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MA Graphic Communication Design

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
2 years full time (60 weeks)

Course summary

As the ‘carrier signal of the 21st century’, graphic communication design concerns every sphere of human life.

It impacts profoundly on culture, technology, social justice, economics, the built environment, globalisation, policy, sustainability and much more. MA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins promotes a shared exploration of an ever-developing subject while enabling your progression as an individual designer.

This course is part of the Graphic Communication Design Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • Our graduates are versatile makers, astute commentators, and agents of positive socio-economic, cultural, and technological change
  • We take a critically informed and experimental approach to the production, form, and circulation of knowledge bringing together the traditional studio and craft traditions of graphic design with research driven approaches
  • We experiment openly with existing specialisms such as illustration and web design but also develop our own new ones
  • Our students have access to a diverse range of workshops including letterpress, print-making, photography, video, sound and digital facilities
  • Our individual and collective practices benefit from a highly international and diverse student and staff community.

Open days

Thursday, 13 December at 6pm
Thursday, 24 January at 6pm
Tuesday, 19 February at 6pm
Tuesday, 19 March at 6pm
Thursday, 25 April at 6pm
Thursday, 20 June at 4pm

Scholarships, awards and funding

Alan Fletcher Scholarship
Jane Rapley Scholarships

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International

View all postgraduate funding options for Central Saint Martins.

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

Student work

@CSMGraphics on Instagram

@csmgraphics
#NeueWorkshop students performing and recording mo

#NeueWorkshop students performing and recording movement in preparation for their collaboration with #csmperformance and...

@csmgraphics
Sincerely,
@csmgraphics2018 
BA Graphic Design
Deg

Sincerely, @csmgraphics2018 BA Graphic Design Degree Show Two 20-24 June Central Saint Martins Granary Square @csm_news...

@csmgraphics
NICE TEE 2
Get your hands on a Ltd edition Tee by

NICE TEE 2 Get your hands on a Ltd edition Tee by a bright, shiny graphics star! . While you're at it, you'll be support...

@csmgraphics
MAGCD Here Now 
MA Graphic Communication Design 
C

MAGCD Here Now MA Graphic Communication Design Central Saint Martins Degree Show 2018 20-24 June . #CSMemerge #magcd #...

MA Graphic Communication Design news

Creative Unions: New Histories

With our Creative Unions exhibition now open at Central Saint Martins, we take a closer look at the themes and works which comprise the show. History is made manifest in many ways […]

DB_LR copy

Take Five: Dina Bukva

With Degree Show season now over, we continue to take a look back at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them. MA Graphic Communication Design student Dina Bukva’s […]

Normal to Dissent.

2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended voting rights to women who met certain, limited criteria, but left 60% of the female population […]

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Show Two Theme: Puncturing Power

For Show Two: Design, we connect the dots on students presenting their work to the public for the first time.  With such tumultuous, and sometimes bizarre, political developments happening in the UK, and […]

Blackstar, David Bowie Photo by Barnbrook

Design Museum’s Designs of the Year

The Design Museum’s list of nominees for the Beazley Designs of the Year 2016 has just been announced and there are a few familiar faces. Central Saint Martin’s alumni make […]

Facilities

People using the letterpress at Central Saint Martins

Letterpress

Find out more about our Letterpress workshop.

Printmaking at Kings Cross

Printmaking

Find out more about the printmaking facility.

A room with people working at computers

Digital Media

Find out more about our digital media facility at King's Cross.

Course details

MA Graphic Communication Design pursues a direct and in-depth connection between the ‘applied arts’ tradition of graphic design and a critical and creative approach to communication. A carrier signal, in any form of communication, is the baseline flow of information. It is continuously modulated to transmit messages; it refigures meaning. If music can be understood as a carrier signal for the twentieth century, both expressing and amplifying waves of cultural change, then graphic communication design reveals itself to be the carrier signal of the twenty-first.

MA Graphic Communication Design cultivates a considered stance towards visual and other media. Through this course, you will be challenged to simultaneously develop critical positions, through and about graphic communication design, and innovate its new forms. The curriculum synthesises research driven and hands on approaches to graphic and communication design.

Industry collaborations

During Unit 1 you will work on a client brief which is set collaboratively by the client and academic staff. During this project you are explicitly encouraged to re-write the brief and actively interrogate the conventions of design-client relationships and different models of employment which you might pursue in future. You are also encouraged reflect on the institutional context of a university, and hence your own stance regarding the purpose of your education relative to industry and employment.

In addition to this required element of the course, you are encouraged to engage with co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities provided by GCD at programme level. These include live and sponsored project opportunities ranging from competitive commercial briefs for multi-national companies to explorative projects and challenges set by local government or NGOs, providing a choice of focus and the opportunity to build a portfolio of client based work alongside your main coursework.

Course units

The course is delivered over two three term academic years across three 60 credit units, each lasting two terms.

Unit One: Graphic Communication Design as Research

The purpose of Unit 1 is to introduce you to graphic communication design as a knowledge practice as well as a subject of study. If indeed, as Marshall McLuhan asserted ‘the medium is the message’, it then holds that the production of knowledge is intertwined closely with its form and circulation. By positioning graphic communication design as research, we open up new opportunities and ways of working, new kinds of integrity and effectiveness, challenging the conventional understandings of what knowledge is and how it could be deployed. Unit 1 is delivered through a series of five project briefs. A sequence of three briefs will introduce you to a range of themes and approaches within graphic and communication design. These are followed by an external client brief completed in groups. The unit concludes with a negotiated brief that supports the development of your individual areas of interest leading into the start of Unit 2.

