- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
MA Graphic Branding and Identity
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry. You may also be interested in MA Illustration and Visual Media.
Understand, translate and communicate brand stories graphically. MA Graphic Branding and Identity encourages students to challenge what is understood about the meaning of graphic branding.
About this course
This MA course focuses on the role of visual identity within branding, with the aim to produce versatile and creative practitioners who understand design within a business, social and cultural context.
Driven by intelligent enquiry and evaluation, you will explore the strategic thinking underlying brands and look at how that strategy can drive the creative expression.
Student films and profiles
- MA Graphic Branding and Identity students develop concept for UN project to end violence against women
- Spotlight on MA Graphic Branding and Identity, Graphic Media Design and Illustration & Visual Media // LCC Postgraduate Shows 2016
- LCC invites public to free design exhibitions, workshops and talks as part of London Design Festival
Driven by intelligent enquiry and evaluation, MA Graphic Branding and Identity encourages students to challenge what is understood about the meaning of graphic branding. It explores the strategic thinking underlying brands and focuses on how that strategy can drive the creative expression.
Look around you and you will see examples of the power of brands; on the high street, within organisations and in the media. From Coca Cola to Virgin, the most successful brands are worth billions. This MA course focuses on the role of visual identity within branding, with the aim to produce versatile and creative practitioners who understand design within a business, social and cultural context.
MA Graphic Branding and Identity addresses the subject from a broad perspective, covering individual, group, cultural, national, international, corporate and commercial identities. You will be encouraged to look critically at the graphic elements which make up a contemporary visual identity. The emphasis is on practical design, supported by theoretical components and the application of clear research methodologies.
As well as developing a deeper knowledge of branding and graphic design, you'll gain an understanding of how to develop brand strategies and propositions. An important part of the course involves developing an independent personal project that investigates these principles and their application.
Learning at this level will be about intellectual engagement, discovery, interaction and change. The final product, for us, is not in itself the goal - it is the research, evaluation and understanding of branding and identity that makes this MA distinctive.
This course is taught within the Design School.
Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.
Autumn, Term One
- Unit 1 - Brand and Design Principles (40 credits)
- Unit 2 - Field of Study Report (20 credits)
These two units involve a process of reflection, broad exploration and understanding of the brand and design process itself, through a practical project exploring the fundamental principles of brand and design literacy and visual grammar.
You will work on identifying your own practice in relation to common approaches and develop a deeper understanding of the techniques required to produce effective graphic, brand and design communication. A series of lectures, workshops and seminars will be available covering research methodologies in theory and practice and the wider contextual framework for contemporary graphic branding.
In addition, you’ll undertake a scoping and profiling project called the Field of Study Report, in order to establish a working rationale and focus for your Major Project Proposal. This will help you to develop an appreciation of current debates that are shaping the future of the subject and gain an informed view of your own practice.
The skills and knowledge developed during this unit will provide you with a firm foundation from which to undertake design research and are a platform for your personal graphic branding and identity practice.
Spring, Term Two
- Unit 3 - Major Project Proposal (40 credits)
- Unit 4 - Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
Summer, Term Three
- Unit 3 - Major Project Proposal (continued)
- Unit 5 - Final Major Project: Practical and Report (60 credits)
- Unit 5 - Final Major Project: Thesis (60 credits)
The Major Project Proposal moves your Field of Study Report forwards through a series of practical and contextual stages to find a clearly defined and evaluated research question for the Major Project Proposal. This question will then be answered in the Final Major Project in the last unit of the course.
For Unit Three you will write, design and produce a re-evaluation of the intentions and methods outlined in the Field of Study Report submitted in Unit One, in order to strategically plan the development of the Major Project towards its final resolution.
During this unit, you may choose to refocus or even change your project. At this point, it is also advised to consider the type of final project (Final Major Project: Practical and Report, or Final Major Project: Thesis). These decisions will need to be discussed and agreed with your tutor prior to the completion of the Major Project Proposal.
During this stage, you will also be able to undertake the Collaborative Unit, where you can work within the branding industry, collaborate with another course or organisation on a chosen branding project or brief. The Collaborative Unit allows you to be directly in touch with the realities of a professional branding practice, and to examine these techniques, approaches and theories in a professional context. (Examples of previous collaborative partnerships at LCC include: Pentagram, Wieden + Kennedy, SCOPE, Channel 4, One Show New York, Mother, Blue Marlin and Interbrand).
Autumn, Term Four
- Unit 5 - Final Major Project: Practical and Report (continued)
- Unit 5 - Final Major Project: Thesis (continued)
The Final Major Project builds on the knowledge and skills acquired during the earlier units, together with the defined and tested rationale developed in the Major Project Proposal and definition stages of the course. These elements are then applied in the creation of an original brand design research project.
This involves the completion of an independent Final Major Project on the basis of extensive research and a firm methodological approach. You will develop a programme of investigation and analysis that supports you in the further development of your personal research project.
As you move towards the submission of your Final Major Project, you'll be required to qualify and evidence your design development; exploring the context of your project as well as identifying key issues in the work such as appropriate discourses, your strategic thinking, branding ‘touch points’, materials and media through which you can effectively communicate your branding ideas.
If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.
How to apply
You can begin your application 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 course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
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
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.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you 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:
- Personal statement (Approximately 200 words)
- Major Project proposal
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
PLEASE NOTE: Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry.
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.
Recruitment and admissions
The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Graphic Branding and Identity attracts students who apply direct from an Honours Degree course or those with other equivalent qualifications. The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.
Entry requirements (Home/International/EU)
Applicants will be considered for admission who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree in a field relevant to graphic design, product design or architecture.
This educational level may be demonstrated by one of the following:
- Possession of the qualifications named above.
- Possession of equivalent qualifications.
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. (As indicated by at least three years’ experience which has led to a demonstrable level of expertise in the understanding and use of graphic design).
- A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.
Alternative entry routes
We welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry.
If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning AP(e)L system.
Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience or currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.
Language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based on selection criteria.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcripts (or projected results)
- Then they will scrutinise your personal statement, portfolio, major project and any previous work experience
Academic or professional reference are not required for this course.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in in Graphic Design, Product Design or Architecture to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
- Knowledge of graphic design and the skills to execute using associated computer software programmes
- A willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated
- Portfolio should be conceptual and research based, you must show process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- A Systematic identification and investigation of appropriate resources
- Materials and media exploration and experimentation: Experimentation and testing of materials in realisation of concepts.
The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in graphic branding and that you have thought very carefully about why you want to study on this course. (Approximately 200 words)
Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
You will be required to submit a portfolio of personal work and commercial work if appropriate, supported by a short description of the project and your involvement if commercial.
If you have a personal website, you can include a link to this in your CV. Please remember that this course is both conceptual and research based, it is important to show your process and how you explore, test and experiment, as well as your commercial and finished projects.
All candidates will be expected to outline their major project ideas in the application.
Your outline should describe your area/s of interest, your field of study and the particular focus of your intended work across the year. You should also include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and your methodology.
It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
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.
Scholarships and awards
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
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.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
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.