Graphic Design MA
MA Graphic Design
If you're an ambitious creative looking to develop your work to meet the ever-changing demands of the creative industries, then our MA Graphic Design degree course is for you.
On this course, you'll explore different design methodologies – such as typography and publication design – and apply them to ‘real-world’ situations. You'll channel your design skills while creating professional links in various creative industries and communities.
We'll provide the expertise and support you need to develop your practice, and help you sharpen the skills that will grow your career in graphic design and other creative industries. And because you'll test and apply your work in the real world, you'll also open up possibilities for future employment and entrepreneurship when you graduate.
What will I experience?
On this course, you'll:
- Produce stimulating graphic design, with the latest software and equipment used by professionals in the industry
- Improve your understanding of graphic design through in-depth research
- Develop a strong critical discourse with peers and academic staff in relation to your work
- Use our specialist workshops, which include facilities for screen printing, letterpress, laser cutting, dye sublimation printing and digital fabric printing
- Get to grips with the latest professional software in our digital studios
- Spend time working in the dynamic and creative environment of our design studios
- Hear from inspirational guest speakers from the world of design
- Plan and produce a personal project to showcase your skills
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the graphic design industry.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Careers and opportunities
When you graduate, you'll have the necessary skills for a successful career in the graphic design profession. You might choose to set up your own design studio, step into a more senior role in a graphic design agency or go on to further study.
Career opportunities include:
- Graphic design
- Typographic design
- Type design
- Website design
- New media design
- Magazine design publishing
- Work in the television and film industries
- Art direction
- Design management
- A good honours degree in graphic design or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications
- An interview or online portfolio might be required as part of the selection process
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £7,500
- Part time:
- Year 1 (60 credits): £2,500
- Year 2 (120 credits): £5,000
- Full time: £13,900
- Part time:
- Year 1 (60 credits): £4,630
- Year 2 (120 credits): £9,270
Fees may be subject to annual increase.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the costs of any material and reprographic requirements for your work. The specific costs will vary depending on the nature of the work and media used, though are normally in the region of £100 - £1,000.
You'll need to cover the cost of any optional study trips. Trips in the UK will usually costs around £50 – £150, other optional study trips will cost in the region of £200 – £800.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 80 credits.
Core units include:
- A Question of Research
- Contextual Report
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, on Thursdays, Fridays and very occasionally on Saturdays. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed after the submission of your work for each unit. You'll get plenty of feedback to ensure your research is on the right track.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.