Graphic Design MA | 2017/18
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Graphic Design MA 2017/18 entry

Course code:

ADT052

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2017

 

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

A Graphic Design Master’s can give you the chance to specialise in an area of your field you love, leading to a final ‘MA Major Project’.

Developed in partnership with commercial directors, designers, photographers and typographers, our course is aimed at those who want to enhance their existing professional portfolio and expand their understanding of current and emerging trends in graphic design practice.

Learning by doing, you should explore a range of design methodologies, then put them into practice with ‘live’ collaborative briefs, creating valuable links with the professional design community. 

We aim to provide you with opportunities to start developing your professional, entrepreneurial, creative and technical skills to enable you to harness radical, original approaches and solutions to current visual communication design issues, working freelance or in-house across the globe.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

What our students say...

I came onto the Master’s course having taken a year out after finishing the BA at Coventry in 2014. I wanted to get back into the world of graphic design, improve my portfolio and develop it into something that I was not only proud of, but would consequently get me a job when I came out the other side.

I met so many different people from different corners of the world on the course and not only learnt more about my peers on the course and the places they were from, but also a whole lot more about graphic design. The course tutor always went out of her way to make sure our experience was as enriched as possible, challenging our conceptual and design thinking, as well as making sure we had a range of different visiting tutors and external visitor talks throughout the year.

It was an extremely enjoyable year and I got so much more out if than I thought when I first applied; it was a year well spent!

Claire Novis, MA Graphic Design

Course information

This course explores the ever-changing landscape of graphic design, rethinking visual language by emphasising style, effective communication and future contexts.

It aims to engage you in diverse forms of traditional and contemporary media to build critical understanding, enhancing your individual design thinking and practical experience within the context of an international perspective, a range of contemporary issues and exciting new trends – from generative and gaming design, modular layouts and modern ‘retro’ to the positives of negative space and the brightest pastels.

A strong, ideas-based course, it is focused on practical outcomes, which combine visual and written language, achieved through intensive and challenging creative briefs, underpinned by sound academic research, self-critical reflection and contextually relevant practice. Students participate in projects that range across many topical and current themes in design, including globalisation, ethics, sustainability and the environment. Students also engage in graphic design practices, such as typography, photography, copywriting, art direction, animation and interactive design.

The course is suitable for those who have already undertaken a sustained period of creative practice in education or industry, and who wish to enhance their career as designers or art directors. We benefit from an international cohort of students, particularly recruiting from China, India, Africa, Cyprus and Europe, which provides an international perspective from the associated peer learning opportunities.

Modules

Overview

On the two core graphic design modules, ‘Lines of Communication’ and ‘Future Perfect’, you will be introduced to a contemporary theme related to a visual communication problem, which you will then be tasked with investigating creatively. With guidance from tutors, you will be required to define the direction and solutions, taking responsibility for the choice of media and strategy required for specific audiences, then presenting your concepts and ideas. For example, in the past, students prepared an integrated campaign designed to tackle create awareness of digital surveillance in light of the Government’s Investigatory Powers Bill, incorporating print, social media, moving image posters.

The two additional modules provide opportunities for you to deepen your theoretical reference points, locate your professional practice and to contextualise your learning. You will also have opportunities to engage with other Master’s students on Illustration and Animation, Contemporary Arts Practice and Painting, facilitating a multidisciplinary approach and giving a broader perspective to your work.

Modules

  • Lines of Communication

    This module deals with the nature of effective communication through design and aims to generate new ways of communicating. It questions established graphic design tenets, communication truths, methods, audience, behaviour and standards. 

  • Contemporary Issues

    This module will enable the development of research skills relevant for postgraduate study in the realm of creative arts and design subjects. The module will address a number of different theoretical positions and visual languages used in contemporary art and design practice. The overall aims are to develop and enhance the theoretical and practical research skills required by professional artists and designers and to enable the students to become confident in negotiating different visual and theoretical frameworks relevant for their chosen field.

  • Future Perfect

    This module focuses on generating and maintaining currency and future relevance in graphic design practice, and on the dangers of cutting loose from reference points. It considers graphic design’s position in society, both as contributor and legatee.

