Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication

Gain practical skills and expand your knowledge of design principles, research methodologies and theory with this postgraduate certificate. Explore visual language, typography, colour and information design through set and self-initiated projects. This part-time course offers an intensive vocational route into the graphic design profession and can provide a portfolio for further study at postgraduate level.

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

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. 

Image of a spread from the 2016 show book.
Chloe Morris, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

Chloe Morris, 2013

Chloe Morris, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

Chloe Morris, 2013

Ashley Williamson, PG Cert Design Visual Communication

Ashley Williamson, 2013. View Ashley's portfolio

Cat Drew, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

Cat Drew, 2013. View Cat's portfolio

FILM: Design Principles - Colour in the Office, David Graham, 2013

David Graham, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

David Graham, 2013

David Graham, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

David Graham, 2013

Lisa Tolliday, PG Cert Design Visual Communication, LCC

Lisa Tolliday, 2013

Lisa Tolliday, 2013

Lisa Tolliday, 2013

FILM: Type Talks, Kim Yeandle-Hignell, 2013. See more films by Kim on Vimeo

FILM: PG Cert Design for Visual Communication trailer.

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.

Use UAL's 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.

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.

Facts

Course Leader

Tony Pritchard

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModePart time
Course Length30 weeks - Part Time
Home/EU Fee

£2,750 (2016/17 fees)

Course fees may be paid in instalments
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

International Fee

£5,745 (2016/17 fees)

Course fees may be paid in instalments.
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

Start DateSeptember 2016
Application Route

Direct to College - See the How to Apply tab

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

Content and Structure

Content:

London College of Communication’s vocationally-focussed Postgraduate Certificate will help you to build practice-based and professional skills in the highly diverse field of design for visual communication.

Visual communication is a process by which ideas are made visible and conveyed through media to enhance meaning, experience and understanding. This one-year intensive course re-examines the relationship between design principles, research methodologies and the related theoretical contexts.

The programme is ideal for those from diverse academic backgrounds who wish to extend and develop their prior experience through visual communication. Students on the course have previously studied subjects from molecular genetics to English. The course is a confidence-building bridge to Masters study as well as providing the foundations for professional career development.

You can expect ...

You can expect to become part of a unique learning community made up of staff, guest speakers and fellow students from a diverse range of creative disciplines and cultures. Through tutorials, set and self-initiated projects, workshops and group discussions, you will gain a deeper understanding of the design process that will enhance your practice. Visual language and grammar, typographic hierarchy, symbol design, graphic representation, identity and information visualisation are just some of the areas you will explore.

Personal projects will provide you with a foundation in the principles of visual communication whilst engaging with postgraduate level research methods and conceptual development. Examples of personal projects include: mapping directional devices in the city; the promotion of a typeface; visual analysis of people flow and visual surveys of lettering. Graduates from this course have found employment within high profile international creative agencies, design management, teaching and professional practice. Some have established their own design studios, while others have gone on to achieve highly at Masters level.

What our students say...

“As an Architect I was quite familiar with the idea of design but I felt the need to build good foundations to progress in the graphic design field. The course at LCC has been fundamental for my career development. Thanks to the portfolio of infographics projects built at LCC, a few months after the end of the course I started freelancing for Sidan Media, a sport publishing company visualising football statistics.” Former student, Grazia Trisciuoglio, now Information Graphic Designer at Live Nation

"This was such a valuable course that gave me so much – I'm forever grateful."
Former student, Geoffrey Dahl, now a freelance Graphic Designer

“Thank you for everything. The course has changed my life.” Former student, Valentina Verč , Intern at the award-winning OPX studio.

Structure:

The Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication has three components:

  • Research & Development
  • Design Resolution
  • Professional and Academic Context

These units aim to achieve an integrated approach to your learning and to avoid the notion that research and application are aspects of design that are experienced in isolation.

Autumn, Term 1

Units Summary:

  • Research & Development (20 credits)
  • Design Resolution (20 credits)

Research and Development introduces you to the key methods of investigating subject matter employed at postgraduate level.

Design Resolution will investigate and re-examine the main themes of graphic design such as visual language and grammar; hierarchy; structure; navigation; identity; etc. This unit will enable you to experience research and development methods in practice.

