Visual Communication at UCA

Take your design work to the next level on our Visual Communication degree at UCA Canterbury, and become a cultural innovator who can use your work to entertain, inform and persuade.

On this course, you’ll explore the ways in which you can convey messages and meaning through a diverse range of media - from print and motion to digital - and you’ll be encouraged to develop new skills to strengthen and inform your design practice.

You’ll learn to approach design as an agent of change – a strategy for positively transforming behaviours in desirable and sustainable ways.

You’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate with other members of our creative community and enhance your work in the areas needed to become a creative leader within the field of visual communication - an area that spans print media, user experience, motion design, web design, exhibition design and advertising.

Visual Communication is designed to help you develop your identity as an author and innovator, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to identify and solve design problems within cross-disciplinary environments, including traditional and digital printmaking, moving image suites and 3D studios.

Led by Hugh Harwood and a team of experienced professional designers with connections at the highest level of industry – including Slawa Harasymowicz and Vida Vega – you’ll learn through a range of lectures, project briefs, workshops, written assignments, group critiques and individual tutorials.

The MA is also available as an MFA route which offers a further enhanced opportunity for students wanting to develop their professional portfolio to the highest level, or to build a proposal for Doctoral level study, and pursue an academic research career path. Applicants can apply to undertake the full MFA, or undertake an MA and transfer to the MFA at the end of the MA period.  

 

Course entry options

Select from the following options to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

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Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
Duration
1 year full-time
Entry requirements

Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in the subject/related discipline
and/or
Relevant work experience

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Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
Duration
2 years full-time
Entry requirements

A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject

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Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
Duration
2 years full-time
Entry requirements

Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in the subject/related discipline
and/or
Relevant work experience

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Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
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Campus
Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
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Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year, which is based at UCA Farnham.

On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Defining your Practice
The purpose of this unit is to encourage a wide-ranging exploration of creative practice techniques to identify potential research questions and strategies that will inform your further studies and practice. You will be able to develop technical skills and explore and develop research methods.

Research Contexts
Exploring the design, construction and expression of practice as a process of research, you will be introduced to critical research methodologies which you can then employ in your independent research enquiries

Extending Your Practice
Visual Communicators today do not just respond to design problems identified by others, but often instigate visual/design/cultural challenges themselves. This unit prepares you for this potential role. You will be able to concentrate on a specialist interest within the field of Visual Communication and through that interest, contribute to discourse, build online network and professional prescence, and produce exhibitions, publications and/or commissions.

Professional Contexts
Focused on professional development, this unit engages students with professional contexts through opportunities and projects developed with partner organisations. Through group work and individual research, within this unit, students will establish and develop a sense of their position in relation to their identified subjects, interests and practice areas. This unit also includes the opportunity to develop a creative business plan, funding application, or pitch to professional audiences.

Major Project
This unit enables students to undertake a sustained, in-depth and critically informed research inquiry. Students will define their practice through their own work and an understanding of how it sits in relation to others — identified industries and/or professional contexts, collaborators and audiences. The major project will culminate in a substantial piece / body of work.

This unit is dedicated to developing, extending and furthering student's professional practice. Through advance research methods, this unit will require students to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, confidence and originality that they have developed as a practitioner and researcher. Through this unit students will be supported in preparing PhD applications, organising public events and seeking external platforms to work with professional contexts and engage audiences.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time): £10,500

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time, year 1): £7,000 

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500  (see fee discount information)

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (year 1): £7,000  (see fee discount information)

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - Sept & Jan): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - May): £8,750

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MFA year 1): £11,700

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Explore our gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase

Facilities

Visual Communication facilities include dedicated studios with space for both personal and group working; digital media suites with Macs programmed with the latest industry design software including, Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro and Autodesk Maya. We have photography studios and processing and printing darkrooms for black and white film-based photography; printmaking studios with access to lithography, screen-printing, etching and relief printing.

View 360 virtual tour

Course studios, UCA Canterbury

Graphics Print studios, UCA Canterbury

Digital Media suite, UCA Canterbury

Course studios, UCA Canterbury

Career opportunities

Career
opportunities

Graduates of this exciting course will have had the opportunity to take their design work to the next level and might continue to develop their talents in a variety of different roles. These might include:

  • Creative director
  • Typographer
  • Graphic designer
  • Digital producer
  • Copywriter
  • Exhibition designer

You may want to undertake further study or a research degree to specialise even more.

Ka I Lei

"Studying at UCA is definitely one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. I can feel creative and energetic vibes everywhere on the campus. The UCA team at the campus are really helpful and friendly, they’re supportive in many ways, regardless of whether we need academic or personal advice."

Ka I Lei

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

MA course

The entry requirements will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.


MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: