Do you have an eye for design? Would you like to help influence the future of visual communications? Southampton Solent University’s MA Visual Communication programme is ideally suited to students who wish to better understand the academic theory that underpins a range of visual mediums.
This intensive master’s degree helps students to improve their creative skills and build a solid understanding of visual communications theory. The curriculum covers the latest innovations in visual practice, examining the way technological and cultural changes contributed to contemporary academic thinking.
Topics of study include editorial design; art direction; interactive multimedia; information design; image creation; illustration; typographic design; print-making and photographic technique. Students may have workshop sessions with the letterpress, screen-printing, etching and relief printing facilities, as well as the wet darkroom and photo studio. Depending on their creative background, graduates will be well prepared for a range of careers in the creative industries.
Critical research papers and final master’s projects are supported by the University’s expanding research base, encouraging students to make an innovative contribution to visual communication academia.
This master’s degree delivers the skills you’ll need for a wide range of visual design fields including animation, art direction, web design, publishing, branding and typography. The course includes time to develop hands-on creative skills. Students are encouraged to create work for their professional portfolio.
Aimed at those with a relevant honours degree, or with extensive experience in marketing, design or digital fields, this master’s degree is well-suited to those who are looking to develop their career into art direction, web design, publishing or branding.
Visual Communication Practice
Visual communication practice and specialisms such as editorial design, interactive multimedia, information design, image creation, book design and typographic design. Print-making and photographic techniques including letterpress, screen-printing, etching and relief printing, wet darkroom and photo studio practice.
The advantages and limitations of digital media and its delivery across a range of devices, from desktop to mobile.
Developing the appropriate design language to apply to your research findings.
Masters Project Proposal
Students will write a 3000 word proposal for their chosen Master's project.
On this final project you’ll bring all your skills together to design, execute and present an individually demanding piece of work that demonstrates systematic and in-depth understanding of your particular discipline of study.
To help with creative projects and portfolio documentation, Southampton Solent provides a comprehensive media loans scheme. This scheme gives students free access to high-end photographic equipment and accessories.
Students will have access to a range of specialist facilities throughout their studies. These include Mac computers, professional creative software, digital printing facilities and traditional printing presses.
You’ll have access to a full range of print-making facilities including letterpress, screen-printing equipment, etching and relief printing, and digital resources.
Suitable roles for graduates include:
There’s a chance of progression to further study, including a PhD, on successful completion of the course.
Students will work on competition briefs for organisations such as the Design & Art Directors Association (D&AD) and the Young Creative Network (YCN). Through this course you’ll develop valuable and appropriate skillsets through engagement with the wider profession, design community and industry.
Work-orientated assignments will be offered alongside appropriate ‘live’ projects from local and national organisations. There will be opportunities to visit museums, galleries and design studios, both nationally and internationally, as part of the course.
The teaching team maintain strong links with industry, providing students with the chance to participate in live briefs, networking events, and guest lectures.
You’ll be able to engage directly with employers by organising your own work placement or work-based project, supported and encouraged by the course team as required and students will work on competition briefs for organisations such as the Design & Art Directors Association (D&AD) and the Young Creative Network (YCN).
This course provides an in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge compositional techniques, methodologies and associated aesthetics in creative work that intersects with technology and other artistic or scientific forms. It serves as excellent preparation for a career as a composer working with technology and audio-media, and it provides all the training necessary for embarking on and envisioning novel strands for a PhD in electroacoustic composition, including those informed by other scientific and arts form.
All teaching, research and compositional work is carried out in the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound Art with its state-of-the-art £2.5 million electroacoustic studios. Opportunities for the performance of new works are offered using the 55-loudspeaker sound diffusion system of MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound) and through events such as the Locativeaudio Festival (locativeaudio.org) and Sines and Squares Festival for Analogue Electronics and Modular Synthesis (sines-squares.org). Acousmatic, mixed, live electronic and multimedia works are all possible, with composers able to incorporate the spatialisation of sound and interactive new game-audio media into the presentation of their work.
In addition to the final portfolio, all electroacoustic music and interactive media composition students take the compulsory course unit Composition Project and the further compulsory taught course unit,Fixed Media and Interactive Music . Optional course units normally include Aesthetics and Analysis of Organised Sound, Interactive Tools and Engines, Contemporary Music Studies, Advanced Orchestration, and Historical or Contemporary Performance. There are also choices outside the MusM Composition (subject to course director approval), such as Computer Vision, Mobile Systems, Mobile Communications, Ethno/Musicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography , and Work Placement (Institute of Cultural Practices).
For more information visit the NOVARS website .
SALC Placement offers students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. Placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in semester 2; they will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.
This programme aims to:
The NOVARS studio complex supports a broad range of activities in the fields of electroacoustic composition and new media. The studios incorporate the newest generation of Apple computers, Genelec, PMC and ATC monitoring (up to 37-channel studios) and state-of-the art licensed software (including Pro Tools HD, Max MSP, GRM Tools, Waves, Ircam's Audiosculpt and Reaper and, for Interactive Media work, Oculus Rift, Unreal Engine 4, Unity Pro and open-source Blender3D). Location and performance work is also supported by a new 64-channel diffusion system.
