Skip to main content

Key details

Award title
MA Graphic Design (also available as PGDip)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 14 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA course fee
£11,795
3 start dates per year
January, May and September
Next welcome week
12 September 2022
Next start date
19 September 2022
Application deadline
30 August 2022 (apply early to secure your place)

Online Masters in Graphic Design

Discover yourself as a designer

Challenge your capabilities and hone your unique perspective

Introduction

Join an exciting space for learning, networking and debating graphic design practices. Develop your design thinking and creative processes to an advanced level. 

Examine the building blocks of effective and award winning studio work and design culture; from design contexts to new and emerging models and insights that will support your personal development and creative ambition. 

Our reputation within graphic design sees our graduates working in some of the world’s leading, and award-winning studios and agencies.

It's these professional organisations and award-winning practitioners who have helped inform the course, alongside many years of experience growing new thinking and teaching in the field.

You will:

  • 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.       

 

MA Graphic Design students visit Berlin, Germany

Students will gather together for a series of workshops at the Patrick Thomas studio.

Why study with us?

This MA is built to help you take your next career leap; developing a practice that is robust, adaptive and forms a new step in your professional journey and life.

Whether you’re looking to refine a point of difference for your work or examine business approaches to inform opportunities for your studio practice, our course will equip you with the industry insights and elevated design thinking needed to reach your professional aspirations.

Watch our Q&A with two of our students to learn about the programme in more detail:

 

 

Careers and employability service

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access our RealWORKS, our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to 5 years following graduation.

Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more.

Learn more about the opportunities available to you as a Graphic Design graduate:

Explore Graphic Design careers

"The connection and conversations with industry professionals is something that I believe Falmouth do really well and here online is no exception."

Jamie Baldwin, MA Graphic Design student

"A well-design curriculum teaches possibilities as an extension of where one is coming from on a personal level. The briefs are open-ended enough to have worked anywhere you were based in, devised to broaden critical thinking beyond the traditional notions of graphic design."

Winnie Wu, MA Graphic Design graduate

Have a question? 

Our Course Advisors can help. Contact us to discuss any aspect of the course, funding options, or how you'll study online:

Get in touch

Entry requirements

You should have:

An honours degree at 2:2 level or equivalent in areas such as Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Illustration, Photography, Fashion, Textiles, Animation, Film or Fine Art. We also accept applicants with no undergraduate degree but a clear demonstration of subject related skills and knowledge whether self-taught or gained through industry experience.

Digital portfolio.  Submit a digital portfolio of your graphic design practice. This may include previous project work and your current work-in-progress. It can take the form of a link to your blog or website and/or be presented as an interactive PDF. This will help the admissions team assess your suitability for MA study online

If your first language is not English, you'll need to take one of the following tests to verify your proficiency:

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components
  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts)

We accept a number of additional English language qualifications as well.

Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are also encouraged to apply. If you have prior learning or experience with this subject, you may even be able to apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You can learn more about this via our APL guide.

For more information on course requirements, including advice regarding your eligibility, please get in touch via the form at the end of this page.

Course details

What you’ll learn

Interrogate what graphic design is and how to define it, explore how design operates on a global scale and use this to put your own work under the microscope. 

Course structure 

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. 

Please note the module orders are subject to change.

Module one

Contemporary Practice (30 credits) 

In this module, you are introduced 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, you seek 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. 

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. 

Module two

History and Futures (30 credits) 

In this module, you’re introduced to how graphic design interprets narrative, to distil, reform or remodel stories for a new purpose. 

You will apply a more in-depth critical and contextual understanding to your practice. You will connect theory and practice (praxis), and examine 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. 

Module three

Studio and Entrepreneurship (30 credits) 

Having already studied emergent fields of practice within the first module, you now examine some of the building blocks of studio practice from a business perspective. 

You learn how to manage the day to day aspects of a studio’s life, but also reflect on innovative ways of working at distance and collaborating with other partners around the world. 

