MA

MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice

  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Part-time (day)
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 2 years (90 weeks)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

This course allows you to develop your professional and educational profile, alongside employment or other commitments. With a similar curriculum to our full-time MA Graphic Design this part-time course is delivered in a more flexible way, in order to suit your individual needs. You can study a range of specialist topics including illustration, branding and identity, digital interactive media or animation. You'll choose to develop your own practical project, or write a dissertation.

Key features

  • Have the support and flexibility to study a Masters course around your existing commitments, including employment
  • Develop a project tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.
  • Choose to develop a practical project, or research and write a dissertation.
  • Have the opportunity to study across the broad subject of Graphic Design, choosing specialist topics such as illustration, branding and digital interactive media.
  • Be allocated a personal supervisor, who will provide continuity throughout the development of your work.
  • Take part in group tutorials and development workshops at the University.
  • Work with other part-time students on the course in online study groups.
  • Opt for an additional advanced research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.
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Welcome to postgraduate study at NTU’s School of Art & Design
Find out how studying a masters degree at NTU’s School of Art & Design can enhance your creative career.

What you'll study

  • Modules

    You can opt to complete this core module as either 180 credit points, or 160 credit points with an additional Advanced Art and Design Research 20 credit point module.

    Graphic Design Theory and Practice (180 credit points or 160 credit points)

    This module is taught in three phases.

    Phase One: Creative Research and Development

    You will work on a self-negotiated Masters Project Proposal and, if you've opted for a practical project, work on short design briefs set by supervisors. Through these short projects you will establish good practice in Masters learning methods and develop sound approaches to creative research and design development.

    If you have chosen to produce a dissertation, you will develop a Project Proposal which will include an abstract, a literature review, and a report on the appreciate research methods and methodologies for your topic and subject area. This proposal will examine the theories and practice of graphic design, either in its broadest sense as a cultural phenomenon, or as a more focused interrogation of a specialist theme.

    Group tutorials with your appointed supervisor will give you an opportunity to present your work in progress and receive feedback and advice on the further development of your project work. You will also attend presentations, workshops, and seminars on topics relevant to professional theory and practice in design. If you're producing a dissertation, you may attend these workshops if appropriate and by arrangement with staff, however you can attend alternative group events supervised by academics who specialise in theory, critical writing and research into creative practices.

    If you're producing a practical project you will also set personal learning aims in a Journal of Professional Practice. In this journal you will record your research into current and future trends in your specialism. You'll be given set topics to explore in the wider context of research and development methodologies, techniques, and processes in the creative industries. These topics and tasks may require illustrated case studies, the presentation of trend data, analysis of industry reports, and of emerging influences, materials, or technologies.

    Phase Two: Creative Development and Testing

    You will take an experimental approach, stretching the boundaries of your existing thought and practice to explore originality and innovation. You will examine future trends and emerging thought in your subject area, and combine research findings with imagination to propose new thought and practice.

    You will conduct regular testing of the interim stages of project development, using appropriate methods of research and evaluation.

    You will attend group tutorials with an appointed supervisor during which you will present work in progress and receive feedback. At each tutorial you will also agree goals to be achieved for the next tutorial.

    If you are writing a dissertation you will aim to produce a fully developed structure for this, including an outline of key arguments and research findings, and proposals for illustration, design, and distribution.  You'll present your developments regularly and discuss them with your peers and staff. You will discuss and develop your ideas about the final form of your dissertation, and consider all kinds of media and design. Ideas about showing your work in some form, as part of an exhibition, should also be presented.

    If you have chosen a practical project you will keep a Journal of Professional Practice where you'll record your personal learning aims, and use as a focus for learning across the broader context of your area of specialist study.  Also in this phase, you will be encouraged to enhance your employability profile by engaging in field and primary research, making connections with professionals, and arranging short internships or visits.

    If you opt for the 160 credit point version of this module, you will not be required to complete a Journal of Professional Practice in this phase. Instead you will undertake reflective practice as part of the 20 credit point Advanced Art and Design Research Module.

    Phase Three: Design for Production and Media

    You will complete your Masters project and investigate and apply methods of production which, where practical, align with professional practice.

    You will use suitable industry-standard software to an advanced level, and you will select, reference and specify appropriate materials.

    If you're writing a dissertation you will be expected to produce finished outcomes which extend the scope of academic or critical discourses on the subject of graphic design.

    In support of your practical project, your Journal of Professional Practice you will be expected to show and reference advanced knowledge of commercial processes, production and media commonly used for the design and distribution of graphic design media. You will also keep a record of your project feedback.

    You will continue to attend group tutorials, presenting work in progress and receiving feedback and advice on the further development of your project. Final designed outcomes must include background material which shows the development of your project work, including sketchbooks, screen shots, and other visual support items.

    Advanced Art and Design Research (20 credit points)

    This module will support your reflection on your research and practice through discursive lectures and coursework assignments. In these, you will contribute accounts of your postgraduate research enquiry, its antecedents in your practice and academic study, as well as your understanding of the role your practice can play in it.

    After an initial diagnosis phase, where you’ll outline your perspectives on research, you’ll be introduced to an overview of the philosophical assumptions that underlie research across disciplines. You’ll also identify where these feature in your experience of education and practice.

    You’ll be introduced to the literature on practice based research that has grown out of PhD activity in Art, Design and Performance, in which you will discover the direction you want your work to take. The module then identifies a range of practice based approaches that are found across disciplines from education to archaeology, and laboratory science.

    The second phase of the module brings these insights to be applied to your practice, so that it can be an element in a research design that will contribute to knowledge. This process includes a reflective audit of the research dimensions of your practice, to identify elements of it that could be part of a research design. The outcome of this audit will help you to build a prospective view of the design of potential research processes that include your practice, as well as appropriate modes of analysis and reporting.

    At the end of the module you will write up your responses to the discursive lectures, supplementing them with appropriate visual material (no more than 3,000 words).

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Enhance your skills in specialist areas such as illustration, branding and identity, digital interactive media or animation. Choose to develop your own practical project or opt to write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

How you’re taught

This course is flexible, allowing you to study alongside other commitments, however there are a few mandatory timetabled sessions which will enable you to benefit from sharing your learning with others. Teaching and learning methods include:

  • seminars;
  • presentations;
  • group and individual tutorials;
  • lectures from visiting professionals;
  • technical inductions (depending on your Project Proposal);
  • online chat room sessions; and
  • self-directed research.

Assessment

Assessment is 100% by coursework. If you choose the coursework pathway it will include:

  • a portfolio of work including research and development;
  • Project Proposal;
  • Professional Journal; and
  • a verbal and visual presentation of project outcomes.

If you choose the dissertation pathway it will include:

  • a Masters dissertation Project Proposal;
  • a fully annotated and referenced draft dissertation;
  • 15,000 word illustrated dissertation; and
  • a verbal and visual presentation, to include one exhibition piece, around the theme of your final dissertation.

Study part-time over two years, allowing you flexibility around other commitments for personal development and career progression.

Careers and employability

This course will equip you with strong creative and problem solving skills. Our graduates become valuable members of professional teams working together on a range of visual communication projects, involving all kinds of cross-discipline
collaborations.

Recent graduates have:

  • set up their own businesses, in the UK and abroad;
  • progressed to further study at PhD level;
  • found work within related careers in the design sector; and
  • returned to their previous occupations with a new focus.

Others have found careers in digital and printed media for advertising, branding, marketing and promotion, and a diverse range of publications.

Professional practice

We will support and encourage you to undertake short internships and studio visits to engage with industry. You may also enter industry competitions or take on live projects.

You'll benefit from talks given by visiting professionals, which will cover a wide range of creative and professional practice. You'll have the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship skills through business development courses (such as The Hive's HeadStart programme), and attend events held by industry experts and organisations.

You will keep a Professional Journal, which you will develop throughout the course to become an in-depth examination of current professional theory and practice in your specialist subject area. You will also attend work-related learning sessions
on topics such as self-promotion and marketing, interviews and CV and portfolio building.

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Get inspired

Take a look at a recent zine produced by our graduating Masters students to get a flavour of the innovation and creativity that goes on within the School of Art & Design.

Set up your own business, progress to further study, academia or pursue a career in digital and printed media for advertising, branding, and marketing and promotion.

Work in the postgraduate community of visual communication students in our dedicated studio.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 2.2 honours degree in a related subject.
  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Other requirements:

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • 2.2 honours degree in a related subject.
  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Other requirements:

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally. Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university don't usually have to meet this requirement.

Pre-masters courses

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can do a pre-masters course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying.

Application deadline

You can apply for this course throughout the year, but we'd recommend that applications should be received by the end of July for entry in September.

Examples of work

In order for us to consider your application, we need you to submit examples of your practical work. Please upload these as part of your online application.

For full details on what we require, please read our Masters Work Submission information.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieve, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates' guide. Here you'll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying.

Application deadline

You can apply for this course throughout the year, but we'd recommend that applications should be received by the end of July for entry in September.

Make sure you take into account the time required to apply for a visa (if applicable) before applying.

Examples of work

In order for us to consider your application, we need you to submit examples of your practical work. Please upload these as part of your online application.

For full details on what we require, please read our Masters Work Submission information.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieve, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates' guide. Here you'll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

CourseHome / EU
full-time
Home / EU
part-time
MA Animation£7,800n/a
MA Graphic Design£7,800n/a
MA Branding and Identity£7,800n/a
MA Illustration£7,800n/a
MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice (Part-time)n/a£3,900*

All fees stated are for September 2018 entry.

* Fee amounts are per year and will increase each year in line with inflation, capped at no more than 5%.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme - 25% fee discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 25% fee discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU graduates.
See if you're eligible.

Postgraduate loans

The government introduced a new postgraduate loans scheme for the 2016/17 academic year for Masters degrees. The loan will be a contribution towards the costs of study and it will be at the student's discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs.

Scholarships

We are offering a number of scholarships for Masters study.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on
+44 (0)115 848 2494.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

CourseInternational 
full-time
International 
part-time
MA Animation£13,250n/a
MA Graphic Design£13,250n/a
MA Branding and Identity£13,250n/a
MA Illustration£13,250n/a
MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice (Part-time)n/a£6,625*

All fees stated are for September 2018 entry.

* Fee amounts are per year and will increase each year in line with inflation, capped at no more than 5%.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme - 25% fee discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 25% fee discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU graduates.
See if you're eligible.

International scholarships

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418