Visual Communication MA (Graphic Design, Illustration, Experimental Communication)

United Kingdom
Starts Sep 2019 (2 Years)
Course Type
Postgraduate Course
Course Fee

Course Overview

Visual Communication as a discipline is undergoing a major shift in both its vocational positioning and intellectual relevance. At the Royal College of Art, the programme has a long history that has radically examined the place of visual communication in relation to culture and society, while championing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. The programme offers three pathways of study: Experimental Communication, Graphic Design and Illustration.

The pathways are interrelated and structured around the discipline of visual communication to facilitate well-informed risk-taking and experimentation from a grounded position of subject knowledge and understanding. Pathways are delivered in subject clusters (critical thinking) supported by shared workshops (critical making) and delivered by staff who are either advanced practitioners or active researchers engaged in both the core and margins of communication practice.


Who should take this course

This programme is ideal for those looking to enhance their expertise, develop creative and design-thinking mindsets or change careers. Current students on this programme include:

  • Graduates
  • Early-career professionals
  • Mid-career professionals
  • Advanced career professionals

Course content

The core curriculum is delivered through projects, workshops, lectures and individual and group tutorials. In the current Programme structure, School-wide electives form the foundation of teaching in the first year and often inspire final year independent projects. Electives run for two terms and are open to students across the School. Alongside this, students undertake projects situated within the Programme or pathway specialism. Visual Communication has offered a mix of six electives in the past year. The Bright Labyrinth lecture series informs the practice investigations of the first year. In the third term, students focus on completing their dissertations.

The second year is largely self-directed, with teaching delivered primarily via personal tutorials or group tutorials, accessed by students based on individual need. Prior to the Work-in-progress Show (WIP), students choose to take one of a series of project frameworks which enables them to situate their practice within a pathway. Further to the WIP, students (in discussion with their personal tutors), submit a plan for an independent research project. There are interdisciplinary activities such as Critical Forum which support the critical making across all the pathways. Additionally, there are skills- and thinking-based workshops offered that are cross-year.

About Course Provider

The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university of art and design, placing at Number One in the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 QS World University Rankings.

Wholly postgraduate and specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD across the disciplines of applied art, fine art, design, communications and humanities. There are over 1,750 Master’s and doctoral students and more than 1,000 professionals interacting with them - including scholars, art and design practitioners--along with specialists, advisers and distinguished visitors.

The College is rightly proud of its graduates'​ achievements. Alumni from the RCA form part of an international network of creative individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the culture surrounding all of us – from the landscape of our cities to the furniture and appliances in our homes, and from the clothes we wear and the films we watch to the work we experience in galleries and the cars we drive.

How to enroll?

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