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London College of Communication

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BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction

Start date
September 2018
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Applications closed 2018/19
Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction is a unique course that explores the practical, conceptual and managerial skills relating to design and art direction.

About this course

Learn a range of skills associated with being a practice-based designer and develop your creative vision. The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to Art Direction, giving you the opportunity to develop your practice in graphic design, moving image, photography, exhibition and production/set design.

Reasons to apply

  • You'll be taught by a team of practitioners who bring a diverse range of experiences to the course from working with magazines, fashion and lifestyle brands, production companies, artists and institutions.
  • Briefs, workshops, lectures and seminars support and invite you to develop your creative network and find opportunities for meaningful collaborations, important for progression into industry or continuing education.
  • Pitching and presenting regularly enables you to confidently communicate your proposals, visual strategies and solutions to collaborators, clients and audiences.
  • Your experiences, identities and research interests inform your view of the creative industries, which will be crucial to contributing to our wider visual culture. You'll develop your critical analysis skills through studio seminars, crits and the Design School wide Contextual and Theoretical Studies Programme.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course is on Saturday 13 October

Book your place

I Know What I Do

An example of a collaborative project involving alumni from BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction: Sabah Marya, Kiki Shervington-White, Praise MAKU, Micaela Fernandes Ribeiro.


Analog+Automatic is a collaborative film and set design project between students Louisiane Trotobas and Pixie Tan pitching to London-based stationery store Present & Correct.

Six in the Beauvoir

A short film choreographed and directed by alumni Emma Scarafiotti addressing the way space influences behaviour and movements.

LCC Student Voices: Pixie Tan

BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction student Pixie talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2018.

LCC Student Voices: Jam Steward

BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction student Jam talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2018.

Course instagram

A project about labour, value and craft by Sim

1/1 A project about labour, value and craft by Simon Sixou, 2018 BA Design for Art Direction graduate and winner of the ...

A Guide to Transmaterial Multiple-Bodied Transhuma

A Guide to Transmaterial Multiple-Bodied Transhumanistic Existence Jam Steward @teleopath UNLOX INFORMATION UNLOX NETWOR...

Foundation: documenting communities of Northern Ir

Foundation: documenting communities of Northern Ireland, the rural and urban landscapes through street wear. by Conor D...

Type and publication design: Stan Daskalov #lccart

Type and publication design: Stan Daskalov #lccartdirection #year3 #ual #lcc @standaskalov...

Latest news


A tutor operating one of the woodworking machines.

3D Workshop

View images and find out about the range of tools and technologies on offer.

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Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

A tutor in the process of producing a print.


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

Course details

BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction is a unique course that explores the practical, conceptual and managerial skills relating to design and art direction. This course is about practice, but it also covers leadership and the management of processes.

Throughout the course you will gain expertise in the practical aspects of graphic design, related to the communication of concepts. Additionally, the course will focus on the role of the Art Director/Creative Director in developing and realising ideas through leadership, management and commissioning of individuals and teams of designers, photographers, filmmakers, advertisers, illustrators or other media specialists in the creative industries.

The College is home to excellent and extensive resources from analogue to digital, all of which help you to gain a wide range of skills relevant to the subject and profession.

Distinctive Features

The following features give the course a distinctive identity and help to ensure that we are offering a unique, exclusive and exciting experience for you:

  • This exciting new course builds on the College’s considerable expertise in the area of design and media, which form essential aspects of art direction. You will be introduced to a broad range of design skills and media which will enable you to confidently communicate your concepts and ideas to specialist practitioners.
  • The acquisition of new and consolidation of existing design skills will be seen in the context of theory and management skills associated with the leadership and management of others.
  • Learning and teaching will be undertaken in a variety of different contexts including, workshops, studio practice, lectures and seminars.
  • Given our central location in a leading design capital and our considerable professional contacts, BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction will offer ample opportunities for collaborative working with leading practitioners on live projects which prepare you for progression into industry or continuing education.

Course structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks.

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from early October to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Course units

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. Years 1 and 2 must be passed to enter into Year 3. Your degree is attained through full completion of the third year. Your degree classification is determined by the relative level of grades attained in the third year.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Design for Art Direction (20 credits)
  • Design Principles (40 credits)
  • Media Exploration (20 credits)
  • Locating Practice: Design for Art Direction (20 credits)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Design Production (40 credits)
  • Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Art Direction (40 credits)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)

Diploma in Professional Studies

The Diploma in Professional Studies is an optional placement year in industry between the second and third year of the course. It is a managed year of professional experience largely undertaken in the design profession in a variety of national and international locations. Successful candidates are selected on a competitive basis from academic performance and studentship, successful completion of the DPS bridging studies and by portfolio and proposal. Please view the Diploma in Professional Studies Programme Specification (PDF - 164KB) for more details.

