The course is offered in a two year, 60 week, extended full-time (EFT), mode, requiring approximately 30 hours per week study. Taught delivery is normally timetabled across three days per week including self-directed study. The course is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises three units as follows: Unit 1: 10, Unit 2: 70 Unit 3: 100 credits. A student has to pass all three units to be considered for the award of MA, with the award of a distinction being based on the achievement in Unit 3 only.
There are a number of key areas common to all four routes, which provide the general conceptual framework addressed on the course. In each route, the relationship between text, image and the various technologies plays a defining role.
Information design: quantitative information such as maps, statistical charts, and comparative diagrams are visualised and set in context.
Interface design: planning and visualising possible information access points, usually in interactive digital media.
Developing narratives or storytelling: through a chosen communication channel - or combination of channels - using imagery, text, sound, space and movement
Typography as a visual language: exploring how we see words
Editorial design: planning, authoring, positioning and producing printed and digital publications
3D: three dimensional artefacts, packaging and virtual environments
Image development: hand techniques, photography and digital manipulation.
There is a great deal of 'cross-over’ within the routes in terms of skills and processes (for example, graphic designers are often required to generate or manipulate photographic imagery within their work) and students can therefore attend some workshops and seminars Whilst a student is expected to apply for a named route within the course, transferral to another route may be considered, subject to space, and agreement with the Course Director and relevant Subject Leader.
All applicants must specify a 'route’ or 'pathway’ located under 'course title’ on the application form. We do not accept applications that have not specified a route. The routes are:
-Graphic Design explores visual communication and the 'visualisation of language’ through a range of methodologies, including typography and language, book and editorial design, information design, and environmental design such as site-specific signage. Conventions are challenged whilst encouraging work that is firmly located within a social and professional context. Although the Graphic Design route is mainly print-based, it encompasses a diversity of approaches including screen-based or motion graphics, packaging design and 3D artefacts.
-Workshops include letterpress, print production and photography. Specialist bookbinding workshops are arranged at the London College of Communication at an extra cost of £30.00, for those who wish to take part.
-The Illustration route strongly encourages personal expression and aspirations through image-making. Students develop imagery based around chosen narratives, and the concept of 'story-telling’. Alongside the development of self-initiated themes, live projects are integrated with experimental briefs to promote personal vision. Traditional concepts of illustration are challenged whilst maintaining an awareness of professional practice. Illustrators employ a wide range of mixed media, which may include hand-drawn, printed and collaged material, 3D artefacts or animation.
-Workshops include drawing, silkscreen printing, etching, and photography.
-The Digital Media route focuses on digital communication and digital environments, particularly interaction design. It draws upon the dynamic relationships between traditional print-based design and alternative forms of communication, through screen-based media. Students develop strong concepts balanced with inventive and novel content, which may involve collaboration with programmers from outside the college in realising their projects. Media applications that have become central to the route include DVD design, streaming media, dynamic web environments, motion graphics, projections and installations.
-Workshops include intermediate Flash, ActionScript, After Effects and other interaction design software subject to the curriculum.
-The Photography route utilises both 'wet’ and 'dry’ methods (traditional print techniques and digital imaging) to generate creative imagery that demonstrates depth and intensity of vision. Students are expected to undertake a high level of research and analysis in order to develop a proposal, and create a body of work around this theme. Individuality, innovation and experimentation are encouraged in order to explore photography as a potent method of visual communication.
-Workshops include traditional and digital photography, studio lighting and digital imaging software.
Skillset Media Academy
Central Saint Martins has been awarded Skillset Media Academy status, one of only 17 institutions across the UK, granted in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the college in relation to their Media Courses. This course is part of the programme that contributed to the successful application. Skillset is the industry body which supports skills and training for people and businesses to ensure the UK audio visual and publishing industries maintain their world class position.
Personal and professional development is a core element of the MA Communication Design course.
Throughout the course students are supported and encouraged to further their understanding of professional practice, so that when they graduate students should be well prepared to become active and valued members of the international design community.
MA Communication Design alumni have gone on to set up their own successful design studios, work for some of the UK's most respected companies, freelance in their chosen specialisms, follow a design research career, and much more.
The breadth of opportunities for design professionals grows every year. It is the aim of the course to support students to undertand, devise and implement design processes that will enable them to work confidently across diverse media.