MA Graphic Design
Course length:: 1 year full time
Course starts:: Induction from October 2013; EU and International student orientation from September 2013
Course leader:: Andy Gossett (MA FRSA MISTD)
The MA Graphic Design course is built around a major self-initiated design project, the aim of which is to make a new and original contribution to the field of graphic design.
We encourage investigation across the entire spectrum of graphic design from solving real world problems to experimenting at the boundaries of contemporary design practice. You will engage in critical analysis, identifying new types of problems and researching creative and innovative ways of solving them.
The course holds talks and masterclasses with designers working across the field including: Editorial Design; Bookbinding; Typography and Type Design; Branding; Screen & Moving Image. These workshops combined with films, exhibition visits (taking full advantage of our location in London, a world centre for graphic design) and guest lectures that have included Jon Powner (Atelier Works); Jonathan Barnbrook; Jonathan Ellery (Browns); Michael Johnson (Johnson Banks; Vaughn Oliver; Joel Veitch (Rathergood); Tomato; Andy Altman (Why Nor Associates) give our students a rich and deep understanding of contemporary design practice which helps to inform and develop their own projects and design practice.
The masters course attracts international and UK graduates, practising designers and mid-career professionals from a variety of communication design disciplines.
Find out about our postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
- Year 1
- Foundations of Postgraduate Research (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- -To develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake research at postgraduate level in the relevant disciplines. -To develop metacognitive strategies in a reflective approach to learning and research. -To develop professional/academic composition and presentation skills to a postgraduate standard. -To understand the relevant context historical, philosophical, cultural of the topic and areas of study. -To prepare a coherent and comprehensive project proposal in terms of scope, approach, research methodology and standard of presentation.
- Project Completion (60 Credits) - Compulsory
- To articulate the principles determining the development of a design or design research project. To employ advanced skills to develop the project acknowledging interrelated perspectives. To demonstrate systematic critical reflection, identifying appropriate design research methods and communicating these to peers. To make explicit major assumptions or determinants uncovered. To understand the interrelationship between theory and practice in the application of method. To demonstrate mastery of a design or design research project
- Project Development (60 Credits) - Compulsory
- To extend and develop the Project Proposal by: critical reflection on the provenance and appropriateness of decisions whether deliberate or intuitive - and the methodologies employed in their creation obtaining data, refining the working brief and identifying appropriate criteria for evaluation, testing and modification of the project outcomes the use of rhetorical structures in design thinking and presentation. As part of this process the module will: develop planning and organisational skills consider design work as a constitutive part of the argument or process of investigating the validity of the hypothesis use reflective practice in the development of self-managed learning.
- Project Proposal (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- Aims To explore a variety of practical design working methods and approaches employed in the resolution of visual communication problems. To identify and initiate a practicable project brief in parallel with the work on research in DES 4102, and to determine the most appropriate methods, materials and resources necessary for it s successful completion. To compare and contrast ones own approach to design problems with that of current and past professional practice. To develop effective communication skills.
The objective of the programme is to foster a creative, experimental, original and reflective approach to the design process, within which you developa design research project. Approximately three quarters of the programme is devoted to developing and completing your subject specific personal project, comprising creative work with an accompanying research report and presentation.
This work is supported by regular group seminars and reviews and by a system of personal tutorials in which individual projects are discussed with specialists in the field. The remaining quarter of the curriculum addresses issues common to all design disciplines including the foundations of post-graduate research and the dynamics of professional practice.
These aspects of the programme are discussed during the early stages of your project and provide a forum for discussion and debate, shared with students from related design specialties.
Full-time students attend two to three days a week; devoting the remaining time to self directed study. Part time students attend one day a week over two years. Final assessment is based on your research project, supported by a written report.
The work should exceed, in terms of depth and scope, that which would normally be expected at undergraduate level.
Final assessment is based on your research project, supported by a written report. The work should exceed, in terms of depth and scope, that which would normally be expected at undergraduate level
You can find more information about this course on the programme specification.
Find out about our postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
The tuition fee for MA Graphic Design is as follows:
Full-time students: £6,000
Part-time students: £50 per taught credit
You would not usually pay more to study part-time than the full-time fee rate. Find out more about how to calculate your part-time course fee.
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.
Full-time students: £10,600
AHRC Masters studentships
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) offers funding for some subjects. Find out more.
Standard entry requirements
To be accepted to study on the MA Graphic Design, we normally require a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years' work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.
International entry requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas university, to find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country.
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components) or TOEFL internet based 87 (with at least 21 in listening & writing, 22 in speaking and 23 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks, depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements. For more information on applying for the pre-sessional please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details of other equivalent English language requirements that Middlesex accepts see international entry requirements.
How to Apply
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. The quickest way to apply is by making an online application, once you have created your account and completed your application, you will be able to track the progress of your application online. Alternatively, you can fill in an application form and return it to the appropriate admissions office. UK and EU students should apply directly to the London office. Non-EU international students can apply to our international admissions office in London, or use our network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application.
Middlesex has strong links with art and design employers. Our industry partners sponsor final year undergraduate students and give visiting lectures.
Graduates go on to work in design for advertising, web and digital graphics, editorial and narrative illustration, film and animation as well as furthering their studies at MPhil and PhD level.
Our Careers Service offers you a range of support both while you’re studying with us – and after you’ve graduated.
Work placements are proven to increase your success in the job market – as well as being a fantastic experience. We encourage as many students as possible to grasp this opportunity.
We have a dedicated Placements Service which helps you find and plan for a placement.
Portfolio and Interview
The application is just the first step in our selection process, we also invite you to an interview and review your portfolio of art and design work. We’ve put together some simple notes to help you prepare:
- Be selective about the work you show while continuing to show a range of skills and ability
- Show mostly recent work that you are most proud of
- Consider how to present your work and the impression the overall look of your portfolio will have on the viewer
- We like to see lots of work but don’t overfill your portfolio - you should be able to carry it by yourself!
- You do not need to bring large pieces of 3D work, photographs are sufficient
Sketchbooks are extremely important. They should be a ‘diary’ of your thinking and include observational and speculative drawings/sketches communicating a visual sensitivity. We also look for evidence of how you develop and work through your ideas. Include photographs and collected images and importantly your reaction to them, but avoid letting your sketchbooks being merely scrapbooks
The interview itself usually lasts about 15 minutes, but please allow an hour as this usually includes a tour of our facilities. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us. The interview will explore why you want to study the subject with us, there will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous.
Our art and design facilities are second to none. There is a wealth of specialist technical help with professionals dedicated to helping you achieve excellence in our workshop areas.
Take a look at our Art and Design Facilities Gallery to explore our specialist facilities for graphic design more detail.
As a student you can also hire specialised equipment for use in your assignments.
Teaching staff are involved in a variety of different research activities including the sonic potential of letterpress type, digital vector based drawing and illustration, design personality and creativity, group dynamics and the uses of drawing, phytochromography (plant-based printing inks) and children's book authoring and illustration. All teaching staff are currently practicing professional designers, typographers, printmakers and illustrators.