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Masters Degrees (Graphic Design)

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The MA Graphic Design course at The University of Central Lancashire encourages the diversity of design study that is possible within the wider field of Graphic Design. Read more
The MA Graphic Design course at The University of Central Lancashire encourages the diversity of design study that is possible within the wider field of Graphic Design. The course focus is rooted in visual communication research, underpinned by theory and with an emphasis on the development of a very personal body of practical work. Throughout the course students are encouraged to pursue a unique personal line of inquiry within any area of contemporary graphic design practice or explore the potential of design diversity. By the end of the course all students should have completed a cohesive body of work to a professional standard and be able to clearly articulate a sound intellectual rationale and a broad critical viewpoint.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Practical work is carried out within our extensive and very well equipped studios and workshops.

Full time and part time students will be required to attend the Friday morning lecture programme throughout semesters 1 and 2. Full time students will also attend weekly seminars and tutorial sessions during the week. Part time students are scheduled for their practical sessions on a Friday afternoon, so that their commitment on campus allows for day release from their place of employment.

Evening tutorial sessions may be available from time to time for some students who are unable to attend in the day. Many of the Friday morning lectures are filmed for supporting distance learning or those who miss sessions.

Study is further supported by a lecture programme of visiting practitioners from a variety of design disciplines.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Graphic designers can work in many different areas, from traditional print for book design in the publishing industry and packaging design for the food and drink industry, to the digital arena of web design and new media. Often, the career path of an artist or designer does not take a particularly conventional route. Some graphic designers work on a freelance basis, whilst many work for design agencies or as part of in-house departments of larger companies. Life as a graphic designer can be exceedingly fast-paced and challenging as well as highly exciting.

A design related masters degree can provide a platform from which to enter employment in a range of other exciting sectors, such as: Art & Design; Teaching & Education; Advertising, Marketing & PR Media Culture; Music & Performing Arts; Management Consulting; Business & Admin; Hospitality & Tourism; Retail & Sales; Recruitment & Human Resources; Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO.

The MA course exists within the context of the University module scheme. The theory and practical modules run alongside in order to inform each other. Design Research 1 and 2 are theoretical modules that provide an opportunity to explore research methodologies appropriate to Graphic Design and the broader area of visual communication. A special feature of the course is the Friday morning lecture programmes with lectures from subject specific academics, guest speakers and practicing designers who are at the top of their profession. Graphic Design Practice 3 incorporates a theoretical element to summarize and complement the final practical body of work.

Throughout the programme students will continue to explore the links and concerns between theory and graphic design practice. The practical modules (Practice 1, 2 & 3) are designed to allow students to pursue their own specific individual design research project, which is a major investigation into a particular personal area of study. A key element of the practice sessions are to facilitate the opportunity to generate, investigate and test new ideas. The programme then culminates with a final public exhibition of student work.

OPPORTUNITIES

The MA Graphic Design programme is also delivered at our partner University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Students are able to study there for one semester. The MA will help further career opportunities in the field of Graphic Design and Visual Communication, giving recognition to each student’s individual practical and intellectual abilities.

The opportunity for a structured work experience will be provided for every student who requests it. This is a major commitment by the University to help our graduates to reach their potential and thrive in their careers after graduation.

Study trips are an essential part of research activity that brings design to life. Throughout the programme, students are introduced to contemporary influences with International city trips and study visits to exhibitions and museums - Manchester, London, Berlin and New York have been regular trips in recent years (students will be required to pay for overseas trips/visits and are therefore optional).

With an MA in Graphic Design, there are many other opportunities to explore and career options worth considering that require the broad range of skills gained at masters level and related to graphic design / visual communication / art and design.

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This Masters degree seeks to challenge established aesthetic structures, advance your artistic development and help you become a commercially aware practitioner in the graphic design and illustration industry. Read more
This Masters degree seeks to challenge established aesthetic structures, advance your artistic development and help you become a commercially aware practitioner in the graphic design and illustration industry.

•Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
•Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the modern, purpose-built and RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building in the heart of Liverpool’s creative quarter
•Close links with industry and local creative agencies and professionals
•Prestigious Susan Cotton Travel Awards, the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy study awards available
•The chance to visit key graphic design industry events, and serious opportunities to build a graphic design and illustration portfolio through collaborative projects with local festivals and creative ventures

This MA programme focuses on the cultural shifts at the centre of a rapidly moving Graphic Design and Illustration industry. The course has been specially designed to place craft and production activities firmly at the heart of its research and your development experience.

You will examine and explore the role of independent visual practice within the context of an ever-increasing interdisciplinary profession.

You will be expected to develop personal practice that challenges traditional perspectives on both Graphic Design and Illustration disciplines while, at the same time, engaging with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice. A particular emphasis will be placed on expanded forms of publishing as a method of developing your professional practice and realising your career ambitions.

The programme is based in the Liverpool School of Art and Design’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, a purpose-built facility in Liverpool City Centre, which brings together each of the varied disciplines studied at the School. The nature of the building and the interdisciplinary ethos of the School facilitate collaborative project opportunities and enable you to share ideas and expertise. You can read more about the work of the graphic design students and staff by visiting our blog.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Research and Practice

Discover a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles that underpin and inform current and emerging graphic design and illustration practice

Studio Practice

Define your existing practice and extend its scope and ambition through a combination of self-initiated and/or set projects designed to challenge their preconceived notions of graphic design and illustration practice

Collaboration and Publication

Work closely with external partners in the UK and abroad in the proposal and planning of collaborative creative projects and initiatives. Outcomes may be a hypothetical proposals or applied projects

Major Project

Bring together all of the skills that you have acquired during the course of the programme

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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Take your design and visual communication skills further by producing your own research-driven project. Explore a range of different design methodologies such as typography or publication design, and apply them to ‘real-world’ situations and scenarios. Read more

Why take this course?

Take your design and visual communication skills further by producing your own research-driven project.

Explore a range of different design methodologies such as typography or publication design, and apply them to ‘real-world’ situations and scenarios. Your aim will be to channel design engagement while creating links with industry and the professional design community.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Extend the view of accepted practice by producing cutting-edge and intellectually and stimulating graphic design using the latest software and equipment
Develop your understanding of graphic design through in-depth research based study
Develop a strong critical discourse in relation to your work

What opportunities might it lead to?

You are encouraged to firmly ground your developments within a professional context by testing and applying your work in real world settings. This will often open future possibilities for employment and entrepreneurship on graduating from the course.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Graphic design
Typographic design
Type design
Website design
New media design
Magazine design publishing
Work in the television and film industries
Art direction
Design management
Research

Module Details

This course aims to help you learn independently through research-based study, culminating in a critically reflective report which will document the iterative development of your research, whilst outlining the various relationships to theory and historical and contemporary contexts for your chosen research area. You will also position your work in relation to what is happening at the forefront of the subject area.

Here are the units you will study:

A Question of Research: This unit provides an introduction to debates and research methods relevant for creative practitioners and their application to a pertinent research question. It also encourages self reflection on the research process.

Contextual Report: This unit provides the opportunity for you to utilise and apply advanced research and written communication skills to a critically evaluated report that documents and describes the origination, and development through to conclusion of a designed artefact(s) as a response to a sustained programme of independent research.

Proposal: This unit is about writing a project proposal for the Masters research project.

Resolution: You will draw together the various threads of their research-informed practice and practice-informed research undertaken during their project and produce a resolved body of work.

Programme Assessment

You will receive guidance and supervision throughout the programme that encourages independent learning. There will be regular contact teaching time but we also aim for you to engage in the wider studio culture that develops within the subject area alongside the undergraduate students in graphic design.

You will be assessed after the submission of your work for each unit. We also present structured feedback to ensure your research is on the right track.

