Graphic Design MA/PGDip/PGCert

Graphic Design MA/PGDip/PGCert

School of Art, Design and Fashion


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year. Part-time: Two years.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The MA Graphic Design course at The University of Central Lancashire encourages the diversity of design study that is possible within the wider field of Graphic Design. The course focus is rooted in visual communication research, underpinned by theory and with an emphasis on the development of a very personal body of practical work. Throughout the course students are encouraged to pursue a unique personal line of inquiry within any area of contemporary graphic design practice or explore the potential of design diversity. By the end of the course all students should have completed a cohesive body of work to a professional standard and be able to clearly articulate a sound intellectual rationale and a broad critical viewpoint.


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Entry Requirements

Portfolio of work
All applicants are requested to submit digital supporting material (preferably in pdf format) and where possible, will be invited to attend an interview with a portfolio of recent work.

Applicants must demonstrate achievement of any one of the following:
  • Receipt of a 2.2 degree or higher from a British university or its equivalent.
  • A high level of achievement in undergraduate studies at a university elsewhere (e.g. for North American students a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale) 
  • Professional experience in the field of graphic design or a related art and design area in their home country.

International Students: 
In addition to meeting one of the above course entry requirements, International students are required to show competence in written and spoken English : International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) - minimum 6.5.

Whilst we expect most applicants to be from a Visual Communication background, we welcome applicants from other related Art and Design fields such as film, photography, digital media, marketing, education etc.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and will normally be followed by an initial advisory interview.

Programme at a Glance

Full Time

Semester 1

  • Design Practice 1
  • Design Research 1

Semester 2

  • Design Practice 2
  • Design Research 2

Semester 3

  • Graphic Design Practice 3

Part Time

Semester 1

  • Design Practice 1
  • Design Research 1

Semester 2

  • Design Practice 1
  • Design Research 2

Semester 3

  • Graphic Design Practice 2

Part Time

Semester 4

  • Graphic Design Practice 2

Semester 5

  • Graphic Design Practice 3

Semester 6

  • Graphic Design Practice 3

Further Information

View the MYMA: Postgraduate Design at UCLan 2018 brochure

Design at UCLan has an established heritage and creative thinking is embedded into everything we do and everything we teach for design postgraduate students they express their mastery of this philosophy through their practice and research with the MA show as the hallmark of their excellence.

Graphic designers can work in many different areas, from traditional print for book design in the publishing industry and packaging design for the food and drink industry, to the digital arena of web design and new media. Often, the career path of an artist or designer does not take a particularly conventional route. Some graphic designers work on a freelance basis, whilst many work for design agencies or as part of in-house departments of larger companies. Life as a graphic designer can be exceedingly fast-paced and challenging as well as highly exciting.

A design related masters degree can provide a platform from which to enter employment in a range of other exciting sectors, such as: Art & Design; Teaching & Education; Advertising, Marketing & PR Media Culture; Music & Performing Arts; Management Consulting; Business & Admin; Hospitality & Tourism; Retail & Sales; Recruitment & Human Resources; Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO.

The course aims to develop students’ intellectual and imaginative power through a programme of study that is formed from cohesion between theory and practice. It provides graduates with a stimulating environment in which ideas can be exchanged and supported through factual creative research, developed and contextualized. We challenge our students to take a critical position in relation to existing theories and encourage new connections within the field of contemporary Graphic Design that challenge traditional design boundaries.

The course team comprises many academics and industry professionals. We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality. Staff will facilitate advanced personal investigation through research and creative expression through problem solving within the broad subject field of contemporary Graphic Design. The aim is to stimulate an inquiring mind through an analytically and creative approach in the application of advanced research methodologies and to challenge the minds of each individual in order to achieve their best standards and ambitions.

The MA course exists within the context of the University module scheme. The theory and practical modules run alongside in order to inform each other. Design Research 1 and 2 are theoretical modules that provide an opportunity to explore research methodologies appropriate to Graphic Design and the broader area of visual communication. A special feature of the course is the Friday morning lecture programmes with lectures from subject specific academics, guest speakers and practicing designers who are at the top of their profession. Graphic Design Practice 3 incorporates a theoretical element to summarize and complement the final practical body of work.

Throughout the programme students will continue to explore the links and concerns between theory and graphic design practice. The practical modules (Practice 1, 2 & 3) are designed to allow students to pursue their own specific individual design research project, which is a major investigation into a particular personal area of study. A key element of the practice sessions are to facilitate the opportunity to generate, investigate and test new ideas. The programme then culminates with a final public exhibition of student work.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Learning Environment and Assessment

Practical work is carried out within our extensive and very well equipped studios and workshops.

Full time and part time students will be required to attend the Friday morning lecture programme throughout semesters 1 and 2. Full time students will also attend weekly seminars and tutorial sessions during the week. Part time students are scheduled for their practical sessions on a Friday afternoon, so that their commitment on campus allows for day release from their place of employment.

Evening tutorial sessions may be available from time to time for some students who are unable to attend in the day. Many of the Friday morning lectures are filmed for supporting distance learning or those who miss sessions.

Study is further supported by a lecture programme of visiting practitioners from a variety of design disciplines.


The MA Graphic Design programme is also delivered at our partner University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Students are able to study there for one semester. The MA will help further career opportunities in the field of Graphic Design and Visual Communication, giving recognition to each student’s individual practical and intellectual abilities.

The opportunity for a structured work experience will be provided for every student who requests it. This is a major commitment by the University to help our graduates to reach their potential and thrive in their careers after graduation.

Study trips are an essential part of research activity that brings design to life. Throughout the programme, students are introduced to contemporary influences with International city trips and study visits to exhibitions and museums - Manchester, London, Berlin and New York have been regular trips in recent years (students will be required to pay for overseas trips/visits and are therefore optional).

With an MA in Graphic Design, there are many other opportunities to explore and career options worth considering that require the broad range of skills gained at masters level and related to graphic design / visual communication / art and design.

Career Options

Other roles that could be explored with a design related masters degree include:

Graphic Designer • Early Years Teacher • Primary School Teacher • Secondary School Teacher • Archivist • Art Therapist • Community Arts Worker • Advertising Account Executive • Advertising Art Director • Market Researcher • Press Officer • Public Relations Account Executive • Public Relations Officer • Advertising Account Planner • Event Organiser • Media Buyer • Media Planner • Radio Broadcast Assistant • Runner (Broadcasting/Film) • Television Production Assistant • Broadcast Journalist • Museum Education Officer • Museum/Gallery Curator • Museum/Gallery Exhibitions Officer • Gallery Manager (Commercial) • Broadcast Presenter • Retail Manager • Sales Executive • Recruitment Consultant • Interior Designer • Photographic Stylist • Production Designer (Theatre, TV, Film) • Medical Illustrator • Photographer • Press Photographer • Fine Artist • Printmaker • International Aid/Development Worker • Marketing Executive • Volunteer Coordinator • Team Leader • Project Manager • Project Support Officer • Further Education Lecturer • Teaching Assistant • Administrator • Brand Consultant • Agent • Sales Assistant • Visual Merchandiser • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager • Exhibition Designer