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BA (Hons) Design for Art Direction

College
LCC
Start date
September 2020
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W990

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

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • 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 will inform your view of the creative industries and the wider world. You'll develop your critical analysis skills through studio seminars, crits and the Design School wide Contextual and Theoretical Studies Programme.

Open Days

BioBijoux: Diana Ganea

A project by Diana Ganea, exploring ideas of luxury, materialism and utopia.

Analog+Automatic

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.

Computer generated image of a blob of jelly, floating in space.

Student Diana Ganea featured in Intern Magazine

Read about final year student Diana Ganea, whose work is featured on the Intern Magazine website.

Course instagram

Course stories

Facilities

A tutor operating one of the woodworking machines.
Image © Vladimir Molico

3D Workshop

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

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

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.
Image © Lewis Bush

Printmaking

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

Course overview

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

The course is about practice, but it also prioritises critical and reflective approaches to visual culture and broader social, economic, political and environmental contexts.

You will learn a range of skills associated with being an art director and working in the creative industries. Projects and activities are designed to help you develop a creative vision, a visual language and strong contextual awareness that engages your intended audience. 

The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to art direction, giving you the opportunity to develop your understanding and application of graphic design, moving image, photography, exhibition and set design.

What you can expect?

Throughout the course you will gain expertise in the practical aspects of visual communication, narrative construction and collaboration. Many projects will offer you the freedom to explore self-directed themes and we will support you to propose, visualise and realise sophisticated visual projects. 

Additionally, the course will open up possibilities to collaborate with students within and outside of the course, pulling together teams of designers, photographers, filmmakers, illustrators or other media specialists to fully realise your ambitions and develop your practice in art direction and creative direction.

London College of Communication is home to excellent and extensive facilities from analogue to digital, that will help you to gain a wide range of skills relevant to your subject and profession.

Work Experience and Opportunities

There are opportunities to work on live briefs and competition briefs at different times during your studies. Students are encouraged to take a critical approach to commercial briefs in order to think through the relationship between context and innovation.

We are not always focused on winning, instead we are always aiming to deliver the most unexpected, compelling and relevant work.

Guest speakers are regularly invited to come in and give industry insight to students. 

Most project briefs ask that students research and understand the real word context for their work and present a strategy to support their work beyond the course. 

Highlights

  • 2019 Third Year student Faye Wang won first prize for the Comité Colbert competition: Dreaming 2074m, selected by an international jury. The prize was presented by the Director of Van Cleef and Arpels at the Cumulus Conference in Finland. 
  • 2019 Graduates Diana Ganea have been Simon Sixou selected by Adrian Shaughnessy for SIA and Today Art Museum’s exhibition Here </>There in Beijing, China
  • 2019 Kumbirai Makumbe selected for BBZ Art Show 2019 

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. 

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Design for Art Direction (20 credits) 

Introduces you to the research methods and processes involved in study in higher education. Thinking through the potential that theory offers the study and practice of art direction through a number of perspectives that you can choose between, for example: cultural studies, queer theory, film theory, decolonising theory and practice, feminist histories,   

  • Design Principles (40 credits)

Working through the core practices of image production, narrative construction and graphic design. This unit is made up of smaller projects that refine visual skills and develop your visual language across a number of formats.

  • Media Exploration (20 credits)

Invites you to produce a moving image work that draws on the narrative construction, art direction, production design, photography, filming, editing and sound design.

  • Locating Practice (20 credits)

Gives you the freedom to determine an area of specialism by proposing a self-directed project either in collaboration with others or individually.

A series of pitches helps you to refine your idea, project manage outcomes and produce a live outcome or a proposal to get funding or find a creative team.

  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Design Production (40 credits)

A collaborative project that requires you to address societal concerns using design. These concerns are changing year on year and usually address an urgent real world problem. In the past, projects have focused on climate crisis, sustainability and rebranding the European union. 

  • Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Art Direction (40 credits)

This unit builds on the Locating Practice unit in year 1 and the development of your research interests over the subsequent year. Usually self-directed, the project asks you to reflect on your area(s) of specialism and propose a project to develop your portfolio and develop working relationships both in and outside of the college.

  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)

Diploma in Professional Studies

The Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) is an optional year-long learning opportunity, allowing you to undertake a variety of internships and professional experiences for a whole academic year in Year 3, as part of a four-year degree. 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. 

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)

By researching and familiarising yourselves with the sectors, practices, behaviours and needs of ‘industry’, you can start to contextualise your practice. These processes can be useful, celebrated or challenged and the unit will help you to take a position in relation to it and produce a piece of work in reponse to it.

  • Self-Initiated Project: Route B (20 credits)

The project can draw on your specialist research area, perhaps drawn from the thesis. You will be guided through the unit in a series of individual tutorials and workshops to produce a meaningful work for your portfolio.

  • 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) is a substantial self-directed project where you will produce and answer your own creative brief in dialogue with tutors and peers, demonstrate strategic thinking, excellent research skills and explore the potential of your creative practice.  

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Large group learning
  • Workshop and seminar learning
  • Academic tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • Outside speakers and visits
  • Collaborative work
  • Assessed assignments

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

Staff

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.

Lecturer

Adam Gibbons

Visiting tutors and speakers include:

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

Home/EU/International

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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points, which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing).
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Computing, Marketing, Humanities and Social Sciences).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) 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
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

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.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed 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.

Making your application

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.

You must apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need to provide the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W990

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2021/22)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application.

Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

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.

Erasmus

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

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W990

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

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.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2021/22)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application.

Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

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.

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.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a full portfolio.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview. To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

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.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to London College of Communication 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.

Deferring your place

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.

International applicants will have to pay a pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2019/20 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

£22,920 (2020/21).

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.

Accommodation

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.

Alumni

View college guides

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