International: Introduction to Design and Media Communication (NQF Level 3)

This one-year course is a practical and theoretical introduction to the varied disciplines of design and media communication, aimed at international students who want to progress to an undergraduate course at London College of Communication. Choose from a range of pathways including; graphic design, advertising, journalism, spatial design, public relations and film and photography.


Course Leader

Bill Long

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB
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Study LevelFoundation
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year
Home/EU Fee


International Fee

Please note: There is an additional registration fee of £135 for 2017/18 entry (to be confirmed)

Start DateSeptember 2017
Application Route

Direct to College

Application DeadlineApplications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Content and Structure

The course provides a thorough introduction to the practice and theory of media communication and design disciplines including: graphic design, spatial design, journalism, publishing, film and photography, public relations, media communications, advertising and media and cultural studies.

At the application stage, prospective students will be asked which particular pathway they are considering to study e.g. Design, Film and Photography or Media Communication. Please note: The course is one academic year in duration, NQF level 3. At the beginning of the course all students will undertake a diagnostic programme. 

On the Course

Introduction to Design and Media Communication has been developed to help you choose the most suitable undergraduate course for your particular skills, talents and ambitions.

The course will prepare you for the level of work that you would be undertaking in the first year of your undergraduate degree. Your tutors will provide advice, based on your performance on the course, to help you decide what undergraduate course to choose. 

Language Support

English language support and academic writing guidance is provided throughout the course, it is fully integrated into the programme and will ensure that you are well prepared for study at undergraduate level.

This exciting and comprehensive course is based at London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle, a vibrant area rich in tradition, cultural influences and links with creative industries from across the world.

Possible course progression

Courses you can progress to within the Design School are:

BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction
BA (Hons) Design Management and Culture
BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design
BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity
BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media
BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts
BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design
BA (Hons) Spatial Design

Courses you can progress to within the Media School are:

BA (Hons) Advertising
BA (Hons) Journalism
BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures
BA (Hons) Media Communications
BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing
BA (Hons) Public Relations
BA (Hons) Sports Journalism

Courses you can progress to within Screen School are:

BA (Hons) Games Design
BA (Hons) Film and Television
BA (Hons) Film Practice
BA (Hons) Live Events and Television
BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design
BA (Hons) Animation

Design Pathway

The design pathway will allow students to explore many disciplines within the field of design including, typography, spatial design, illustration and visual media and also many other design based disciplines.

This is a practical led pathway which will encourage students to research and develop ideas through sketchbooks and other digital based mediums.

The pathway will also encourage the development of practical skills. This will be supported by the use of all practical workshops within LCC.

Media Pathway

The media pathway will encourage the exploration of the media industry focusing on areas such as journalism, advertising, public relations and other specialist areas.

The projects on this pathway will allow the students to develop research skills, support and develop ideas as well as exploring new concepts for particular projects.

The media pathway will also encourage the development of practical skills. This will be supported by the use of all practical workshops within LCC.

Film and Photography Pathway 

The Film and Photography pathway enables students to experiment within lens-based media within a series of set projects. Students are encouraged to use research, explore and extend ideas using methods of photography and filmmaking.

Combined with grounding in theory, students will have access to digital imaging resources that, with support from their tutors, will facilitate the production of still and moving image-based work.


  • Unit 1: Academic English Language For HE Study – Course Orientation and Inductions (20 credits)
  • Unit 2:
 Academic Study Skills For Design and Media Communication (20 Credits)
  • Unit 3: 
Cultural and Contextual Skills For Design and Media Communication (20 credits)
  • Unit 4: Introduction to HE Studies in Design and Media Communication – Research, Ideas and Methods, Evaluation/ Reflection and Progression (portfolio building)/ Media, Design, Collaboration and Communication (40 credits)
  • Unit 5: Preparation for Undergraduate Study – Personal Project (20 Credits)

You can view a detailed breakdown of the course units in the tab below.

Course Units

Unit 1 – Academic English Language For HE Study, course orientation

The first term begins with course orientation and induction to LCC and UAL. You will meet your tutors, the course team that will support you in your studies throughout the year and other the students at the College.

During this time you’ll start to learn your way around LCC, the area where you live and around London itself. This is also your chance to explore all the great facilities and resources that are available to you as a student.

Throughout the course you will study and be supported in gaining or improving your skills in academic English language to prepare you for undergraduate study.

Unit 2 and 3 – Cultural and Contextual studies for Design and Media Communication

This unit explores the creative industries considering both historical and future trends. You will gain an understanding of the theoretical and historical study of media and design through asking a number of questions about what we know about communication, how we found out, and what the future may look like for the creative industries.

