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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
HWE, Pharez Aouad, BA (Hons) Graphic Media Design.
College
London College of Communication
UCAS code
W910
Start date
September 2023
Course length
3 years

On BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice, develop and position your skills and understanding of visual communication design while learning how it can be used as a mechanism for addressing environmental and social challenges.

Subject to validation

BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice is a new course undergoing validation. This is the process by which we ensure the course provides a high-quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Visual communication for good: You'll be supported to imagine and design new futures for a world committed to climate and social justice.
  • Codesigning with nature: From exploring the use of natural materials in the creative process to interrogating what we mean by ‘resources’, we consider how we can nurture – and avoid destroying - the natural world.
  • Climate activism: You’ll use design methods and critical thinking to develop work that inspires positive action while sparking connections and discussions on climate change – enabling you to interrogate the role of design within contemporary environmental and social challenges.
  • Multiple voices and global perspectives: Recognising that the climate crisis has a collective impact, we’re committed to developing robust ethical frameworks, inclusive and collaborative design practices, and visual communication tools that engage with multiple voices and perspectives.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course will be on Saturday 10 December. Book your place.

Explore life at LCC with our interactive Virtual Open Day.

Course overview

BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice places design action and ecological literacy at the centre of your learning.

Working across disciplines including graphic design, illustration, data visualisation and interaction design, you’ll learn how to communicate the urgency of climate change to a range of diverse audiences, along with the responsibility of designers to take action in addressing environmental and social challenges.

You’ll be supported to develop and position your skills and understanding of visual communication design as a mechanism for addressing environmental and social challenges - learning how to interrogate, integrate, facilitate, collaborate, advocate, activate, agitate, cultivate, originate, narrate and educate towards climate justice in ways that challenge existing inequalities.

Developing your understanding of graphic design and data visualisation processes in Year 1 will enable you to communicate climate justice in ways that generate impact and prompt action. Year 2 will provide an opportunity to interrogate visual communication through a wider range of disciplines including interaction design, illustration and branding. In Year 3, you’ll consolidate your knowledge by exploring your own voice as a creative practitioner, which you’ll also consider in relation to climate science, social, racial and gender justice, and your role as a ‘citizen designer’.

Throughout the course, you’ll be empowered to build the expertise and confidence needed to become a responsible design practitioner by exploring a series of questions across 3 key areas:

Environmental

  • How do we reduce our impact?
  • How can we use visual storytelling to decipher and challenge current systems to design an eco-socially fairer world?
  • How can we co-design with nature and reduce our carbon footprint?

Social

  • What are new ways for us to visually communicate together?
  • How can we draw on the expertise of multiple voices and perspectives to inform visual communication for climate activism?
  • How can we both engage with and support diverse voices through collaborative and participatory design?

Experiential

  • What do we believe is possible?
  • How can we utilise visual communication to question mainstream approaches to articulating sustainability?
  • How can we consider futures and speculative design experiences?

What to expect

  • Design for good: Drawing on visual communication as a creative practice, you’ll gain a solid grounding in general design principles while learning how design can be used for good – for example, by auditing your own work and approaches for impact, carbon footprint and material use.
  • Technical skills: You’ll gain a broad range of skills in research, concept generation, design principles and climate science. You’ll also learn a range of design techniques to ensure you have the knowledge and understanding to apply visual communication to real-world contexts.
  • Design narratives: You’ll develop the critical skills needed to articulate ideas both visually and verbally through storytelling which promotes equality, diversity, inclusivity, climate action and social justice.
  • Contextual understanding: You’ll build a contextual vocabulary and historical knowledge which draws on climate science to inform your design process and outcomes.
  • Collaboration and leadership: You’ll develop teamwork, co-design and management skills through collaborations with diverse external partners and your Design School peers.

Industry experience and opportunities

Throughout the course, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in live projects, respond to client feedback, and develop a portfolio of projects to demonstrate your professional practice.

You’ll also direct your Final Year project towards your specific subject interests, refining your area of specialism in visual communications.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the Diploma in Creative Computing between Years 2 and 3 to enhance your learning experience and employability skills.

Mode of study

BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice runs for 93 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

Course units

Year 1

The units offered in your first year of study will provide you with a wide range of design techniques and principles, ensuring that you develop a solid base in understanding design as a creative discipline.

With units ranging from learning how to learn and exploring what the Design School has to offer to gaining core concepts in design for climate justice, you’ll gain a solid grounding in not only how to communicate visually, but also how to begin developing your own approaches to climate action and activism.

Introduction to Design for Climate Justice (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to study at higher education level and foundational ideas from your chosen course.

Design School Explorations (40 credits)

This School-level unit will introduce you to the full range of topics available for study in the Design School, and will further . contextualise the work undertaken in the Introduction To unit.

Principles (40 credits)

You’ll explore core concepts, practices and ideas from your chosen course, situating them within relevant cultural, historical and theoretical contexts.

Responsible Design (20 credits)

In this School-level unit, you’ll address key questions around ethics, and social and climate justice.

