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Graphic Design MA

Learn about the course below
Code
PGW207
Start
January 2022
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,600 (UK) *
£14,800 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Amanda Sleet

MA Graphic Design explores the ever-changing landscape of graphic design to build critical understanding, individual design thinking processes, practical experience and insightful design solutions. The course offers areas of specialism in typography, branding, editorial and book design, social enterprise and digital interactive experiences.

Why you should study MA Graphic Design at Middlesex University?

We take a problem-solving approach to graphic design to explore contemporary practice through design thinking, insight and co-design processes, prototyping ideas, and building expert collaborative networks with external partners.

We are a diverse collective, working across project areas of typography & information, brand identity & campaigns, new technology & digital experiences, design writing & insight analysis, sustainability & environmental issues, structural packaging and book design.

Based in the Grove, our £80 million Arts and Creative Industries building, and taught by some of the UK's leading practitioners from a range of disciplines, our course features world-class facilities and specialist workshops fitted with both new and traditional equipment, and these will be part of our blended learning approach available where possible. With opportunities to build industry contacts and exhibit your work externally, you'll also gain the employability skills, exposure and experiences you need to navigate a successful career path in today's competitive creative industries.

Course highlights:

  • Fully equipped 3D workshops, laser cutting and 3D printing, printmaking and letterpress, digital printing, reprographics, bookbinding and fully equipped photography, animation and film studios, with expert technical support
  • Each self-initiated project is tailored to each individual’s specialism and ambitions in industry, research, design writing, PhD or education, with the aim to establish expert links and specialist networks for each project
  • You will exhibit your work externally, creating networking opportunities to build industry contacts in a professional environment
  • You will have access to world-leading design research and expertise through the Art & Design Research Institute (ADRI)
  • As a student of this course you'll receive access to the Adobe Creative Suite for every module.

Find out more

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What you will study on the MA Graphic Design?

The majority of the programme will be centred upon developing and fully completing a substantial body of graphic design work towards an external public exhibition. This will be supported by research reports and regular presentations on the progress of the project. You will also address postgraduate research and critical debates in graphic design, working with students and staff from across the art and design postgraduate community.

What you will gain?

You will gain the skills and experience to produce professional graphic design work in any industry. The course will also give you the skills to independently plan, design, implement and evaluate graphic design projects from start to finish.

Modules

  • Modules - changes for students in 2020

    • Developing Practice – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you will explore a chosen area of graphic design in a contemporary context while enhancing your technical skills. You will employ a variety of reflective methods to develop your own creative research proposal with the advanced communication skills to present, discuss and evaluate your work effectively.

    • Advanced Research – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you will examine a diverse range of advanced approaches to graphic design research using both historical and contemporary sources, and explore the work of practitioners and scholars in your chosen area of graphic design and the contemporary research problems they face.

    • Vision and Authorship – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you will develop a focused line of enquiry which demonstrates critical practice informed by current debates in graphic design. You will explore new insights that challenge preconceptions within the professional practice of graphic design while developing the skills, knowledge and research to advance your proposed design project.

    • Critical Debates – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you’ll explore the key concepts, ideas, issues and research methodologies relating to the practice and theory of graphic design. With particular focus on the cultural and social contexts within your chosen discipline, you’ll produce a portfolio of critical responses to contemporary debates in research and professional practice.

    • Major Project – Term 3 (60 credits)

      Using research methodologies, concepts and processes previously explored in the course you will evaluate interrelationships between theory and practice. You’ll produce a portfolio or public exhibition of a substantial body of practice work supported by critical and reflective written work that demonstrates your resolution and expertise.

  • Modules – typical course content

    • Developing Practice – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you will explore a chosen area of graphic design in a contemporary context while enhancing your technical skills. You will employ a variety of reflective methods to develop your own creative research proposal with the advanced communication skills to present, discuss and evaluate your work effectively.

    • Critical Debates – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you’ll explore the key concepts, ideas, issues and research methodologies relating to the practice and theory of graphic design. With particular focus on the cultural and social contexts within your chosen discipline, you’ll produce a portfolio of critical responses to contemporary debates in research and professional practice.

    • Vision and Authorship – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you will develop a focused line of enquiry which demonstrates critical practice informed by current debates in graphic design. You will explore new insights that challenge preconceptions within the professional practice of graphic design while developing the skills, knowledge and research to advance your proposed design project.

    • Advanced Research – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you will examine a diverse range of advanced approaches to graphic design research using both historical and contemporary sources, and explore the work of practitioners and scholars in your chosen area of graphic design and the contemporary research problems they face.

    • Major Project – Term 3 (60 credits)

      Using research methodologies, concepts and processes previously explored in the course you will evaluate interrelationships between theory and practice. You’ll produce a portfolio or public exhibition of a substantial body of practice work supported by critical and reflective written work that demonstrates your resolution and expertise.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.

How is the MA Graphic Design taught?

This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and assessment approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in graphic design.

As part of your learning, you'll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning as part of a small group at times.

Students are encouraged to ask questions; we promote curiosity and actively take risks to discover new opportunities, to meet the needs of tomorrow's ambitious designers and take a lead role in the creative industries.

Assessment

Your skills, knowledge and understanding will be entirely assessed by coursework including practical projects, oral presentations and supporting written work. There are no exams.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

11 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

Independent study: minimum 9 hours

Critical debates/advanced research: 18 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

As and when necessary

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

Support

You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Graphic Design support your career?

This course will prepare you for a diverse range of design careers within the creative industries such as graphic designer, picture editor, packaging designer, web designer, freelance designer and illustrator, brand designer, retail designer, art director and similar managerial positions. This course is also well suited to those looking to pursue careers in further research and teaching about Graphic Design. With strong links to art and design employers across the UK and internationally we’ll assist you in finding and securing professional opportunities while you study with us and after your graduate.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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