MA Graphic Design

Online Masters Degree in Graphic Design

Online Masters Degree in Graphic Design

Course Overview

This course will allow you to develop your own practice in the field of graphic design set against the context of contemporary global visual culture, ideas and the creative industries today.

Overall, the course provides an exciting space for debate and learning in graphic design practice, where great work will grow and new process and collaborative models will be explored to maximise the potential for future projects and design thinking. You will examine the building blocks of effective and award winning studio work and design culture; from examining the context of design, the history and theory underpinning it, to new and emergent models of creative process and business insights that can support your creative ambition and personal development.

Whether building upon traditional fields or responding to new or emergent media, audiences and markets, the course accelerates, motivates and encourages you to take your next career leap; developing a practice that is robust, adaptive and forms a new step in your professional journey and life.

Our reputation within graphic design sees our graduates working in some of the world’s leading, and award-winning studios and agencies. It is these professional organisations and award-winning practitioners who have helped inform the course, alongside many years and experience of growing new thinking and teaching in the field.                                                                                                                                                

Award Title
MA Graphic Design 
Awarding Body: Falmouth University
Level: 7
Mode of study: online, part-time
Duration: 2 years

Summary

Have the opportunity to access a huge breadth of cross cultural and international thinking and contribute to the future of graphic design practice around the world.

Examine your personal practice in relationship to the ever evolving nature of the subject globally and culturally.

Acquire and develop the skills needed to develop your graphic design career or business venture. 

Find out more about the course by joining our MA Graphic Design webinar on August 28 at 11:00AM BST.                            

Who is this course for?

You may be looking to:

  • Critically analyse key developments in visual culture, business and society.
  • Define your voice and refine a point of difference for your design practice.                                                               
  • Examine strategies and business approaches to help manage and inform the vision for your personal or studio practice.
  • Join a community of graduates from across the world, bringing new and shared cross cultural insights and ideas.
  • Define your specialism and understand the opportunities for career or business futures.
  • Explore new approaches to storytelling through research insights and cross channel communications.
  • Share your work, ideas and innovation with like-minded people from around the globe.
  • Graduate with a clear plan for next career steps or entrepreneurial ambition.

Course content

MA

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.

PGDip

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required.

Core Modules Credits

Contemporary Practice

30

History and Futures

30

Studio and Entrepreneurship

30

Application and Interactions

30

Major Project (MA only)

60

Contemporary Practice (30 credits)

This module introduces students to the development of graphic design today and the variety of contexts in which it is made and understood. As with the central ethos of the course, it seeks to examine local and global perspectives of the subject and the emergent skills required to address problems and deliver messages for both regional and global audiences.

Learning is delivered through an experience of three core projects, each providing a foundation for the rotational period of study and address both personal and group reflection on the topics delivered. Fundamentally, it is concerned with design and designing and the academic and research skills to enable effective and fully engaged participation in the course. It seeks to establish the fundamental essence of being a graphic designer today and the ability to use curiosity, risk, play and care in the delivery of a message.

History and Futures (30 credits)

This module introduces students to how graphic design interprets narrative, to distil, reform or remodel stories for a new purpose. It also is a central module to students understanding a more in-depth critical and contextual understanding to their practice, providing the opportunity for connecting theory and practice (praxis), in conjunction to key themes and issues facing the subject and those who collaborate within it today. This module also begins to question the role that design and the designer have to play in society and the creative community and networks it is part of.

Studio and Entrepreneurship (30 credits)

Having already studied emergent fields of practice within the first module, students can now examine some of the building blocks of studio practice from a business perspective. This gives them the fundamental constructs of managing the day to day aspects of a studio’s life but also provides opportunity to reflect on innovative ways of working at distance and collaboration with other partners around the world. Students will be able to reflect on the subject through specific design studio case studies, structure and strategies for project work and intellectual property guidance required to develop a creative service or product today (although specific financial and taxation detail will require students to study this independently with regard to rules for their own specific country). The latter part of this module sees students develop an actual artefact or entrepreneurial idea that will be personally or culturally inspired, but rooted firmly in a graphic design field.

Application and Interactions (30 credits)

This module allows students to engage with a variety of opportunities to apply their own practice and knowledge to specific graphic design projects. The briefs allow a scoping of interests but also to question the role and ethics of working as a designer today; how ideas can be applied and how respective audiences can be understood and reached. Throughout this module, students will engage with skills development pertinent to their areas of interest.

The module also examines the relationship between personal and highly strategic briefs and this is achieved by examining self-initiated projects, competitions and industry set briefs; the latter being collated from annual opportunities from design studios or client set opportunities. These client set briefs (as with the design studio) will be drawn from global organisations that enable students to respond to challenges beyond their normal experience and share learning and differing international perspectives.

Major Project (60 credits)

This module allows students to construct and develop their final MA project that is built on learning from previous modules and allows them to position themselves and their work for next steps following graduation. Project work therefore can develop from a number of perspectives; being research or theory led (for further research study at PhD level) or personally or professionally orientated (for independent or studio practice).                                                    

Assessment

You will be assessed through written coursework and practical activities, such as

  • Practical assignments, for example designing a digital tool or process to aid collaboration.
  • Written assignments, for example writing a business plan for your own business.
  • Work-based assignments that are grounded in your existing practise where you apply tools such as storytelling or market research.

How you study

You may choose to:

  1. Study entirely online.
  2. Study online and attend optional face to face events

You will be given the opportunity to attend up to two events per academic year and dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules. More information is available on the face to face events page.

 

Taught by industry experts

Designed with employer-focused learning at the core, our courses work with global organisations, staff and alumni to provide you with the breadth of experience and networks needed to accelerate your career.

Learn more about our MA Graphic Design tutors.

Learning activities

Each module will utilise a variety of learning approaches, for example:

  • Online presentations to introduce key concepts.
  • Lectures.
  • Challenges.
  • Briefs.
  • Case studies.
  • Regular webinar discussions.
  • Keeping a reflective journal on your ongoing development.
  • Personal and group reflection.
  • Own project/business launch (MA project).

Support

As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus:

  • Your own student ID card
  • Access to online software tutorials at lynda.com
  • 24/7 online access to library resources
  • Students’ Union community
  • Access to our Student Support Services offering academic and personal support

Entry Requirements

  • An honours degree at 2:2 level or above in areas such as Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Illustration, Communication and digital media, or similar studio – based disciplines. 
  • Digital portfolio (PDF or URL) of between 6 to 12 projects or creative initiatives that demonstrate your creative ability and potential for MA study. This should also include evidence of your ideas process, research and making skills.
  • Proof of proficiency in English (minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening)

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Financing your studies

You can take advantage of:

  • Early bird discounts
  • Falmouth Flexible Bursaries
  • Alumni discount (15% to Falmouth alumni)
  • Refer a friend rewards

For more information about bursaries and other opportunities for financial assistance, please click here or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Terms and conditions apply

How to apply

  • Submit an online application form for the MA or PGDip.
  • Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS certificate if English is not your first language.
  • Submit a digital portfolio of your graphic design practice. This may include published work, personal projects, or your current work in progress and can take the form of a link to your blog or website.

Start dates and application deadlines

There are three start dates per year.

2018/19 Academic Year
Intake Application deadline Welcome week Course start date
September 16 September 2018 17 September 2018 24 September 2018
January 20 January 2019 21 January 2019 28 January 2019
May 26 May 2019 27 May 2019 3 June 2019

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