Spring, Term 2

Units Summary:

  • Research & Development (continued)
  • Design Resolution (continued)
  • Professional and Academic Context (20 credits)

Professional and Academic Contexts offers you an opportunity to undertake a choice of projects that places emphasis on your future professional or academic direction. The following are indicative subject areas: information design, typo/graphic design and image-based design.

Summer, Term 3

Units Summary:

  • Professional and Academic Context (continued)

The course is currently running in part-time mode only and fits within the University credit framework. It is comprised of tutored study and self-directed study with access to facilities. You will embark on both course-set and self-initiated projects.

You will also engage in debate exploring a multitude of subjects, from design fundamentals to notions of cross-disciplinary thinking.

This course is taught within the School of Design at LCC.

Course Structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Staff

Course Leader: Tony Pritchard 

Lecturer: Henrietta Ross

Programme Directors: Jamie Hobson and David Sims

Careers

Students have gone on to find employment within high profile agencies such as Frost Design in Australia; Kenya Hara in Japan; Nick Knight Photography; Studio Myerscough; and Fallon Design. They have progressed to work as art directors in advertising agencies; interactive/digital designers; identity designers; typo/graphic designers and museum/exhibition designers. 

Alumni of the School of Design include: Neville Brody (Research Studios), John Brown (John Brown Publishing), Angus Hyland (Pentagram), John Hegarty (BBH) and John Kedgley (Tomato). As well as progression onto Masters level courses, graduates of the Design for Visual Communication course find employment both as freelance designers and with high profile international agencies. 

The following illustrate some of the successes of our alumni: Aidan Brown (Studio Myerscough), Matthew Hancock and Dominc Busby (David McCandles / Information is Beautiful), Rebecca May (Senior Designer – Design Council / Fallon / published author), Alison Guile (owner LMNOP shop), Annalisa Premoli (John Brown Media / MTV Nickelodeon), Emily Fox (Lewis Moberly), Caroline Nitsch (Lead Online Designer Harrods), Joanna Hopkins (Frost / CERN), Jun Tsuzuki (Nippon Design Center), Sthuthi Ramesh (Brand Union India), Laura Heeks (Pentagram, The Guardian, GQ), Nick Hearne (U-Dox / Wunderman), Ian Carr (owner Labour+Play). Recent graduates have taken up internships at: Browns, Spin and Studio8.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

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

Recruitment and admissions

Applicants will normally have a first degree or its equivalent. We welcome applications from non-traditional backgrounds and in particular mature students. We can assess prior experience as part of our selection criteria. 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 and Experiential Learning (APEL) i.e. professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience.

Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.

Language requirements (International/EU)

  • International and EU students: In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required.
  • If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our Support for International Students page.
  • International Applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding International Admissions.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate visual acuity, conceptual ability, technical competence and personal interest. Acknowledging that applicants come from diverse academic backgrounds 'portfolio' is taken as having a broad definition. It may include: sketch/notebooks; developmental work; photographs; PowerPoint presentations; web/interactive work; diagrams; printmaking; illustrated reports; commercial work; freelance commissions; personal work; conceptual work; 3D work (photographed); textiles; and written work.

Important information

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio on USB memory stick or via a website link with their application form.

This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material as described above. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Where it is possible to offer a face-to-face interview it would be advisable to bring a hard copy version of the portfolio with you.

As part of your application statement we would like to hear about your academic and professional background; your interest in the course; what you hope to achieve with it; and the areas of design you hope to pursue such as editorial design, typography or information design.

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 references).

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 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

Please say why you are applying for this course.

Portfolio

Your portfolio should demonstrate visual acuity, conceptual ability, technical competence and personal interest. Acknowledging that applicants come from diverse academic backgrounds 'portfolio' is taken as having a broad definition.

It may include digital versions of: sketch/notebooks; developmental work; photographs; PowerPoint presentations; web/interactive work; diagrams; printmaking; illustrated reports; commercial work; freelance commissions; personal work; conceptual work; 3D work (photographed); textiles; and written work. It should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material as described above. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Please note, you can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.

Start your application now

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

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.

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