You 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. 

You will develop an actual artefact or entrepreneurial idea that will be personally or culturally inspired, but rooted firmly in a graphic design field. 

Module four

Application and Interactions (30 credits) 

In this module, you apply your 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, you will engage with skills development pertinent to your areas of interest. 

The module also examines the relationship between personal and highly strategic briefs. 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 you to respond to challenges beyond your normal experience and share learning and differing international perspectives. 

Final major project (MA only)
Final Major Project (MA only) 60 credits)

 

Your final MA project is built on learning from previous modules and allows you to position yourself and your 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).          

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

Contemporary Practice (30 credits) 

In this module, you are introduced 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, you seek 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. 

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) 

In this module, you’re introduced to how graphic design interprets narrative, to distil, reform or remodel stories for a new purpose. 

You will apply a more in-depth critical and contextual understanding to your practice. You will connect theory and practice (praxis), and examine 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, you now examine some of the building blocks of studio practice from a business perspective. 

You learn how to manage the day to day aspects of a studio’s life, but also reflect on innovative ways of working at distance and collaborating with other partners around the world. 

You 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. 

You will 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) 

In this module, you apply your 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, you will engage with skills development pertinent to your areas of interest. 

The module also examines the relationship between personal and highly strategic briefs. 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 you to respond to challenges beyond your normal experience and share learning and differing international perspectives. 

Final Major Project (MA only) 60 credits)

 

Your final MA project is built on learning from previous modules and allows you to position yourself and your 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).          

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

How you'll learn

With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources, through Canvas, an easy-to-use online platform.  

You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can stop, pause and rewind lectures whenever you want.  

 

Learning approaches

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). 

 

Assessments

All assessments are taken and submitted online.  

Assessment methods for the masters degree in Graphic Design can typically include: 

  • 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 practice, where you apply tools such as storytelling or market research. 

 

Student support

As one of our students, you’ll have access to a range of services designed to support your studies and make your time with us as enjoyable as possible.

  • Falmouth’s comprehensive online library of books, journals, and resources

  • A Student Advisor team to answer non-academic queries

  • Online software tutorials via LinkedIn Learning

  • The Students' Union community

  • Career advice, CV creation, practice interviews, and more via our careers platform

Teaching team

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

The course also includes a wide range of contributors, interviewees, and guest lecturers, such as:

I’ve been fascinated with the breadth and depth of the content that has been provided. The books, webinars, and ideas have sparked interest in areas that I would not traditionally see in this field.”

Jamie Baldwin, MA Graphic Design

“With every module you get a new tutor, and every single one has brought something completely new. Just gaining that perspective is really, really helpful for your next stages.”

Sian Campbell, MA Graphic Design

Graphic Design Q&A

Course Leader Susanna Edwards and current student Alice Neve discuss how the MA Graphic Design could impact your career: 

Watch our course Q&A

 

Graphic Design

How to apply

 

Before you apply 

Before you submit your application, please contact one of our course advisors so they can guide you through the process and ensure you submit the best application possible for entry into the course. 

Call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

 

Application steps 

  • Submit an online application form
  • 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 previous project work and your current work-in-progress. It can take the form of a link to your blog or website and/or be presented as an interactive PDF. This will help the admissions team assess your suitability for MA study online.   

 

Late applications may be considered if places are available. 

For free advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable course advisors on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Face-to-face events

Up to twice a year, you’ll have the optional opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person. Dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules.  

Previous Graphic Design face-to-face events have included a visit to the Global Design Forum, London Design Festival’s curated thought leadership programme, celebrating design and the minds shaping its future. 

As part of the event, students took part in a workshop where they shared ideas for different models, approaches and operational scales of graphic design practice.

Find out more about face-to-face events on our student support page.

