Motivating students in creative media courses can be a challenge due to the demand for creativity which is hard to be taught. Hence, motivation needs to be re-identified and re-addressed for the creative disciplines. Conventionally, creative media courses adopt the studio-based learning, and with this unique dynamic teaching approach, students are required to have face-to-face tutorial sessions with their tutors on a regular basis, as well as participate in group projects and produce creative artefacts of industry standard quality. In this paper, we investigate the critical motivators for creative media students and identify those factors throughout the study. The study aims to examine how crucial and influential the autonomy, peer relationship and the future career opportunities for students’ motivation. Research includes a survey with questions based on a conceptual framework adopted from self-determination theory. The results suggest that autonomy, peer relationships and the opportunity for future careers are the primary motivators for students in the programme. The implications of the findings are discussed, and recommendations are provided to faculty members in the creative programmes.