CMA Design Courses - Marketing, Advertising & Design course

Main slides

  • National Day 17
    National Day 17
  • Chinese
  • banner-8
  • fong_han_wei
  • Ning_Goh
  • Niti_Gupta
  • Timothy
  • Xiner
  • banner 9
    banner 9

Marketing, Advertising & Design course

You sit at your desk all day churning out creative ideas, translating them from thought to paper. You’re doing well, but you’re not satisfied. You want more. You want exposure to the creative industry on the global stage. You want to meet top international creatives. You want to further your skills and push your mind past its limits. You want to live your dreams and be able to share your passion with others just like you. You want all that… And yet there you are, imagining the world at your doorstep. Well, it is time to stop imagining, because it IS right there.


We only have this to say: Opportunities may knock on your door once in awhile, but temptation? She leans on the doorbell every minute. So don’t just sit there. Take your learning experience (from all that clicking) out of the screen, and into your hands.

Do it. With us.

How MAD are you?

tay guan hin

Tay Guan Hin
Executive Creative Director | JWT

- Never stop learning. Just when you thought you know everything, there’s always somethingelse you don’t know.

- Always be humble when you deal with others. No matter if they aremore junior than you. Who knows, they might end up as your boss.

- The best sources forideas come from real life situations. When you start to create something that’s not ‘real’,your work will not relate with others.

- Creativity is about observation. Stay curious. Neverbe easily satisfied. Always be on the lookout to try something different.

- Don’t be afraid. Themore you conquer your fears, the better you’re able to move forward and step into bolderand bigger territories.

- Remember. You are only as good as your last job. Continue to keepreinventing yourself to keep up with the change in this world.


" My time in CMA was a great experience; I especially recommend it for those who are keen to enter into the Design and Advertising industries. CMA took extra steps to shape students' potential in creativity."

Andy Xu Dexiang
CMA Graduate
Winner of D&AD Student Yellow Pencil Award, 4 Silvers at the 2012 Crowbar Awards


"CMA is a warm family that accepts anyone who's passionate about Design. They have trained me up to be an award-winning designer. With their 3-in-1 MAD formula, along with the array of top-notch lecturers, I am all ready to stand out in the creative industry!"

Amelie Kam Pei Wan
CMA Graduate
Winner of D&AD Student Yellow Pencil Award, 4 Silvers & 2 Bronzes at the 2012 Crowbar Awards


"What attracted me most about the MAD formula when I joined was the Curriculum. It caters specifically to students who want to move into the creative side of advertising and marketing industry. One thing very different about MAD School is that it has a very hands on approach through projects and there're a lot of relevant videos and case studies shown during classes. I'm confident in my career in the field because I already have a job opening before I graduate, currently I'm doing free-lancing as well."

Sherie Wong
CMA Graduate
NAFA Diploma holder in Fashion Merchandizing


"My time in CMA was definitely a precious and rewarding experience.I took up the MAD formula with little design background. The modules allow me to look much deeper into the areas of advertising that are usually the blind-spots of many designers especially on strategy and media planning. With the lecturers' impartation and professional delivery, I was literally having extra creative jobs at night on top of my internship at that time.I will not hesitate to recommend this course any aspiring ad-man or designer who wishes to go beyond creating superficial eye-candy."

Callison Neo
CMA Graduate
On full-scholarship from Lasalle for final-year degree


"Being an expat's partner following my husband here, I was initially looking for short courses to learn computer-based and came across CMA where Adobe programs were integrated into marketing and design course. I'm surprised how much I have learnt in CMA despite owning being a degree holder myself. Everything is hands-on here and I like their creative-thinking approach when it comes to teaching. Groups are generally small and teachers have time to talk to everyone, answer the questions and give advices."

Margarita Buttenmuller
CMA Undergrad


"They have a more hands-on approach with teachers who currently work in the industry and they are professional.
I get a sense that they are passionate in what they do, and will be the right people to get me in the advertising industry."

Brendan Leheny
CMA Undergrad


" My experience in CMA was highly enjoyable and fulfilling, with an atmosphere that's familial and caring. During my time in CMA, I was able to complete a portfolio unique from the other applicants, having applied the different techniques from the MAD Formula. I also applied the various thought processes I learnt to tackle the interview which impressed the judges greatly."

Natalie Gay
CMA Graduate
Entered NTU with just 4 months worth of portfolio

David Chen

"CMA has fully pushed my creativity and passion for design to a higher level. From a typical designer to a full fledged creative person who can design AND sell the ideas to my boss and clients effectively! My pay is multiplied and I get my promotion in shortest period of time! Thanks to MAD Formula!"

David Chen
CMA Graduate
Art Director of Ogilvy & Mather (Shanghai)


" CMA provides good opportunities to students who look for career switch, practical studies including use of photoshop, illustrator and indesign to build a creative portfolio."

CMA Graduate
Marcomm Manager in Eurocham

Amanda Smadja

"My abilities as a design student have expanded so immensely, I can see it in my everyday doings: communication skills, creative thinking... In my internship CMA helps me become a stronger asset as whatever I learn in class can be put to use there."

Amanda Smadja
CMA Graduate
Transfer from Parsons School of Design

Gerry Seah

"I used not to believe what I could have done, it's the burning desire that drove me to make this decision. I knew I need to be true to my passion in creativity, even though I had no related experience, I decided to take up this 3-in-1 professional Diploma in Marketing, Advertising and Design in CMA as I find it truly the place that lives up to the spirit of transforming creativity into execution! My career path changed since then"

Gerry Seah
CMA Graduate
Creative Director of AirLab Design

Jing Yi

"I'm from NUS, an undergrad in Design. I took up this MAD formula when it was still my 1st year in university. Lecturers in CMA are top-notch with solid experience rather than being academic based."

