Training Objectives and Standards

The aim of the course is to cultivate practical advertising professionals at a local level who are adapted to the needs of socialism, qualified in terms of ethics, intellect and physique.

This course is taught using a combination of theory and practice. Students are required to be able to study the principles and practices of advertising and advertisement designing in a systematic fashion, and undergo basic hands-on training in fine arts and designing. In three years of part-time study, students master the fundamental theories and skills required for employment in professions related to advertisement designing and production.

The graduates of this course will have acquired the following:

  • Mastery of the basic theories and knowledge of advertising;
  • Mastery of the practical know-how and skills of modern advertising media and technique;
  • In-depth knowledge of fine arts, advertisement origination and designing, computer graphic designing and others.

Subjects including Sketching, Colour, Composition, Computer Graphic Design, and Digital Advertisement Design are taught in a laboratory. On graduating, students are equipped to take up posts immediately in design, production and editing in advertising companies, public relations, media, publishing and other relevant areas.

Core Subjects

Introduction to Advertising, Aesthetics, Sketching, Colour, Composition, Basic Visual Design, Computer Graphic Design, Digital Advertisement Design and Production, Case Study of a Piece of Exceptional Advertising

Duration of Study and Graduation

The course uses a credit-based system. All credits got within 8 years after 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 76. Graduates obtaining the required number of credits are awarded a nationally recognised diploma certificate of higher education.

Curriculum and Teaching Management

  1. The course includes compulsory subjects, optional modules, and practicals.
  2. 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.
  3. Regarding the optional modules, it is up to the local universities to make their selections when they draw up their teaching plans. 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.
  4. Regarding the modules with unified services provided, the OUC will provide support in terms of syllabus, multi-media teaching materials and examinations.
  5. 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.
  6. The results of the formative assessment for every compulsory subject generally account for 20 percent to 70 percent of the total mark performance. The formative assessment is given guidance by the OUC and specific requirements by the local open universities. The formative assessment for part of the subjects are done in the form of sketching and drawing, work designing, advertisement origination and production, and topics discussion, among others. Those who fail the formative assessment cannot get credits for the subject.
  7. Local universities are responsible for implementing the practicals, mainly including work experience and graduation thesis, according to the syllabus requirements. The practicals cannot be omitted.
  8. Work experience is done in the form of internship, mock advertising origination, graphic design, and mock advertising strategy planning and production within 3 weeks arranged (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 project is created on the basis of completed work experience within 5 weeks arranged (5 credits), or based on the methods of advertising strategy and production learned.
  9. 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 or designing; 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 or art designing 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 teacher 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 pilot units should be equipped with advertisement labs, drawing boards and other dyestuff so as to ensure the practice of the subjects such as Sketching, Colour, Composition and guarantee the conduction of advertisement creation and designing; besides, they should have devices as computer and related photographic equipment to make sure the smooth carrying out of the subjects of Computer Graphic Design, Digital Advertisement Design and so on.

  • 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 offered 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


 Teacher Training

  1. All teaching staff and tutors of the pilot units receive thorough training.
  2. 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 and those of optional modules.
  3. Training is determined by the actual situation and can involve meetings, classes, online initiatives, two-way video conferencing, or training materials.
  4. Instructor training includes teaching requirements, explaining the main points and difficulties of the course, usage of various media equipment, and how to motivate students to learn on their own.

 Study Guide

Each subject has an introduction including overall design, teaching requirements, methods and materials.

Centralised Tutorials

  1. Centralised tutorials are given on problematic areas in compulsory subjects through live classes, two-way video conferencing, online teaching resources and correspondence.
  2. Each subject has approximately two tutorials per term.

Centres for Experimental Teaching

  1. 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.
  2. The establishment of these centres is decided by the OUC after inspection visits.

Formative Assessment

  1. At least two formative assessments are given in each subject.
  2. 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.
  3. The format of formative assessments is governed by the subject contents. Generally, they take the form of advertisement designing, drawing, topic discussion, work analysing, comprehensive test, teaching practice or mock advertising origination and mid-term exam.
  4. The assessments are marked out of 100. Those who have not finished their assignments receive 0.
  5. The assessment counts as 20%~70% of the course's total mark. The marking of special subjects, especially those with a highly practical focus, might emphasise more on the performance of formative assessments, which will be explained separately. The final marks of the compulsory subjects should be included with the scores of homework uniformly assigned by the OUC. If the pilot units independently give two or more formative assessments, they can choose which one is to be counted in the final mark.

Subject Assessment

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Sketching, Graphic Advertisement Design and Production, an exam of practice with given theme, or exam of designing with computer or on-spot practice would be given.
  3. The exam scores are converted to the remaining 30~80 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The teachers who set the paper for the examination should obtain a relatively high level of professional achievements in the course and rich teaching experience, and possess medium grade and above professional titles.

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.


  • This consists of the subject practicals and the final practical, and is obligatory for all advertising diploma students.
  • The format can be decided on according to the actual situation on the ground. It can be done in the form of internship, mock advertising origination, accomplishing advertisement work in class, mock advertisement designing and production and so on.
  • The final practical includes specialised practicals in advertising and the graduation 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 after students obtain almost of the obligatory subject credits.

Graduation Thesis

  • All diploma course participants must write an graduation paper or finishing a graduation project.
  • 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.
  • Those completing their papers or graduation projects get the corresponding credits, without which graduation is not permitted.
  • The paper or the project is written or made after students obtain all the compulsory subject credits and complete the advertising practical work.