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Dates and Times

26 May 2022
12:30 - 13:30


Building: 1
Room: 1A21 Theatrette (Behind Mizzuna’s)


News & Media Research Centre and Faculty of Arts and Design


Scott Brook


UC FAD Distinguished Fellow Public Lecture - Digital credentials, disruptive signals: microcredentials and the Creative and Cultural Industries

Please join us for our 2022 Distinguished Fellow Public Lecture, jointly sponsored by News & Media Research Centre and Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. 

A/Prof Scott Brook will present ‘Digital credentials, disruptive signals: microcredentials and the Creative and Cultural Industries’. 

The public lecture will be held on UC campus and via Zoom Webinar with moderated Q&A. 

Additional Information


The turn to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed both government policy and academic debate on the future of microcredentials. Australian Government infrastructure initiatives, such as the development of a Microcredentials Marketplace and the National Microcredentials Framework, are accompanied by recent academic critiques that are highly critical of the meritocratic claims of microcredentials in the context of the gig economy.

Such debates are vital for the Creative and Cultural Industries. Digital upskilling was a significant part of the sector’s response to the employment shock caused by lockdowns, while digital badges are a compelling proposition in relation to the problem of skills signalling in a crowded field of opportunities for paid work where career pathways are highly informal. However, any proposal for microcredentials in the CCIs would seem particularly vulnerable to critiques of the gig economy as furthering current labour market tendencies towards precarious and deskilled labour. For universities, the stakes of debate would seem even higher: creative courses remain popular with students, while legitimate concern continues to be raised about employment outcomes.

In this lecture I respond to these debates from a long tradition within Cultural Studies engaged with the critical sociology of education. I seek to move beyond what we might describe after Meaghan Morris as ‘blockbuster’ narratives of historical progress and decline (The Knowledge Society, Neoliberalism) to make a case for the progressive potential of microcredentials in Australia’s creative sector not in terms of needed skills, but as disruptive signals.



Scott Brook is Associate Professor of Communication in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, where his research focuses on creative labour and cultural policy. He has been a Lead Chief Investigator and Chief Investigator on two Australia Research Council Discovery Projects on the topic of creative graduates. He is co-editor and co-author of Gender and the Creative Labour Market: creative graduates in Australia and the UK (Palgrave, forthcoming 2022), a multidisciplinary collaboration with labour market economists and geographers that uses national graduate destination survey data to analyse creative graduate outcomes in both countries. He is currently working on a new ARC Industry Linkage project developing micro-credentials for youth arts and media organisations

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