Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Graphic Media Design

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours

College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2023
Course length
Full-time: 1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Graphic Media Design explores the use of graphic design as a critical tool to investigate the complexities of contemporary society.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Subject expertise: Delivered by accomplished design practitioners, researchers and educators, this award-winning, progressive course champions development and critical debate.
  • Progressive practice: You’ll prepare to enter complex contexts with curiosity and confidence, informed with in-depth subject knowledge, advanced design skills and a resilient attitude.
  • Design discourse and debate: Course guests include leading practitioners, theorists, writers and critical thinkers. Previously, we’ve welcomed the likes of Forensic Architecture, Alice Twemlow, Paul Elliman and Jan van Toom.
  • Community: You'll socialise your practice with key groups, organisations and institutions, engaging with projects such as the ‘In Search Of…’ series, ‘Positioning Practice’ and ‘A Line Which Forms a Volume’.
  • Progression: As a member of our postgraduate community, you’ll have opportunities to engage in research, and graduate with the potential for PhD progression.
  • Excellent resources: You’ll have access to exceptional facilities spanning both traditional and contemporary processes - from letterpress, screen printing, photography, 3D construction and bookbinding to 3D printing, laser-cutting and sound engineering.

Course overview

Our approach is practice-led and research-oriented.

An integrated approach to theory and practice threads through the course delivered by an accomplished course team of awarded design practitioners, published researchers and experienced educators. This approach offers a distinct opportunity to develop a body of work that is relative and progressive.

What to expect

  • Your self-authored, practice-led enquiry will drive the programme of study. You will work in collaboration with the course tutors, fellow course participants and external partners.
  • Your long-term independent enquiry will be punctuated with specialist workshops, course-led briefs, tutor, peer and expert critique forums, site visits, lectures and talks from leading practitioners, thinkers and doers.
  • You will join and participate in a critical studio environment where practice-led, theoretical and historical contexts will be explored, critiqued and contemplated alongside one another. 
  • Outside of core delivery, you will have the opportunity to utilise a range of resources to experiment and continue developing your projects. Your success or failure on the course will depend, to a great extent on how rigorously and responsibly you exercise self-direction and how well you respond to tutorial advice and advice from peers and collaborators. The level of self-management required will increase throughout the course. 
  • We will assume that you are technically proficient and able to research and develop any further skills you require. Technical tuition is restricted to the tutorial support of individual projects. If you need to acquire a significant skill base, then you are advised to do so before you apply for the course.

Industry experience and opportunities

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to work in partnership with a team of course tutors and guests with specialist knowledge in practice/s of graphic design spanning commissioned work, research practice and teaching. You will also socialise your practice with key institutions, organisations and communities throughout the course.

Mode of Study

MA Graphic Media Design 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

In 2019, UAL declared a Climate Emergency. In response, LCC's Design School set an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan in place to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do.  

 As part of this initiative, we’ve shaped our courses around social and environmental sustainability principles that ensure learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip you with the understanding, skills, and values to foster a more sustainable planet.  Our aim is to change the way our students think, and to empower you to work towards a sustainable future.

Autumn, Term 1

Critical Perspectives and Methodologies (60 credits)

This unit functions as an introduction to postgraduate study, critical and reflective practice, and alternative working approaches that blend graphic design practice, history and theory.

This approach is employed to build a confidence in moving past the familiar into the unknown, through close readings of the variables that shape contemporary graphic design practice. A curated lecture series, anchored by key reference material, will support the studio-based delivery.

Spring, Term 2

Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

The Collaborative Unit urges you to independently initiate opportunities to socialise your research through building relationships with key partners associated with your research agenda/s i.e. institutions, subject experts, users, commissioners, producers, fellow practitioners/researchers, etc.

These activities may take place locally or remotely, through an excellent opportunity for you to establish links with relative industry partners within the thriving design culture here in London.

Design Enquiry and Definition (40 credits)

Alongside the Collaborative Unit, you will continue establishing a hypothesis for your Major Project by testing your projects currency in varied ways through practice-led design methodologies and processes; readings and writings around your field/area of study; and ongoing critical reflection.

The products of this enquiry will feed directly into your Major Project Definition, which you will submit as part of your Design Enquiry and Definition unit submission.

Summer, Term 3

Design Enquiry and Definition (continued)
Major Project (60 credits)

Within this stage of the course, you will further your knowledge and extend your critical and professional understanding through the consolidation and realisation of the Major Project.

You are expected to produce work demonstrating a significant synthesis of research and practice drawing on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first three stages of the course.

Autumn, Term 4 Major Project (continued) ​

Your Major Project will demonstrate, both in content and form, your advanced understanding of graphic design practice, history and theory. You will spend this phase of your study pursuing an argued and distinct line of inquiry working towards a major output (or body of work).

