Postgraduate Diploma Design for Visual Communication

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.

LCC alumna Margot Lombaert creates identity for Adopting Britain at Southbank Centre

LCC alumna creates identity for Adopting Britain - LCC Blog

Course Leader Tony Pritchard and graduate Valentina D'Efilippo feature in the Guardian's piece about data visualisation.
The Infographic History of the World, image Valentina D'Efilippo
LCC Graduate Margot Lombaert features alongside 54 other designers in an intriguing new publication by GraphicDesign&.
Golden Meaning, image by Margot Lombaert

Graduate features in new publication by GraphicDesign&. - LCC Blog

Publishing success for two Design for Visual Communication alumni

Publishing success for alumni, read more on the LCC Blog.

Watch // Visual Grammar: Square : Circle : Line by current student Hiroyuki Suzuki 

2013 gradute work 

Hiroyuki Suzuki,2013, PG Dip Design for Visual Communication, LCC

Hiroyuki Suzuki, 2013. Read about Hiroyuki's navigational iPad App on the LCC Blog 

Hiroyuki Suzuki, 2013, PG Dip Design visual Communication, LCC

Hiroyuki Suzuki, 2013

Jess Yanzio, PG Dip Design visual Communication, LCC

Jess Yanzio, 2013

Jess Yanzio, PG Dip Design for Visual Communication, LCC

Jess Yanzio, 2013

Laura Bamber, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Laura Bamber, 2013

Laura Bamber, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Laura Bamber, 2013

Margot Lombaert, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Margot Lombaert, 2013. See Margot's installation on the LCC Blog

Margot Lombaert, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Margot Lombaert, 2013

Margot Lombaert, 2013, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Margot Lombaert, 2013

Peter Balman, PG Dip Design Visual Communication, LCC

Peter Balman, 2013

Funding opportunities

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

Facts

Course Leader

Tony Pritchard

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length30 weeks - Full Time
Home/EU Fee

£5,500 (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

£11,490 (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:

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.

Structure:

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.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

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

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • Professional and Academic Context (continued)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
  • Project-Centred Exploration and Analysis (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • Project-Centred Exploration and Analysis (continued)
  • Project Realisation and Report (20 credits)

The major project realisation 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 project is supported throughout with weekly seminars and tutorials.

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.

Should you exit the course, a Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits.

Staff

Programme Director:  Jamie Hobson and David Sims

Course Leader:  Tony Pritchard

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.

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