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What to Expect

From the start, a combination of set and self-initiated projects will refine essential design skills including typography, editorial and publishing (print and web), web design, campaigns, advertising and art direction, corporate branding and packaging. As well as developing your confidence with the traditional print and screen-based skills necessary for future careers in professional work, you will be supported to expand your knowledge of contemporary creative and commercial practice by exploring motion graphics, digital, interactive and experience design, UX/UI, and information design.

Practical knowledge is enriched by lectures that explore questions of ethics, social responsibility, design authorship, and graphic communication and visual storytelling as essential sites of meaning in the digital and post-digital cultures of the 21st century. 

At the same time, working alongside artists, designers and visual communicators across our MA programmes you will develop the research skills at the heart of innovative visual practices. Shared inter-disciplinary modules question the ways that globalisation, new technologies and disruptive strategies are driving contemporary practices of art and design. In our international community, you will think what it means to be a responsible future creative and global citizen of the 21stcentury, with the insight and self-awareness to locate your own emerging practice within the ethical, technological and globalised contexts relevant to you. 

Because we are an international and globally aware community, you will be encouraged to explore the expanded field of graphic communication design within a contemporary context, applying design thinking to critical and socially-oriented MA projects that challenge established conventions. Building on social engagement projects at the start of the course, through reflection on professional responsibilities and the ethics of visual communication in the digital and post-digital world you will move on to explore the possibilities offered by immersive, 3D or multi-platform digital and/or experiential environments in which graphic design is encountered by diverse audiences and users today.

The course offers opportunities for work experience or mentoring that helps you make industry contacts, build your CV and prepare you for work in a creative agency or studio, as well as freelance design. Our collaboration with industry partners including Hearst Magazines UK sets our programme apart. You can apply for an internship with one of their design-led brands to experience editorial design in print and online, gaining unique experience of the importance of visual communication in contemporary print and digital media—and even securing your first job.

This insight is further developed through live industry-set briefs and a Visiting Lecturer programme which has included experienced professionals working across the contemporary design industry—in motion graphics for TV and corporate branding, app design, VS/UX/UI design, branding and digital content design, as well as editorial design, art direction and leading Creative Directors.

Previous graphic design projects have included: participatory installations and social campaigns; interactive design including apps for self-help, mental health, charity campaigning, fashion retail using motion detection, and language learning using geo-location technology; digital holographic and augmented reality fashion experience; artificial learning; and the launch of a new gender-neutral fashion magazine.