Postgraduate students at the NOVARS Research Centre play an active role in the planning, organisation and execution of performance events such as the Sines & Squares Festival and MANTIS Festival (over 20 editions since 2004), and projects such as LocativeAudio and our regular Matinée presentations. Relevant training, including rigging and de-rigging the MANTIS system, health and safety, sound diffusion workshops, organisation of Calls for Works when needed, etc., is an important part of the course.
There are a number of internal composition opportunities offered to MusM students, allowing them to compose for our world-leading ensembles in residence and association. For more information, see ourComposition at Manchester site .
The MusM degree consists of 180 credits in total, made up of four 30-credit taught course units and a 60-credit portfolio. Full-time students take two course units per semester; part-time students take two course units but across the two semesters. Most course units are delivered via regular seminars and/or tutorials, supported where appropriate by practical workshops. The portfolio is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. (Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.) Members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultation during designated office hours.
Alongside their taught units, students have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the university.
There are no formal examinations. Taught course units - all of which must be satisfactorily completed - are assessed by compositions or other coursework tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May). Assessments may involve the premiere of new compositions, oral presentations of repertoire, musical analysis or essay topics in the field. The portfolio is created over the entire duration of study and is submitted at the end of the academic year (after the summer vacation). Topics and focus are to be discussed with project supervisors and can include compositions involving fixed or interactive media, locative and game-audio technologies. All work is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner.
MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education is an award-winning course that uses digital technologies, the broadcast media and/or interpersonal, group or organisational communications techniques to enhance practice, research and the professional and academic development of educators in technology- and information-rich environments.
The course is offered in three modes, each starting in September.
Formalised lectures are rare. Instead, classes tend to mix lecturer input with group work, computer and video activities, simulations, problem-based learning and class discussions. We make considerable use of enquiry-based learning (EBL), encouraging students' critical reflection on their own practice and beliefs: formed both by their professional experiences and intuitions, and theory and research. We encourage both individual and co-operative learning and research and hope to foster an ethos of life-long-learning. As most of our participants are themselves experienced teachers, we appreciate the wealth of knowledge and practical experience that they bring to the course and we encourage all participants to use all sources of professional insights including their fellow participants. We provide training in the use of electronic databases, library resources, and computer based statistics packages. Many other key skills will be developed during the course.
The form of the assessment varies from unit to unit, including:
For dissertations, you can choose between a Mode A (traditional type) or a Mode B (portfolio type) dissertation. Mode A dissertations report on a research project of your own design or, possibly, discuss or develop theoretical understanding relevant to the field and/or your professional development. Mode B dissertations are more practical, and involve you designing, testing and implementing a technological solution to an educational problem, for example, a website or piece of interactive multimedia, and then reporting on this process. Mode A dissertations are 15,000 - 20,000 words long - the length of Mode B work can be negotiated, but the overall workload is expected to be equivalent to that of a Mode A.
The MA is a modular course carrying 180 points. It is divided into a taught component of 120 credits (subdivided into eight course units of 15 credits) and a dissertation of 60 credits. The taught component must be successfully completed before the dissertation can be submitted.
The course is semesterised. For on-site participants, this involves Semester 1 (late September - late January), Semester 2 (February-mid-June), and, for full-time participants, a summer semester (mid June - early September) for the dissertation. Part-time participants, whether studying in Manchester or at a distance by e-learning, follow the same teaching semesters as full-time participants but with a lighter study load in each. Their dissertations can then be completed over a longer period and submitted in either April or September.
Each 15-credit course unit is normally taught in one semester either through face-to-face classes or through various types of distance/e-learning. Except where noted, all courses exist in both a face-to-face and distance version. It is possible for students to complete the degree by a mixture of face-to-face and distance methods, if this is desired. Each 15-credit course unit is designed to fill 150 hours of study time. This time includes both set activities/classes, independent study, and work on assessment projects.
Applicants may choose to specialise in a recognised area of Digital Technologies, and currently there is a TESOL pathway available. For further information, please contact [email protected] .
The degree that you would be awarded if you took this specialism would be called: MA DTCE (TESOL )
A pathway student must successfully complete a 15 credit core course specialising in language learning and technology; focus on their specialism and relevant research methods in the 30 credit unit Researching DTCE; and complete a 60 credit dissertation with a focus on TESOL and technology.
We have planned the part-time distance/e-learning course so that completion within three calendar years is possible and we expect that most students will follow this schedule. However, we recognise that distance learning studies have to be accommodated within participants' busy personal and professional lives and sometimes unpredictable circumstances arise. In such cases, interruption of studies for up to a year is possible without any fee implications. In other cases a slower study pace can be arranged involving additional fee calculations please contact the [email protected] for details. Thus, there is a financial incentive to complete within three years.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]