Training Objectives and Standards

The aim of the course is to equip graduates with competency and ethics in the management, design and origination of advertising, as well as in 3D computer-aided design, within a framework of cultural vision and innovation.

The requirements for the course are: to understand the basic principles of advertising; to have a solid command of advertising and its related disciplines; to understand academic and development potential; to have strong analytical skills.

Core Subjects

Advertising Strategy, Advertising Origination and Performance, Advertising Regulations and Management, Online Advertising Practice, Brand Competition Strategy, Psychology of Advertising, History of Chinese and Foreign Advertising, and 3D Computer-Aided Design.

Duration of Study and Graduation

The course uses a credit-based system. Credits received within 8 years of registration are valid.

The Open University of China (OUC) has designed this as a three-year part-time study course.

The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 71. Graduates obtaining the required number of credits are awarded a nationally recognised bachelor's degree certificate of higher education.

Curriculum and Teaching Management

  • The course includes compulsory subjects, optional modules, conversion subjects and practicals.
  • The compulsory subjects offered by the OUC employ uniform syllabus, teaching materials, examinations and standards of marking. With the authorisation of the OUC, local universities will take on the teaching of some of the compulsory subjects according to OUC standards.
  • Regarding the optional modules, it is up to the local universities to make their selections when they draw up their teaching plans. Optional modules taking during the diploma period do not need to be repeated during the degree period. It is up to the local universities to offer independent optional modules in line with training targets and local needs, and they are in charge of syllabus, teaching materials, management and examinations.
  • Regarding the subjects offered, the OUC will provide support in terms of syllabus, multi-media teaching materials and examinations.
  • Students can choose optional modules from the list of General Optional Modules. They may choose cross-discipline modules, but credits for these must not be more than 10 percent of total course credits. When students have studied the subjects stipulated in this teaching plan during the diploma period, they must be replaced by other subjects in order to maintain required study time.
  • OUC diploma graduates having obtained credits from completing the three subjects Advertising Origination and Performance (1) and (2), Advertising Strategy, and Psychology of Advertising don not have to retake them on the degree course. Instead, they study 2D Computer-Aided Design (1) and (2), Media Planning, and Marketing and Consumerism.
  • Students whose main subject is not advertising at diploma level have to do a conversion by studying Introduction to Advertising, and Principles of Aesthetics.
  • Each advertising subject will have a formative assessment organised in accordance with the OUC requirements. The results of the formative assessment generally account for 20 percent of the total mark, and specific requirements for special subjects will be given. The formative assessment for part of the subjects are done in the form of practicals, including discussion, case studies, thematic investigation, mock advertising origination, mock advertising strategy and production among others. Those who fail the formative assessment will not receive credits.
  • Local universities are responsible for implementing practical study, mainly including work experience and graduation thesis, according to the syllabus requirements. The practical study cannot be omitted.
  • Work experience is done in a the form of internship, social survey, thematic discussion, mock advertising origination, and mock advertising strategy and production within 3 weeks (3 credits). It can also be done in combination with actual teaching, and students are advised to analyse and solve practical problems with the fundamental theories and knowledge learned. The graduation thesis is written on the basis of completed work experience within 5 weeks (5 credits). The aim of the thesis is to cultivate the student’s ability to resolve practical problems. The topic can be diverse, but should conform to the requirements of the course.
  • One or two certificate subjects are offered (with implementation regulations stipulated separately).


Teaching Method and Media

Modern distance learning technology is used to support students' autonomous study.

The main study media are printed materials, audio-visual materials, IP courseware and CAI courseware, with printed materials being the primary medium.

Face-to-face tutorials, correspondence tutorial, online teaching, BBS, e-mail, VBI, telephone and two-way video conferencing, and televised teaching are also used to support students.

Teaching Quality Assurance System

  • Teaching Staff

    The pilot units are responsible for employing and improving the teaching staff within their regions. Each subject has full-time course leaders and full-time or part-time lead teachers that meet the following qualifications:
  1. Course Leaders
    All course leaders have an undergraduate degree or above in advertising; are active in the teaching and teaching management of advertising; are able to teach online; and are fully conversant with the characteristics of teaching in open universities.
  2. Lead Teachers (chief editors of teaching materials)
    Lead teachers have an undergraduate degree or above in advertising as well as senior professional titles; are active in the teaching and academic research of advertising; have rich teaching experience and strong oral and written communication skills. In addition, they all speak fluent Mandarin (putonghua) with clear pronunciation.
    In addition to those with the required educational background titles, the position of lead teachers for specialised and practical subjects can also be held by those who work in advertising and media companies, or who have rich practical experience and hold leading posts, once their academic level has been verified.
  3. Tutors
    Full-time tutors have at least an undergraduate degree, while part-time tutors not only have at least an undergraduate degree, but also have professional titles in advertising at or above mid-range level and a certain level of academic theoretical level. In addition, they are engaged in teaching, research or advertising practice in open universities or conventional institutions of higher education, professional research institutes, or the related disciplines of advertising and media companies.
  • Teaching Facilities

