In 2019 UAL declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to ‘make sustainability a required part of the student learning experience’. In response to the climate and ecological crisis the Design School set in place an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do.
As part of this initiative we have updated our course handbooks against a set of social and environmental sustainability principles to ensure that learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip students with the understanding, skills and values to foster a more sustainable planet. Our aim is to change the way students think and to empower them to work towards a sustainable future.
All the units in the course are compulsory, except for the option to choose a longer or shorter thesis and complimentary practice project in third year. However, most units offer a range of briefs and projects to choose from across a range of approaches and technologies with Subject Specialist tutors co-authoring a wide range of bespoke learning opportunities.
You will be introduced to the core skills of graphic and media design practice and theory through individual and collaborative briefs with a range of subject specialist tutors.
Introduction to Graphic and Media Design (20 credits)
This unit introduces the graphic and media design study through theory and practice.
Principles, Processes and Methods (40 credits)
In this unit you will build on ‘Introduction to…’ to develop core conceptual and technical skills of working in design.
Applied Methods and Exploration (40 credits)
You will have the opportunity to apply the ideas and methods learnt in the previous unit through project briefs.
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)
This unit introduces histories, theories and debates relevant to graphic and media design and visual culture.
You will have the opportunity to develop subject specialism and explore a range of experimental practices and technologies as you head to your final year.
Specialist Ways of Working (40 credits)
You will be introduced to specialist fields of graphic and media design such as digital and user experience design, coding and development and social practice.
Professional Practice (20 credits)
This unit gives you the opportunity to collaborate with design students from other courses on a live industry brief.
Situating Practice and Self-Directed Portfolio (40 Credits)
You will focus and deepen your learning and skills so far towards developing a sense of your own practice, self-direction and experimentation.
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)
In this unit you will study a specific set of ideas, practices and theories chosen by you and related to your career and practice ambitions.
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 with national and international industry partners.
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.
In your third year, you will focus your work towards developing a rich portfolio of exciting, self-directed and specialist projects.
Positioning and Industry (20 credits)
This unit focuses on the development of critical skills in creative and communication industries through practice projects to better equip you for employment.
Major Project (60 credits)
Your Major Project is the culmination of the course where you produce showcase work based on the core skills, specialisms, technologies and theories you have learned and chosen to focus on.
In addition, year 3 students chose between either Route A or Route B:
- Route A: Contextual and Theoretical Studies (40 credits)
is a 8000-10000 word thesis on a subject of your choice in negotiation with your tutor.
- Route B: Contextual and Theoretical Studies (20 credits)
is a 4,000-5,000 word thesis on a subject of your choice in negotiation with your tutor.
- Route B: Self-Directed Project (20 credits)
a supplementary practice unit to the thesis that gives further opportunity to explore critical and technical areas linking theory to practice.