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Level 3: International Introduction to the Study of Design, Media and Screen

Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year

Course summary

Applications closed - 2019/20 entry

Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Applications for September 2020/21 entry will reopen in the Autumn.

This one-year course for international students is a practical and theoretical preparation for applications to undergraduate courses in Design, Media, and Screen at London College of Communication. Choose from a range of pathways including; graphic design, advertising, journalism, branded spaces, public relations, illustration, animation, film, and photography.

This exciting and comprehensive course is based at London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle, a vibrant area rich in tradition, cultural influences and links with creative industries from across the world.

Workshop and studio-based learning will give students an introduction to a range of 2D, 3D and digital media. The course provides an opportunity to experiment with and discover the preferred media and subject for each student.

Please note

This course is for international students only.

Student work

London Calling

A film made by students on the International: Introduction to the Study of Design, Media and Screen course.

Latest news


A student mixing ink in the Letterpress workshop.
Image © Alys Tomlinson


From traditional crafts like letterpress to the latest in 3D printing, you'll have access to an extensive range of facilities at LCC.

Figures walking through the Atrium Gallery.
Image © Lewis Bush

Virtual Tour

Have a look around the places and spaces that make up LCC and get an idea of what it's like to be here.

Library Services at London College of Communication, LCC

Library Services

We have a whole range of collections, services and facilities to support your written and practice-based work. Find library locations and opening times across UAL.

Course details

This exciting and comprehensive course is based at London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle, a vibrant area rich in tradition, cultural influences and links with creative industries from across the world.

Workshop and studio-based learning will give students an introduction to a range of 2D, 3D and digital media. The course provides an opportunity to experiment with and discover the preferred media and subject for each student.

Visiting professional practitioners and study trips to galleries and museums will enrich the understanding of this dynamic multicultural capital and its creative industries.

At the application stage, prospective students may indicate which particular pathway they are considering to study in our Design SchoolMedia School or Screen School.

Successful completion of the course will give you the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate course at LCC, or in some exceptional cases a UAL Foundation Course.

Please note: The course is one academic year in duration and NQF level 3.

On the course

This course has been developed to help you choose the most suitable undergraduate course for your particular skills, talents, and ambitions.

You will develop your skills and creative thinking and we will prepare you for the level of work that is undertaken in the first year of an undergraduate degree.

Your tutors will provide advice, based on your performance on the course, to help you decide what undergraduate course to choose.

Language support

English language support and academic writing guidance are provided throughout the course, it is fully integrated into the programme and will ensure that you are well prepared for study at undergraduate level.

Design pathway

The design pathway will allow students to explore many disciplines within the field of design including, typography, branded spaces, illustration and visual media, design for art direction, design management and cultures, and also many other design-based disciplines.

This is a practical pathway into 2D and 3D making skills, processes, and multimedia, which will encourage students to research and develop ideas through sketchbooks and digital based mediums.

This pathway will enable students to learn through making a meaningful connection between theory and studio practice supported by the use of all practical workshops within LCC.

Courses you can progress to within the Design School are:

Media pathway

On the media pathway, students will explore industry focused areas such as journalism, advertising, public relations, photography and other specialist areas.

The projects on this pathway will allow students to develop research skills, support and develop ideas as well as exploring new concepts for particular projects.

The media pathway will also encourage the development of practical skills, supported by the use of practical workshops within LCC.

Courses you can progress to within the Media School are:

Screen pathway

This pathway includes animation, games design, television, and film and enables students to experiment with lens-based media over a series of set projects.

Students are encouraged to use research and explore narrative ideas using methods of photography, storyboards, and film.

Combined with grounding in theory, students will have access to digital imaging resources that, with support from their tutors, will facilitate the production of still and moving image-based work.

Courses you can progress to within Screen School are:

Course units


  • Unit 1: Academic English Language for HE Study (20 credits)
  • Unit 2: Academic Study Skills for Design, Media and Screen – Course Orientation and Inductions (20 Credits)
  • Unit 3: Cultural and Contextual Studies for Design, Media and Screen (20 credits)
  • Unit 4: Introduction to HE Studies in Design, Media and Screen (40 credits)
  • Unit 5: Preparation for Undergraduate Study – Personal Project (20 Credits)

Unit 1 – Academic English Language for HE Study (20 credits)

Unit 1 aims to aid and prepare you to become academically able for your undergraduate study at London College of Communication.

This unit supports you in acquiring and developing academic literacy and study skills so, throughout the academic year, you will develop your academic writing, research and presentation skills.

You will also improve your language proficiency and develop your understanding and practice of UAL and UK academic conventions and standards.

This unit is divided into three terms. You will complete a written assignment at the end of the first two terms and take a UAL English examination at the end of term 3, which will enable you, on successful completion, to progress onto your undergraduate course.

Unit 2 – Academic Study Skills for Design, Media and Screen - Course Orientation and Inductions (20 credits)

Throughout this unit, you will undertake a series of practical projects that introduce you to methods of research, analysis and presentation, appropriate to the study of design, media and screen.

The first term begins with course orientation and induction to LCC and UAL. You will meet your tutors, the course team that will support you in your studies throughout the year and other students at the College.

During this time, you will start to learn your way around LCC, the area where you live and around London itself.

This is also your chance to explore all the great facilities and resources that are available to you as a student.