This will be supported by a critical context paper and critical rationale articulating the motivations and objectives of the project acknowledging key theories, contexts, and stakeholders for the research.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Workshop
  • Seminar
  • Lecture
  • Tutorials
  • Self directed learning
  • Speakers and visits
  • Assessed assignments

Online Open Day

Course Leader, Tony Credland, gives an overview of studying MA Graphic Media Design at London College of Communication.

Graduate showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Anomalous Utopia
    Anomalous Utopia, Jemima Whitaker, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • RESONANT BODIES
    RESONANT BODIES, Amy Henry, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Complicit Invisibility
    Complicit Invisibility, Mareena DeGuzman Rafique Khawar, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Uncreative Portrait _What_If_I_am_a_Nobody.zip
    Uncreative Portrait _What_If_I_am_a_Nobody.zip, Reuxn Yao, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • ❋REMOTE ENTANGLEMENTS❋
    ❋REMOTE ENTANGLEMENTS❋, Ilaria Golin, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • THE BODY IS IN FLUX
    THE BODY IS IN FLUX, Sarah Støle, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Fantasy as Resistance
    Fantasy as Resistance, JiaJing Sun, 2021 MA Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL

Student work

  • Co-Clouds,-Jaime-del-Corro.png
    Co-Clouds, Jaime del Corro
  • Micro-resistance-is,-Zifan-Wang.png
    Micro-resistance is, Zifan Wang
  • Non-Digitalised-Emotion,-Ziqi-Huang.png
    Non-Digitalised Emotion, Ziqi Huang
  • Productive-Liminality-Office-on-Demand,-Paloma-Moniz.png
    Productive Liminality - Office on Demand, Paloma Moniz
  • You-are-a-happiness-gadget,-Yinjun-Diao.png
    You are a happiness gadget, Yinjun Diao
  • Restart-Program-of-the-Apollo-Project,-Ying-Ye-.png
    Restart Program of the Apollo Project, Ying Ye

Course playlist

Student voices: Roxy Zeiher

Roxy talks to us about her project The Copy Machine which explores artificial intelligence.

Non-Digitalised Emotion

Non-digitalised Emotions is a visual experiment critiquing the emotion quantification performed by emotional AI.

Work by: Ziqi Huang

DAMNED GREEN

This research is positioned within the field of political design, and is intended as a think tank for ideas about power and leadership, the status quo and subversion, representation and reproduction.

Work by Aldo Caprini

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons is a book that describes Terra Ignota, a mysterious island, autonomous from the rest of the world – ‘Mainland’ – and alien to the notions of law and government.

Work by Eugenia Luchetta

Instagram

Course stories

Facilities

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

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • A tutor in the process of producing a print.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printmaking

    This workshop offers a wide-range of expertise in everything from etching to lithography.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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 MA Graphic Media Design course team welcomes thoughtful, critical and productive applicants concerned with the effective articulation of design.

The course attracts applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world, from an Honours degree course in a field relevant to graphics and media design or those with other, equivalent qualifications. The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in the industry, or non-traditional backgrounds, as well as those already within employment.

The course has been designed to accommodate flexibility in educational engagement. Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.

Your 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 (Experiential) Learning

If you do not meet these entry requirements but your application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative relevant experience, you may still be considered. This could include:

  • 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. We cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum 6.0 in each of the four skills.

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For further guidance, please check our  English language requirements.

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.
  • Your portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment.

Apply now

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, portfolio and study proposal
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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
  • Video task

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

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course 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.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

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.

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 (approximately 150 words)

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and your current knowledge of contemporary graphic design debates, 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 (300-500 words)

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

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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, portfolio and study proposal
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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. International applicants can alternatively apply through one of our official representatives in your country.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal
  • Video task

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

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.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course 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.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

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 (approximately 150 words)

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and your current knowledge of contemporary graphic design debates, 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 (300-500 words)

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

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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 add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

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

  • Your portfolio of work should evidence your aptitude, skill and engagement in the field of graphic design or a related practice.
  • Please submit an edited selection of work across 4-5 projects (maximum 19 images) accompanied by a short caption for each project. Each caption should be a maximum of 1-2 sentences and acknowledge your motivation, development, realisation, and impact.
  • If you choose to include any collaborative projects, please indicate your role and contribution.
  • We welcome developmental work, sketches, tests, and process-led experimentation in your portfolio.
  • Your portfolio of work should be conceptual and research based. You must show your thinking and making processes, and demonstrate your curiosity and drive to explore, test and experiment.
  • If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note them in your CV.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio via PebblePad.
  • Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

  • We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of graphic design. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to MA Graphic Media Design at London College of Communication?

Interview

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

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

Careers

Our graduates leave the course with curiosity and confidence, informed with in-depth subject knowledge, advanced design skills and a resilient attitude.

Graduates initiate new directions for the practice of graphic design, participate in current and future debates on the practice and secure high-profile careers in key areas of design practice, research and education.