  • International Contexts

    The aim of this module is to provide students with a practical and flexible insight into a broad range of international art and design-based practices and contexts. This module is designed to increase substantially students’ knowledge, awareness and experience of a wide spectrum of professional contemporary art and design contexts in relation to their own specific practice and research.

  • MA Major Project

In more detail...

  • Access to specialist workshops on topics such as printmaking, sublimation, laser cutting to help you realise your practice to the fullest extent.
  • High levels of student satisfaction in Art and Design, 80% compared with the sector average of 76% (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016).
  • Access to dedicated design studios, the software packages for page layout, image manipulation and multimedia design, such Adobe Creative Suite, 3D software and animation software.
  • Facilities including fully equipped digital production, sound recording and editing, film, photography, video, ceramics and print facilities, including a printmaking workroom, screen printing studio and a digital print bureau.

Excellent links with industry, such as IBM, OPUS books and Compton Verney, many of whom provide professional guidance and collaborate on real-life projects.

The course can be studied full-time over one year and part-time over two years. The programme is divided into three 13-week semesters starting October and January. 

Teaching is supported by a variety of means, including printed handouts, audio visual material, case studies, demonstrations work-in progress discussion, self-directed study, studio critiques, external liaison and visiting speakers from the discipline. 

To further broaden your understanding and skill base, visits to design studios, advertising agencies, museums and galleries are linked to tutorials, films, lectures and workshops to provide an intensive and immersive experience of creative practice. In the past, we have visited the ‘Britain in the 50s’ exhibition at the Compton Verney gallery and ‘The experience of Colour’ at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, as well as the Tate and V&A galleries in London. 

The course culminates in a module entitled MA Major Project, which will be a substantial self-initiated project, for which you will research and produce a body of work for public display in the annual MA Exhibition. Past students have explored experiential campaigns to tackle human trafficking at large sporting events, a ‘live’ client-based branding project for a national African football team and an investigation into how type and typography responds to and constructs meaning. 

All projects require you to direct your learning according to the interests and specialist areas that you might wish to explore. Staff will help to guide you and, where relevant, connect to your future aspirations which might include industry, future study – PhD or practice-based opportunities. 

Teaching methods include:
lectures, tutorials, seminars, self-directed study, continuous coursework, written (essays, journals, critical review, study plan, learning contracts, reports, portfolios), verbal, visual and presentations.

Meet our staff

Lisa Webb

Our Senior Lecturer in Design and Digital Media

Read full profile

Assessment employs a range of methods including: coursework proposal, oral or written presentations, a learning agreement, portfolio, written reports, log book, artefacts and peer assessed verbal or visual presentations. You will be encouraged to present your work for assessment in a form appropriate to your research and practice.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follow:

  • Practical coursework 70 %
  • Presentations 17.5 %
  • Reports 12.5 %

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60% respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

70% practical coursework

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate through practice an advanced understanding of the creative production of graphic design genres.
  • Identify, evaluate and apply communication strategies and psychologies, producing convincing arguments about practice, supported by professional presentation techniques.
  • Identify and exploit the relative merits of graphic design practice and artefacts within differing political, national, geographical, economic, social, intellectual and philosophical contexts.
  • Prepare a working brief from a range of disparate material.
  • Effectively evaluate your own art/design work in relation to that of others.
  • Contribute to the shaping of a contemporary discourse by promoting innovative, experimental, interdisciplinary and creative approaches towards your particular discipline.
  • Make informed judgements about the use of processes and media to communicate particular ideas, managing ethical dilemmas appropriately.
  • Demonstrate mastery of an appropriate range of media and processes.
  • Effectively research, articulate and generate realised professional artworks.
  • Demonstrate skills associated with the use of information gathering, communication technology; professional practice, time management, project management and self-promotion.

In a typical week, you will have up to 6.5 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. 

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20-30 hours of additional study each week, e.g. creative practice, working on course assignments, attending workshops and technical demonstrations.

