MA

MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice

  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Part-time (day)
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • 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 / Illustration / Branding degrees, this part-time course offers a more flexible engagement for students, in order to suit your individual needs.

Depending on your interests, you can study a range of specialist topics including graphics, illustration, branding and identity, and digital interactive media. You can choose to either propose and develop your own practical project, or opt to research and write a dissertation based on a topic of your choice.

Our MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice degree is ideal if you:

  • want to continue your design education alongside employment
  • are a professional who wants to develop new skills and knowledge in your design practice
  • are someone who wants to follow a more academic career as a researcher, writer, commentator or educator.

Key features

  • Have the support and flexibility to study a Masters course around other 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
  • Enjoy 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
  • Opt for an additional advanced research module if you’re thinking of progressing on
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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 module as either 180 credit points, or as 160 credit points with an additional module in Advanced Art and Design Research worth 20 credit points.

    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’ll work on a self-negotiated project proposal and, if you’ve opted for a practical project, short design briefs set by your supervisors. Group tutorials will give you an opportunity to present your work in progress and to receive feedback and advice to further develop your set projects, and your project proposal. These short projects have been specifically designed to give you the knowledge and grounding with which to launch into your MA project. You’ll establish good practice in design and illustration research methods. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend presentations, workshops and seminars on topics relevant to professional theory and practice in design.

    With support from your supervisor and fellow students, you’ll research and develop your Masters project, ready for review and presentation at the end of the phase.

    If you’re producing a practical project, you’ll set personal learning aims in a journal of professional practice. In this journal, you’ll record your research into current and future trends in your specialism.

    Phase Two: Creative Development and Testing
    You’ll take an experimental approach, stretching the boundaries of your existing thought and practice to explore originality and innovation. You’ll examine future trends and emerging thought in your subject area, and combine research findings with imagination to propose new thought and practice. You’ll also conduct regular testing of the interim stages of project development, using appropriate methods of research and evaluation.

    Group tutorials with your appointed supervisor will provide an opportunity for you to present your work in progress, receive feedback, and set goals.

    If you’re writing a dissertation, you’ll 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 discuss and develop your ideas about the final form of your dissertation, and consider all kinds of media and design. You’ll also be presenting ideas on how best to exhibit your work.

    If you’ve chosen a practical project, you’ll keep a journal of professional practice, where you’ll record your personal learning aims. You’ll then use these aims as a focus for learning across the broader context of your specialist study area. You’ll also 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 won’t be required to complete a journal of professional practice. Instead, you’ll undertake reflective practice as part of the 20 credit point Advanced Art and Design Research module.

    Phase Three: Design for Production and Media
    You’ll complete your Masters project and investigate and apply methods of production which, where practical, align with professional practice.

    If you’re writing a dissertation, you’ll be expected to produce finished outcomes that 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 should show and reference advanced knowledge of commercial processes, production and media commonly used for the design and distribution of graphic media. You’ll also keep a record of your project feedback.

    You’ll continue to attend group tutorials, presenting work in progress and receiving feedback and advice to further develop your project. Final designed outcomes must include background material that shows the development of your project work, such as sketchbooks, screen shots, and other visual support items.

    Optional research module
    (20 credit points)

    Advanced Art and Design Research
    This module will expose you to a range of different research methods across diverse practice-led research projects and research-led practices within Art and Design. If you are interested in pursuing your practice in the form of a PhD, this module will prepare you for further study.

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
  • self-directed research

Specific workshops may include:

  • Locating Your Practice as a Graphic Designer
  • Typography
  • Branding and Ideation for Designers
  • technical workshops.

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
  • 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

Career Prospects

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.

Our graduates often pursue careers in education, digital and printed media for advertising, branding, marketing and promotion, and a diverse range of publications.

Connections with Industry

We’ll encourage you to undertake short internships and studio visits to engage with industry. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter industry competitions and take on live projects.

Recent examples have included:

  • RSA competition briefs
  • Creative Conscience competitions – focused on ethically conscious design
  • collaborative projects with galleries such as Nottingham Contemporary

You’ll benefit from guest lectures from visiting professionals who will cover a wide range of creative and professional practice. Recent guests have come from companies such as:

  • Baxter and Bailey
  • Landor Brand consulting and Design
  • Chrissie Levett from Creative Conscience Awards
  • social media consultant, Debbiedooodah

You’ll also benefit from design graduates returning to give guest lectures through our Graphic Design Symposium. Recent visiting alumni include Reece Hines, brand strategist for Blup, and Stuart Watson, creative director of Nomad.

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, interview skills, and CV and portfolio building.

Study trips

Study trips will inspire and inform your projects. Recent visits have included the Manchester Design Conference, as well as the First Tuesday and RAW Print industry networking events in Nottingham. You’ll also have the opportunity to go on a study trip to a design capital – such as Berlin or New York – where you’ll visit internationally renowned design studios.

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£8,000n/a
MA Graphic Design£8,000n/a
MA Branding and Identity£8,000n/a
MA Illustration£8,000n/a
MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice (Part-time)n/a£4,000

All fees for September 2019 entry will be announced in Autumn 2018.

* 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 in 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£15,500n/a
MA Graphic Design£15,500n/a
MA Branding and Identity£15,500n/a
MA Illustration£15,500n/a
MA Graphic Design Theory and Practice (Part-time)n/a£7,250

All fees for September 2019 entry will be announced in Autumn 2018.

* 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