MA Communication Design

ESAD College of Art and Design

Program Description

MA Communication Design

ESAD College of Art and Design

In recent years, the Master in Communication Design brought to ESAD prestigious national and international designers to share their experience, processes and methodologies with teachers and students. Names like Jessica Helfand, Andew Haslam, Roderick Mills, Geroge Hardie, PG Howlin, Russell Bestley, Peter C. Almeida, among others.

The Master's Degree in Communication Design encourages students to address the elements that constitute contemporary visual communication and its broader role in society with a critical eye. The course specially emphasizes practical design, supported by a theoretical and contextual study where clear research methodologies are used. It also enables students to engage in a deeper level of understanding communication and ideas, and develop an independent personal project-oriented research of these principles and apply them to significant and effective results.

Students who attend the course will have different backgrounds. We expect to have graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, design teachers, art directors, creative directors, architects and historians of art and design among the applicants. The common features to all students who attend the course is their effort to explore graphic design, how they convey the ideas and values, and their desire to know more about the area they chose.

This Master's Degree seeks to promote the value and the role of design in society, which is to provide students with the creative, analytical and communication skills required to allow them to grow and deal with change working in future environments with confidence and knowledge to question the prevailing orthodoxies in the a graphic design career. The body of teachers embodies the competence and knowledge of the best national and international designers, granting this collective institution the ability to offer a course with the most relevant and extensive experiences, ideas and practices.

The course is mainly conducted in English.


The Master's in Design at ESAD is aimed at the acquisition and strengthening of technical and scientific skills and knowledge, in the different areas of design, and seeks to develop the following abilities: a scientific research to support the creative process and guided towards the professional of the designer's activity; a critical analysis of everyday life and of project paradigms with view to inclusiveness and sustainability; an integrated, holistic and systemic conceptualization of the project; the transformation of an existing reality into a desirable reality, which fulfills the individual and collective needs; managing the complexity of the structural and functional relations of societies and their organizations, ensuring ethical and deontological behaviors and the respect for the project's dynamics.

The Master's Degree in Design includes as areas of expertise:

  • Communication by Andrew Howard
  • Fashion-Product by Cristina Lopes, Helena Cordeiro e Helena Sofia Silva
  • Interior by Maria Milano
  • Product by Jeremy Aston e Rui Pedro Freire

ESAD’s Master Degree in Design, which focuses on the acquisition and strengthening of technical and scientific skills and knowledge in the different areas of Design, aims at the development of the following abilities:

  • scientific research in support of the creative process and guided towards the professional accomplishment of the designer’s activity;
  • critical analysis of everyday life and of the project paradigms aiming at inclusiveness and sustainability;
  • integrated, rated, systemic and holistic conceptualization of the project;
  • to transform existing reality into a desirable reality, meeting individual and collective needs;
  • to manage the complexity of structural and functional society relations as well as their organizations, ensuring compliance with all ethical and deontological codes with respect to project dynamics.


The Master's in Design at ESAD is intended essentially to holders of a Bachelor's degree or legal equivalent in the areas of Design, Multimedia, Arts, Architecture and Engineering.

The course of studies leading to the Master's degree is 120 ECTS in a two-year period of time. The Master's degree is awarded to students who have successfully completed all modules in the study plan, of a minimum of 120 ECTS.

Each year of the Master's degree course of studies is equivalent to 60 ECTS.


The following shall be admitted as applicants:

  • Holders of a Bachelor's Degree or its legal equivalent in the areas of Design, Multimedia, Arts, Architecture and Engineering, with a final average above 12 (out of 20);
  • Holders of a foreign higher academic degree awarded after the completion of the 1st course of studies in the areas of Design, multimedia, arts, architecture and engineering, organized in line with the principles of the Bologna process by an acceding State, with a final average above 12 (out of 20);
  • Holders a foreign higher academic degree in the areas of Design, Multimedia, Arts, Architecture and Engineering which is recognized as meeting the objectives of the Bachelor's degree by the ESAD's Scientific and Technical Council.


  • The holders of 4 or 5-year degrees in the areas of Design, Multimedia, Arts, Architecture and Engineering may be credited with up to 54 ECTS and, therefore, shall enter directly into the second year. However, they shall have to complete a set of first year modules as determined by the Master's Department.
  • The analysis and assessment of professional (curriculum/portfolio) and academic skills takes place through an academic interview and it is final with regard to accreditation and to the first-year modules to be attended.
  • In addition to the equivalent modules to 60 ECTS per year, students may also enroll in other modules – up to a maximum of 15 ECTS - in order to complete pending modules or to obtain the ECTS in the modules of their choice.



  • Contextual Studies
  • Communication Project
  • Laboratory of Communication Design
  • Case Studies in Design


  • Practice of Communication Design
  • Project/Internship Report/Dissertation


Online applications


The applications will be subject to a selection to fill the 60 available openings. Selection shall be made on the basis the following criteria:

  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Level and degree of the academic qualifications (minimum required qualification, 180 credits' degree)
  • Previous study area


  • 1st Stage 07.03 to 29.04.2016
    • Interviews from 10.05.2016
  • 2nd Stage 16.05 to 31.08.2016
    • Interviews from 05.09.2016
  • 3rd Stage from 19.09.2016
    • Interviews from 03.10.2016


  • 1st Stage from 16.05.2016
  • 2nd Stage from 12.09.2016
  • 3rd Stage from 12.10.2016


  • 1st/2nd Stage 12.09 to 16.09.2016
  • 3rd Stage 12.10 to 14.10.2016


  • Enrollment Form
  • Proof of vaccination
  • 2 photographs



  • Application 173,00€
  • Registration 204,00€
  • Registration in the curricular year by module (1ECTS) 5,60€
  • School insurance 20.00€
  • Annual fee for 60 ECTS (11 instalments) 3.872,00€
  • Annual fee per module 64,54€
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 28, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct., 2016
2 years
Full time
3,872 EUR
Start date Oct., 2016
Portugal Matosinhos
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 3,872 EUR
Annual fee

Mestrado em Design de Comunicação