Jing Yi
CMA Graduate

roy poh

Roy Poh
Founder. Creative Director. Owner of A Beautiful Design
Founding Committee Member of The Design Society

How I entered the Creative Industry.

I remembered when I first wanted to go into a design school. I didn’t even dare tell my parents. After 3 days in an engineering course, I told myself it didn’t feel right. I quitted school, forfeited 30% of my course fees and enrolled myself in a design school. My parents weren’t told only after 6 months later. Gone are the days where you need to grow up to be a doctor or an engineer, the youth no longer feel the need to live up to expectations and design is now more respectable than ever.

Getting into the design industry is not thehard part. To stay and to excel in it, is tougher.It takes more than just hard work and talent tomake it in the design industry. You can alwaysbe mediocre but that’s not what this industry isabout. It’s about passion. A person with passionfor design will not do things half-hearted, it’llshow in your work whether you’ve put in thatextra effort or you just want to finish the project.The latter will not succeed in the real world.

During my school days, I’ve known quite anumber of people that took up design coursesthinking that it’s all about coolness. Theirperception of design is doing super cool graphics,cutting edge typography, photo shoot with sexymodels, disco fliers, abstract posters, etc.. part and parcel of the job. The more informationyou have, the better the results will be. Designersalso need to be well verse with techniques as wellas technology. Different brief requires differentways of executions. Knowing only one style islimiting. Unless you’re famous for that style. Butthen again, people will only look you up if theythink your style is suitable for their product.

Knowledge and learning. It brings new thoughtsand ideas into life. Everything is interesting whenyou see it differently, in a new perspective. Thesubject doesn’t usually matters, most of the time, themeaning is always more important. Keeping up-todateis also another important factor. Designers needto know what is happening around the world, whatis the latest fashion, the most unique style or the mostinnovative inventions. In short, a good designer is amaster of all trade.

When a design brief is given, the first thing to dois to understand the problem totally before trying tosolve it. Think of all the possibilities before executingit. Explore all kinds of methods before presenting it.That way, any questions asked by your clients, I’msure you’ll be able to answer. It is definitely easier tosell a design with depth than one that just look nice.Design with no idea doesn’t interact with people. Allideas come about through some sort of observationand recognising an idea in them from what you’veobserved (A bit of lateral thinking will be neededmost of the time). Coming up with ideas is a pieceof cake. Anyone can do it. But a good one needs anopen eye, an inquisitive mind, lots of hardwork,patience and a bit of luck.

All these exciting things probably takes up less than 10%of the design work available in the market. Disappointed,they eventually left the industry to pursue something totallyirrelevant to design. Look around you, all printed materialsfrom black and white sales fliers handed out at road sidesto 2nd hand cars’classified ads found in yellow pages to acoffee-table book for sports giant Nike to an award winningshop display for LV. All these require designers to do. Ofcourse, if you want to do the best project, be the best designer.

So how do you be the best designer? Foremost is interest.You’ll be more excited by art classes than any other subjectsin your earlier schools. And you’ll probably try to do someof your own design pieces or drawings on your own freetime. If you don’t have the passion for the subject, you’ll bewasting your own time. Famous designers live and die fordesign. They made it because design is in their blood. Theydon’t work a single day in their lives because they love theirjob. It’s as simple as that.

Designers need to have an open mind. They also need tobe naturally inquisitive. That is because every project needsresearch. And some topics could be boring and some couldbe sensitive. You need to understand and solve your clients’problems through design solutions. Challenge conventions,experiment with new styles, mix and match influences fromaround the world. You can’t depend on old experiences andstick to defunct technology forever.

Dear Reader,

CMA started as an unconventional school for everyone who wants to come and pursue their dreams. It is a school where your background and past academic performances are not taken into account, a place where everyone starts afresh and where everyone is encouraged to come out of their shell and be MAD. We are the only school in Asia, which believes that everyone is creative. Our mission is to "Rekindle one's passion in design, rediscover possibilities in creative industries and to have one realize their potential".

In Singapore, design schools are in abundance, where students are often taught how to design but are unable to bring the value of their design to the company due to their lack of understanding of business functions. At CMA we impart the knowledge of business functions and design, bridging the gap between what the market needs and what ordinary students learn at various design institutions.

So far, we have trained over 1200 students, with 80% of our initial students coming from different Asian countries. Many Singaporeans were initially skeptical about pursuing their creative dreams here and preferred established design schools to boutique schools such as CMA. However, in the last 2 years, Singaporeans make up 80% of our totally students' base and in 2010, we welcomed students from France, Australia, Scotland and Dubai.

Many of our graduates are working in top advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu, LOWE, BBD, etc., and they hold key positions such as Art Director, Copywriter, Creative Directors and so on. Some enterprising ones even moved on to start their own studios - Eleven Communications, Duo Studio, Design AirLAB, just to name a few. We are proud to have them playing significant roles in adding value to the marketing, advertising and design industry.

So to all my young students, matured graduates or prospective students, enjoy every moment of life. Everybody is Creative, and this is a belief that I hold strongly. At times, things may not turn out the way we wish, but remember to stay on the path you have chosen, never let your passion die and never stop learning even if you have achieved your goal. If you have tried your best and worked towards the goodness of a creative professional, God will show you the way.

Thank you.

Michelle Lim.
Chief Executive Officer

You are here: Home