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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Graphic Design

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours

Graduate Diploma Graphic Design Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year (full time)

Graduate Diploma in Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Arts will enable you to develop your graphic design thinking and making.

Course overview

The course is for students who have a BA (Bachelor of Arts) but not necessarily in graphic design. It is designed to help you develop the necessary knowledge, skills and research methods to progress to MA (Master of Arts) level study in graphic design.

What to expect

  • You will develop and locate your practice within the context of graphic design communication
  • We take an integrated approach to theory and practice through enquiry, dialogue and debate
  • A dynamic learning environment that encourages peer learning and will enable you to develop as an independent thinker and proactive designer
  • To improve your critical and analytical skills within a culturally diverse environment that fosters curiosity, experimentation and dialogue
  • Attend cross-disciplinary lectures and seminars on contemporary contexts and applications for design research
  • Develop personal and professional skills relevant to further study at MA level
  • To explore design writing beyond the academic essay
  • Have access to on campus self-directed learning time and teaching

​Mode of study 

Graduate Diploma Graphic Design is offered in full-time mode and consists of 30 teaching weeks over 1 academic year. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

Unit 1 - Research, Risk and Context

This unit is an introduction to your course, the discipline and the college and will include:

  • An introduction to 3 key areas of study in the course - visual language, design research and design writing
  • Online inductions to learning resources at Chelsea College of Arts
  • A series of short projects introducing you to graphic design theory, history and visual research methods
  • Online lectures introducing you to a variety of applications for graphic design within different contexts and supporting you to locate your focus as a designer
  • An introduction to design research principles and methodologies
  • Workshops exploring design writing as a historical and contemporary practice
  • To produce a portfolio of project work

Unit 2 - Practice, development and realisation

In this unit you will produce a significant body of work in response to several projects. This will refine your focus and your individual ambition towards postgraduate study. You will:

  • Produce a 2000-word piece of design writing that explores questions and ideas that are relevant to your practice
  • Work on live projects with external studios and organisations
  • Present your work to staff, peers and professional designers
  • Further develop your identity as a designer through a series of set projects that allow you to define your own focus
  • Produce a portfolio of project work including your design development, prototypes and solutions
  • Present work in the college end of year event

Learning and teaching methods

  • Group crits, demonstrations and workshops
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Studio based group and individual tutorials
  • Studio teaching by practitioners
  • Visiting specialists

Staff

Technical staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts) (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Evidence of ability in art or design
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement.

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
  • A combination of these factors

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

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Evidence of visual and conceptual creative abilities
  • A clear commitment to the chosen field of study
  • Potential to develop the full range of practical, expressive, critical and conceptual skills necessary to complete the course
  • Ability to benefit from the learning environment and experience
  • Ability to communicate and discuss issues and ideas both verbally and in written form
  • Ability to manage your own time and initiate projects

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans.
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a range of visual work - image and typography based and/or print and film.
  • Self-initiated as well as project or course work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas.
  • Evidence of recent written work - where relevant to your practice.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of graphic design. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to Graduate Diploma Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Arts.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a graduate diploma course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans.
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a range of visual work - image and typography based and/or print and film.
  • Self-initiated as well as project or course work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas.
  • Evidence of recent written work - where relevant to your practice.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of graphic design. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to Graduate Diploma Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Arts.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

The course is committed to supporting students in developing the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to continue your creative practice.

Personal and professional development is integrated into the course with opportunities to develop your skills through bespoke sessions, talks with industry practitioners, career management and postgraduate progression seminars.

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.