MA Graphic Design Communication

MA Graphic Design Communication at Chelsea College of Arts encourages a broad and diverse approach to thinking and practice that helps students shape engaging and imaginative design solutions through material, media, technologies and systems of public engagement.

Please note: MA Graphic Design Communication is undergoing course changes. Course content may alter as a result.

Facts

Course Director

Sadhna Jain

Course Location

Chelsea College of Arts, John Islip Street

 

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year
Home/EU Fee

£8,500 (2017/18).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost.

International Fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost.

Start DateOctober 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 9 October - Friday 22 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January - Friday 23 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 9 April - Friday 14 September 2018
Application DeadlineHome / EU - Monday 31 July 2017.
International - No deadline, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.

Content and structure

The course aims to closely align current social and cultural issues alongside emerging design practices.

Thematic enquiry will give you a solid introduction to the methodologies and critique that can be initiated by practising designers in these contexts, and how to challenge and expand this knowledge within personal design practice.

This course will enable you to become an advanced thinker and versatile practitioner with the capacity to respond to familiar and unfamiliar challenges of society within a wider field of professional environments.

Content: what students can expect

  • A practice led course underpinned by critical design thinking and exploration
  • To be taught by a team of highly experienced postgraduate tutors each with their own personal specialist art / design practice and research
  • A creative campus environment with a range of workshop facilities, library and special collection resources, shared studio spaces, and professional exhibition spaces. View the Chelsea facilities section
  • Thematic introductions to stimulate knowledge of contemporary design practice and discourse 
  • To seek inspiration and knowledge from course tutors, college wide professional lectures, UAL postgraduate community initiatives and events and London’s cultural industries  
  • To become a reflective learner willing to speculate upon ideas from many perspectives and experiences
  • To actively seek ways to frame and reframe personal and professional practice in relation to expanded and developed modes of Communication Design practice 
  • To develop a rigorous design process, providing the means to employ critical thinking, shape materials and forms, generate and communicate content, develop prototypes and engage with audience testing

Structure

Stage 1: Exploring Emergent Design Contexts and Practices

In the first stage of the course you will address emergent design practices and issues by selecting one of three thematic areas.

These are designed to bring into focus three different components of a design framework - critical context, conceptual enquiry and advanced practice.

Each thematic group will organise themselves as a dynamic ‘collective’ with the remit to share knowledge, test responses, incubate and grow creative ideas and practices in response to tutor set briefs and tasks.

You will learn how to use methods of analysis and experimentation to assemble your own findings and responses in relation to the issues raised. This will lead to a defined position for a personal project.

The three thematic groupings are:

Thematic 1: Proximities and Encounters

Through this thematic you will be motivated to deconstruct and re-assemble inventive and unusual treatments of graphic design communication. The aim of which should be about bringing users into compelling spaces of experience and interaction.

Thematic 2: Mobilising the Studio

Through this thematic you will explore discourses and practices around co-created knowledge as a consequence of designers becoming mobile.

Both, physically through activities for shared knowledge and skills, and intellectually through renewed definition of interdisciplinary practice.

Thematic 3: Materiality and the (Un)Real

Through this thematic you will explore lexicons of materiality. You will look at the more unexpected and critical contexts, where they may be used, and how they may evolve within graphic design communication.

Stage 2 : Initiating a Framework for Design Enquiry and Practice

This stage encourages enacting knowledge and creative thinking through different modes of studio practice, reflective writing, prototyping, display and demonstration.

The journey through this stage enables you to synthesize your own intellectual and creative experiences using the knowledge and experience of other experts. This includes occupying and performing within sites and spaces beyond the college.

External Studio Residency

This unit includes a short external studio residency.

Located at various cultural centres across London, the studio residency is an additional creative opportunity designed to inspire intellectual and physical interaction with existing and emerging bodies of knowledge and sites of practice. 

This unique initiative aims to create a relevant and engaging mode of professional practice activity for Masters students as well as encourage excellence in practice-based research.

By shaping a series of practice-based experiments and managing complexity within thinking you will evolve your project framework in concise and considered ways producing a collection of works, to provide a meaningful response to your enquiry. 

