Masters degrees in Graphic Design explore advanced artistic techniques to produce printed and digitised imagery and text for numerous platforms such as magazines, advertisements and websites.
Taught MA and MFA courses are typical for the field. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Art or Design Technology.
Visual communication is a huge part of day-to-day life. As a graphic designer, you could be involved in numerous branding and advertising campaigns, website development projects or even publishing.
These courses are often interdisciplinary in approach, combining theory such as social politics, cultural theory and communications and applied graphic design practise. For example, you might explore consumer behaviours in relation to branding, logo design or even packaging of domestic products through computer-generated design.
Careers in the field are highly varied, and will differ depending on your specialisation. For example, you might wish to work on a freelance basis producing digital or printed content for any number of companies. Alternatively, you may opt to work for a design agency, or as part of an in-house department for large companies such as retailers, museums and art galleries producing multi-channelled content.
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.”
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.
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.
The Communication Design pathway supports students with a specialist interest in typography, graphic design, illustration, interactive design and branding. The pathway is concerned with the exploration, development and synthesis of conceptual, theoretical and practical skills to create compelling design solutions.
Our Master’s programme has been designed to support and enhance the skills of art and design practitioners who want to work in the cultural and creative industries. Awarded by Falmouth University and delivered in partnership with Hearst Magazines UK, publishers of ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar, together we have designed an exciting and industry-connected Master’s to equip you for the real world.
The 12-month MA supports students across a range of Art & Design specialisms and you will be given the unique opportunity to explore your area within an interdisciplinary global culture. Bringing together students from a variety of disciplines through dialogue, idea-exchange and collaborative activities, the course prepares students for the hybrid and dynamic nature of contemporary creative practice. By enabling the pursuit of specialist subject expertise alongside opportunities to acquire the skills, experience and outlook necessary for professional success, we give our graduates the confidence to take the next step toward building their own creative futures.
The course is open to graduates from any art and design related degree subject and who already have knowledge and experience of a specialist area. Our MA will allow you to enhance your skills within your existing area, taking it in your own direction with support from a subject tutor. We currently support pathways in Fine Art, Communication Design, Illustration, Animation, Photography, Fashion Design, Fashion Communication, Product Design, Craft and Spatial Design.
Alternatively, you may be looking for a Master’s degree, but you are not clear which specialist pathway to follow, this course is designed to support those students arriving from a variety of undergraduate programmes with varying degrees of focus. The scope of the award in Art & Design is flexible enough to provide opportunities for you to experiment and try out new approaches before finding your focus.
This programme offers outstanding specialist tuition combined with extensive academic contact and studio access. As a Master’s student, you will have:
The inter-disciplinary nature of the course and the teaching team, along with the wider staff expertise within the college means that specific tuition can be provided on a ‘bespoke’ basis if and when needs arise. In addition to support from academic staff, you will have regular group and one-to-one access to our Study Skills Coordinator for support with writing, research and academic skills.
Our dedicated Welfare Team are resourced and prepared to support all students. Should you require help with English language, support is available from our in-house provision.
The course is structured to provide you with a wide range of activities in the modules at the start of the course, together with the opportunity to experiment and explore different methods and approaches. As you move through the programme you will then start to focus and identify individual ambitions, and plan and execute your final project.
Introduces you to new methods and approaches. You will take part in a series of set projects, which will encourage collaboration, experimental practice and creative activity.
THEORY AND RESEARCH
Within this module you will be exposed to a series of lectures and seminars around a series of shared themes that cut across theory and practice. You will be inspired to try out fresh and innovative methods in practice and you will work collaboratively and individually.
This module will support your development of independent and self-initiated project work in your specialist area. To build your portfolio you will take part in live briefs set by our partners in the creative industries and supported to enter local and international competitions.
ART & DESIGN FUTURES
You will be asked to look ahead by engaging in the issues shaping the professional practice of art and design today. Lecturer talks will introduce you to a diverse range of contemporary art and design practices to inspire and orient your own career pathways. This module also gives you the opportunity to organise and complete a work placement enabling you to gain valuable professional experience.
FINAL MAJOR PROJECT
You will spend the final semester working on a self-initiated project in your area of specialism, underpinned by the cross discipline culture of the course. Your final submission will be a portfolio of work and a written report culminating in a final MA show.
Careers and Employability
With staff and visiting tutors active in the creative industries worldwide as researchers and practitioners, as artists, designers, writers, and curators you will be exposed to issues, debates and challenges that are transforming art and design practice in the 21st century.
More specifically, the modules encourage you to reflect upon the broad and hybrid nature of art and design and the emerging global workplace in which you will ultimately take your next steps. To offer you real-world experience through live briefs and the work placements, we collaborate with both international media and communication organisations (such as our partner Hearst Magazines UK) as well as local creative businesses on our doorstep in Cambridge—one of the UK’s centres of leading-edge creativity and innovation.
