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MA Data Visualisation

College
LCC
Start date
September 2020
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Data Visualisation at London College of Communication is a practice-led course where students research, interpret, critique and visualise data using a range of media, tools and techniques.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Design-led and interdisciplinary: The course recognises the uniquely interdisciplinary nature of data visualisation, and will equip you to work with specialists from data scientists to developers, data journalists to domain experts. You’ll also build your own specialist data design skills though through a rich culture of studio practice and technical workshops underpinned by advanced critical and theoretical perspectives.
  • Collaborative and industry-engaged: You’ll work with your peers on briefs designed and delivered by design practitioners specialising in data visualisation, such as Beyond Words Studio; as well as domain experts tackling data-related challenges such as The British Red Cross.
  • Focused on subject and research expertise: You’ll build a portfolio of data visualisation work alongside defining and delivering your own self-initiated, research-led major project, supported by a range of workshops from the research-oriented to those focused on the creative application of technical tools.
  • Experimental and explorative: You’ll develop the ability to translate data into creative narratives that a wide variety of audiences can understand using the most appropriate form of communication design for each project. LCC’s exceptional facilities, from the Creative Technology Lab to the letterpress studio, are places for you to experiment with a range of mediums and modes of delivery – shaping compelling narratives that challenge the definition and parameters of the discipline.

Open Evenings

Dates for our upcoming Open Evenings will be announced shortly on our Open Days page.

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Stories

Facilities

A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
Image © Lewis Bush

Printing and finishing

A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area

Creative Technology Lab

A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

Course overview

MA Data Visualisation is driven by the intelligent interrogation of data and intensive practice-led research.

On this course you will develop the ability to translate data into creative narratives that a wide variety of audiences can understand using the most appropriate form of communication design for each project, including print, physical objects, environmental design or a screen based interaction.

What can you expect?

You'll be supported in developing an independent and critical view, producing visual narratives to bring about positive change, taking a collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach through the use of data.

You'll gain an in-depth understanding of information design within the context of communication design, acquiring a range of digital and analogue skills, underpinned by a historical, theoretical and critical framework.

The course recognises the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of data visualisation practices and will support you in developing a highly informed understanding of the role and implications of an editorial voice.

You'll produce work through a research-led body of enquiry that explores the power, potential, social and cultural impacts of data visualisation.

Work experience and opportunities

A focus on collaborative practice across the course will support your gaining professional skills and experience. Past partnerships have included working with The British Red Cross, Beyond Words Studio and LSE Archive.

The involvement of a range of expert practitioners in the programme delivery ensures we maintain strong links with both with industry and academically-focused partners and collaborators.

Mode of study

MA Data Visualisation is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

MA Data Visualisation is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

The course units include:

Term one

  • Unit One: Data visualisation research and practices
  • Unit Two: Visualisation tools, datasets and data stories

In this term, through a series of practical-hands on workshops, you will develop your specialist information design and data visualisation practice. Pairing key areas from mapping to complex chart-making with a focus on fundamental design principles such as colour, visual language and typography, you’ll develop your expertise in both explorative, and explanatory data visualisation as well as structure, narrative and story-telling.

Alongside this you’ll engage with key texts, data visualisation practitioners and specialists from related disciplines through a series of lectures and seminars. This will support you engaging with the critical and theoretical context in which you are work and informing your approach to research methods and critical practice.

Term Two and Three

  • Unit Three: Final major project proposal and critical reflection
  • Unit Four: Collaborative unit

During these terms you’ll define your major project focus through research-oriented workshops and group and individual seminars and tutorials.

You’ll also work on the Collaborative unit – responding to a brief defined and delivered with industry-leading practitioners working at the forefront of the discipline of data visualisation.

You’ll continue to participate in studio-based practical workshops designed to support you interrogating your own practice, defining methodologies and identifying interesting ways to integrate technical data visualisation tools and software into your research-led practice.

Through additional external briefs you’ll also work with your peers on group projects responding to provocations defined by domain experts working with data.

Term Four

  • Unit Five: Final major project critical visual report. 

In your final term, you will realise your research-led final major project, supported with lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as engagement with the wider community of practice at LCC.

You’ll produce a design outcome for this piece of work as well as critical and reflective report, evidencing your engagement with advanced theoretical and critical positions within the field and related disciplines.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Practice-based Workshops
  • Workshop
  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Academic tutorials
  • Personal tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • Speakers and visits
  • Assessed assignments

Assessment methods

  • Practical Projects  
  • Reflective Visual/Written Reports 
  • Research Proposals 
  • Portfolios – practical 
  • Critical contextual written statements 
  • Developmental Blogs for reflective practice

Staff

Henrietta  Ross

Henrietta Ross

Course Leader, MA Data Visualisation

Tobias  Revell

Tobias Revell

Programme Director, Graphic Design Communication

Ian  Carr

Ian Carr

Lecturer, MA Data Visualisation

Llewelyn  Fernandes

Llewelyn Fernandes

Associate Lecturer, MA Data Visualisation

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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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

The MA Data Visualisation course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world, who have achieved a Hons degree qualification that evidences their aptitude, skill and engagement in the field of graphic design/communication or a related design practice. Applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, as well as those already within employment, are also welcome on the course.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior 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.

Language requirements

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 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.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

 

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in a specialist subject area to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Also to show a willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated
  • 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) and a grounded understanding of the world of sonic, visual and networked culture and be able to engage in and contribute to critical discussion
  • In the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology
  • Portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment

Making your application

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate applicants

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study Proposal (for the Major Project)

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Apply now

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, 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. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and your current knowledge and experience of graphic design/communication developments and discussions. Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes.

It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study Proposal for Major Project (300–500 Words)

Applicants must submit a study proposal for the Major Project outlining the intentions of their MA research (300-500 words).

Include a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project, and an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change during your study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

If you have links to web projects or media, please note these in your CV.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate applicants

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

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

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study Proposal (for the Major Project)

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

Apply now

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, 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. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in your application.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and your current knowledge and experience of graphic design/communication developments and discussions. Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes.

It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study Proposal for Major Project (300–500 Words)

Applicants must submit a study proposal for the Major Project outlining the intentions of their MA research (300-500 words).

Include a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project, and an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change during your study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

If you have links to web projects or media, please note these in your CV.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview information

Applicants must present a portfolio evidencing their aptitude, skill and engagement in the field of graphic design communication or relative neighbouring practice.

Please submit an edited selection of work (10-20 images, 4-5 projects maximum) accompanied by a short caption for each project acknowledging the motivation, development, realisation and impact (one-two sentences maximum).

Please indicate your role and contribution to any collaborative projects included. We welcome developmental work, sketches, tests, process-led experimentation in the portfolio.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£11,220 (2020/21).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

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.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarship 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.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Upon completion of the MA Data Visualisation course, graduates will be equipped with a keen critical understanding of the field of data visualisation and will have acquired a diverse set of technical and project management skills represented in a portfolio of data visualisation work.

We expect graduates to have the skills, experience and confidence to address a range of academic or professionally focused problems within this field; drawing on specialist knowledge and experience and a familiarity with related areas such as information design, user experience design and design thinking.

Graduates will have acquired leadership skills, an entrepreneurial mind-set and the ability to tackle complex problems with insight and determination.

Career options include:

  • Design Consultancy
  • Exhibition Design
  • Editorial
  • Data Journalism
  • Data Visualisation
  • Data Science Supervisor
  • Data Analyst
  • Self-employment/freelance
  • Integration of design skills into other disciplinary areas

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