Stage 3: Innovating Modes of Communication and Dissemination

You will use the final stage of the course to learn how to refine your project outcomes in relation to the specific audience context and the associated modalities of communication.

You will learn how to differentiate between the terms: engagement, interaction, participation and communication. You will find inventive ways to involve these in the final form and behaviour of your work.

Building upon the international context of the subject area you will also experiment with remote and local platforms for publishing, distribution and intervention. 

Work experience and opportunities

Past collaborative projects and workshops have included partnerships with:

Staff

Sadhna Jain - Course Leader

Sadhna Jain previously led the interaction design and digital media subject area at Central Saint Martins for MA and BA Graphic Design. Her personal research and practice has evolved from ways graphic data and language is informed by interactive experiences.

Jain's research has been presented at various International Symposia of Electronic Arts, as well as design and media conferences in Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Recent research, “Relocating Vision in an Auditory Environment” involves a body of work incorporating physicality of sound, notations and scores within different sites and geographies.

Jain was awarded a UAL White Square teaching award in 2014.

Sadhna Jain

Staff

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Portfolio of work
  • Study plan

If English isn’t your first language

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

IELTS Academic Test for UKVI is approved by the UK government for your UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. No other test can be accepted. It is accepted as proof of your English language ability. 

Portfolio Advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • A range of practical project work which demonstrates conceptual thinking, design iteration and effective outcomes
  • Aspects of development work which explore experimentation beyond obvious conventions of graphic design communication practice. This can include inventive and engaging responses in relation to a brief / commercial environment
  • Clarity of communications
  • A willingness to engage with emergent practices of graphic design communication or to approach it as inter disciplinary practice

Study Plan

The study plan is a statement of approximately 800 words describing your current practice and an opportunity for you to explore potential areas that you want to develop in your studies. 

The plan is the starting point for discussions about your postgraduate studies and will evolve during the time you study with us.

When writing your plan you are not expected to have complete answers to all the questions. 

However, you should be able to:

  • Examine your knowledge and experience in relation to your practice
  • Identify questions and areas that you do not know about
  • Demonstrate how you may intend to tackle these questions and areas

How to structure a study plan

You should include links to referenced text or images where appropriate. 

Each of the following sections should be approximately 200 words.

Introduction

  • Briefly describe your work
  • Outline recent developments
  • Identify those aspects you would like to take further at postgraduate level

Development

Describe specific areas, issues and critical ideas that are central to your area of interest.

Methods

How will you go about exploring your area of interest?  

Are there particular methods you will use? For example - drawing, model making, photography.

Resources

Are there resources or equipment that you need to access in order for you to successfully engage in your research?

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • Evidence of creative, expressive and analytical responses to projects 
  • A willingness to explore graphic design communication beyond traditional  thinking and practice
  • An eagerness to exploit the university MA community as part of personal creative and professional development 
  • Sufficiently strong verbal and written skills in order to fully participate in the course 
  • An understanding of how context informs practice in a variety of ways, and a willingness to progress this knowledge and associated skillset  

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an interview and should bring their portfolio.  

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative MA or Graduate Diploma course at Camberwell, Chelsea or Wimbledon. This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

Careers

Many graduates are employed in interdisciplinary design studios and as senior designers in graphic and communication design companies. Graduates have also founded their own design studios working across digital environments and physical spaces as well as specialist publishing and new forms of graphic content.

Alumni

  • André Arruda - Partner, Papanapa, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Ana-Maria Grigoriu - Co-founder LOOT studio, Bucharest, Romania 
  • Mayuko Hari - Art Director, Grey Advertising, New York, United States of America
  • Alistair Owen - Senior Designer, Forth, London

Funding

Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

How to apply

Home / EU deadline is Monday 31 July 2017.

There is no deadline for international applications, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

Apply

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form you will receive a confirmation email.

From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

  • Portfolio of work (30 images)
  • Study plan

The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.

Please note:

We will send you emails throughout the application process that will contain important information about your application. Please check your inbox.

We will contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents. For example, your english language certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas.

Enquire about this course

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