Visit the website for full specifications: http://www.csvpa.com/art-and-design/ma-art-design/course-details/about.htm
Click here to apply online: https://www.csvpa.com/apply-online/step1
This course is a radical post-disciplinary programme for practitioners who want to push the boundaries of what design can be and do. During this MA we work with you to transform your practice as a critical and social undertaking.
By challenging the role and norms of traditional design towards an emerging type of ‘advanced design’, unshackled from the history of specialisms and entrenched methods, you will become part of a community of practice. You will be encouraged to actively contribute to a deep understanding of how design is set to address and affect change within contemporary society.
Whatever your background or previous degree we expect you to examine your own practice. This might be in a traditional field of design such as graphic design, product design, fashion design, interior design etc. Other fields such as teaching, social science, humanities, curating, engineering, science and business are also considered practices and welcome on the programme.
The programme is structured around thematic areas of investigation (Studios) which situates you (the practitioner) in a particular field of study and reference. Each Studio will be encouraged to build an identity within the programme; supporting diverse practice, building a rich identity and attracting a broad range of applicants.
The studio offering will be tailored each year to the skills/expertise of applicants and in response to the changing nature of the design field and the world around us. The studios running for 2018/19 are:
You can find out more about each of these studios in the Studios tab below.
The programme runs for 15 months over five 10-11 week Terms and is full-time (this means a minimum of 4 days per week). It is largely delivered through project briefs (both working in groups and individually), which allows an experimental and exploratory design process.
The projects open up opportunities for you to work collectively on research projects, external industry briefs and wider design research themes. Through this process, you'll evolve a design practice that is progressive but also thoughtful, critical and grounded in the complex realities of the world.
Throughout your projects you'll benefit from the input of experienced practice-based staff, as well as world-class visiting practitioners. These projects are all part of three interconnected modules that make up the MA Design Expanded Practice programme:
For Studio Expanded Practice in the first term you will also respond to a shared project brief supported by wide range of design staff from the department and guest speakers. This initial project will be run across the whole masters programme, to build your practice working alongside and in collaboration with the diverse cohort of design students. This will be a combination of scheduled sessions (lectures, workshops, tutorials) as well as self-directed studio or fieldwork amounting to 3 days per week.
In addition to this project you will choose to situate yourself within a studio, and spend one day a week in your studio of choice, where you will be exploring discourses through talks and seminars, engaging with methods and processes appropriate to the studio's focus. This will give you a body of knowledge that will equip you to act in design in your area of interest and continue as weekly session throughout Terms 1, 2 and 3.
In Terms 2 and 3 (Design Transfocality) you will be selecting a project from a choice of three projects each term. Each of these projects will be made up of students from all of the Studios. The aim is to bring your interests to the particular project to shape it for the development of your own practice.
In Term 4 (Summer period) you will select an externally focused project (Extended Study), like our annual summer school in Paris (eg. Design and Performance), or a placement with an external organisation.
You return to Goldsmiths for Term 5 to pull together your body of work and concluding design outcomes (culmination of Studio Expanded Practice) for public engagement through various public facing platforms (eg. publication, exhibition, symposium)
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.
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.
Develop your existing knowledge and experience as a designer, exploiting our significant research expertise to enhance your own design and research skills to a new level.
We place emphasis on personal research, giving you the chance to develop your own interests and ideas in a challenging and supportive environment. Graphic design covers a wide and diverse field, so our aim is to help you to become a creative, imaginative and versatile designer who can operate independently or as a member of a design team.
You can work alongside our packaging design consultancy, Design Futures, and with researchers from other design areas. We also have contacts with leading design agencies and design organisations and encourage you to work collaboratively with them.
There are opportunities to participate in study trips and visits to design conferences and debates.
You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.
Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.
We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are graphic design specialists.
Vibrant and supportive learning environment
During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.
You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.
Excellent facilities and creative resources
You have access to a huge range of creative resources to experiment and engage with including • 3D printing for rapid prototyping • state-of-the-art hardware and software • photography studios • a creative media centre • a gallery • well-equipped workshops.
You also have access to our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.
MA and MFA study
MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.
We are normally asked to shortlist applicants before recommending a small number to apply. If this happens, we consider your interview, portfolio of work, academic qualifications and learning aims. We aim to pick people whose abilities and aims are relevant for the company and who are most likely to be successful in a competitive interview.
This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.
• project 1 • theory supporting practice
• project 2 • negotiated project
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only
• MFA project
Semester one (year 1)
• theory supporting practice • negotiated project
Semester two (year 2)
• project 1 • project 2
Semester three (year 3)
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)
• MFA project
Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research.
There are many opportunities for employment or self-employment. We encourage you to take an enterprising approach and to strengthen your ability to develop your own business.
You can work in areas such as branding and advertising, where the ability to originate fresh thinking is essential.
An increasing number of our graduates undertake advanced further study through research degrees (PhD) in our Art and Design Research Centre, which has a leading position in the advancement of creative practice in design.
Sheffield is home to the largest concentration of creative production in the region. Support for creative industries in the city has encouraged home grown talent as well as practitioners relocating here.