Student Destinations

We anticipate that once you have completed this degree the scope of your opportunities within the graphic design profession will have widened. You will have a deeper knowledge and the skills to set up your own design studio or step into a more senior role in a graphic design agency. Alternatively, for those who wish to continue studying, there is always the option of progressing to doctoral level in your specialised area of graphic design.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

Graphic designer
Digital marketing executive
Web designer
Production manager

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MA Graphic Design explores the ever-changing landscape of graphic design, to create insightful and well-defined specialist projects. Read more
MA Graphic Design explores the ever-changing landscape of graphic design, to create insightful and well-defined specialist projects. The course is uniquely centred around the staged creation of a year long self initiated design project which builds critical understand and alongside practical design applications. A journey that focuses on individual research and enquiry, asks questions, promotes curiosity and build design investigations, to meet the needs of tomorrow's ambitious designers and their future at the leading edge of the Creative Industries.


Why you should study MA Graphic Design at Middlesex

At Middlesex there is an opportunity to fully submerge your self within the discipline of graphic design and be part of the well-established, award winning Graphic Design Department. Where we take a problem solving approach to Graphic Design to explore contemporary design practice through design thinking, insight and co-design processes, prototyping ideas, methods of design analysis and through building expert collaborative networks and external partners. Students come from a wide range of design and creative backgrounds, all with their own individual skill set, experience and cultural background. A diverse working collective, working across project areas of typography & information, brand identity & campaigns, new technology & digital experiences, design writing & insight analysis, sustainability & environmental issues, structural packaging and book design.

Based in our £80 million Art and Design School and taught by some of the UK's leading practitioners from a range of disciplines, our course features world-class facilities and specialist workshops fitted with both new and traditional equipment. With opportunities to build industry contacts and exhibit your work off-site, you'll also gain the employability skills, exposure and experiences you need to navigate a successful career path in today's competitive creative industries.

Course highlights:

- Our facilities are among the best in the UK, with fully equipped 3d workshops, laser cutting and 3d printing, printmaking and letterpress, digital printing, reprographics, bookbinding and fully equipped photography, animation and film studios, with expert technical support
- Each self-initiated project is tailored to the individual to support individual specialism and next stage links to industry, research, design writing, PhD or education. With the aim to establish expert links and specialist networks for each project.
- An exhibition of your work in central London to create networking opportunities, build industry contacts in a professional environment
- To contribute to research themes within the course and be part of a growing alumni collective.
- Access to networking opportunities, world-leading design research and expertise through the Art & Design Research Institute (ADRI) on campus

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Our. MA Graphic Design course. has been structured to promote the role of designers as skilled professional communicators, and firmly embed a culture of research and problem solving into creative practice. Read more

Our MA Graphic Design course has been structured to promote the role of designers as skilled professional communicators, and firmly embed a culture of research and problem solving into creative practice.

Our course, taught at UCA Epsom, aims to promote specialism and mastery in your own unique area of graphic design - which you'll identify and develop with us on this MA. Enabling you to produce meaningful outcomes from informed research is a top priority.

Using the extensive industry links brought by our course staff, you'll be encouraged to foster connections with industry partners within your area of specialism. With the help of visiting lecturers, industry experts and live briefs, you'll gain real-life experience of the design industry. And emphasis will be placed on how to present both yourself and your design work in a professional arena.

The industry orientation of this course is concerned with exploring graphic design languages in all their facets. You'll enhance your understanding of the aesthetic and commercial value of your work, and accrue professional experience which will add innovation to your practice.

On this course you'll taught through a range of lectures, workshops, tutorials, live pitches and presentations. We also place a strong emphasis on independent research.

Industry Partner

You'll benefit from well-established industry links with corporate, media, cultural and creative organisations.

Our course has links with:

-Design Bridge

-Pearlfisher (design group)

-FutureBrand

-The Brewery

-The BBC

-Imagine

-Bloom

-Interbrand

We also have regular guest lecturers and recent guests have included:

-Richard Williams - Founder of Williams Murray Hamm

-Tim Perkins - Group Director of Design Bridge

-Philip Carter - Founder of Carter Wong Tomlin

-Helen Healy - Picture Editor for the Guardian newspaper.

Careers

MA Graphic Design alumni go on to work in a diverse variety of exciting careers. Employment opportunities include:

-Graphic design

-Museum design

-Web or interactive design

-Picture editing

-Freelance design or illustration

-Brand design

-Packaging design

-Retail design

-Art direction

-Design management.

