- Start dateSeptember 2018
- Course length30 weeks full time
Postgraduate Diploma Design for Visual Communication
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry.
An intensive, vocational route into the graphic design profession that can provide a portfolio for further study at postgraduate level.
About this course
Available in both Part-Time (Certificate) or Full-Time (Diploma), these courses are designed to build confidence in those seeking to switch career, to return as a mature student, or wanting a bridge to Masters study.
You will be taught design theory and practical skills in visual language, typography, colour and information design, delivered through set and self-initiated projects.
Student films and course work
The introduction of the 2017 publication also includes articles on the course curriculum and philosophy.
The 2016 publication also contains two special design activism articles, one of which features guest contributor Ian McLaren.
This publication represents the work of students studying the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma Design for Visual Communication course in 2015.
- LCC invites public to free design exhibitions, workshops and talks as part of London Design Festival
- LCC Postgraduate Shows 14 // Spotlight on MDes Service Design Innovation and PGDip/Cert Design for Visual Communication
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.
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.
- Research and 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.
- Professional and Academic Context (continued)
- Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
- Project-Centred Exploration and Analysis (20 credits)
- 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.
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.
How to apply
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.
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
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
Please note: Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry.
Applications are accepted and offers are 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.
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)
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 clearly 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.
- International and EU students: In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills 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.
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 transcript (or projected results)
- Then they will scrutinise your personal statement, ‘portfolio’ and any previous work experience
Academic or professional references are not required for this course.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- Practical creative ability and the potential to develop that ability through: visual vocabulary (composition, line, shape, form, scale, space, light, colour and texture); quality of ideas (conceptual evidence); use of materials and media
- Critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject area and capacity for research-led design, intellectual inquiry and reflective thought, through: contextual awareness (professional, cultural, social, historical); evidence of research, analysis, development and evaluation (from previous academic study and employment)
- An openness to new ideas and ability to take initiatives, through: ability to evaluate an idea and make decisions based on that evaluation
- A developed and mature attitude to independent study, and an ability to take responsibility for a project and manage this independently, and demonstration of mature approach through academic and/or professional work
As part of your application 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.
Please provide a CV detailing your education and 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.
All applicants will be asked to upload an electric portfolio as part of their application. This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material. These should be clearly annotated and organised.
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.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
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.
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.
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.
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.