The Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) is a unique opportunity in UK Design education. Originating 40 years ago, the course was initially offered to students from BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design as an opportunity to mix industry practice and education in the third year of an extended four year BA (Hons) Degree.
In 2011 the Diploma was opened to students from BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media and BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts, and has now become available for students studying BA (Hons) Graphic Branding & Identity, BA (Hons) Design Management & Cultures, BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction, and BA (Hons) Information & Interface Design.
The Diploma in Professional Studies has been designed to allow students to learn in the most exciting and dynamic manner, alongside established industry practitioners in live situations in studios, galleries and on collaborative projects both in the UK and abroad.
Netta Peltola, a BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design alumna, explains “knowing how challenging being employed in the creative industry is, the DPS gives an introduction of what to expect and how to prepare for your final year. It is sort of a ‘trial’ time where you can make errors and it’s ok.”
Experiential learning allows students to develop an understanding of professional subjects and scenarios through involvement in live briefs, self-initiated projects and professional collaborations linking education with personal and professional development.
LCC alumnus Paul Jenkins explains “The course, including the structured DPS year out in industry, gave me the thinking and doing skills to use as a spring board as a graduate to land first jobs within the industry, moving through to several others before starting my own studio.”
Jo Glover, BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design alumna, also used the DPS year to build up experience of life working in industry. She was Senior Graphic Design at the V&A, having worked on the graphic identity for some of the museums most high-profile exhibitions including Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. Now Jo is heading up a team at TATE implementing their revised identity.
The College works closely with the design industry and alumni to ensure that students on the Diploma in Professional Studies encounter true diversity and breadth of experience. The year long course also allows navigation of specialisms in a profession which may have particular relevance to student career ambitions.
Students are encouraged to be enterprising and to approach organisations directly with projects and proposals. However, LCC have established both national and international relationships with the design industry, with previous students working with Apple, The United Nations, Ideo, Channel 4, BBC, The Times & The Guardian, Eurostar, Pentagram, Greenpeace, Selfridges, the V&A, Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, Penguin Books, Dazed & Confused, Mother and many more.