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Pre-degree

Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen

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Certificate in Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
UCAS code
DMS1
Start date
September 2024
Course length
1 year

This exciting and challenging Level 4 course will enable you to develop your creative, academic and professional potential in design, media and screen. You'll be able to develop your skills in your preferred specialism, including graphic design, advertising, journalism, branded spaces, public relations, illustration, animation, film and photography.

Please note

This course is moving to our dedicated pre-degree site in west London from September 2024. This will offer you the support and resources as you think about your next steps into an undergraduate degree, at LCC or beyond.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Taking both a synchronous and asynchronous learning approach, this course combines online and studio workshop modes.
  • You’ll be encouraged to explore a wide range of media, and to mix traditional methods of making with digital and interactive processes.
  • Undertaking a major project in a specialist area of your choice will help you to feel prepared for the first year of your undergraduate degree.
  • Successful completion of this course will guarantee you the offer of a place on an undergraduate degree at London College of Communication (LCC).

Open Days

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

Explore life at LCC with our interactive Virtual Open Day.

Course overview

This exciting and challenging one-year course will enable you to develop your creative, academic and professional potential in design, media and screen.

Choose from a range of disciplines including: graphic design, advertising, interaction design, illustration, branding, animation, film and photography. 

What to expect?

  • You'll be encouraged to consider which discipline is most suited to your talents and potential and you'll undertake a major project in the specialist area of your choice. The course will provide you with the essential skills to be curious, brave and committed to your chosen pathway.
  • Collaborative workshops to develop practical skills, teamwork and creative problem-solving.
  • You'll be encouraged to explore a wide range of media and to mix and match traditional methods of making with digital and interactive elements.
  • We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework and are working to embed UAL’s Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course. 
  • All students who successfully complete the course and hold the appropriate language qualifications will be guaranteed an offer of a place on an undergraduate course at London College of Communication.
  • Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will be made an offer on a specific course of your choosing, we will ensure you are offered a place on a relevant course at LCC. This course will depend on your portfolio and the interests you develop during the year.

Industry experience and opportunities

You’ll have lectures from visiting industry speakers and be introduced the professional world to raise awareness of your future career choices.

London College of Communication has a broad range of subjects and expertise across our Design School, Media School and Screen School which means that you'll be fully prepared for the first year of your undergraduate degree.

The course units are aligned to the Creative Attributes Framework (CAF) which, through the curriculum, will empower you to develop ethical and wide ranging qualities, abilities and behaviours to prepare for the future and rewarding career.

Mode of study

Certificate in Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen runs for 31 weeks in full time, blended in-person mode.

Course units

We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework, and we have worked to embed UAL’s Principles for Climate, Racial and Social Justice Principles into the curriculum and in everything we do. 

Block 1: Introduction and Specialist Studies 

Orientation to Study in Design, Media and Screen (20 credits)

This is a diagnostic unit that gives you the opportunity to consider which specialist pathway is most suited to your talents and potential. It provides a broad introduction to studio practice in a carousel of specialist workshops. 

This first unit will introduce you to all three Schools at London College of Communication: Design, Media or Screen. 

Contextual and Theoretical Studies (Part 1) (20 credits) 

The unit prepares you academically to enter the first year of undergraduate study and the theoretical study of design, media and screen.

The unit supports the development of skills in communication in a number of formats (both written and spoken), essential to study on a range of undergraduate courses at LCC.

Unit 3: Specialist Studies: Design, Media and Screen (20 credits)

Halfway through Block 1, you’ll choose from 3 specialist study areas which reflect the Schools at LCC: Design School, Media School and Screen School. 

  • Specialist Studies Design will provide you with a range of creative, practical and theoretical approaches relevant to the design industry. 
  • Specialist Studies Media will introduce a range of creative, practical and theoretical approaches within the Media School to develop a preparatory body of knowledge and skill. 
  • Specialist Studies Screen will provide a range of creative, practical and theoretical approaches relevant to the screen industry, such as film, television, animation and games design. 

Block 2 – Progression and Contexts

Unit 4: Personal Progression Project (40 credits)

Building on knowledge gained in previous units, this unit supports a more independent learning approach, enabling you to produce a substantial body of work.  

The work will showcase your personal interests and area of intended progression in a studio exhibition and presentation which will be supported by a visual and written research report.

Unit 5: Contextual and Theoretical Studies (Part 2) (20 credits)

This unit prepares you for more specialist theoretical study of communication in the design, media and screen disciplines. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • Interactive simulations
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Portfolio-based project
  • Critical essays
  • Presentations through a range of media
  • Professional Development Portfolio, including aspects of the Creative Attributes Framework
  • Curated online journals

Online Open Day

(Recorded November 2022)

Course Leader, Alexandra Antonopoulou gives an overview of what it's like to study the Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen.

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

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

£22,800

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

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 course team are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seeks to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. This course supports progression to our undergraduate courses at London College of Communication.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

A typical applicant might have:

  • Minimum requirement one GCE A Level (or equivalent) at grade C or above (preferred subjects include English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences), plus three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

Applicants might also have overseas qualifications or others:

  • International Baccalaureate Certificates – two at ‘Higher Level’ and one at ‘Standard Level’ - all Grade 4 or above
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • Pass at Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications

We also welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, a previous degree in any subject, or from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in the industry.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

Please note: If studying the Cert HE in the UK, you must take a SELT (Secure English Language Test) such as IELTS Academic Test for UKVI. (You can take the IELTS Academic Test if studying the Cert HE Online mode).

The English level required by the University for this course is:

  • IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum of 4.5 in any one skill.

Following achievement of the Certificate of Higher Education, enrolment onto our undergraduate degree courses requires the following English level:

  • For degree courses requiring a portfolio, such as BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design and non-portfolio degree courses such as BA (Hons) Advertising, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, BA (Hons) Media Communications: IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill  
  • For some text-based degree courses, such as BA (Hons) Journalism, BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing, BA (Hons) Public Relations: IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill

Please check the individual course page for the IELTS level required for study on course pages and for more information on reaching the required level view our English language requirements page.

Students may be eligible to join the UAL Pre-sessional English language course to achieve the required level.

Selection criteria

The portfolio and details on your application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the course admissions tutors to assess your suitability against the following criteria:

  • Visual language: quality of structure, use of line, shape - 2D or 3D, form, scale, space, light, colour, texture and time;
  • Ideas generation: quality of ideas and thought process, expression of design thinking;
  • Research and its application (including images from sketchbooks): evidence of investigation and use of appropriate resources;
  • Materials, media exploration and experimentation; experimentation and testing of materials to achieve outcomes;
  • Contextual awareness and its influence on the portfolio; understanding and application of subject knowledge and context.

Apply now

Application deadline

28 February 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:

U65

UCAS code:

DMS1

Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

28 February 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit these via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 20 pages.
  • include an edited selection of your work
  • include examples of your work in progress as well work from completed projects.
  • incorporate visual research, sketchbooks, or journals that provide valuable insights into your creative process.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our pre-degree courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Careers

All students who successfully complete the course will be guaranteed an offer of a place on an undergraduate course at London College of Communication.

Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will be made an offer on a specific course of your choosing, we will ensure you are offered a place on a relevant course at the College. This chosen course will depend on your portfolio and the interests you develop during the year.