Fees, costs & funding

Fees

Total course fee

£11,795 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period. 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Typical course costs

In order to participate fully in the course, you will need to purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

Software

Creative Cloud

There is an annual subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud available through Falmouth University for £48, which can be purchased through the software registration portal. You may also be eligible for discounted licenses through Adobe's education pricing. For more information please visit: https://www.adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/plans.html

Laptop / Desktop computer requirements

When considering your purchase of a laptop, the most important things to look out for is the CPU/RAM/graphics card, as we use software that needs a large amount of power. We recommend one with as fast a processor as you can afford (8GB of RAM minimum) and a reasonably sized screen (13" minimum, 15" is optimum), plus the following absolute bare minimum computer specifications:

Windows:

  • Windows 10
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram
  • Graphics Card (nVidia 1080 minimum, not Intel Iris integrated graphics) with at least 2GB
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons

 

Apple Macbook Pro:

  • Mac OS 10.15 or newer
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram
  • Graphics Card
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons
  • A dongle to plug things into the laptop is also required for all modern apple laptops

 

Equipment

  • 16 -32 GB memory stick so you can back up your work regularly (approx. £10-20)
  • Wireless or Bluetooth mouse (approx. £15)

 

Materials/resources

The exact equipment requirements may differ according to your practice and preferred ways of working. The costs of these materials will need to be covered by you. You will need to maintain your own practice, you may need a designated area in your home, access to a studio, maker- space, materials and tools alongside hardware and software to produce digital work.

Face to face events

Travel/accommodation to face to face events (optional)

For further advice, please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Funding options

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Total course fee

£11,795 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period. 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

In order to participate fully in the course, you will need to purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

Software

Creative Cloud

There is an annual subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud available through Falmouth University for £48, which can be purchased through the software registration portal. You may also be eligible for discounted licenses through Adobe's education pricing. For more information please visit: https://www.adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/plans.html

Laptop / Desktop computer requirements

When considering your purchase of a laptop, the most important things to look out for is the CPU/RAM/graphics card, as we use software that needs a large amount of power. We recommend one with as fast a processor as you can afford (8GB of RAM minimum) and a reasonably sized screen (13" minimum, 15" is optimum), plus the following absolute bare minimum computer specifications:

Windows:

  • Windows 10
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram
  • Graphics Card (nVidia 1080 minimum, not Intel Iris integrated graphics) with at least 2GB
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons

 

Apple Macbook Pro:

  • Mac OS 10.15 or newer
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram
  • Graphics Card
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons
  • A dongle to plug things into the laptop is also required for all modern apple laptops

 

Equipment

  • 16 -32 GB memory stick so you can back up your work regularly (approx. £10-20)
  • Wireless or Bluetooth mouse (approx. £15)

 

Materials/resources

The exact equipment requirements may differ according to your practice and preferred ways of working. The costs of these materials will need to be covered by you. You will need to maintain your own practice, you may need a designated area in your home, access to a studio, maker- space, materials and tools alongside hardware and software to produce digital work.

Face to face events

Travel/accommodation to face to face events (optional)

For further advice, please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Student work

What type of work is produced by students on the course?

See some of the work created by students in module two, History and Futures, in the online publication on the right.

For more, go to falmouth-design.online to view an archive of projects, research, inspiration and resources generated by students, staff and industry professionals.

 

 

 

Falmouth sign
Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, our experienced course advisors are here to help.

You can call our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 (0)1223 447713. 

Get in touch today!

Graphic Design resources

Graphic Design students create new concepts for The Science Museum Group
Graphic Design students create new concepts for The Science Museum Group

Falmouth Flexible MA Graphic Design students have been featured in The Science Museum Group Digital Lab. 

MA Graphic Design students visit the Patrick Thomas studio in Berlin
MA Graphic Design students visit the Patrick Thomas studio in Berlin

Find out more about our MA Graphic Design students' visit to the Patrick Thomas studio. 

Top tips for graphic designers - how to go freelance
Top tips for graphic designers - how to go freelance

Whether you’re taking your first steps as a graphic designer, or looking for a new direction in your ...