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.
You'll benefit from well-established industry links with corporate, media, cultural and creative organisations.
Our course has links with:
-Pearlfisher (design group)
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.
MA Graphic Design alumni go on to work in a diverse variety of exciting careers. Employment opportunities include:
-Web or interactive design
-Freelance design or illustration
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.
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.
Our specialist staff and research expertise in the School of Art, Design and Architecture brings students into contact with a wide range of academic staff, many of whom have industry experience. All of our staff are research active and are involved in the events of our research centres (G and the Centre for Sculptural Thinking). Students are welcome to participate in these wider research contexts as part of their studies with us at the University of Huddersfield. Research plays a relevant role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.
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.
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.
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.”
The MCGD provides an opportunity for you to plan, develop and carry out a large scale design research project. This will enable you to collaborate with other students and academics, and to work with members of the professional design industry. The MCGD research is represented by both a written thesis and an exhibited design realisation.
Research topics are tailored to suit your interests, providing an opportunity for you to hone a particular aspect of graphic design further, which could be a pathway to your chosen career. You will also have the full support, guidance and expertise of your supervisor during your research project.
For students with an undergraduate degree, the MCGD requires a total of 180 points at 500 level. Students with an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma are required to take 120 points at 500 level.
Students will normally complete a 90 or 120 points research-focused Thesis and Realisation that requires both original research and design exhibition. It is also possible for students to alternatively complete a 30 point or 60 point Dissertation and Exhibition.
Students work closely with a supervisor to select a research topic.
Students enrolled in a 180 point MCGD will include CGRD581 – Report of an Investigation to prepare them for Thesis and Realisation or Dissertation and Exhibition. The remaining points for the degree will be made up of relevant taught papers.
The University of Waikato offers students 24-hour computer lab access with all the latest computer software, and several labs fully equipped with Mac computers, commonly used in professional design environments. Graduate students have a dedicated lab space and access to all undergraduate facilities.