Unit Two: Situated Practice in Graphic Communication Design

Where the intention of Unit 1 is to expose you to a diverse range of perspectives, Unit 2 sees you strengthen your particular stance as a designer. Individual reflection and authorship are part of this process. However equally important are how your work interacts critically with the wider frames of reference to which it is related. During this unit, you will develop and contextualise an in-depth position regarding graphic communication design related to your broader practice in the form of a research paper. Your paper will form the basis of your contribution to a cohort-wide publication. Your cohort will also plan a symposium to which you will each contribute a presentation of your work. On behalf of the cohort and the course, the symposium and publication are intended to articulate and question the present landscape of the discipline.

Unit Three: Graphic Communication Design Project

Development, editing and refinement are crucial sites of signification in graphic design practice. Unit 3 further develops your understanding of graphic communication design as research by carrying this proposition through to the interrogation of the details and processes of production across an individually negotiated body of work. Important to this unit are the details of production across multiple visual, textual, and/or other media based outcomes that build upon your Unit 2 coursework. The experience of committing and attending specifically to these aspects of graphic communication design practice will inevitably give rise to new insights and questions that should ultimately support new directions and lines of inquiry for your work. During Unit 3, your cohort will also plan an exhibition as part of Central Saint Martins’ annual degree show which receive tens of thousands of visitors.

Staff

Rebecca  Ross

Rebecca Ross

Course Leader, MA Graphic Communication Design

Rebecca  Wright

Rebecca Wright

Programme Director and Course Leader, MA Communication Design.

Luise  Vormittag

Luise Vormittag

Year Leader, MA Graphic Communication Design

Jaap  de Maat

Jaap de Maat

Lecturer, BA Graphic Communication Design and MA Graphic Communication Design

Year Leader: Matthew Chrislip
Associate Lecturer: Max Colson

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 standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

*          An honours degree OR

*          An equivalent EU / international qualification.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Creative intelligence and aesthetic sensitivity demonstrated by design portfolio
  • Flexibility, self-awareness and ability to think critically
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Awareness and understanding of the field
  • Personal vision and a sense of purpose
  • Relevant previous experience
  • Alignment of personal aims and objectives to the course.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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 submit the application form.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Part 1 (200-300 words)

What motivates you to pursue postgraduate study in graphic communication design?

If your undergraduate degree was in an art/design subject, what do you hope to gain from further study?

If your undergraduate degree was in another subject, how do you think studying graphic communication design will extend and expand upon your existing experience?

Part 2 (200-300 words)

This question tests your writing skills as well as your approach to reflecting upon and contextualising contemporary visual culture. Choose any recent film or television show. Write a brief critical response focusing on analysis rather than summary of any aspect. If useful, feel free to cite relevant literature.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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 submit the application form.

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

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Part 1 (200-300 words)

What motivates you to pursue postgraduate study in graphic communication design?

If your undergraduate degree was in an art/design subject, what do you hope to gain from further study?

If your undergraduate degree was in another subject, how do you think studying graphic communication design will extend and expand upon your existing experience?

Part 2 (200-300 words)

This question tests your writing skills as well as your approach to reflecting upon and contextualising contemporary visual culture. Choose any recent film or television show. Write a brief critical response focusing on analysis rather than summary of any aspect. If useful, feel free to cite relevant literature.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

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 portfolio through your UAL Portal.

Portfolio Review

The digital portfolio should be a PDF of between 15 and 40 pages:

  • Include images from between 5 and 10 projects that demonstrate your interests and experience
  • Please provide captions or short explanations that put things into context but keep them brief (a sentence or two)
  • If you have worked on a project as part of a group or team, be sure to indicate the specific nature of your role or involvement in the project
  • Please provide a current CV/resume detailing all professional and academic experience. For academic credentials, please include any marks or grades
  • Feel free to include links to web-sites, videos, or other media on the internet.

Interview

Following the review of your application and portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to interview, either in person or by skype.

The interview will be with a member of the course’s academic staff team, and will last approximately twenty minutes. We will ask you some standard questions that we ask of all candidates. There will be a few minutes toward the end for you to ask any questions that you might have. As part of the interview process, you will be asked to discuss the work you have submitted in your PDF portfolio, which we recommend that you have at hand during the discussion.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & Funding

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

It's easier and more affordable to print a newspaper or a book, publish a web page, or shoot and edit a video than it's ever been before. This democratisation of media is energising, but what becomes of the professional designer? By asking important questions such as why we design, what it means to claim identities as graphic communication designers, and where being a designer may take us, graduates of MA Graphic Communication Design are well equipped to take a pro-active and innovative approach to building their futures.

Our interrogative approach to careers is underpinned by a wide range of practical exposure and support. Students attend weekly Graphic Communication Design programme lectures by contemporary practitioners, which explore a variety of professional practices and offer insights into life as a designer. The programme also hosts alumni events where graduates share their experiences and network with students. The university also provides a wide range of practical careers support available to all students at UAL.

Our graduates have gone on to launch their own studios and publishing companies, work for large-scale institutions and corporations around the world, freelance in their chosen areas, or develop their own new models for design practice. An increasing number of our graduates are following the MA with PhD study and choosing to pursue a design research career.

Alumni

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