of tools and methods for this, such as the Multi-Level Design model, the Business Model Canvas, but we also encourage you to come up with your own learning questions. You will receive feedback on these learning questions during the semester and we will assess you. Everything is focused on your development as a designer in the broadest sense of the word.

How do you learn this?
The minor SDS is a community of practice where we learn with ánd from each other. We find externally if we don’t have a certain expertise in the community. Just-in-time, relevant and demand-driven. We regularly have excursions or speakers to help us better understand a problem or part of it. A three-day excursion is mandatory.

Within the community, you work in a multidisciplinary team. There is a lot of strength in the diverse composition of the group, everyone brings something to the table: business insight, knowledge of biology, multimedia talents, creativity, inspiring leadership, etc.

Every 2 weeks you present your project and show where you are as a team. You give and receive feedback and contribute to other projects. You see the value of sharing. Together with the rest of the community, you have endless knowledge and experience, and you are not afraid to exchange this together.

Within SDS it is important that you make things. In our workshop, we have the opportunity to quickly make prototypes based on wood, paper, clay, etc. In addition, the minor space is located in the old prison, the Blokhuispoort, next to the FabLab of the Friesland College, where you can work together on things with for instance a 3D printer, or cut it out with a laser cutter. An inspiring environment in which your personal search is given shape together with the community within and outside the minor SDS.

If you choose the minor SDS, you choose independence and a challenge. There is an initial description of the problem that you will specify with your project group. You embark on the quest in which you will design a solution in a structured and project-based manner. You dare to look broadly and tackle obvious problems. You develop your ability to look at the world as a designer and thus contribute to a sustainable and better society.

Note: you can take this minor a maximum of two times. Broaden your knowledge, attitude and skills, which will make you a better designer!

Within the minor SDS, it is possible to work on all competencies of CMD at any desired level. The core competencies within our minor consist of:
- Concepting
- Design
- Research & Innovation
- Sharing
- Growth & Reflection

Minor 7: Concepting


Target group: 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year students from CMD, other departments and from abroad.
If you have an inquiring mind and are ready to take on challenges both on your own and in a team; if you like the idea of working with people from different disciplines, inventing innovative concepts and implementing them through prototypes, visualizations and recommendations; if all this appeals to you, you are welcome to join this minor.
We expect lots of enthusiasm, commitment and flexibility, letting go of existing frameworks. Thinking out of the box will be the order of the day.

Objective: To work for twenty weeks in a team on innovative ideas for enterprises, provincial authorities and organizations in Friesland

Setup: students can enter on any one of the three levels: basic, advanced, expert.

Work modes: lectures, guest-lectures, workshops, consultations, practical assignments, collaborating with third parties

Assessment: At the intake session a personal learning route will be outlined. Progress will be evaluated by means of a portfolio which should include a self-reflection report. In addition we will require you to participate in peer-assessments. The minor will be concluded with a presentation of both the process and the product.

Organization: After having enrolled you will be invited to an intake interview with the supervising teachers, together with whom you will outline a personal target profile for the minor. This profile will define your part in the activities within the minor.
Initially the focus will be on providing yourself with a broad basis of information necessary in order to proceed from vision to innovation. Together with your project team you will, through research, interviews, lectures and workshops, gain insight in Friesland’s socio-economic position; thus enabling extrapolation towards the future.
This is the starting point from which you will invent possible solutions and experiments for the future. The field being wide you and your team will have to select a focus of interest. Possibilities are: multimedia and social environment, multimedia and culture, multimedia and health, multimedia and education, multimedia and communication. In addition you might consider architecture, infrastructure, information technology, all this dependent on the projects that will be offered or generated.
Experts from the industries, policy-making officials and artists will be invited to form think-tanks with the students; these think-tanks will convene a number of times for mutual inspiration purposes.
At the close of the minor results and recommendations will be presented in various ways to interested parties. An event fitting the innovative concepts will be designed, developed and staged by the project teams.

Credits: 30 EC