MAGraphic Design

Course Overview

The MA Graphic Design course encourages designers to explore ways of developing understanding between co-communicators.

You will do this by systematically interrogating design practice, through using design methods to analyse and comprehend situations and behaviour and by generating alternative and novel visual solutions. Students apply to the course predominantly from graphic design courses but are welcomed from a variety of backgrounds (if they can show an aptitude for typography) where they may have studied photography, architecture, illustration, interaction design, three dimensional design, fine art, or, subjects such as journalism, philosophy, psychology, anthropology or sociology. Whatever your background, you will be required to reflect on your worldview; the underlying assumptions and understanding that guides and constrains your practice, and to use this reflection as a starting point from which to further develop. Your practice can take many forms: it can be self-expressive, or socially orientated; print, screen-based or three-dimensional. It can focus on an aspect of a well-defined area of design, such as branding, experimental typography, publishing, and user-centred design, or on something more unconventional defined as part of your study.

Depending on what kind of focus you identify you will select one of three different types of Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). These reflect either a business, academic or curatorial/editing focus and provide you with another way of tailoring your study to meet your aspirations.

Graphic designers often work in groups, sometimes comprising members from different disciplines. The MA Graphic Design course provides many opportunities to work in interdisciplinary ways as it sits alongside the courses of other disciplines. Many of the taught sessions such as the introduction to research methods and processes occur in these interdisciplinary groups. At other times however you will be developing your project with your supervisor and other students on your course. This will require you to develop a theoretical framework, methodology and research methods that support your research focus.

As a graphic designer you should anticipate the possible consequences of your design interventions, including the meanings constructed through your practice, in relation to ethical and sustainability issues as well as to other relevant contexts. Creative approaches are required that respond to complex situations in which many problems reside. Outcomes are not constrained by media or by limited interpretations of what it is to be a graphic designer.

Consequently, an outcome might involve the design of an experience or service, as much as it might concern more conventional forms of graphic production.