The course features an international cohort of students which naturally offers opportunity for intercultural learning and exploration of different design perspectives. We undertake a range of local, national and international trips to galleries, museums and cultural events, with a visit to Hanze University in the Netherlands currently being planned. We are also seeking to develop a number of Online International Leaning (OIL) collaborative projects with other universities to provoke intercultural thinking and encourage students to consider their graphic design work within a global arena. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,264

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15



12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


What our students say...

I spent an unforgettable and lovely year at Coventry University. My study here was different to how I learnt graphic design in China, focused more on the idea and methods of solving problems in real life. It led me to think more about why and how to solve problems through my design, improving both my design and academic skills, as well as my English language. Living in Coventry was exciting and the University always organised activities to travel or visit, which offered a great opportunity to meet new friends, join in the local life, learn more about the UK and expand my horizons.

Tian Tian, MA Graphic Design, graduated in 2016, now studying a PhD at Central South University in China

Entry Requirements

You will need to be ambitious, highly motivated with either a degree in a relevant subject or a body of professional work.

Portfolio

Students will submit a portfolio of work and may be interviewed either face to face or virtually to determine their suitability for the course. 

You will need to be ambitious, highly motivated with either a degree in a relevant subject or a body of professional work.

Portfolio

Students will submit a portfolio of work and may be interviewed either face to face or virtually to determine their suitability for the course. 

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

You will need to be ambitious, highly motivated with either a degree in a relevant subject or a body of professional work.

Portfolio

Students will submit a portfolio of work and may be interviewed either face to face or virtually to determine their suitability for the course. 

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our students say...

Studying on the Masters course in Graphic Design at Coventry University has been an amazing opportunity. Course tutors are engaging and have a wealth of industrial experience which is vital to understanding current graphic design practice, and in-depth academic knowledge to help you progress, challenge and develop your current understanding of creative practice and develop new skills. The course is varied with students from around the world, which adds to interesting debates.

Paul Owen, MA Graphic Design, graduated with a distinction in 2013, now Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£6,212 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£6,212 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2017

£12,656 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

What our students say...

I came onto the Master’s course having taken a year out after finishing the BA at Coventry in 2014. I wanted to get back into the world of graphic design, improve my portfolio and develop it into something that I was not only proud of, but would consequently get me a job when I came out the other side.

I met so many different people from different corners of the world on the course and not only learnt more about my peers on the course and the places they were from, but also a whole lot more about graphic design. The course tutor always went out of her way to make sure our experience was as enriched as possible, challenging our conceptual and design thinking, as well as making sure we had a range of different visiting tutors and external visitor talks throughout the year.

It was an extremely enjoyable year and I got so much more out if than I thought when I first applied; it was a year well spent!

Claire Novis, MA Graphic Design

Career prospects

The practical nature of the course has been designed specifically for the development of professional careers within the creative industries.

You will be encouraged to adopt a creative, enquiring and critical approach to the graphic image and its uses in contemporary practice. Furthermore, you will graduate with relevant industry experience, having worked with a variety of design professionals.

Depending on your individual study, you may also benefit from a range of transferrable skills highly sought after by future employers, including: team working, working independently, critical thinking, report writing, project management, ideas generation, presentation and finance.

National and international graduate career prospects are many and varied and include: education, curating, film, television, special effects, print and publishing, multimedia, advertising, animation, moving image, web and interactive design, video games, music, marketing and public relations. We aim to equip our students to be able to pursue graphic design, typographic design, type design, website design, new media design, magazine design publishing, art direction, design management or research.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone on to undertake PHDs, to lecture, to work as graphic designers for Leisure concepts, BYG Systems Limited, Opus books and Country Wide groups.

What our students say...

The course taught me a lot of valuable transferrable skills, such as critical thinking in research and analysis, as well as improving concise report writing and driving me to the next level. Over the course of a year, the excellent advice, guidance and support from the faculty and academic staff allowed me to realise my true potential and pushed me to achieve it. They are patient, professional, extremely helpful, inspiring, and spent time to communicate and address any concerns.

Geok Mei NG, MA Graphic Design, graduated with Distinction 2011, now Senior Art Director at Blu Inc Media
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.