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.
Features and benefits of the course
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.
We cultivate highly motivated, independent and creative thinkers who can transfer their skills into the creative marketplace, as entrepreneurial innovators, freelance practitioners and innovative team players. Past graduates predominantly achieve graduate-level positions or practise as sole traders, design studio artists, exhibiting artists, museum curators, archivists, researchers, academics, community practitioners, specialist technicians and filmmakers at national and international levels.
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.
- Professional Platforms
- Design Practice 1: Intention Method Synthesis
- Design Practice 2 (Graphic Design and Art Direction)
Likely Optional Units
- Commercial Aspects of Design
- Contested Territories
- Digital Futures
- Health and Wellbeing
- Object and Context
- The Museum and the City - The City as a Museum
- Negotiated Study
- Making Our Futures - Ecological Arts and Sustainable Design
- Writing Research and Funding Proposals
- Images and Archives
You will normally have an undergraduate UK honours degree or international equivalent or a degree-equivalent postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification. Alternatively, you may be admitted if you can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree standard. In addition, you also need to submit a Digital Portfolio.
Program taught in: