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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Graphic Design


Graduate Diploma Graphic Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2024
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.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

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 further study and professional practice in graphic design. 

What to expect  

  • Integrated practice and theory: Through enquiry, dialogue and debate, you’ll develop and locate your practice within the context of graphic design communication. 
  • A dynamic learning environment: Benefit from surroundings that encourage peer learning and will enable you to develop as an independent thinker and proactive designer.  
  • Critical and analytical skills: You’ll develop these within a culturally diverse environment that fosters curiosity, experimentation and dialogue.  
  • Cross-disciplinary lectures and seminars: Broaden your perspective through lectures and discussions on contemporary contexts and applications for design research.  
  • Personal and professional development: Gain skills relevant to further study and professional practice. 
  • Design writing: You’ll explore design writing beyond the academic essay.
  • An ethical focus: Explore climate, social and racial justice and learn how to embed these principles into your creative practice.  
  • Teaching and learning: You’ll have access to on campus self-directed learning time and teaching.  

Industry experience and opportunities   

You’ll explore contemporary practices and processes of design through live briefs co-developed by academic staff and external practitioners. This will allow you to participate in professional contexts and experiment with applications for design practice

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 College and the University. It will help you position your current knowledge and experience within the field of graphic design practice and research. 

You’ll start to learn about the 3 key areas on the course: design practice, research and writing. You'll have online and on campus inductions to the learning resources at Chelsea college of Arts. A series of short projects will introduce you to graphic design theory and visual research methods.  

Cross-disciplinary lectures and seminars will cover a variety of applications for graphic design within different contexts. These will help you decide what and where your focus will be as a designer.

Unit 2 - Practice, development and realisation 

In this unit you will produce a portfolio of work and develop your identity as a designer. You’ll work on a series of set and live projects with external studios and organisations. You’ll also produce a piece of design writing that explores questions and ideas that are relevant to your practice. This will refine your focus and your individual ambition towards postgraduate study
 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Briefings 
  • Critiques 
  • Independent learning and self-directed study
  • Lectures 
  • Peer learning 
  • Seminars 
  • Study visits 
  • Technical inductions 
  • Tutorials 
  • Workshops

Student work

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • ''We're Obsessed With You''
    ''We're Obsessed With You'', Sean Henderson, 2023 Graduate Diploma Graphic Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Breathe In
    Breathe In, Gabriela Bernaquez, 2023 Graduate Diploma Graphic Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Dérive in Office
    Dérive in Office, Lang Yang, 2023 Graduate Diploma Graphic Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Welcome to America.
    Welcome to America., Hannah Popp, 2023 Graduate Diploma Graphic Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

Staff

Technical staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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
  • Video task

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

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio and video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio and video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

this is a test

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio and video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio and video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

this is a test

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

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Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score

Step 2: Video task and digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a video task and digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit these via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool. Please submit your video task on the first page followed by your portfolio.

Video task advice

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you. When recording your task, please face the camera and speak in English.

What to include in your video task

  • Choose 1 project from your portfolio and explain how it challenged you and your understanding of graphic design.
  • Tell us how this experience inspired you to apply to Graduate Diploma Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Arts.

Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 30 pages, including your video task
  • include a wide range of work that explores image, typography, print and film
  • feature work from your past degrees and/or from self-initiated projects and professional work
  • include any supporting research and creative inspiration
  • include any recent written work that is relevant to your practice.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

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.