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 course offers an intensive vocational route in the graphic design profession and is an ideal option if you need a bridge to Masters study.
FILM: Design Principles - Colour in the Office, David Graham, 2013
FILM: Type Talks, Kim Yeandle-Hignell, 2013. See more films by Kim on Vimeo
FILM: PG Cert Design for Visual Communication trailer.
London College of Communication
|Study Mode||Part time|
|Course Length||30 weeks - Part Time|
£2,500 (2014/15 fees)
£4,435 (part time 2013-14 fees). Some courses charge non-standard fee rates and additional costs.
For a full breakdown of standard fees visit the University's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.
|Start Date||January 2015|
Direct to College
|Application Deadline||We accept Postgraduate course applications on a rolling basis, so there are no set deadlines to apply.|
Content and Structure
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 experiences through visual communication. Students on the course have previously studied subjects from molecular genetics to English, architecture to textiles, micro-biology to fine art and product design to geography. 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 Master’s level.
Alumni of the School of Design includeNeville 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.
What our students say...
“As an Architect I was quite familiar with the idea of “design” but I felt the need to build a good grounding to progress in the graphic design field. The course at LCC has been fundamental for my career development. Thanks to the portfolio of info-graphics 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.
The Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication has three components:
- Research and Development
- Design Resolution
- Professional and Academic Context
These units run concurrently 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.
The course includes: visual language and grammar; typographic hierarchy; narrative and sequential design; symbol design; graphic representation; identity; information visualisation; as well as opportunities to pursue projects of individual interest.
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.
The Professional and Academic Contexts Unit 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.
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.
Tony Pritchard is Course Leader on the Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication. His teaching philosophy relates to an understanding of the fundamental design principles such as visual language (colour, form, structure, composition etc), typography and information design.
He is a student assessor at the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and is a regular contributor to Eye Magazine. He has over 25 years professional experience working in small to medium size design consultancies as well as running a freelance practice. Tony regularly publishes his thoughts on design, teaching and learning via his wordpress blog.
Programme Director: Jamie Hobson/ David Sims
Course Leader: Tony Pritchard
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. The strategy of preparing for Masters study has also paid dividends with many high performances including distinctions.
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. Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
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.
Find out more about Student Jobs and Careers
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 AP(E)L system.
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 International Applications page.
- International Applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding International Admissions.
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.
All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio on CD or via a website 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.
All candidates will be expected to outline their major project ideas in the application. This should describe the area of interest - the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project - the 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.
How to Apply
Apply direct to the College using the Postgraduate Application Form:
Postgraduate UK/EU Student Application Form (PDF - 4.15MB)
UK/EU applications should be sent to:
Postgraduate Admissions, Central Administration Office
5th Floor Tower Block
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London, SE1 6SB
Further information: Find out more information about applying to UAL, Open Days, Tuition Fees and Accommodation visit the Study at UAL pages.
Apply directly to the College using the International Application form
Postgraduate International Application Form (PDF - 189KB)
International applications should be sent to:
LCC International Admissions Team
College Academic Registry
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London, SE1 6SB
Further information: For help with visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.
Open Days and Tours
Open Days are a great way to find out more about LCC and our courses. You'll get to meet tutors, speak to students who are already here, and find out more about what we have in terms of facilities. Alternatively, If you’re already thinking of joining us, or want to see more, our team in the Information Centre give guided tours of the College. Visit the open days page to book your place.
We accept Postgraduate course applications on a rolling basis, so there are no set deadlines to apply.
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.