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Postgraduate

PG Cert Design For Visual Communication

Inside spread of publication exploring visual language.
Josh Carlisle, 2020. PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
30 weeks part-time

An intensive, vocational route into the graphic design profession that can provide a portfolio for further study at postgraduate level.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • The course provides an intensive vocational route into graphic design.
  • Build a distinctive portfolio of personal and research-based projects.
  • Improve your confidence in design judgement and decision-making skills.
  • The course supports a diverse range of media outputs including spatial design, screen-based design, traditional print and digital media.
  • The course also supports individual ambition in areas such as exhibition design, data visualisation, cross-media, publication design and branding.

Open Evenings

The next Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

Student work

  • Maria-Gimeno,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.jpg
    , Maria Gimeno, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.jpg
  • Izabela-Radwanska-Zhang,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.png
    , Izabela Radwanska Zhang, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.png
  • Sundeep-Verdi,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.jpeg
    , Sundeep Verdi, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.jpeg
  • Zuzana-Cimalova,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.jpeg
    , Zuzana Cimalova, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.jpeg
  • Andrew-Ollerton,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.jpeg
    , Andrew Ollerton, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Josh-Carlisle,-2020,-PG-Cert-Design-for-Visual-Communication,-London-College-of-Communication,-UAL.jpg
    , Josh Carlisle, 2020, PG Cert Design for Visual Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.jpg

Structure and the City Publication - Brutal Theatre

Work by Imo Glover.

Structure and the City Publication - Deconstructed

Work by Maria Gimeno.

Animations for MyAware

Work by Izabela Radwanska Zhang.

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2021)

Course Leader, Ian Carr gives an overview of studying PG Certificate Design for Visual Communication at London College of Communication.

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.

Course overview

The programme is ideal for those from diverse academic backgrounds who wish to extend and develop their prior experience through visual communication.

Students on the course have previously studied subjects from molecular genetics to English. The course is a confidence-building bridge to Master's study as well as providing the foundations for professional career development.

What can you expect?

You can expect to become part of a unique learning community, made up of staff and fellow students from a diverse range of creative disciplines and cultures.

Through tutorials, set and self-initiated projects, workshops and group discussions, you will gain a deeper understanding of the design process that will enhance your practice.

Visual language and grammar, typographic hierarchy, graphic representation, identity and information visualisation are just some of the areas you will explore.

Personal projects will provide you with a foundation in the principles of visual communication whilst engaging with postgraduate level research methods and conceptual development.

Examples of personal projects include: mapping directional devices in the city; the promotion of a typeface; visual analysis of people flow and visual surveys of lettering.

Graduates from this course have found employment within high-profile international creative agencies, design management, teaching and professional practice.

Some have established their own design studios, while others have gone on to achieve highly at Master's level.

Distinctive features

  • Part-time, flexible study that can enable students to balance work/life commitments.
  • Supports career conversion, step up to Masters study, the acquisition of visual communication skills for your professional practice.
  • Ideal for those whose portfolio isn’t so developed.

Please note: We expect students to begin the course with a working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Software is not taught on the course.

London College of Communication offers Short Courses in portfolio building and the relevant software skills.

Access to facilities

Part-time students need to be aware that access to our technical facilities are generally between working hours: 9am-5pm and Monday to Friday. Please check with the specific workshop area.

What our graduates say

“When I came to graduate, I was armed with…a good grounding in fundamental design principles. This meant that I was well equipped to find work at a studio, and become an active member of London's design community.

My design education began during my first conversation with (the course leader) Tony Pritchard whilst applying to the Postgraduate Certificate and it continues to this very day”.

Tom Hornby – Freelance Designer, Pentagram, formerly Senior designer, SEA Design

“This course took me from design zero to creative hero. I flew out of LCC with a perfectly proportioned Helvetica Black S centrally aligned on my chest and a complementary cape flapping stylishly behind me.

It was the perfect grounding for a career in design and creative thinking. Practical, pragmatic, challenging, and creatively inspirational. This course is very hard work, but it pays off big time. Well it did for me!"

Nick Hearne – Creative Director, Gravity Road

"The structure of the course, the variety of projects and the incredible team of guest lecturers who supported Tony Pritchard – including Teal Triggs (Associate Dean Royal College of Art), Geoff Hadden (Root 2), Tory Dunn (Head of Design HMRC Digital) and Geoff White HonFISTD – allowed me to explore fundamental components of visual communication through emphasis on focused experimentation and rigour."

Kam Rehal – Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, University of Greenwich

What the industry says about us

"We have employed several graduates from this course and they have never failed to impress. The course is highly unusual. Applicants are not necessarily from a design background, arriving at LCC well versed in other subjects instead.

It is this that gives them the edge as design practitioners. Graphic design is, after all, all about the rest of the world".

Lucienne Roberts, AGI, MISTD, FRSA – Founder and director of design studio LucienneRoberts+ Graphic design for publishing house GraphicDesign&

"The Design for Visual Communication course continues to be a great source of lively, spirited, creative minds. This is exactly what design needs, and long may it continue".

Jonathan Ellery – Browns Design, 2019

"The postgraduate Design for Visual Communication course at London College of Communication is the best of its type in Britain, and internationally.

I say this with confidence, having been involved with operating courses and examining at a variety of levels in several European and Asian countries".

