- 1 year full-time
- 2 years part-time
- 2 years part-time (distance learning)
Would you like to help influence the future of visual communications? Solent University’s MA Visual Communication programme is ideally suited to creatives who are keen to refine their practice, working as part of an interdisciplinary group of students. The course encourages you to identify the conceptual foundation of your practice and build from there.
This intensive master’s degree helps students to improve their creative skills and build a solid understanding of academic theories that shape visual communication practices. The curriculum covers the latest innovations in visual practice, examining the way technological and cultural changes contributed to contemporary academic thinking and vice versa.
The course provides opportunities to explore semiotics; digital culture; professional practice; interdisciplinary practice; collaboration; editorial design; interactive multimedia; information design; image creation; illustration; fine art; typographic design; print-making and photographic technique. Students may have workshop sessions with the letterpress, screen-printing, etching and relief printing facilities, as well as the wet darkroom and photo studio. Depending on their creative background, graduates will be well prepared for a range of careers in the creative industries.
Critical research papers and final master’s projects are supported by the University’s expanding research base, encouraging students to make an innovative contribution to visual communication practice and theory.
Why choose this course?
This course is for
Aimed at those with a relevant Honours Degree, this Master's degree is well-suited to those who are looking to refine their practice as part of an interdisciplinary group of creatives. The course encourages students to engage, critically and creatively, with concept of being a ‘visual communicator’, expanding discourses around visual communication to include art as well as design. The course aims to provide a career catalyst for artists, creative theorists and designers alike.
What this course leads to
This master’s degree delivers the skills you’ll need for a wide range of creative careers. Students on the course come from a range of disciplines including graphic design; make-up and hair design; fine art; photography; computer games design; film; marketing (to name a few). Students are supported in developing transferrable skills and practices that will bring them closer to their desired profession. The course includes time to develop hands-on creative skills. Students are encouraged to create work for their professional portfolio.
- Design and Communications Executive
- Freelance photographer
- Graphic Communication Leader
- Communications Officer
- Arts Facilitator
- Creative Artworker
- Freelance Illustrator
- Freelance Graphic Designer
- Junior 3D Artist
- Junior Marketing Specialist
- Teaching Assistant
Year one modules
Visual Communication Practice
In this module workshops will be offered to students to expand their range of practical skills and enable experimentation with a variety of illustration, printmaking and photographic activities.
This module will introduce students to the concept of conveying information through digital media, and that which is delivered via digital devices; it will confront them with the advantages and limitations of design within a digital based environment.
This module will explore and critically analyse the creative industries in the UK and around the world.
In this module students will design, execute and present an individually demanding piece of work that deploys a systematic and in-depth understanding of the skills and debates relevant to their particular discipline of study.
Master's Project Development and Proposal
This module prepares students for their master's project by equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to define a research project, select an appropriate methodological approach, and investigate a key research topic utilising secondary and/or primary research.
At Solent, our aim is to deliver innovative, inclusive and intellectually stimulating teaching to develop self-confident and highly employable graduates. All our courses are designed with employability in mind, which makes industry-based learning a priority.
This master’s degree delivers the skills you’ll need for a wide range of visual design fields including animation, art direction, web design, publishing, branding and typography. The course includes time to develop hands-on creative skills. Students are encouraged to create work for their professional portfolio.
Previous graduates have gone on to roles including: Design and Communications Executive, Freelance photographer, Graphic Communication Leader, Communications Officer, Arts Facilitator, Creative Artworker, Freelance Illustrator, Freelance Graphic Designer, Junior 3D Artist, Junior Marketing Specialist and Teaching Assistant.
There is also the chance of progression to further study, including a PhD, on successful completion of the course.
Learn transferable skills
Students will develop transferable skills in decision-making under pressure; visual, written and verbal communication; critical thinking; and presentation to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
The tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are:
- UK and Channel Island full-time fees: : £7,900 per year
- International full-time fees: £14,800 per year
For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.
Extra course costs
While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2023/24 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:
Study trip, printing, binding, mounting, competition entry, equipment, hand tools and research travel costs: £800.
Solent alumni are eligible for a 20% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course.Find out more
Bursaries, scholarships and financial support
Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.
There is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket is currently £15. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
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Key entry requirements
An honours degree at 2:2 or higher
- Alternatively, applicants may be considered with industry experience in one or more areas of the advertising, marketing, design or a related field.
- For further information about UK qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Key entry requirements
If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Note to all international students requiring a visa
All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.
We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.
Your application checklist
Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.
Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application:
- Two academic references.
- Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student.
- Copy of passport.
- Copy of current visa (if applicable).
- A personal statement.
- Employer sponsor form, where appropriate.
Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:
- IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking.
- TOEFL IBT 92 with a minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking
- Duolingo English Language Test - 115 overall with minimum of 100 in each component
Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.
Pre-Sessional English programme
The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.
To help with creative projects and portfolio documentation, Solent provides a comprehensive media loans scheme. This scheme gives students free access to high-end photographic equipment and accessories.
Students will have access to a range of specialist facilities throughout their studies. These include Mac computers, professional creative software, digital printing facilities and traditional printing presses. You’ll have access to a full range of print-making facilities including letterpress, screen-printing equipment, etching and relief printing, and digital resources. And as Solent is an Adobe Creative Campus, all students also have free access to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes the full suite of Adobe professional software titles.
As part of our global alumni community, you can take advantage of a range of benefits.
Whether it's been days or decades since you left us, or you're soon to don your cap and gown, things are constantly changing at Solent. We're always innovating, but we're also immensely proud of our heritage. And that means you.
Research and knowledge exchange
Research doesn't just live in publications and journals - the effects of groundbreaking research can be found everywhere you look. That's why research at Solent has always been firmly rooted in industry needs and real-world application.
Solent University prides itself on carrying out not only pioneering research, but also research that addresses real world problems. We offer opportunities to study for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in a number of areas.
At Solent, we want to help you achieve your best and discover new insights. Whether you're thinking about applying for a PhD, or already underway with your research studies, you'll find useful guidance and information in our research pages.Find out more
Support at Solent
All students at Solent University have access to a range of specialist support services. Whether you are having financial difficulty, need additional help with academic skills or want advice on setting up your own business you'll find that help is always on hand.
Most of our specialist support services are based around the Student Hub, a central space where you can access all of the information and support you may need during your time at University. The Student Hub is the first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your course, including questions about your timetable, options, and assessments and extenuating circumstances.