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MA Design for Art Direction

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Course summary

MA Design for Art Direction at London College of Communication gives visual communicators and designers the practical, critical and conceptual skills to develop their potential in the field of art direction.

Reasons to apply

  • You’ll work in creative collaboration with commercial, cultural and non-profit sectors to produce work that has the potential to educate and innovate.
  • Work across disciplines and bring your own ideas to the delivery of visual communications for brands and institutions.
  • You’ll take on the role of the art director, developing and realising ideas through a combination of collaborative and individual work.
  • You’ll reflect on the role of the creative studio and creative partnerships in shaping public imagination; you'll explore different types of communications such as activism and intervention.

Open evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 6 December.

Book your place

Facilities

A tutor operating one of the woodworking machines.
Image © Vladimir Molico

3D Workshop

View images and find out about the range of tools and technologies on offer.

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

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.

Course details

MA Design for Art Direction takes a holistic approach to the creative industries. Through its multi-displinary nature, the course encourages the discovery of the potential to work across sectors in order to produce campaigns that educate and innovate for commercial, cultural and non-profit sectors.

You’ll consider the politics and ownership of the internet alongside the role of publishing platforms, examining how these allow for creative work to engage with users in a flexible way.

You’ll develop cross-disciplinary research projects, through the intersections of art, design, science and technology, and learn to present these ideas to audiences in educational and engaging ways.

Reflecting on the role of the creative studio as a powerful instrument for broadening the public imagination, you’ll learn to communicate the cultural, social and political moment through the sophisticated aesthetics of visual communication.

What can you expect?

Lectures and workshops in production, budgeting, pitching, commissioning and networking will inform and support you in order to start a creative studio. This includes looking at funding streams, understanding Arts Council and Design Council priorities and how to write proposals, as well as identifying commercial partners for funding, technical development and distribution.

The course will also equip you with practical skills, insight and understanding to manage other creative practitioners effectively.

Course units

Unit summary

Unit 1: Critical Perspectives and Research Methods (20 credits)

Unit 2: Managing Design for Art Direction (40 credits)

Unit 3: Specialist Practices for Art Direction (40 credits)

Unit 4: Collaborative Project (20 credits)

Unit 5: Final Major Project (60 credits)

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Staff

Course Leader

Michael Horsham

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 Design for Art Direction course welcomes proactive, contextually aware and curious thinkers from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world.

Applicants may come from a range of disciplines such as graphic design, photography, moving image, set design, curating, art practice and related fields with an Honours degree course in a relevant field, or have other equivalent qualifications.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant technical/ practical background experience who show a commitment to critical thinking and ambitious project development, as well as those who may have previously worked in industry, or non-traditional backgrounds, or be already in employment.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree at 2:1 or first-class
  • 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.

Language requirements (International/EU)

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 area of visual communication and project management to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in design
  • Willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated
  • Enthusiasm for the subject area of art direction 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 visual and multi-disciplinary networked culture as well as the ability to engage with and contribute to critical discussion
  • Portfolio of diverse examples of visual communication that is conceptual and research-based, evidencing your thinking and making process in variety of media, whilst demonstrating your curiosity to explore, test and experiment
  • Whilst candidates are not expected to demonstrate particular software skills their suitability will be evaluated on evidence of diverse use of medium in generating visually compelling outcomes effectively communicating with audiences (portfolio) and evidence of project management demonstrating ability to manage time, negotiate outcomes, work to deadlines, and take responsibility for deliverables (CV).

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 of the subject. Ensure that your personal statement 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.

Portfolio and interview advice

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio of self-initiated and/or commercial work, supported by a short description of the project and your role within it.

The portfolio of an edited selection of work (10-20 images, 4-5 projects maximum) evidencing your research interests, skills and engagement within your current field. You should include evidence of your research, testing and experimentation, as well as finished work.

If you have links to web projects or other 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 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Making your application

Information in this section is subject to change.

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and additional items you would need to supply.

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 scrutinise your personal statement and portfolio

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

You will be asked to supply:

  • Portfolio

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted and offers are made throughout the year, however, early application is advised.

Apply 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.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

After you apply

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,890 (2019/20).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£19,930 (2019/20).

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.

Scholarships 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

Career paths

The course will equip you with the skills to set up small scale agencies or join in-house teams as junior art directors, designers, researchers, art/media buyers or junior creatives.

You'll be prepared for a successful career within media agencies, cultural institutions, print and web editorial and production companies.

Work in both the commercial and public sectors in areas such as:

  • In-house teams in the cultural and voluntary sectors
  • Trend forecasting
  • Design education
  • Exhibition and event organisations
  • Creative consultancy for brands
  • Retail development
  • Editorial design
  • Set design
  • Creative direction
  • Curating

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