Virtual Media Space

Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.



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Graphic Design is a sophisticated mode of communication in the twenty-first century. Consumers access ideas through the visual language of graphic forms and their experiences are shaped by the relations we, as designers, create between form and image. Read more
Graphic Design is a sophisticated mode of communication in the twenty-first century. Consumers access ideas through the visual language of graphic forms and their experiences are shaped by the relations we, as designers, create between form and image. Graphic Design is made up of many different processes and inhabits a multitude of contexts. In the design of information graphics for different commercial and artistic platforms the world of the graphic designer occupies both physical and digital arenas. Graphic Design contributes to a system building process where the interface between type and meaning is at the forefront of innovative and dynamic communication tools of the future.

Our MA in Graphic Design offers continuing or recent graduates from creative design subjects with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, creative skills and employment prospects. Our course aims to encourage you to push the boundaries of graphic practice with the development of innovative and imaginative concepts and ideas relevant to the design of graphic products and artefacts. We will introduce you to a variety of platforms and a range of situations and contexts within which graphic design sits, enabling you to experiment, expand, progress and communicate your ideas through different forms and processes. Our practice-led modules facilitate opportunities for you to produce high quality portfolios often underpinned by industry focused trends and competition briefs.

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This course is concerned with the advanced exploration and application of principles of graphic design within the contexts of research and professional development. Read more
This course is concerned with the advanced exploration and application of principles of graphic design within the contexts of research and professional development. Engagement with digital and making technologies is central to discovering and harnessing new thinking in design.

This course is of particular relevance to those interested in effective visual communication and developing innovative concepts and approaches in publication design, illustration, motion graphics, corporate identity, photography, design for digital media and graphic design for advertising.

Design Network

Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction is part of an innovative design network — a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.

While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.

Specialist Environment

Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.

Course Content

The MA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.

The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.

You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – whatever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

If you choose to progress to MFA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This route is focused on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.

Resources

We have developed a dedicated postgraduate area occupying an entire floor of the main School of Art building, offering an exciting space to be, both intellectually and practically. The centre is located in the newly refurbished Chatham Tower with studios, design laboratories, seminar rooms and extensive workshops that form the nucleus of this vibrant, cross-disciplinary learning environment.

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-MA Graphic Design degree will develop your professional skills as a graphic designer. -You will work with design professionals of international standing. Read more
-MA Graphic Design degree will develop your professional skills as a graphic designer
-You will work with design professionals of international standing
-This Master's degree gives you the opportunity to work in professional and industrial contexts
-Opportunity to spend a semester in Germany at the prestigious Hochschule Mannheim as part of your course

Why choose this course?

MA Graphic Design sits within the MA Art and Design programme at the School of Creative Arts. There is strong emphasis on professional practice and the real-world applications of art and design, where you will develop key research skills and gain a good understanding of the work of other practitioners in your field.

The aim of the postgraduate programme is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to practice at an advanced level, to foster your creativity and enhance your employment opportunities. You will work alongside artists and designers who are involved with a wide variety of media and forms. Induction, seminars and social events for students and staff mean that you will be part of a friendly and supportive postgraduate community, which also includes film makers, musicians and professionals working in new media. Senior research staff and internationally renowned artists work with postgraduate students, helping you to develop original and challenging work.

Visual communication and the graphic image are increasingly important in the global information economy. On this masters degree, you will be encouraged to adopt a creative, enquiring and critical approach to the graphic image and its uses in contemporary practice.

From traditional craft processes to digital image making, exploring the graphic image and its uses, in both web based and print formats. We focus on professional practice and enterprise, helping you acquire the skills required to practice in the creative and cultural industries, and equipping you with the skills necessary to work as a freelance practitioner. Key aspects of the course also include social, political, environmental and commercial contexts of graphic design, and the processes by which graphic signs operate to convey meanings in various environments.

Our staff are experienced in research and professional practice, and you will also benefit from contributions from visiting designers and design professionals, as well as from involvement with our international exhibitions programme and our close links with industry partners.