Year 3

There are two pathway options in term one and two of Year 3. One route involves an 8,000 – 10,000 word piece of written work (Route A), or the other route combines a 4,000 – 5,000 word piece of written work plus a Self Initiated Project (Route B).

Units summary:

  • Industry Practice: Routes A and B (20 credits)
  • Self Initiated Project: Route B (20 credits)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3: Route A (40 credits)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3: Route B (20 credits)
  • Major Project Studio: Routes A and B (60 credits)

Teaching and learning methods

The courses outcomes are taught using the following learning and teaching methods:

  • Lectures/large group learning: the main areas of theory and its practical applications will be covered in a planned series of tutor-led sessions.
  • Workshop & seminar learning: practical sessions that will enable the student to experiment with a skill or technique relevant to the area of study. Students will be able to share their understanding with others and obtain guidance from lecturers to identify solutions to practical or theoretical problems.
  • Academic tutorials: individual assistance is provided by lecturers to assist students with difficulties in their understanding and practical application of theory and skills. This is important for clarifying the requirements for assessed work.
  • Self-directed learning: independent study undertaken by the student to research, write and prepare assignments and to extend their knowledge and understanding. This can be undertaken at home or using college facilities.
  • Outside speakers and visits: these provide students with a perspective of contemporary issues and recent events.
  • Collaborative working that reflects the working practices of the design, media and communication industry.
  • Assessed assignments: these assess the students’ attainment of the learning outcomes and develop the key skills that will form an important aspect of their learning. The completion of assignment briefs is therefore regarded as a method.

Assessment methods

The course outcomes are assessed using the following assessment methods:

  • Practical project work and computer based activities
  • Prepared writing
  • Responses to case studies
  • Oral presentation
  • Personal presentations of prepared work
  • Workshop based activities
  • Written research projects
  • The creation of a portfolio of collection of work which may contain a number of different activities.
    Collaborative and group working based on practical projects

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, use this register your interest form.


Mark  Ingham

Mark Ingham

Design School Learning and Teaching Innovation Lead

Ian  Horton

Ian Horton

Reader in Graphic Communication

Course Leader

Tara Langford

Tara is an artist, designer and educator. Her industry experiences span graphic design and art direction for fashion and branding, magazines, digital content and short form moving image including music videos and commercials. Tara is also a practicing artist working across print, moving image, sculpture and painting.

With over 10 years teaching experience, Tara has taught on undergraduate courses in graphic design, illustration and fashion communication, she has been course leader of BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction at London College of Communication since 2015.


Adam Gibbons

Visiting tutors and speakers include:

How to apply

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W990
  • There is no campus code for LCC

Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

We have recently made changes to our application process for Home/EU applicants. To find out more, view the Undergraduate Application Process page.


For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a 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 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Study Abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a 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 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry requirements


The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard minimum entry requirements are:

64 new UCAS tariff points (160 old UCAS tariff points) gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A-level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A-levels will be achieved at grade C or above.


One subject at A-level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).

Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 64 new UCAS tariff points (160 old UCAS tariff points) from one of the following qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma
  • UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications

Additionally, you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects including English.

If you are applying on the basis of your previous experience, you should apply as normal via UCAS. You will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps of the AP(e)L process, through either Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL).

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

Language requirements (International/EU)

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.

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level on our language requirements page.

Student selection criteria - what do we look for?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a full portfolio of work. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

The course admissions tutors will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and the quality of the uploaded portfolio
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
  • They will review your academic or personal references
  • International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in art direction and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

You are required to present a portfolio with a maximum of 20 images that you consider would help support your application.

Selection Criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the 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 sketch books): 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.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

What happens next

We invite all offer holders to come to LCC, from January onwards, to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

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

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


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

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Careers include:

  • Designer
  • Producer
  • Creative
  • Art Director
  • Motion Graphic Designer
  • Arts and Culture Adviser
  • Visual Merchandising Manager
  • Communications Writer
  • Social Media Planner
  • Head of Design
  • Editorial Designer
  • Production Co-ordinator

As part of Diploma in Professional Studies, students have worked with the Art Direction team at Adidas in Germany, as an intern with Hugo and Marie Agency and as an assistant at Nova Dando.

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