MA in Visual Communication

Bath Spa University

Program Description

MA in Visual Communication

Bath Spa University

MA in Visual Communication

The Masters in Visual Communication is a practical course for specialists. It focuses on the distinct yet related strands of Photography; Illustration and Graphic Design, encouraging its students to collaborate in examining the connection between each discipline and its shared visual language. As specialists in each field and in consultation with their tutors, students will develop their work individually as well as in conjunction with others. This approach provides individuals with a professional and a conceptual context for their practice. Their final portfolio will show evidence of this ability and control and students will be able to present it with confidence when they finish the course and enter the work place, or continue with study.

Course structure and Content

The ethos of the course is that all Visual Communication specialisms need to work in relation to and in recognition of other related fields. We believe that a contextually informed approach to specialist practice is especially necessary in the present era, when boundaries between disciplines are changing – sometimes even dissolving. The course is therefore designed to allow you to retain and develop your own practice, while collaborating with and maintaining a critical dialogue with others in parallel fields.


The course consists of five modules in which students will develop work with an evolving, largely self-directed focus. In all but the first of these practical modules, you will be actively encouraged to collaborate across disciplines, however you will decide the best route for your practice in close consultation with your tutor.

In the first two modules: Research Methodologies and Developing Practice you will consolidate your practice and through workshops and presentations, identify strengths and weaknesses before deciding where your approach needs to be amended and developed.

For the third and fourth modules: Practice in Context and Practice in a Global Context, you will develop work especially tailored, first for a local and then for a global audience.

In the final module Masters Project, you will design a brief that focuses on and centers around an area that has become of special interest to you in your chosen field.

Teaching Methods and Resources

The course is based at the Sion Hill Campus and most of the teaching will take place here.

Students will work in the Design department studios and have access to dedicated Apple computer suites with up to date design and imaging software and digital print facilities with a range of calibrated wide format printers. In addition there is a newly refurbished black and white darkroom, two photographic studios, an etching and lithography and a screen-printing workshop.

For those that need them in the course of creating exhibitions and presentations, the metal work, plastics and woodwork shops will also be available. Each of the specialist workshops are staffed by technicians and technical demonstrators, who between them cover inductions and instruction in their specialist areas. Students on the MAVC will have access to any, or all of these facilities by negotiation with these technical staff.

The schools visiting lecture programmes and Contextual Studies lecture and seminar series are designed and directed toward postgraduate and undergraduate students and MAVC students will be encouraged to attend a selected series of lectures that support their studies.

The specialist library at Sion hill is extremely well resourced and the University provides many conventional and online specialist journals. In addition, there is a specialist library of rare and historic books at Corsham Court, and a large library at Newton Park campus.


The purpose of this course is to enable each student to question re-establish and define their own professional practice. This will enable individuals to control their career trajectory with a view to working in the creative industries internationally. This may include working for design agencies, gaining freelance commissions and initiating commercial opportunities.

Career opportunities

The purpose of this course is to enable each student to question re-establish and define their own professional practice. This will enable individuals to control their career trajectory with a view to working in the creative industries internationally.

As our students shape their individual career paths into the ever-changing world of visual communication, they may consider many popular and competitively sought after routes. As MAVC post graduates, we will do our best to ensure that they have carefully edited and considered, high quality portfolios of professional level work and the confidence to successfully present them in:

  • Self-employed Photography / Graphic Design / Illustration within the media including general and specialist journalism. Work for design agencies, architectural or engineering practices, or other specialist consultants, or work on research projects in conjunction with fine artists, or scientists
  • In-house jobs for designers / illustrators / photographers; as staff in design agencies, publishing houses, picture libraries or publishers
  • Above and below the line design in the Broadcast Media Industry
  • Specialist teaching jobs, or as visiting professionals, or contracted staff in schools, or further and higher education colleges and universities
  • Academic careers in a further or higher education institutions

Assessment Methods

Assessment of modules is by written submission, presentation and a final exhibition. A dissertation is optional and can be negotiated on an individual basis. It can form a part of the final exhibition and will be assessed at the same point.

Entry Requirements

The usual requirement is a good first degree (2:1 and above, or the international equivalent) in a related subject area, in addition to a portfolio that demonstrates your visual ability. You may be selected based upon your particular work background, and your aptitude to the course. If your work experience is in a parallel field, appropriate to the course, we will consider your application.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,400 GBP
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Bath, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price 6,400 GBP
- Home/EU Fee (full time); £11,300 - International Fee (full time)