Design is an interdisciplinary programme which is intrinsically practice led and applied in nature. Students are able to elect their pathway title according to their interests and career ambition. The programme promotes intellectual investigation largely through practical studies driven by self-selected study projects. It is a professionally orientated, creative programme developing understanding of the need in contemporary design for inter/cross-disciplinary problem solving, underpinned by a robust theory-aware ethos. Of the 180 total credits of the course 100 have been explicitly designed to provide clear pathway distinctiveness. The programme shares up to three of its modules with MA Fine Art, MA Performance Studies, MA Screen Studies and MA Modern English Studies, which gives further scope to experience other critical perspectives from within the arts.
BA/BSc at 2:1 (minimum) in a relevant design or arts subject.
The course is designed and carefully structured to enable all Design students to interact and study the same modules. This principle of cross-disciplinary study and contemporary debate is further extended into both our staffing and our resources planning. Full time students are provided with a shared studio space which distinctively sees graphic designers working alongside and interacting with photographic, spatial/product and fashion designers. The taught modules provide a series of academic challenges and introduce higher level issues which are common to all contemporary designers. Although the teaching has direct value to students in all of the pathways, graphic communication students must address the assignment tasks - mainly resulting in practical outcomes - through the tools and concepts which are most appropriate. In this way, from day one of the course a student in the Graphic Communication pathway can work continuously and progressively towards the development of a final substantial body of images for their Masters award.
The first three compulsory modules introduce advanced content in theoretical and cultural contexts, issues, ethics and communication in the digital era and research in the arts. Students can test their ideas and extend their skills in graphics against this shared semester one content.
The second semester offers one 40 credit compulsory module which requires students to interrogate an aspect of contemporary graphic design. When combined with the Masters project/dissertation it provides the pathway distinctiveness and award sub-title. Also in this semester students make a choice between exploring how their individual approach to graphics can be directed to the development of social/commercial enterprise or they can undertake a one-off study to enhance their independent research skills. Either choice may be explored within an employment or applied setting.
In the final Masters module a substantial self-directed/defined graphic design project must be completed. The content and the form of the work is governed by the proposal submitted and should aim to build on the personal/intellectual concepts, the application of design tools and the professional contexts tested in the earlier modules. The aim is to focus the creative and professional/academic direction of the students, enabling them to either enter the graphic communications professions or engage in doctoral study.
Special course features
emphasis on design problem solving tested against social, ethical and environmental concerns as well as placing work within a theoretical and historical context
open cross-disciplinary forums where students can present and debate their work and research with peers
options to approach study through inter/cross disciplinary practices or focus on one area
students encouraged to support their coursework through participation in industry
research-active staff who regularly exhibit and publish their work nationally and internationally
benefits of being part of a significant postgraduate research community including access to exhibitions and symposia
ARTM002 Research in The Arts, 20 credits
ARTM035 Design Issues and Visual Communication, 20 credits
ARTM037 Cultural and Theoretical Contexts in Design, 20 credits
ARTM036* Contemporary Design Practices, 40 credits
*this module, when combined with the 60 credit dissertation/project module, defines the specialist pathway choice for the student
ARTM027 Independent Study in the Arts and Design, 20 credits
ARTM004 Creative Practice and Enterprise 20 credits
Master of Arts (MA)
Employment in a design field, self-employment or consultancy. Graphics includes a wide range of service industries from web site, magazine and television design or it might for some students suggest a position in illustration or working in the world of typographic or packaging design.
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