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About the course

Do you have an eye for design? Would you like to help influence the future of visual communications? Southampton Solent University’s MA Visual Communication programme is ideally suited to students who wish to better understand the academic theory that underpins a range of visual mediums.

This intensive master’s degree helps students to improve their creative skills and build a solid understanding of visual communications theory. The curriculum covers the latest innovations in visual practice, examining the way technological and cultural changes contributed to contemporary academic thinking. 

Topics of study include editorial design; art direction; interactive multimedia; information design; image creation; illustration; 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 academia.

Built in work experience placement Specialist facilities January start available Apply direct Further studies Part time option Distance learning

Students study the essential academic theories that seek to explain how we understand visual messages. Tutors encourage students to work in groups with those from other creative disciplines, mirroring industry practices.

What does this course lead to?

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.

Who is this course for?

Aimed at those with a relevant honours degree, or with extensive experience in marketing, design or digital fields, this master’s degree is well-suited to those who are looking to develop their career into art direction, web design, publishing or branding.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2018/19 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2017/18 fees were:

UK, EU and Channel Island full-time and distance learning fees: £6,750
International full-time and distance learning fees: £11,500
UK, EU and Channel Island part-time fees: £3,375 per year
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our visas and immigration page for more information.

Students in receipt of a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company are typically able to pay their tuition fees via instalments.

Other 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 student.funding@solent.ac.uk.

The 2018/19 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2017/18 costs were:

Optional costs:
Study trip, printing, binding, mounting, competition entry, equipment, hand tools and research travel costs: £500-£900.

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton 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.

Graduation costs

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2017, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 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.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:2 or higher in a relevant discipline.

  • Alternatively, applicants may be considered with industry experience in one or more areas of the advertising, marketing, design or a related field.

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

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 minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


50%

Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team:

ask@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 3039

How to apply

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

Applications for 2018 will open soon. For any enquiries, please email admissions.

Email us

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Southampton Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Southampton Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more.

How to apply

What you'll study

Units include:

Visual Communication Practice
Visual communication practice and specialisms such as editorial design, interactive multimedia, information design, image creation, book design and typographic design. Print-making and photographic techniques including letterpress, screen-printing, etching and relief printing, wet darkroom and photo studio practice.

Digital Media
The advantages and limitations of digital media and its delivery across a range of devices, from desktop to mobile.

Project Development
Developing the appropriate design language to apply to your research findings.

Masters Project Proposal
Students will write a 3000 word proposal for their chosen Master's project.

Master’s Project
On this final project you’ll bring all your skills together to design, execute and present an individually demanding piece of work that demonstrates systematic and in-depth understanding of your particular discipline of study.

Support

Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Brent Meheux academic profile Brent Meheux Course Leader View profile
Julie Beattie academic profile Julie Beattie Senior Lecturer View profile
Brian Reed academic profile Brian Reed Senior Lecturer View profile
Chris Venables academic profile Chris Venables Senior Lecturer View profile
Nick Long academic profile Nick Long Senior Lecturer View profile
Steve Lannin academic profile Steve Lannin Senior Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

To help with creative projects and portfolio documentation, Southampton 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.

Students are invited to pitch for freelance work at Solent Creatives, our on-campus creative agency. These projects involve real businesses and are perfect for portfolio development. The course includes time to develop hands-on creative skills. Students are encouraged to create work for their professional portfolio.

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Design consultancy
  • Publishing industry
  • Advertising – agency side
  • Multidisciplinary design  
  • Web design
  • Television
  • Film and multimedia
  • Freelance practice
  • App design. 

There’s a chance of progression to further study, including a PhD, on successful completion of the course.

Industry links

Students will work on competition briefs for organisations such as the Design & Art Directors Association (D&AD) and the Young Creative Network (YCN).  Through this course you’ll develop valuable and appropriate skillsets through engagement with the wider profession, design community and industry.

Work-orientated assignments will be offered alongside appropriate ‘live’ projects from local and national organisations. There will be opportunities to visit museums, galleries and design studios, both nationally and internationally, as part of the course.

The teaching team maintain strong links with industry, providing students with the chance to participate in live briefs, networking events, and guest lectures.

Placements

You’ll be able to engage directly with employers by organising your own work placement or work-based project, supported and encouraged by the course team as required and students will work on competition briefs for organisations such as the Design & Art Directors Association (D&AD) and the Young Creative Network (YCN).

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Visit us

Our next open day is Saturday 30 September 2017

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