Careers

Particular emphasis is given to providing you with the skills necessary to further your career as a graphic designer. The course is designed to help you understand and work within the contemporary industrial environment and particular attention is given to helping you acquire entrepreneurial skills.

Teaching methods

This course is designed to help you develop your practice and give you the skills recovery to further your career in industry both in the UK and abroad. The course includes practice based modules where you will explore and develop your work as a graphic designer. It also contains course or research skills, entrepreneurialism and professional practice. The final part of the course enables you to complete a major project.

Structure

Core Modules
-Creative Enterprise and Context
-Discourse / Reflection: Art and Design
-Major Study: Graphic Design
-Practice 1: Art and Design
-Practice 2: Art and Design
-Research and Enquiry

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This course encourages the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication, and will further develop your personal practice and approach to graphic design. Read more
This course encourages the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication, and will further develop your personal practice and approach to graphic design. It focuses on individual research and inquiry and helps you to develop your understanding of the significance of the wider cultural role of the visual designer. In addition, you will be introduced to disciplinary and interdisciplinary models of thinking that will underpin your own focused study on the course.

Key features
-The emphasis on problem finding, research methods and critical thinking is intended to enhance your long-term employment possibilities through an understanding of the changing global, technological and social context of design.
-The course is taught by academics who are also practising designers and researchers in design. This is supported by studio visits and visiting tutors from industry, live projects, competitions, lectures and workshops.
-Core modules are studied with students from across the Design School's postgraduate community.

What will you study?

Project work will challenge you to develop and enhance your existing ways of working. You will explore the importance of research in underpinning your practice and will be encouraged to build your own visual language and ‘tools' in response to set briefs within each module. In the final stage of the course, you will propose and develop your independent major project. You will be taught by experienced academics and specialist tutors from industry who encourage you to develop your understanding of the relationship between words, pictures and their means of communication and transmission.

Assessment

Project work: visual research, written project report/summary, exhibition, and final major project.

Course structure

This specialist pathway of the Communication Design MA course is part of the School of Design's postgraduate programme. The structure – shared with students from Product & Furniture Design MA, Sustainable Design MA and Fashion MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests in graphic design within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the School of Design.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in graphic design.

The two shared modules of the School of Design's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework.

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This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits. Read more

This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits.

You will develop an enhanced research and design proposal, culminating in a new body of work that will showcase your development and achievements.

This unique and convention-breaking programme has a strong emphasis on personal creative freedom and design innovation, ensuring you have the best chance of employment and career development upon graduation.

You will be encouraged to challenge your existing research and design knowledge and develop new skills and networks. You are expected to experiment and explore: independent study is paramount but underpinned by a number of supporting projects, workshops and events.

We expect collaboration within the School of Design, with the creative industries and where appropriate with external clients to allow you to realise personal and project possibilities to the full. There is a strong international student input which introduces diverse experience and encourages wide-ranging thinking.

We encourage bold, lateral approaches, coupled with a clear understanding of process and technique, to produce innovative, emotive and enduring design from students who learn through intense, sustained involvement with the design process.

Programme structure

The curriculum is student-led with an emphasis on independent learning. With tutorial guidance, you will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of research and practice, alongside set projects to support and inform your line of enquiry.

You will initially focus on the research and development of a study proposal. With support from our dynamic team of experienced tutors (all industry practitioners or researchers) you will be encouraged to expand on your preconceived ideas and let your findings dictate future development. We expect you to engage in sophisticated design dialogue to push your ideas to their full potential. There is a hotbed of debate and prototyping before any designs are taken into production.

The written context of the programme helps amplify and contextualise your understanding of process and this wider awareness of design feeds back into your practice-based work. You will produce written context assignments alongside studio based work.

Career opportunities

We are committed to providing our students with enhanced career prospects and the ability to achieve at the highest level. Graduates are professionally vital and well-informed, and are able to enter the design industry with a freshness of approach and the flexibility and adaptability to be able to respond to change.

Our Graphic Design graduates work in a wide range of creative career paths. The variety of projects, approaches and opportunities on course enable graduates to apply their knowledge and experience of the design process and their considerable skills onto many disciplines. Typically though our graduates leave to become valuable members of a graphic design agency.

