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Camberwell College of Arts

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MA Graphic Design Communication

Start date
October 2019
Course length
1 year (full time)

Course summary

MA Graphic Design Communication at Camberwell College of Arts encourages a broad and diverse approach to thinking and practice. This helps you shape engaging and imaginative design solutions through material, media, technologies and systems of public engagement.

The course aims to align current social and cultural issues alongside emerging design practices. It will give you a solid introduction to the debates and methodologies that are at the forefront of contemporary design. You will learn how to challenge and expand this knowledge within your personal design practice.

The course will enable you to become an advanced thinker and versatile practitioner. You will be a designer with the ability to respond to both familiar and unfamiliar challenges.

This course was previously taught at Chelsea College of Arts.

Student work

Ellis van der Does.

Yanenxi Hu.

Ayuko Tanaka.

Chenghao Lee.

Course details

What you can expect

  • A practice led course underpinned by critical design thinking and exploration
  • Teaching from experienced postgraduate tutors. Each of which has their own personal specialist design / art practice and research
  • A themed introduction to stimulate knowledge of contemporary design practice and discourse
  • Access to library and special collection resources, shared studios and exhibition spaces
  • To develop a rigorous design process. This will provide you with the means to use critical thinking, shape materials and forms, generate and communicate content, develop prototypes and engage with audience testing
  • To seek inspiration and knowledge from tutors, college wide lectures, UAL postgraduate community events and London’s cultural industries
  • To have access to Camberwell's shared workshops. View the Camberwell facilities

Find out more about some of the projects students are involved with on

Course units

Phase 1: Exploring Emergent Design Contexts and Practices

In the first phase of the course you will address emergent design practices and issues by selecting one of the following 3 themes:

  • Proximities and Encounters - The focus of this theme is on users, spaces of experience and interaction. You will look at how people's behaviour is evolving as a result of changing relationships to community, environment and policy
  • Mobilising the Studio - This theme will explore discourses and practices around co-created knowledge as a result of designers becoming mobile. We use the word mobile both in a physical and an intellectual sense. By physical we mean activities for shared knowledge and skills. The intellectual is about looking at the renewed definition of interdisciplinary practice.
  • Materiality and the Post Real - This theme will explore a wide range of interpretations of materiality. It will also look at ways in which its’ meaning is formed through practices of graphic design communication

Once you have selected one of the themes you will organise yourselves into groups. In these groups you will share knowledge, test responses and grow creative ideas and practices in response to set briefs and tasks.

You will learn how to use methods of analysis and experimentation to assemble your own findings and responses. This will lead to a defined position for a personal project.

This introduction to the course brings into focus different components of a design framework. They are critical context, conceptual enquiry and advanced practice.

Phase 2: Initiating a Framework for Design Enquiry and Practice

At this stage you will start to work on your individual major project proposal.

You will work on studio practice, reflective writing, prototyping, display and demonstration. As well as this you will occupy and perform within spaces beyond the college. This will allow you to begin to combine your own intellectual and creative experiences with the knowledge of other experts.

This part of the course also includes a short external residency at various cultural centres in London. The residency should inspire intellectual and physical interaction with existing and emerging bodies of knowledge and sites of practice.

This aims to create a relevant and engaging mode of professional practice. It also encourages excellence in practice-based research.

Phase 3: Innovating Modes of Communication and Dissemination

You will use the final stage of the course to learn how to refine your project outcomes in relation to a specific audience.

You will learn how to differentiate between the terms -communication, engagement, interaction and participation. You will find inventive ways to involve these in the final form and behaviour of your work.

Building upon the international context of the subject area you will also experiment with remote and local platforms for publishing, distribution and intervention.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Exhibition tutorials
  • General theory forum lectures
  • Independent research
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Research methodology workshops
  • Technical support and courses

Assessment methods

  • Essays, reports and dissertation
  • Final show examination
  • Peer assessment
  • Student self-evaluation
  • Tutorials and mid-year interim reviews


How to apply

2019/20 entry

Applications will open autumn 2018.

All applicants can apply for this course using our online application form.

Application deadline

Home / EU deadline is midday, Wednesday 31 July 2019.

There is no official deadline for international applicants. You are advised to apply as early as possible.

Further information about the application process

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

  • Personal details
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Personal statement
  • CV (curriculum vitae)

Once you have submitted the form you will be emailed a link to upload your portfolio (30 images).

The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

English language requirements

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

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

Portfolios should show the following:

  • A range of practical project work which demonstrates conceptual thinking, design iteration and effective outcomes
  • Aspects of development work which explore experimentation beyond obvious conventions of graphic design communication practice. This can include inventive and engaging responses in relation to a brief / commercial environment
  • Clarity of communications
  • A willingness to engage with emergent practices of graphic design communication or to approach it as inter disciplinary practice

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • Evidence of creative, expressive and analytical responses to projects
  • A willingness to explore graphic design communication beyond traditional  thinking and practice
  • An eagerness to exploit the university MA community as part of personal creative and professional development
  • Sufficiently strong verbal and written skills in order to fully participate in the course
  • An understanding of how context informs practice in a variety of ways, and a willingness to progress this knowledge and associated skillset

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative MA or Graduate Diploma course within Camberwell, Chelsea or Wimbledon. This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19 fees). 2019/20 fees to be confirmed.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19 fees). 2019/20 fees to be confirmed.

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. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) fee - Home / EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 ELQ fee. Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held.


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

Scholarships and awards

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Many graduates are employed in interdisciplinary design studios and as senior designers in graphic and communication design companies. Graduates have also founded their own design studios working across digital environments and physical spaces as well as specialist publishing and new forms of graphic content.


  • André Arruda - Partner, Papanapa, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Ana-Maria Grigoriu - Co-founder LOOT studio, Bucharest, Romania
  • Mayuko Hari - Art Director, Grey Advertising, New York, United States of America
  • Alistair Owen - Senior Designer, Forth, London

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

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