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Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
30 weeks part-time

Course summary

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

About this course

Available in both part-time (Certificate) or full-time (Diploma), these courses are designed to build confidence in those seeking to switch career, return as a mature student, wanting a bridge to master's study or those wanting to enhance their visual communication skills.

You will be taught design theory and practical skills in visual language, typography, colour and information design, delivered through a set and self-initiated projects.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced shortly

Student work

Showreel: 2017

Featuring work by students on PGCert Design for Visual Communication. Music by Paul Murdoch.

Showreel: 2016

Featuring work by: Kira Allmark, Evlin Arweck, Joseph Chebukaka, Caley Dewhurst, Nikolaos Kalliandis, Jan Kanuch, Yoann Le Pape, Marie O'Mara, Jamica Ortiz, Linlin Pan, Caroline Verbruggen, Szu-Yun Wang. Editing by Jamica Ortiz, music by Eliane Testone.

Type Talks

Type Talks is an example of work produced on the course by alumni Kim Yeandle-Hignell.

Student Voices: Kimberly Yeandle-Hignell

PGCert Design for Visual Communication alumni Kimberly talks us through her work in LCC's Postgraduate Shows 2014.

Course publications

Front cover showing multiple graphic squares.

2018

The focus of the 2018 publication was reflective practice.

Peppermint green and grey cover of the 2015 Design for Visual Communication publication.

2017

The introduction of the 2017 publication also includes articles on the course curriculum and philosophy.

Pink, red and orange cover of the 2015 Design for Visual Communication publication.

2016

The 2016 publication also contains two special design activism articles, one of which features guest contributor Ian McLaren.

Black and grey cover of the 2015 Design for Visual Communication publication.

2015

This publication represents the work of students studying the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma Design for Visual Communication course in 2015.

Industry projects

Instagram Feed

@pgdvc
Nathalie Shores double page spread from Unit 3 Pro

Nathalie Shores double page spread from Unit 3 Professional and Academic Contexts...

@pgdvc
Aastha Mehta double page spread from Unit 3 Profes

Aastha Mehta double page spread from Unit 3 Professional and Academic Contexts...

@pgdvc
Jens Wolter double page spread from Unit 3 Profess

Jens Wolter double page spread from Unit 3 Professional and Academic Contexts...

@pgdvc
Christina Domini double page spread from Unit 3 Pr

Christina Domini double page spread from Unit 3 Professional and Academic Contexts...

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.

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

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.

You can expect

You can expect to become part of a unique learning community made up of staff, guest speakers 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, symbol design, 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 between working hours: 9am-5pm and Monday to Friday.

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&

Course units

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 One

Units summary:

  • 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 Two

Units summary:

  • 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 Three

Units summary:

  • Professional and Academic Context (continued)

The course is currently running in part-time mode only and fits within the university credit framework. 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

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

Benedict  Richards

Benedict Richards

Lecturer, Postgraduate Certificate Design for Visual Communication, Postgraduate Diploma Design for Visual Communication

Tony  Pritchard

Tony Pritchard

Course Leader, Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma Design for Visual Communication

Tobias  Revell

Tobias Revell

Acting Programme Director, Graphic Design Communication

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.

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

Application deadline

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

Application deadline

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

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

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.


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 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

All applicants will be asked to upload an electronic portfolio as part of their application. This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material. These should be clearly annotated and organised.

Your portfolio should demonstrate visual acuity, conceptual ability, technical competence and personal interest. Acknowledging that applicants come from diverse academic backgrounds, 'portfolio' is taken as having a broad definition.

It may include sketch/notebooks; developmental work; photographs; PowerPoint presentations; web/interactive work; diagrams; printmaking; illustrated reports; commercial work; freelance commissions; personal work; conceptual work; 3D work (photographed); textiles; and written work.

Interview advice

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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.

Fees & Funding

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

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