Our extensive links with industry built through industry-led projects and staff research, and our range of visiting speakers, ensures that graduates are aware of the full range of career possibilities and are provided with a strong footing from which to develop their chosen career.

Previous career paths have included experiential design, packaging, advertising, digital design, interaction design, exhibition design, design research, marketing, retail design, exhibition design, multimedia, design management, education. Graduates may freelance or seek employment within a company.

A specific scheme we run within the programme is the Design Agency project which, in 2013, won a Guardian University Award for Employability Initiative.

Design Agency is a flagship initiative that enables graphic design students to form their own design agencies. They create their own brand for the agency and work collectively towards a common objective based on ability, regardless of age or experience. Edinburgh-based design agencies act as ‘mentor partners’ to the student agencies. The long-term relationships that are built with mentors ensures that students have the chance to show, over an extended period rather than just a few weeks on placement, what they can contribute to potential employers.

In 2013, the ECA Design Agency won the Guardian University Awards 2013 prize for Employability Initiative, with the judges praising its ambition and said its risk-taking innovation “should be applauded.”



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The Master of Computer Graphic Design (MCGD) is a one-year degree that stresses graphic design theory and original research. Read more

Why the Master of Computer Graphic Design Waikato?

The Master of Computer Graphic Design (MCGD) is a one-year degree that stresses graphic design theory and original research. The MCGD is an opportunity to plan, develop and carry out a large scale design thesis realisation based on original research, collaboration with peers, members of the professional design industry and academic communities, in order to advance the body of design knowledge.

MCGD research is represented by both a written thesis and an exhibited design realisation. The written thesis and thesis realisation are two expressions of the same research and are thus assessed as a single unit. This arrangement reflects the symbiotic link between theory and practice in this discipline.

There is no option to take a written only or a realisation only MCGD. There is an option to take an approved taught paper alongside your research.

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The MA Graphic Design course encourages designers to explore ways of developing understanding between co-communicators. Read more
The MA Graphic Design course encourages designers to explore ways of developing understanding between co-communicators.

You will do this by systematically interrogating design practice, through using design methods to analyse and comprehend situations and behaviour and by generating alternative and novel visual solutions. Students apply to the course predominantly from graphic design courses but are welcomed from a variety of backgrounds (if they can show an aptitude for typography) where they may have studied photography, architecture, illustration, interaction design, three dimensional design, fine art, or, subjects such as journalism, philosophy, psychology, anthropology or sociology. Whatever your background, you will be required to reflect on your worldview; the underlying assumptions and understanding that guides and constrains your practice, and to use this reflection as a starting point from which to further develop. Your practice can take many forms: it can be self-expressive, or socially orientated; print, screen-based or three-dimensional. It can focus on an aspect of a well-defined area of design, such as branding, experimental typography, publishing, and user-centred design, or on something more unconventional defined as part of your study.

Depending on what kind of focus you identify you will select one of three different types of Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). These reflect either a business, academic or curatorial/editing focus and provide you with another way of tailoring your study to meet your aspirations.

Graphic designers often work in groups, sometimes comprising members from different disciplines. The MA Graphic Design course provides many opportunities to work in interdisciplinary ways as it sits alongside the courses of other disciplines. Many of the taught sessions such as the introduction to research methods and processes occur in these interdisciplinary groups. At other times however you will be developing your project with your supervisor and other students on your course. This will require you to develop a theoretical framework, methodology and research methods that support your research focus.

As a graphic designer you should anticipate the possible consequences of your design interventions, including the meanings constructed through your practice, in relation to ethical and sustainability issues as well as to other relevant contexts. Creative approaches are required that respond to complex situations in which many problems reside. Outcomes are not constrained by media or by limited interpretations of what it is to be a graphic designer.

Consequently, an outcome might involve the design of an experience or service, as much as it might concern more conventional forms of graphic production.

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Further your professional practice in graphic communication. Learn to challenge preconceived ideas and develop a truly innovative approach to your work. Read more
Further your professional practice in graphic communication. Learn to challenge preconceived ideas and develop a truly innovative approach to your work. You'll be supported by practising designers and work on self-directed and industry-driven projects, while also honing your research skills.