Year 2

The second year of your course offers an element of optionality, which will encourage you to engage in experimentation.

Building on the knowledge and skillsets gained in your first year of study, you’ll have an opportunity to widen the scope of your course subject by choosing to explore diverse design practice methodologies or subject areas. You might also choose to deepen your understanding of climate justice by through units focused on climate activism, designing with nature, or visual storytelling for climate and social impact.

Options units (40 and 20 credits x2)

You will undertake one 40 and one 20 credit unit per block from a range of options available at School-level. Options may be developed by course teams, individual tutors, combination teams, or other groupings such as research hubs, centres, or even external parties.

Year 3

In the third year of your studies, you’ll develop your specialism by focusing on design for climate justice. By exploring process and realisation, you’ll focus on what it means to design with nature and consider how to visually communicate narratives of balance, indigenous ways of knowing or the importance of communities in addressing climate emergency.

You’ll be encouraged to consider the relationship between visual communication and its impact on the real world through concepts such as mitigation, reparation and adaptation. At the same time, you’ll be invited to develop your own voice as a climate advocate to shape communities of creative practice that explore questions of power, sources of knowledge, and engage in the process of decolonising and decarbonisation.

In this final year of the course, you’ll have an opportunity to self-direct a project that ultimately showcases your voice and call to action for climate justice.

Process Portfolio (40 and 20 credits)

In this unit, you’ll take one 40- and one 20-credit unit from a single course available in the School. Here, the focus is on ‘the Process’, and you’ll be required to demonstrate contextual understanding and the ability to manage skills and resources to produce a substantial creative project.

Realisation Portfolio (60 credits)

You’ll take one 60-credit unit from a single course available in the Design School. In this unit, the emphasis is on ‘the Realisation’, with a focus on the production of a self-directed creative work to a professional standard.

Optional Diploma between Years 2 and 3

Between Years 2 and 3 of your course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake one of the following qualifications:

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) (Optional)

An optional, year-long learning opportunity which enables you to develop your professional skills by undertaking time out for industry experience. Supported throughout the year by academics, you’ll build on the knowledge gained on your course in a range of national or international locations, and graduate with an additional qualification of Diploma in Professional Studies.

Diploma in Creative Computing (Optional)

Between Years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice (with Creative Computing).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Interactive lectures
  • Seminar discussions  
  • Hands-on workshops  
  • Peer-led seminar learning  
  • Individual and group tutorials  
  • Guest speakers
  • Study trips
  • Technologies to enhance learning  
  • Co-design and collaborations
  • Self-directed learning

Online Open Day

(Recorded November 2022)

Facilities

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

    The facilities in this area include Design Block Photography, Black Box Project Space, AV and Live Events.

  • 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

    Creative IT hub set up with specialist creative software for specialisms such as Post-production and 3D modelling.

  • A tutor in the process of producing a print.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printmaking

    You’ll have access to workshops in techniques such as etching, screen printing, photo lithography and embossing.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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

£25,970 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

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

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

If you do not meet these entry requirements but your application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative relevant experience, you may still be considered. This could include:

  • 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. We cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

  • IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For further guidance, please check our  English language requirements.

Selection criteria

The selection process involves the evaluation of a visual communication portfolio, along with the UCAS application (including an academic reference and personal statements) 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 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 (in particular with reference to themes around current environmental and social issues).

Apply now

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: W910

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

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in design for climate justice 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.

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, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

You must apply through UCAS, where you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W910

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

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in design for climate justice 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.

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, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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.

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 consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Portfolio advice

You will be asked to submit a portfolio (maximum 20 images) that will enable us to review your familiarity with visual communication tools in expressing your ideas.

Your portfolio should consist of diverse examples of your work, annotated to explain your reasoning, and capturing how you have visualised or creatively communicated themes that really matter to you.

The portfolio can include examples of finished work, experimentation and/or examples of processes from your sketchbooks.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Hub. 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 attend one of our online Offer Holder events. This is your opportunity to meet the academic team and fellow offer holders, find out more about the course, and get a taste of what it will be like to study here.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. 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. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

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

Careers

Throughout BA (Hons) Design for Climate Justice, you’ll develop your understanding of how to visually communicate experiences with nature, co-design with stakeholders, and maintain responsible practice while being adaptable and prepared to address complex problems. This experience will put you in a great position to navigate a future employment market increasingly focused on responding to climate crises.

Demonstrating passion, enthusiasm and curiosity, you'll be prepared to challenge the status quo, reshape solutions to some of the world’s major challenges, and use design as an agent of change at both systemic and local levels.

Studying this course will enable you to consider a variety of career paths within organisations that connect experiential designs with nature, such as:

  • Social design agencies
  • Environmental design agencies
  • Creative agencies.

You might decide to use your creative skills through roles that blend visual design with decarbonisation and social justice at:

  • Ethical marketing organisations
  • Not-for-profit design organisations
  • Social enterprises.

Some graduates may also decide to launch their own freelance careers.