Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £6,500 *
International Fees £13,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

We are committed to having a broad scope of activities on the course, from traditional graphic skills to future communication delivery methods. The course offers strong links to new media industries, and we work in collaboration with them, and use their advice and expertise, in the ongoing development of the course content.

This is an ambitious programme for students who want to realise their creative potential and self-reliance, working as a freelance or small business operators in the challenging and changing world of the creative communication industries.

The content of the course is industry focused and encompasses issues central to contemporary design practice through a process of analysis, experimentation and the practical testing and implementation of creative ideas.

 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Modules

In this module you will examine the professional context for design business, management and enterprise. Through a series of lectures and seminars the module will focus on practices appropriate to freelance and small businesses. You will examine key elements of professional practice, and gain insights into the design business through site visits and guest lectures from industry professionals. The module will give practical advice for starting up in business, covering topics including forming and naming your business, choosing and setting up premises, creative thinking and project management, copyright and intellectual property rights, and marketing and managing your business.

You will address and review current visual, social and technological debates in design, and develop informed views on contemporary topics in design. The module will explore the role of the designer’s responsibilities in a social, cultural and economic sense, the role of the designer in communicating to audiences, and the construction of meaning in verbal and visual language. You will increase your awareness of debates and issues in the design field and hone your incisive thinking skills alongside technical abilities. You will develop an engaged reflective practice to make more effective use of your perceptions and discoveries, and work practically and creatively with reference to a wider cultural context.

During this module you will focus on visual identity and how an entity declares itself within an environment. Visual identity is one of the central tasks of design. Organisations previously described their identities as their ‘house style’, then their ‘corporate identity’; more recently the term ‘branding’ has been preferred. The module encourages the development of distinctive graphic and typographic visual language through visual identity for specific target audiences. You will develop a range of graphic and image-based solutions, through collaboration, group working and presentations of case studies, while building contacts with industry.

Building on the experience you gain in Project A, in this module you will focus on publishing and design authorship, acquiring skills in areas such as editorial, magazine, book design, e-book, interactive and website design. You will examine the traditional role of the designer as facilitator, the use of design to communicate other peoples’ messages, and the notion of ‘designer as author’. You can work on competitions, external projects, collaborative cross-course projects, and self-defined projects, as appropriate, and wherever possible we will run training sessions and workshops, to give you the chance to improve your existing visual communication skills and develop new ones.

This module enables you to develop your research skills and methods at a deeper level, in preparation for further study at doctorate level and for professional practice. It introduces the field of design research as an analytical and practical tool for designers, and establishes the role of critical thinking as a support to the development of an engaged design practice. Theoretical models of design analysis covered include semiotics, communication theory, systematic approaches, semantics and discourse theory. The emphasis will be on why we do what we do and how we can ensure it is effective, through research testing, feedback and a rigorous approach to design.

This module enables individual students and student teams to initiate, produce, manage and present a comprehensive design project. The major project is a summation of experience in which you focus your interests, skills and aspirations as designers, and express them in a substantial project. The intended target audience, design strategy, design exploration, research testing, concept development and the chosen mode of presentation of the finished concepts, are among the key issues you will cover and implement. This project will showcase your potential as a visual communication designer and demonstrate your ability to work at a high level of professional practice.

Entry Requirements

You should normally have a good first degree or a professional qualification in an area of art, design or visual media. Students with other first degrees will be considered but will be required to show evidence that they possess some knowledge of, and a practice in, visual art or design. Home applicants will be asked to attend an interview with the course team. Overseas students will be asked to submit a portfolio either by post or electronically.

If your first language is not English, you should have an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a score of 5.5 in each element.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

You should normally have a good first degree or a professional qualification in an area of art, design or visual media. Students with other first degrees will be considered, but will be required to show evidence that they possess some knowledge of, and a practice in, visual art or design. Home applicants will be asked to attend an interview with the course team. Overseas students will be asked to submit a portfolio either by post or electronically. 

If your first language is not English, you should have an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a score of 5.5 in each element.

More information

Careers

As a graduate from this course you will be well placed to work across all sectors of the design and visual communications industries. You will have the knowledge and background to consider setting up your own design company, or to work on a freelance basis within this lively and expanding sector, building on your expertise and potential to be influential within the visual communication industry.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £6,500 (price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £13,000 (price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

The vibrant home of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, the Harrow Campus offers one of the richest portfolios of creative industry research and learning in Europe. The recent redevelopment of the campus has seen the creation of fluid, informal learning spaces, dedicated project and gallery spaces and a revamped library. For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

More information

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