Overview

Whether you’re a new graduate or an established, professional designer, our course will help you to engage with graphic design and typography at an advanced level.

You’ll explore working practices in graphic communication and look at issues that designers - and the industry - face. As well as furthering your professional understanding, you'll also be sharpening your academic knowledge and research skills.

Undertaking both self-directed and industry-driven projects, you’ll learn to challenge preconceived thinking and develop innovative approaches to your design work. You’ll also develop your creative thinking around the professional, business and social contexts of graphic communication.

Throughout the course, your project work will be supported by collaboration and dialogue with staff, visiting professionals and fellow students.

Teaching times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm (full-time); Part-time: Wednesdays 10am-5pm in trimesters 1 and 2, Tuesdays 9am-1pm in trimester 4, tutorials by arrangement on Tuesdays in trimesters 5 and 6 (part-time).

Careers

Our Master's course will equip you for professional employment or self-employment in graphic design and design consultancy, as well as related fields like brand development, art-editorial design, publishing, typography/typesetting, advertising, and media design.

It will also give you a basis for a teaching career in higher education. You might decide to move on to a research degree, like our PhD Graphic Design and Typography.

You’ll also benefit from our links with industry, including Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Sony, and a number of independent design practices and consultants.

Core modules

Process and Practice as Research
Interpretation and Origination: Modes of Graphic Authorship
Master's Dissertation Art and Design
Typographic Enquiry
Master's Project: Art and Design

Assessment

You’ll show your progress through a combination of portfolio work, evaluative commentaries, blog participation, group critiques, one-to-one tutorials, presentations, log books and analytical reports, and a 6,000-word research essay.

Where you'll study

Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

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The Graphic Design MA is designed for those who want to enhance their existing professional portfolio and their understanding of current graphic design practice, and for those who have applicable practice skills and who are interested in the intellectual challenges of both further study and the design process. Read more
The Graphic Design MA is designed for those who want to enhance their existing professional portfolio and their understanding of current graphic design practice, and for those who have applicable practice skills and who are interested in the intellectual challenges of both further study and the design process.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

This course has been developed with your future employability as its focus. By choosing to study at Coventry you will benefit from:
-The chance to expand definitions of the genre through practical projects
-Regular visiting speakers and practitioners from industry
-The opportunity to advance your existing professional portfolio

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

Students will be offered the chance to expand definitions of the genre through practical projects. They will have the support of staff with a wide range of successful design practices, offering you their professional insight, extensive experience and technical acumen, along with visiting speakers and practitioners from industry who elaborate on the contemporary practice of graphic design and provide an insight into future industry trends, practices and developments in emergent media.

The successful applicant should be willing to engage in the discussion of their own practice and that of their peers and to contribute to the field of contemporary design discourse.

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

National and international graduate career prospects are many and varied and include education, curating, film and television, print and publishing, multimedia, advertising, animation, moving image, web and interactive design, marketing and public relations. Graduates may also wish to continue their studies at PhD level.

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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This course allows you to develop your professional and educational profile, alongside employment or other commitments. With a similar curriculum to our full-time MA Graphic Design this part-time course is delivered in a more flexible way, in order to suit your individual needs. Read more
This course allows you to develop your professional and educational profile, alongside employment or other commitments. With a similar curriculum to our full-time MA Graphic Design this part-time course is delivered in a more flexible way, in order to suit your individual needs. You can study a range of specialist topics including illustration, branding and identity, digital interactive media or animation. You'll choose to develop your own practical project, or write a dissertation.

Key features:

Have the support and flexibility to study a master's course around your existing commitments, including employment
Develop a project tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.
Choose to develop a practical project, or research and write a dissertation.
Have the opportunity to study across the broad subject of Graphic Design, choosing specialist topics such as illustration, branding and digital interactive media.
Be allocated a personal supervisor, who will provide continuity throughout the development of your work.
Take part in group tutorials and development workshops at the University.
Work with other part-time students on the course in online study groups.
Opt for an additional advanced research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.

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