MA Communication Design

MA Communication Design: Graphic Design and Illustration

Full-Time and Part-Time

Welcome to the MA in Communication Design at Kingston

In recent years communication design has grown to accommodate a range of ambitions and opportunities for those concerned with the visual articulation of messages, information and experiences. Whilst the industry and discipline in general continues to seek specialist 'makers' and 'thinkers' the convergence of technology, the emergence of complex cultural networks of communication and the impact of new media on traditional communication channels requires design skill sets that are based in thinking in wider, more interdisciplinary modes based upon communities of practice. The course has a focus on problem finding and the role of research, investigation, creativity and imagination in the process of making visual design.

The course encourages you to look critically at the practice of graphic design or Illustration; in particular the understanding of the fundamental processes at work in the application of word and image essential to negotiate an enduring and sustainable career in the changing communications industries. The practice of visual communication continues to adapt and to develop new approaches to the mediation of information, messages and the origination of content as well as form.

This understanding has never been more important to the role of the contemporary designer and image maker and to what and how we communicate. The course builds on this knowledge and aims to provide a deeper understanding of how designers can utilise both old and new methods and technologies to build new and challenging forms of communication.

This specialist pathway of the Communication Design MA course is part of the Design School's postgraduate programme. The structure – shared with students from Product + Space MA, Design for Development MA, Fashion MA and Design with Learning & Teaching in Higher Education MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests in graphic design or Illustration within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the Design School.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in Graphic Design or Illustration.

For further information about the graphic design pathway:

For further information about the illustration pathway:

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Stand-alone Module

Staff on this Course

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Paul Micklethwaite

Course Director: MA Sustainable Design + Course Director: Graduate Diploma Creative Practice + PhD Director: Design School

Paul Postle

Course Leader for MA Illustration
Course Coordinator for MA Design with Learning and Teaching


Caitriona Carey

Academic Support Manager

Robin Harris

Senior Lecturer

David Phillips


Dick Whitbread