MA Graphic Communication Design

MA Communication Design is currently undergoing a name change to become MA Graphic Communication Design. If you are a prospective student, you will be applying to MA Graphic Communication Design with an updated curriculum.

More specific details about changes to the curriculum will be provided on this page as they are finalised. To find out most of what you need to know about our current MA Communication Design environment and philosophy, please visit the MA Communication Design page. Online applications can be made from either page.

Scholarships, Awards and Funding available:

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International

Alan Fletcher Scholarship
Jane Rapley Scholarships

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.

Applications for 2016/17 entry are now closed.

Application for 2017/18 entry will open in November.  Please check back in November when online applications will open for new applicants.  We look forward to receiving your application.


Course Leader

Rebecca Ross

Course Location

King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course LengthFull time: 2 years (60 weeks)
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2016/17: £4,900 per year.

Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

Tuition fees for 2016/17: £12,365 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Direct application


Course Leader: Dr. Rebecca Ross

Programme Leader: Rebecca Wright

Graphic Communication Design Lecturer: Luise Vormittag
Graphic Communication Design Lecturer: Jaap de Maat

Associate Lecturer: Sheena Calvert
Associate Lecturer: Marcus Leis Alion
Associate Lecturer: Paul Finn
Associate Lecturer: Max Colson
Associate Lecturer: Ken Hollings
Associate Lecturer: Andrea Lioy

Typography Subject Leader: Professor Phil Baines
Printmaking & Bookbinding Subject Leader: Douglas Bevans
Advertising Subject Leader: Clive Challis
Moving Image Subject Leader: Esteban Gitton
Illustration Subject Leader: Andrew Hall
Context Subject Leader: Dr Paul Rennie
Photography Subject Leader: Gary Wallis

Practitioner in Residence: Paul Elliman

Visiting Practitioner: Guglielmo Rossi


We are interested in the possibilities of visual form, but not as an end point in and of itself. It's more affordable and accessible to print a newspaper or a book, publish a web page, or shoot and edit a video than it's ever been before. We find this democratisation of media to be exciting, but it leads us to ask, what then becomes of design?

By asking important questions such as why we do design, what it means, and where it’s taking us, graduates of MA Graphic Communication Design are well equipped to take a creative approach to building their futures. Their activities and achievements in turn transform the possibilities of the broader field. 

For details of the wide range of careers support provided to students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.

Entry requirements

Selection to MA Graphic Communication Design is determined by the quality of your application (including a written statement and supporting material). You'll also need to meet the minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that these qualifications alone won't be sufficient to secure entry to the course. 

Minimum entry requirements

We consider applicants who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. You can demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Having a relevant Honours degree or an equivalent academic qualification
  • Having a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree
  • Evidence of experiential learning equivalent to a degree
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

English language requirement 

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

What we look for

MA Graphic Communication Design is aimed at graduates with a suitable background in any creative discipline. This includes graphic design, photography, illustration, film, or a similar studio-based discipline or a high level of achievement in any related academic field. Immediately related academic fields include media and communication studies but applications are invited from backgrounds ranging from engineering to anthropology.

Students applying with an undergraduate degree in art and design, in addition to demonstrating a depth of craft and visual agility in their portfolio, should demonstrate an interest in and capacity for approaching their work from an intellectually informed perspective.

Students applying without a relevant studio background at degree level do not necessarily need to submit polished design work but will need to demonstrate a capacity for meaningful visual experimentation.

We value flexibility, self-awareness, independence, and open-ness to new ways of thinking and making

Student selection criteria

In the first instance, we will assess your application and supporting materials according to the following criteria:

  • Creative intelligence and aesthetic sensitivity demonstrated by design portfolio
  • Flexibility, self-awareness and ability to think critically
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Awareness and understanding of the field
  • Personal vision and a sense of purpose
  • Relevant previous experience
  • Alignment of personal aims and objectives to the course

If we are considering offering you a place, we will invite you for interview.

Portfolio and interview advice

References and interviews help determine whether your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and outcomes of the postgraduate course. The interview also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate an objective, critical and reflective relationship to your work. If possible, it's a good idea to bring examples of current work.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two, one of which should be an academic or professional reference). 

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

You’ll need to submit a personal statement addressing the following (200-250 words on each):

  • What are your motivations for applying to MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins? What kind of background, skills, interests and ambitions would you bring to your studies?
  • Choose any work of design or art (besides your own) that you think is important. Explain to us why you believe the chosen work is important and how it relates to your own academic or design practice. You may wish to reference relevant literature.


Please submit a PDF portfolio of between 15 and 40 pages: The first 1-2 pages of the portfolio should be a current CV detailing all professional and academic experience. For academic credentials, please include any marks or grades. Your CV should be followed by images from between 5 and 10 projects that demonstrate your interests and experience. Please provide captions or short explanations that put things into context but keep them brief (a sentence or two). If you have worked on a project as part of a group or team, be sure to indicate the specific nature of your role or involvement in the particular project. Feel free to include hyperlinks to web-sites, videos, or other media on the internet.

Note that the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files. Please upload your PDF to a personal web site or online service of your choice (such as dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive) and provide us with the URL for direct download. A PDF is strongly preferred to any other web-based format.

Start your application now

Applications can be submitted throughout the year. Places are limited, however, so we advise you to submit your application as early as possible (March/April) to avoid disappointment. We start interviews in February.

Apply now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

What happens next?

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Please note in making selections for interview, we give particular attention to your portfolio, personal statement and references.

Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your communication programme of study documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to attend an interview. For candidates applying for external funding, interviews will be scheduled prior to funding body deadlines.

Can’t attend the interview

If you’re a home/EU or international applicant unable to attend for interview, the MA Communication Design Course Leader would hope to discuss your application by telephone or email.

In the case of applicants unable to attend for interview and unable to discuss their application by telephone or email, a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of a review of the application materials. We keep notes about decisions made following the initial application review and the interview process.

Selection is by the Course Leader and offers of places are made on the basis of our selection criteria. Applicants are informed of the decision via either the Student Administration or the International Office.

Open days 

Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find out at first hand about courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email.

Industry collaborations

The Graphic Communication Design Programme offers a variety of optional client briefs that students may wish to become engaged with as a supplement to their main studies.

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Graphic Communication Design Programme include: TetraPak, Karstadt, Sony Music, Beefeater Gin, Fabriano, Kagome, Hewlett Packard, Tod's and Fresh. Find out more about the Lacoste client project. 

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry