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MA Graphic Design

Open College of the Arts
Course summary
2 years
Part time
Online courses
Next available date: October 2021 - Online courses
Postgraduate Education

Course description

MA Graphic Design

What is Graphic Design?

The MA Graphic Design at the OCA is an opportunity to create a dialogue about what Graphic Design is as a discipline and how we can cross boundaries into other disciplines such as: Games Design; Service Design; Sculpture; Programming; Activism; Performance; Moving Image and Spatial Design.

This programme offers you an opportunity to work in a medium of your choice. The course itself starts with a short, ‘Unlearning Programme’ encouraging incoming students to explore processes and mediums before committing to a platform of study, for example, Design Activism, Experiential Design, Digital Domains, Motion, Typography, Brand… These platforms will help you locate your practice within the broad subject of Graphic design, whilst offering up opportunities to collaborate with students from other platforms and broadening your professional outlook and experiences.

As you progress through the course you will be able to share experiences and learning through group and individual work. The curriculum builds from a more structured programme towards autonomous study, with an emphasis on enquiry, critical reflection and exploration.

Suitability - Who should attend?

Criteria Points

  • Degree in any subject
  • Degree in the visual arts
  • Evidenced experience of working in any relevant creative industry or context. For example, as a practising Fine Artist.
  • Higher National Diploma/Foundation degree or equivalent in Art
  • Higher National Certificate or equivalent in Art
  • A-Level Art or equivalent

Other experience or learning, whether certified or not, will be considered on an individual basis

English Language Requirements

For applicants where English is not their first language, they will be required to provide evidence of English Language proficiency equivalent to B2 CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference).

You can evidence you meet this requirement through one of the following documents:

  • A Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider, taken two years or less before the date of enrolment to the course. IELTS for UKVI or IELTS Academic may be accepted as meeting these requirements, provided the student has achieved a minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four elements of language learning.
  • Have successfully completed an academic course (not professional or vocational) at Bachelors degree level or above from an educational institution in the UK or in a majority English speaking country as listed below.
  • A passport provided as evidence of nationality of a majority English speaking country as listed above.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT taken two years or less before the date of enrolment to the course, with minimum scores in each of the four elements of language learning as follows: reading 18, listening 17, speaking 20 and writing 17.
  • Cambridge English B2 First qualification with scale range 160-179 taken in the last two years as of the date of enrolment to the course.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

Final Award Title and Type: Master of Arts in Graphic Design

Upon successful completion of the course students are able to:

  1. Identify, define, and describe current and relevant principles, concepts and subject knowledge to a high level.
  2. Demonstrate an advanced awareness of the use of graphic design skills, technologies, methods, practices and processes related to your design practice.
  3. Identify, define, and describe contemporary and historical practices, theories, and debates to inform your creative approach and critical position.
  4. Navigate and critique emerging practices and wider contexts, to shape your subject knowledge of graphic design and its subject boundaries.
  5. Select, question, test, interpret and synthesize relevant and specialist knowledge to inform your intentions, ideas, and outcomes
  6. Apply highly fluent critical thinking to develop an informed personal position through critique, group work, and critical thinking tasks
  7. Apply curiosity, creativity, and intellectual enquiry to initiate, test, and articulate ideas and outcomes in professional and innovative ways

Training Course Content

Research and Practice

The unit supports you in developing an advanced awareness of graphic design through practical projects and independent research. The aim of the unit is to develop a highly critical and creative conversation between your practice and research interests. This will introduce you to:

  • innovate professional design practices
  • relevant academic literature and theories
  • current debates around graphic design and its subject boundaries
  • strategies to apply research and practice to inform your creative approach and critical position.

Innovation and Development

The unit provides the opportunity to identify, develop and manage a substantial self-directed project, and presenting the outcomes through suitable publications, exhibitions or presentations. The aim of the unit is to apply highly fluent creativity to resolve professional and innovative ideas. A Professional Practice folder will gather and reflect on external facing aspects of the project.

The unit encourages you to apply specialist graphic design skills by undertaking projects with a focus on professional practice, enterprise, collaboration, or other external partners. The aim of the unit is to apply specialist design skills in research, creativity, critical-thinking and problem-solving, and to develop a professional understanding of how to operate as a graphic designer.

Resolution and Presentation

The unit provides the opportunity to identify, develop and manage a substantial self-directed project, and presenting the outcomes through suitable publications, exhibitions or presentations. The aim of the unit is to apply highly fluent creativity to resolve professional and innovative ideas. A Professional Practice folder will gather and reflect on external facing aspects of the project.

A contextual study in Unit 1 provides an opportunity to demonstrate your advanced awareness of contextual knowledge and critical thinking. In Unit 2 you can explore ideas through a contextual study, or produce a suitable project report or business case. These can be developed through written, presentation, or visual essay formats. Throughout the course you will document your work through a learning log and produce reflective presentations to help synthesize your learning.

Course delivery details

The course is delivered primarily by e-learning technologies, incorporating online seminars and peer group discussion. Independent research and studio practice is a significant element of the course.

The course includes:

  • One to one tuition via video conferencing
  • Online seminars
  • Group work such as critiques or studio sessions
  • Access to the world class Bridgeman Education Art Library and digital resources from the University for the Creative Arts
  • Online Group Orientation
  • Study resources and other relevant materials

Expenses

  • Fees for UK students: £7,800
  • Fees for students outside of the UK: £10,530

Continuing Studies

Progression routes are individual as well as collective, and you will be supported to develop your increasingly sophisticated practice towards public presentation of your work and effective and appropriate communication of your ideas. Whatever your aspiration, whether it is increasing the range and impact of your networks nationally and internationally, moving on to further related study, or work in the Graphic Design industry, you will benefit from this course. Our MA Graphic Design introduces professional practice in your chosen discipline and offers support of your aspirations.

This course is extremely flexible and its structure means you can earn while you learn and at the same time advance your career prospects. People studying this MA will be better placed to gain higher level teaching posts in the field of art, or move into creative sectors of employment.

About provider

Open College of the Arts

We are the Open College of the Arts. An open access, distance learning provider of higher education courses based in Barnsley, UK. We were created by Michael Young in 1987, one of the founders of the Open University, to offer...


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Open College of the Arts

The Michael Young Arts Centre
Room 201, DMC 02, County Way
S70 2JW Barnsley

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