Graduates in the Master of Graphic Design may work in the areas of editorial design, packaging, typography, information design, generic design for television or cinema, illustration, art direction, branding, multimedia design and production of graphic design. In the advertising industry can be a creative pairs, for print advertising or television.
In the audiovisual industry, these skills can also be applied in the conduct of generic or other products where typography is applied. The teaching profession is also a professional output as well as academic research in the area of graphic design.
The Masters in Graphic Design ESAD.CR aims to provide students with the conceptual and practical skills of a high professional level in specific areas of graphic design and communication for multiple platforms, which feature contemporary visual culture.
The Master of Graphic Design ESAD.CR focuses on preparing students with a set of theoretical and practical studies in contemporary graphic design, typography applied, graphic design for contemporary means of communication and branding. Courses are complemented by seminars and research methodologies that explore the communication design conceptually and operationally, approaching simultaneously experimental and professional dimensions. The last two semesters focus on the preparation of sustained practical design work that could be replaced by an internship.
All information related to the international student application should be consulted on our International Students webpage.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.
Full time - Tuesday & Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Part time - Year 1: Wednesday 10am-5pm; Year 2: Tuesday 10am-5pm
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.
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.
Process and Practice as Research
Interpretation and Origination: Modes of Graphic Authorship
Master's Dissertation Art and Design
Master's Project: Art and Design
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.
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.
Our MA Graphic Design course encourages designers to explore ways of developing understanding between co-communicators.
Recognising the individual and their aspirations, and celebrating ideas and risk-taking, our approach and experience of encouraging inter-disciplinary and collaborative activity lies with the provision of a meaningful journey for you beyond the obvious.
You will meet the fresh, often unpredictable and certainly challenging possibilities that are offered as you test, develop, progress, interrogate, ‘make’ and confidently reflect on your practice.
Our guiding principle is to offer distinctive and exciting opportunities for you to engage in your respective subject discipline in order to redefine your particular individual approach to your practice and position it within your chosen external creative economic and cultural environment.
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.
You 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.
You will develop a Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) that documents your practice and provides a way of capturing the skills and understanding that you acquire.
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 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.
You can view our student work on our course gallery.