    All the experimental units are equipped with corresponding advertising laboratories to enable the creation and designing of advertising, including computers, photographic apparatus, and equipment for editing television advertisements.
  • Teaching media
  1. The teaching media for compulsory subjects falls under the jurisdiction of the OUC, while for the pilot optional modules, it falls to the provincial open universities.
  2. Those involved in compiling the teaching media are all appropriately qualified.
  3. The syllabus, teaching proposals and samples of teaching materials for independently established optional modules are all submitted to the OUC for evaluation and approval before teaching commences. Outstanding ones are recommended for use in the OU system.
  • Teaching Supervision
  1. Teacher Training
    All teaching staff and tutors of the pilot units receive thorough training.
    The OUC is responsible for giving training to teachers of the compulsory subjects, while the pilot units are responsible for training those in their regions.
    Training is determined by the actual situation and can involve meetings, classes, online initiatives, two-way video conferencing, or training materials.
  2. Study Guide
    At the beginning of the course, students sit an entrance test on Chinese language, advertising, art and design. Pilot units give students guidance on the course contents, subjects offered, study plan and study methods.
    Each subject has an induction including overall design, teaching requirements, study methods and materials.
  3. Centralised Tutorials
    Centralised tutorials are given on problematic areas in compulsory subjects through live classes, two-way video conferencing, online teaching resources and correspondence.
    Each subject has approximately two tutorials per term.
  4. Centres for Experimental Teaching
    The OUC selects pilot areas to carry out experimental teaching and learning activities, test the practical effect of various teaching media, explore the reform in teaching and learning models, and improve learner support.
    The establishment of these centres is decided by the OUC after inspection visits.
  5. Formative Assessment
    At least two formative assessments are given in each subject.
    The OUC has a uniform process for the formative assessment of compulsory subjects, which is conducted mainly through correspondence channels. The pilot units are responsible for their own formative assessments and having them checked and marked.
    The format of formative assessments is governed by the subject contents and has a practical focus. They take the form of discussion, case study, thematic investigation, mock advertising origination, and planning and production. Students failing the assessment do not obtain the credits for the subject.
    The assessments are marked out of 100. Those who have not finished their assignment receive 0.
    The assessment counts as 20% of the course's total mark. The marking of special subjects, especially those with a highly practical focus, is explained separately. If the pilot units independently give two or more formative assessments, they can choose which one is to be counted in the final mark.
  6. Subject Assessment
    Each subject is marked on the formative assessment and exam on completion of that subject. Students with no formative assessment mark cannot take the exam.
    Generally, the OUC is in charge of the compilation of exam papers for all the compulsory subjects, with exams being either open or closed-book. For those subjects with fairly fixed contents, a test item database or test paper bank will gradually be compiled. For those with a practical focus, such as 3-D Computer-Aided Design, an exam is given on a computer.
    The exam scores are converted to the remaining 80 percent, with the conversion of special subjects explained separately. A minimum of 60 marks (from the formative assessment and exam) is needed to pass the subject and receive the corresponding credits.
    The types of exam questions for closed-book examinations are decided according to the nature of the subject and usually contain four types from the following: filling in blanks, multiple-choice, judgment, explanation of terms, question and answer, essay, and case study.
  7. Teaching and Exam Inspection
    The OUC is responsible for inspecting the teaching and exams of each pilot unit, checking formative assessments and practical teaching arrangements, as well as feedback on teaching information.


Problems surrounding diploma-to-degree conversion

Students graduating from non-advertising courses at or above diploma level wishing to take the advertising degree course must do a conversion for the compulsory subjects. They are Introduction to Advertising, and Principles of Aesthetics. The OUC provides subject description, syllabus, recommended teaching materials and assessment requirements to support students' autonomous study.

The corresponding credits for each conversion subject is 3, with the total coming to 6 credits.

All pilot units also offer the conversion subjects as per OUC regulations.

Ⅸ. OUC diploma graduates of the former system switching to the current system

Following the reforms, some of the subjects in the OUC diploma course have been adjusted for the new degree course. Students who have obtained the credits for the completion of the three subjects Advertising Origination and Performance (1) and (2), Advertising Strategy, Psychology of Advertising at diploma level are not required to retake them for the degree course. Instead, they study 2-D Computer-Aided Design (1) and (2), Media Planning, and Marketing and Consumerism.


  • This consists of the subject practicals and the final practical, and is obligatory for all advertising degree students.
  • The format of subject practicals can be decided on according to the actual situation on the ground. It can be done in the form of a standard assignment, subject discussion, a case study, thematic investigation, or mock advertising strategy.
  • The final practical includes the specialised practicals in advertising and the undergraduate thesis. The OUC is responsible for formulating the uniform basic requirements for the final practical, while the local open universities are responsible for implementing them based on the requirements of the syllabus.
  • Those successfully completing the final practical get the corresponding credits. It cannot be omitted and those without it are not permitted to graduate.
  • The final practical is generally scheduled for after students obtain most of the obligatory subject credits.

Undergraduate Thesis

  • All degree course participants must write an undergraduate thesis.
  • The basic requirements (covered separately) are formulated uniformly by the OUC and carried out by each pilot unit, with the OUC making inspections and giving instruction.
  • The thesis is written after students obtain all the compulsory subject credits and complete the advertising practical work.
  • After completing the thesis, the student must attend a viva taken by a fully qualified OUC tutor.
  • Those completing their thesis get the corresponding credits, without which graduation is not permitted.