Ian McLaren

Mode of Study

Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication is in Part Time mode which runs for 30 weeks. You will be expected to commit 20 hours per week to study.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

In 2019 UAL declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to ‘make sustainability a required part of the student learning experience’. In response to the climate and ecological crisis the Design School set in place an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do. As part of this initiative we have updated our course handbooks against a set of social and environmental sustainability principles to ensure that learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip students with the understanding, skills and values to foster a more sustainable planet. Our aim is to change the way students think and to empower them to work towards a sustainable future.  

The Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication has three components:

  • Research and Development
  • Design Resolution
  • Professional and Academic Context

These units aim to achieve an integrated approach to your learning and to avoid the notion that research and application are aspects of design that are experienced in isolation.

Autumn, Term 1

Research and Development (20 credits)

Introduces you to the key methods of investigating subject matter employed at postgraduate level.

Design Resolution (20 credits)

Will investigate and re-examine the main themes of graphic design such as visual language and grammar; hierarchy; structure; navigation; identity; etc. This unit will enable you to experience research and development methods in practice.

Spring, Term 2

Research and Development (continued)
Design Resolution (continued)
Professional and Academic Context (20 credits)

Offers you an opportunity to undertake a choice of projects that places emphasis on your future professional or academic direction. The following are indicative subject areas: information design, typo/graphic design and image-based design.

Summer, Term 3

Professional and Academic Context (continued)

The course is currently running in part-time mode only and fits within the university credit framework. It runs one day a week during the day on a Friday.

It is comprised of tutored study and self-directed study with access to facilities. You will embark on both course-set and self-initiated projects.

You will also engage in debate exploring a multitude of subjects, from design fundamentals to notions of cross-disciplinary thinking.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Workshops
  • Demonstrations
  • Group discussions
  • Tutorials
  • Online (Moodle)
  • Discussion and image forums
  • Student/tutor presentations
  • Set and self-initiated project work
  • Research and development techniques

Assessment methods

The above programme outcomes are assessed using the following assessment methods:

  • Written evaluation
  • Portfolios

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 course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. PG Cert Design for Visual Communication attracts applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Applicants will normally have a first degree or its equivalent. We welcome applications from non-traditional backgrounds and in particular mature students.

Your experience is assessed through our selection criteria as a learning process. 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 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:

  • Practical creative ability and the potential to develop that ability through visual vocabulary (composition, line, shape, form, scale, space, light, colour and texture); quality of ideas (conceptual evidence); use of materials and media.
  • 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).
  • An openness to new ideas and ability to take initiatives, through the ability to evaluate an idea and make decisions based on that evaluation.
  • A developed and mature attitude to independent study and an ability to take responsibility for a project and manage this independently, and demonstration of mature approach through academic and/or professional work.

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:­­

  • Firstly 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.

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, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Required information for all postgraduate course application

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 all applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • There is no requirement for a study proposal.

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

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.

CV

Please provide a CV which details your education, qualifications, career record, and any relevant voluntary or life experience. You should also include your experience with Adobe CC software such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or After Effects. 

If English isn't your first language, it’s important that you also include details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on PG Cert Design for Visual Communication.

This is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate a critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

We would like to hear about your academic and professional background; what you hope to achieve with the course; and the areas of design you hope to pursue such as editorial design, typography or information design.

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.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. 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:­­

  • Firstly 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.

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, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Required information for all postgraduate course application

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 all applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • There is no requirement for a study proposal.

Start your application now

There are two ways international students can apply:

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.

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 which details your education, qualifications, career record, and any relevant voluntary or life experience. You should also include your experience with Adobe CC software such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or After Effects. 

If English isn't your first language, it’s important that you also include details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on PG Cert Design for Visual Communication.

This is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate a critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

We would like to hear about your academic and professional background; what you hope to achieve with the course; and the areas of design you hope to pursue such as editorial design, typography or information design.

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.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. 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 advice

You will need to present a portfolio as part of your application.

Featuring up to 20 images, you must include a maximum of 6 projects and supporting material which should be clearly annotated and organised.

Your portfolio should demonstrate:

  • Visual acuity (i.e. an awareness of how audiences experience design from a visual perspective)
  • Conceptual ability
  • Technical competence
  • Personal interest

We acknowledge that our applicants come from diverse academic backgrounds, so we consider ‘portfolio’ to have a broad definition - you may choose to include:

  • Sketchbooks/notebooks
  • Developmental work
  • Photographs
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Conceptual work
  • 3D work (photographed)
  • Textiles
  • Written work
  • Web/interactive work
  • Diagrams
  • Printmaking
  • Illustrated reports
  • Commercial work
  • Freelance commissions
  • Personal work

You must ensure that you include at least one example of a graphic design project that demonstrates the use of typography within a digital project (i.e. that isn’t hand-drawn): for example, flyers, posters, book covers.

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, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. 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.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£3,740

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 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 resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£7,640

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Students have gone on to find employment within high profile agencies, they have progressed to work as art directors, senior designers, creative directors in areas such as interaction, branding, exhibition, editorial and information design.

Graduates of the course have gone on to work at:

  • Studio Myerscough
  • Information is Beautiful
  • Design Council
  • Fallon
  • Lewis Moberly
  • Frost
  • Unit Editions
  • Pentagram
  • The Guardian
  • Spin
  • Bibliothèque
  • Why Not Associates
  • Natural History Museum