A NEW degree course - the first of its kind in the world - has been launched in Huddersfield.
It aims to provide the advertising and marketing industry with bright new talent.
Huddersfield-based international design agency Attik has joined forces with the university to set up the accredited master's degree course in creative imaging.
Now, 16 students from five countries have come together to start their studies.
The course was the brainchild of Attik co-founder James Sommerville, who hopes it will bridge a gap in the advertising and marketing industry by helping creative students become more commercially "savvy".
The course mixes classroom study with hands-on experience in Attik's design studio.
The students - from Britain, Ireland, Canada, the USA and Singapore - work on "live" projects while studying for the post-graduate qualification.
The students' bursaries are paid for by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.
Mr Sommerville said: "Attik - along with the university and Yorkshire Forward - have been dedicated to this project for some time. It is extremely rewarding to see it come to fruition.
"We received an overwhelming response from applicants across the world. This gave us the opportunity to recruit the highest level of creative talent for the course."
The students attended a briefing at Attik's head office in Fitzwilliam Street this week.
Under the programme, Attik presents projects for the students to work on in the classroom, monitored by university tutors.
They work to real client demands and commercial deadlines, with Attik staff evaluating the students' work at intervals.
Students are also called in at random to work alongside Attik designers on "live" projects for high-profile clients such as Nike, Microsoft and Virgin.
Student Michael Spec, a graphic designer from Pennsylvania, USA, said: "I've always had a stylistic interest in Attik's work and admired the company's creativity.
"The cultural diversity has added even more energy and appeal to the programme.
"So far, the people and the environment have all surpassed my expectations. I have already established relationships that will last long after the course."
Alan Smith, project leader for the Centre of Excellence in Digital Design in Huddersfield, said: "There are a lot of reasons to be excited about Huddersfield's latest high-tech resource.
"Attik is our most enterprising local design company. I expect great things from this liaison."