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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. 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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