Unit 3: Cultural and Contextual Studies for Design, Media, and Screen (20 credits)

This unit will explore the creative industries considering both historical and future trends.

In the current context of new technology and co-design, you will cover a range of disciplinary practices that are evolving rapidly. Through the theoretical study of design, media, and screen you will gain an understanding of these developments and trends.

This unit will help to inform your own practice and develop your academic skills and knowledge in preparation for studying at undergraduate level.

You will also build your confidence and independence as a learner through a series of lectures, visits, seminars and reading and writing assignments.

Unit 4: Introduction to HE Studies in Design, Media, and Screen (40 credits)

Throughout this unit, you’ll investigate a series of in-depth practical projects about how to research, develop and evaluate ideas within design or media communication.

This period of study will include the use of materials, media and methods, effective evaluation, reflective practices, portfolio building, and teamwork on collaborative projects.

You will also learn the essential skills of time management and effective self-directed learning, which are key skills for successful undergraduate study.

Each student will be expected to maintain a comprehensive learning journal and develop a series of sketchbooks.

You’ll improve your communication and language skills through reading, writing, listening and speaking. In addition, you'll learn the specialist vocabularies of the different disciplines and how to apply this knowledge to your work.

These increased language skills will ensure that you start your undergraduate course as a confident and effective communicator.

Unit 5: Personal Project (20 credits)

In the final term, you will propose and undertake a personal project agreed by your tutor. This will give you the opportunity to produce a showcase of self-initiated work through your chosen area or discipline.

Throughout the course, you will engage in self-directed study, which will enable you to develop the key academic and cultural communication skills for Higher Education.

You will use all of the learning, skills, and experience that you have acquired during your first two terms to help you to develop a body of work that demonstrates your readiness to progress to a suitable undergraduate course at London College of Communication.


Course Leader

Trudi Esberger

Pathway Leaders

Grace Adam

Contextual and Theoretical Studies

Helen Elder

Academic Team

Jo McVey

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

Successful completion of school education including a certificate of achievement to at least Level 2 (GCSE equivalent).

A reference from your current school or college; describing your suitability to your chosen pathway, your commitment, and any other relevant information.

Please note: A portfolio of work is required as part of your application when applying to any of the three pathways areas of study.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

Please note: You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, no other test can be accepted.

The level required by the University for this course is:

  • IELTS 5.0 for the Design pathway (with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)
  • IELTS 5.0 for the Screen and Photography pathways (with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)
  • IELTS 5.0 for Media pathway (with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill)

Visit the UAL Language Requirements page for further information.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference;
  • OR a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Selection criteria

In addition to meeting the entry requirements, we are looking for you to demonstrate through your portfolio and interview:

  • Evidence of interest in media, design, and screen as a future career.
  • Motivation to engage and succeed in the course.
  • Potential and motivation to progress to an undergraduate course at LCC.
  • An interest in increasing your skills through personal and professional development (PPD).

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements you will be invited to submit a portfolio. Your portfolio is then assessed by our academic team who will make a decision on your application.

Please note: not all applicants are invited to attend an interview.

Making your application

Applications closed - 2019/20 entry

Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Visit our undergraduate courses page for a list of courses that are open for application.

Application deadline

There is no application deadline for this course. Applications are considered throughout the year and until the course is full.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Please note: London College of Communication does not accept applications for deferred entry, for this course. You should therefore apply to study in the upcoming academic year.

After you apply

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to identify whether you are eligible to study at UAL. Do be aware, if you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Visas and Immigration

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visas and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

Initial application check

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the academic team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Portfolio advice

Applicants to all pathway areas of study will be asked to upload an electronic portfolio of work (maximum of 20 images) - moving images, still images or audio clips.

In your portfolio, you should include any examples of relevant work that you think shows us your interest in and commitment to the relevant pathway area of study.

You can include your visual arts work from school or college, or any other projects you have worked on, for example:

  • Drawings
  • Photographs
  • Visual research images
  • Blogs
  • Digital layouts
  • Research for a written piece

Media communications pathway applicants:

If you are applying to the Media Communications pathway area of study, please submit a combination of both visual images and written work evidencing writing and research activities showing interest and engagement with the area of study.

(If uploading written work, this should be saved and then uploaded as an image, or the text can be pasted into an image title text box.)

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through your portal. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful.

We look forward to receiving your application and reviewing your work.

Fees & Funding

International fee

£15,920 (2019/20 entry)

Please note: There is an additional registration fee of £135 (this fee is  subject to confirmation for 2019/20 entry).

Additional costs

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

If you successfully complete the course, you will gain a qualification and have the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate course at London College of Communication, provided you meet all the conditions of your offer.

The course you are offered will be dependent on the quality of the work you have done throughout the course. For some undergraduate courses a portfolio will be required, and for other courses, there may be a written test. All applicants who apply to an undergraduate course at LCC from this course will be interviewed by an International Academic Coordinator.

For those students who make satisfactory achievements in all parts of the course but have difficulty with the English language, there may be a possibility of improving your English language level through attendance and achievement on the Pre-sessional Academic English Programme (PAEP) language course run by the Language Centre at UAL.

Alternatively, you can take an external four skills English tests such as IELTS or PTE. More information can be found on the Language Requirements page.

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