Unit 4 – Introduction to HE Studies in Design and Media Communication

Throughout this unit you’ll investigate a series of in-depth practical studies about how to research, develop and evaluate ideas within design or media communication.
This period of study will include the use of materials, media and methods, effective evaluation, reflective practices, portfolio building, team working and collaboration.

You will also learn the essential skills of time management and effective self-directed learning, which are key skills for successful undergraduate study.

Each student will be expected to maintain a comprehensive learning journal and develop a series of sketchbooks. You’ll improve your communication and language skills through reading, writing, listening and speaking, and learn the specialist vocabularies of the different disciplines, and apply this knowledge to your work.

These increased language skills will ensure that you start your undergraduate course as a confident and able communicator.

Unit 5 – Personal Project

In the final term you will undertake a personal project proposed by yourself and agreed by your tutor. This will give you the opportunity to produce a showcase of self-initiated work through your chosen area or discipline.

You will use all of the learning, skills and experience that you have acquired during your first two terms to help you to develop a body of work that demonstrates your readiness to progress to a suitable undergraduate course at London College of Communication.

Throughout the course you will engage in self-directed study, which will enable you to develop the key academic and cultural communication skills needed to achieve a high standard on your undergraduate course.


Course Leader and Pathway Leader Design and Spatial: Grace Adam

Course Leader and Pathway Leader Photography and Film: Paula Nessick

Contextual and Theoretical Studies: Helen Elder

Academic English Tutor: Nadege Sokolowski


Future Careers and Graduate Prospects

If you successfully complete the course, you will gain a qualification and have the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate course at London College of Communication, provided you meet all the conditions of your offer.

The course you are offered will be dependent on the quality of the work you have done throughout the course. For some undergraduate courses a portfolio will be required, and for other courses there may be a written test. All applicants to an undergraduate course at LCC from this course will be interviewed by a member of the course team and the International Coordinator.

For those students who make satisfactory achievements in all parts of the course but have difficulty with the English language, there may be a possibility of improving your English language level through attendance and achievement on the Pre-sessional Academic English Programme (PAEP) language course run by the Language Centre at UAL. Alternatively, you can take an external four skills English test such as IELTS or PTE.

More information can be found on the Language Requirements page.

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Opportunities for All

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wide range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We actively support all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their course.

Course Entry Requirements

Successful completion of post-secondary education including a certificate of achievement to at least Level 2 (GCSE equivalent). 

A portfolio of work is required as part of your application when applying to any of the three pathways areas of study.

In your portfolio you should include any examples of relevant work that you think shows us your interest in and commitment to the relevant pathway area of study.

You can include your visual arts work from school or college, or any other projects you have worked on, for example:

  • Drawings
  • Photographs
  • Visual research images
  • Blogs
  • Digital layouts
  • Research for a written piece 

Media Communications pathway

If you are applying to the Media Communications pathway please submit a combination of BOTH visual images and written work evidencing writing and research activities showing interest and engagement with the area of study.

Please note: If you are not interviewed in person, we will ask you to upload an electronic portfolio (maximum of 30 images, moving images or audio clips).

Full instructions on how and where to upload will be sent to you after you have made your application. We look forward to receiving your application and reviewing your work.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

Please note: You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, no other test can be accepted.

The level required by the University for this course is:

  • IELTS 5.0 for the Design pathway (With a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)
  • IELTS 5.0 for the Film/Photography pathway (With a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)
  • IELTS 5.5 for Media Communication pathway (With a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)

Visit the UAL Language Requirements page for further information.

Student Selection Criteria

In addition to the entry requirements, at an interview, we are looking for you to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of interest in Media Communication, Design and Film and Photography as a future career
  • Motivation to engage and succeed on the course
  • Potential and motivation to progress to an undergraduate course at LCC
  • An interest in increasing your skills through personal and professional development (PPD)

How to Apply

Applying for the course

Apply online using the online application form.

After you have made your application, you will be asked to supply your portfolio, either electronically or asked to bring your portfolio with you for an interview in person. 

The International Admissions Team are available to help and guide you through the application process for LCC.

If you need further course and admissions information or help with your application, please contact us by telephone or online:

Take a tour of LCC

You can take a virtual tour of LCC, or if available, you can book onto one of our Friday tours of the College. Please visit our Open Days and Tours page for more information. 

For further details on how to apply as an international applicant please visit our UAL International student pages.

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.

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