School of Design
Become part of the School of Design
Gain practical skills and expand your knowledge of design principles, research methodologies and theory with this postgraduate diploma. Explore visual language, typography, colour and information design through set and self-initiated projects. This full-time course offers an intensive vocational route into the graphic design profession and can provide a portfolio for further study at postgraduate level.
Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.
London College of Communication
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||30 weeks - Full Time|
£5,500 (2016/17 fees)
£11,490 (2016/17 fees).
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
|Start Date||September 2016|
Direct to College - See the How to Apply tab
|Application Deadline||Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.|
Build up a strong vocational portfolio on this intensive 30 week course.
The Postgraduate Diploma Design for Visual Communication provides a unique learning experience across an intensive 30 week programme. The highly structured delivery of the first stage of the course places emphasis on the development of fundamental design skills. This is underpinned with the importance of visual research and the development of critical and analytical skills. During the second stage of the course you will choose from a wide range of postgraduate electives and go on to develop a self-initiated major project that focuses on individual interests.
The Postgraduate Diploma is designed to build design skills even if you are relatively new to the subject of graphic design. The course provides you with a strong, vocational portfolio and is also useful in building your confidence to undertake further postgraduate study at Masters level.
The course recognises that graphic design is one of the most important and influential of what has become known as the creative industries and that it contributes significantly, directly and indirectly, to our economic and cultural well being.
This course is taught within the School of Design.
Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The Postgraduate Diploma course structure involves six units, totalling 120 credits.
Design Resolution is an intensive series of 'hands-on' studio workshops that develop basic design skills including visual grammar, typography, structure and the grid. Research and Development breaks down the research process and encourages contextual understanding of graphic design practice. It is designed to develop understanding of research methods and to provide you with research skills that can be applied to other units on the course. The Professional and Academic Contexts unit encourages you to position your work within the framework of professional and/or academic contexts.
The major project builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the first stage and applies these in the creation of a self-initiated design project based on extensive research, analysis, investigation and a clear research question. The major project is supported throughout with weekly seminars and tutorials.
Typical examples of electives might include letterpress, printmaking, sound design, photography, narrative and sequence, typologies, design and politics, moving image and book design. The final units require you to propose, research and bring to completion a substantial practical project.
The course, which fits within the University credit framework, comprises: tutored study, self-directed study and access to facilities. Tutored study is generally two days a week. In addition to this you are expected to attend lectures and work independently.
If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there is one possible exit award. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
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.
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:
Please say why you are applying for this course.
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.
Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
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.
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.