Graphic Design MA 2017-18This course also available for 2018-19 entry
About the course
Graphic Design is a sophisticated mode of communication in the twenty-first century. Consumers access ideas through the visual language of graphic forms and their experiences are shaped by the relations we, as designers, create between form and image. Graphic Design is made up of many different processes and inhabits a multitude of contexts. In the design of information graphics for different commercial and artistic platforms the world of the graphic designer occupies both physical and digital arenas. Graphic Design contributes to a system building process where the interface between type and meaning is at the forefront of innovative and dynamic communication tools of the future.
Our MA in Graphic Design offers continuing or recent graduates from creative design subjects with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, creative skills and employment prospects. Our course aims to encourage you to push the boundaries of graphic practice with the development of innovative and imaginative concepts and ideas relevant to the design of graphic products and artefacts. We will introduce you to a variety of platforms and a range of situations and contexts within which graphic design sits, enabling you to experiment, expand, progress and communicate your ideas through different forms and processes. Our practice-led modules facilitate opportunities for you to produce high quality portfolios often underpinned by industry focused trends and competition briefs.
18 / 09 / 2017
1 year full time – September start
Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Huddersfield and the specific requirements of the course in the following ways.
The normal entry requirements are:
• An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject or an equivalent professional qualification.
• Alternative qualifications and/or significant experience may be accepted, subject to approval.
• International students with qualifications in 'creative' or 'practice' subjects should submit a digital portfolio (pdf) of work with their application.
• All suitably qualified applicants are normally invited in for an informal chat with a portfolio or considered for admittance under alternative arrangements, such as a skype chat.
Tel: +44 (0)1484 471364
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Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
The course is part of an MA suite within the School of Art, Design and Architecture and thus offers a multi-disciplinary approach to Graphic Design as well as undertaking subject specific modules in Graphic Design Concepts and Graphic Design Processes which leads to a Major Project. Our shared modules in Research Methods and Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship facilitate opportunities for students to engage in multi-disciplinary working and to participate in the School's own research and enterprise activities .
We have a fully equipped postgraduate suite which is dedicated to our MA students. This space is a lively and friendly environment where students can engage in creative exchanges across different subject areas in art and design.
Research Methods and Project Proposal
On this module you will be encouraged to explore how different research methods underpin all kinds of creative practices. As thinkers and practitioners you will work to develop an understanding of the different research approaches you might design and use to enhance and transform your ideas. You will be introduced to a range of practice-led methods which may include: creative and design thinking, user-centered methods, practice-led approaches, cultural analysis, historical/archival research and market-driven data capture and analysis. The module helps to equip you with a tool kit of research skills to guide you in the development a project proposal or working brief for your Master's study. The module is made up of lectures and guided seminars which will help you to build a solid foundation to lead you through your studies.
Graphic Design Concepts
This practice-led module will introduce you to a range of concepts in graphic design that are relevant to artists and designers and to related research at the forefront of graphic thinking in contemporary practice. You will have the opportunity to develop your own understanding of visual language through your research practice and work to build relationships and connections between concepts, research and creative innovation.
Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This module aims to introduce you to key features of innovation and entrepreneurship within the context of the cultural and creative industries. Depending on your future aspirations we will help you to build your knowledge and understanding of different approaches to creative innovation (social, ethical and sustainable aspects), provide guidance on business start-ups, and assist you in your professional skills development (commercial awareness, self-management, problem-solving, team working, communication strategies), including searching for marketing, promotion, consultancy and funding opportunities specific to your subject. The module involves lectures, seminars and practical projects where you will experiment with the tools and techniques of creative innovation. There will be opportunities for group projects and multi-disciplinary working on this module.
Graphic Design Processes
This practice-led module will help you to question and develop the parameters of your graphic design skills through a range of different processes suited to specific concepts and contexts. You will produce a body of practical work supported by specialist workshops, which will explore the hybrid and expanded nature of graphic design that arises out of contemporary culture. Technologies influence change at the level of aesthetics and style as well as producing new modes of working, collaboration and production. You will be encouraged to push the conceptual direction of your project through an engagement with the different processes of graphic design production.
The major project module builds on your development work in previous modules to culminate in the realisation of your ideas. You will select a 'Major' or 'Minor' weighted approach to your project which will allow you to pursue an 'academic/written' or 'practice/led' focus to your submission. You will revisit your project proposal to develop a final stage framework to help realise your intended outcomes. This could include a group project subject to negotiation with your specialist supervisor.
We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.
We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.
We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.
Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.
When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.
Every area of visual communication in life, business and industry uses graphic design. Consequently the opportunities are endless: individual, corporate, national, global. A visually literate, innovative ‘creative producer' has the edge and potential to lead in whatever area they choose. The expectation is that you will be seeking to enter the cultural and creative industries into roles such as graphic artists, creative directors, visual designers, animators, web editors and designers, production artists, information designers, package designers and marketing designers for advertising. You may also be seeking to develop proposals for further postgraduate research. The education sector or further doctoral study are also options.
After studying within the subject area of Art and Design, a few of the careers graduates have gone on to be successful within include: Design Intern for Oslok Design Studio; Trend Forecaster for Scarlet Opus; Design Manager for PWAR Creative Ltd; Graphic Designer for Book MY Show; Creative Director for Home of Millican; and Artist for Digital Powers.*
Teaching and assessment
Teaching strategies include lectures, tutorials and workshops. Modules are assessed on a combination of the production and critique of ‘graphic design' and presentations, culminating in an exposition of work in the form of theoretical and/or practice-led work.
Your module handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*
*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.
Postgraduate students are able to access a wide range of facilities within the School as well as those that are particular to the course. We have a large well-equipped computer suite carrying a range of design, graphic design related software. Students on the MA have access to a multi-disciplinary design studio and in addition there is access to workshop facilities at the Design Development Centre, photography studios and print facilities. The central library has a superb array of resources and additional digital resources.
How much will it cost me?
In 2017/18, the full-time tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate students at the University of Huddersfield will generally be £5,100 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions). Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).
If you're interested in studying with us on a part-time basis, please visit our Fees and Finance pages for part-time fee information.
If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.
Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.
[h]Materials[\h] You will need to cover the cost of printing your work during the course. You will also need to supply your own materials, which may include sketchbooks, pens, specialist papers, materials and specialist tools. The approximate cost of these items in recent years has been approximately £500. However, given the nature of the Masters course, where your own project design is the driving focus for specific outcomes, these costs are approximations only. There is no limit on the amount you may wish to spend. It may be that, depending on the nature of what you intend to produce, the costs may increase or decrease. The costs vary depending on the materials you choose, the specialist area you pursue and how you present your work.
Research degrees are also available in this area. Contact us for details.
A Master's course is 180 Master's level credits, which would normally take one calendar year full-time study. Interim awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level or Postgraduate Diploma level should you decide to exit the course early. Please contact us for details of the credits required for these interim awards.
Our specialist staff and research expertise in the School of Art, Design and Architecture brings students into contact with a wide range of academic staff, many of whom have industry experience. All of our staff are research active and are involved in the events of our research centres (G and the Centre for Sculptural Thinking). Students are welcome to participate in these wider research contexts as part of their studies with us at the University of Huddersfield.
If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.
If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.
How to apply
We hope you are interested in what you have seen and want to apply to join us.
If you are planning to study part-time, please get in touch with the contact in the 'At a glance' section above.
Relevant research information:
Research plays a relevant role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant. For more information see our Research Centres in the School of Art, Design and Architecture: