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Postgraduate Course

Graphic Design MA

Explore the rich forms of communication we encounter in every day life, from street signs to computer games, newspapers to packaging.

Designing new products in 3D

Our Graphic Design MA will help you develop your creative, imaginative and technical expertise as a professional communicator. We will equip you with the skills to express your ideas in a creative and professional manner. You will gain the technical tools, the academic curiosity and the business confidence to pursue a successful and rewarding career in this field.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview including portfolio

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

We will introduce you to bespoke methods for designing digital experiences, with the support of our industry partners. You will also build analytical and practical skills to help you develop, test and deliver exciting design solutions for a range of communication challenges.

You will explore a range of media in the fields of graphic design, branding, illustration, moving imagery, and virtual and augmented reality. We will support you to create an exciting and contemporary personal portfolio of work informed by your research and practice.

Studying on this course will also ensure you are familiar with both virtual reality and augmented reality. You will have the chance to apply your creative talent and transferable skills through a diverse range of digital sectors so that you will be ready to work in industry.

We also support you in developing the skills and knowledge to set up and manage your own business. Through our collaboration with York Business School we deliver entrepreneurial business modules, demonstrating how creative practice and business can link together.

This degree is part of a suite of courses. Not sure which one to choose? Take a look at the other masters degrees we offer:

Virtual and Augmented Reality MA

3D Design and Technologies MSc

Interior Design MA

Course structure

How you will study

This course will take 1 year to complete and must be studied full time. You will study:

  • 5 compulsory modules
  • A Major Design Project

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This is a field in which designers, manufacturers and service providers strive to achieve a greater understanding of the people they are designing for and offer solutions which influence everyday lives. Using a variety of research processes, you will extract, teach, learn and apply human-centred techniques to tackle and solve problems in innovative ways. World leading brands, such as Apple, Google, SONY and many others have adopted design thinking as part of their own culture for creating original solutions. Design Thinking helps you to question problems, assumptions and outcomes using an iterative process to observe and develop empathy for any given user group.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

When working in creative industries, it is important to understand the significance of design processes within a business. By investigating a selection of design companies, you will gain an understanding of design strategies and how they relate to brand, product and service. To do this you will conduct primary and secondary research and explore themes including:

  • Brand identity and marketing communications
  • Target audiences and unique selling points
  • Procedures for setting up a start-up company.

You will also hear from industry professionals who will share their own experiences of how design has benefited their businesses.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

Gain a greater understanding of how design is reshaping the future. Together, we will think about how technology is shaping the world of business and how designers are challenging established businesses to think differently. On this module, you will look at the concept of a Circular Economy and how employing this way of thinking can benefit businesses. You will also look at disruptive technologies and the challenges they present. Some of the technologies you will look at include:

  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Renewable and clean energies
  • Smart products and wearable technologies
  • Artificial intelligence and automation
  • Intelligent apps.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Explore communication platforms and media within an interdisciplinary field. You will investigate aspects of graphic design, editorial, photography, typography, wayfinding systems and user interaction to support your creative practice. Engagement with industry professionals and the development of an in-depth knowledge of processes will enable you to make informed decisions in your final design proposal.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module we will challenge you to combine creativity with technical skill to develop something innovative. You will be encouraged to experiment and take risks in the development of your own personal voice. You will be making a real or virtual prototype in your chosen area which will be tested and evaluated. This is an opportunity for you to develop a prototype that acts as a catalyst and foundation for your final major design project.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

During your final module you will complete a major design project, in which you will demonstrate your skills as an autonomous design practitioner and researcher. You will pursue your own direction and create either a personal imprint characterised by practical outcomes or document a comprehensive body of research that underpins your area of enquiry.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Teaching will consist of a mixture of group seminars and individual tutorials. This includes sessions with staff from across the university.

We recognise your status as a graduate student, and place a significant emphasis on independent learning. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your own learning and its outcomes. Our Academic Support team can help with written English, study, research and technology skills if needed.

We keep our group sizes small so we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations. We deliver your modules through:

  • Workshops
  • Visiting speakers
  • Field visits
  • Work related learning
  • Seminar discussions
  • Supervised projects

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no formal examinations on this course. You will be assessed through live events and coursework, which will include:

  • Portfolio work
  • Creating artefacts
  • Presentation of visual works
  • Research reports
  • Case studies

You will receive continuous informal feedback on works in progress through a combination of showings, discussions and written proposals.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview including portfolio

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Interview and portfolio

Entry onto this postgraduate course is subject to attending an interview.

At interview you will need to demonstrate examples of your own practice.

You will also be asked to complete a portfolio. This portfolio should show examples of previous and current media production practice.

We are happy to arrange interviews via Skype for overseas students.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2022 - 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £7,000 for full time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2022 - 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £13,000 for 1 year of full time study.

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Visual Communication take you?

This degree could lead you to a career in Advertising, Visual Design or Photojournalism. It could take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop. These include problem solving, developing arguments, analysing and evaluating information, collaboration, independent working, communication and more.

This will give you an advantage in careers such as:

  • Advertising
  • Graphic design
  • Photojournalism
  • User experience design
  • Concept art
  • Animation

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you will need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply Now: Full time (September 2022)

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