• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length1 year

International: Introduction to the Study of Design and Media (NQF Level 3)

This one-year course for international students is a practical and theoretical preparation for applications to undergraduate courses in Design, Media, and Screen at London College of Communication. Choose from a range of pathways including; graphic design, advertising, journalism, branded spaces, public relations, illustration, animation, film, and photography.

About this course

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.

Workshop and studio-based learning will give students an introduction to a range of 2D, 3D and digital media. The course provides an opportunity to experiment with and discover the preferred media and subject for each student.

Course films

London Calling, a film made by students on the International: Introduction to the Study of Design and Media course.


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.

Workshop and studio-based learning will give students an introduction to a range of 2D, 3D and digital media. The course provides an opportunity to experiment with and discover the preferred media and subject for each student.

Visiting professional practitioners and study trips to galleries and museums will enrich the understanding of this dynamic multicultural capital and its creative industries.

At the application stage, prospective students may indicate which particular pathway they are considering to study in the Schools of Design, Media or Screen.

Successful completion of the course will guarantee progression to an undergraduate course at LCC.

Please note: The course is one academic year in duration and NQF level 3.

On the Course

Preparation for Design, Media and Screen 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 are provided throughout the course, it is fully integrated into the programme and will ensure that you are well prepared for study at undergraduate level.

Design Pathway

The design pathway will allow students to explore many disciplines within the field of design including, typography, branded spaces, illustration and visual media, design for art direction, design management and cultures, and also many other design-based disciplines.

This is a practical pathway into 2D and 3D making skills, processes, and multimedia, which will encourage students to research and develop ideas through sketchbooks and digital based mediums.

This pathway will enable students to learn through making a meaningful connection between theory and studio practice supported by the use of all practical workshops within LCC.

Courses you can progress to within the Design School are:

Media Pathway

On the media pathway, students will explore industry focused areas such as journalism, advertising, public relations, photography and other specialist areas.

The projects on this pathway will allow 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, supported by the use of practical workshops within LCC.

Courses you can progress to within the Media School are:

Screen Pathway

This pathway includes animation, games design, television, and film and enables students to experiment with lens-based media over a series of set projects.

Students are encouraged to use research and explore narrative ideas using methods of photography, storyboards, and film.

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.

Courses you can progress to within Screen School are:

Course units

Unit 1: Academic English Language For HE Study – Course Orientation and Inductions (20 credits)

Academic language for undergraduate study aims to aid and prepare you to become academically able for your undergraduate study at London College of Communication.

The unit supports you in acquiring and developing academic literacy and study skills and, throughout the academic year, you will develop your academic writing, research and presentation skills. In doing so, you will also improve your language proficiency and develop your understanding and practice of UAL and UK academic conventions and standards.

This unit is divided into three terms. You will complete a written assignment at the end of the first two terms and take a UAL English examination at the end of term three, which will enable you, on successful completion, to progress onto your undergraduate course.

Course orientation and inductions

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 students at the College.

During this time you will begin 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, Media, and Screen (20 credits)

These units will explore the creative industries considering both historical and future trends. In the current context of new technology and co-design, you will cover a range of disciplinary practices that are evolving rapidly.

Through the theoretical study of design, media, and screen you will gain an understanding of these developments and trends.

These units will help to inform your own practice and develop your academic skills and knowledge in preparation for studying at undergraduate level.

You will also build your confidence and independence as a learner through a series of lectures, visits, seminars and reading and writing assignments.

Unit 4: Introduction to HE Studies in Design, Media, and Screen (40 credits)

Throughout this unit, you’ll investigate a series of in-depth practical projects 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, and teamwork on collaborative projects.

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 how to apply this knowledge to your work.

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

Unit 5: Personal Project (20 credits)

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.

Throughout the course, you will engage in self-directed study, which will enable you to develop the key academic and cultural communication skills for Higher Education.

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.


Course Leader 

Trudi Esberger

Pathway Leaders

Grace Adam, Paula Nessick

Contextual and Theoretical Studies

Academic Team

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.

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 

If you are applying to the Design, Media or Screen pathway will be asked to submit a portfolio of work which will show an interest and engagement within the area of study.

Please note: If you are not interviewed in person, we will ask you to upload an electronic portfolio (maximum of 20 images, text, 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 Screen and Photography pathways (With a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)
  • IELTS 5.5 for Media 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, design, and screen as a future career
  • Motivation to engage and succeed in 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)

Fees and funding

International fee

£14,320 (2017/18).

Please note: There is an additional registration fee of £135 for 2017/18 entry.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Career paths

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 who apply to an undergraduate course at LCC from this course will be interviewed by an International Academic 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 tests such as IELTS or PTE. More information can be found on the Language Requirements page.

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.