Never before has the communications arena had such fluidity for
the realisation of student ideas and professional identity; whether
it be simple or complex, witty or profound - Communication Design
is a platform for the thinking of tomorrow.
Digital technology has provided a multimedia, multi-layered set
of opportunities for Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography.
Students now incorporate the traditional skills of drawing,
printing, photography and other graphic processes with video,
sound, animation and other aspects of moving image and multimedia.
Students are no longer defined by their specialism, but through
their creative interpretations and articulation of the brief.
In order for a student to develop a vision of the future, they
need an understanding of the past. Each area within Communication
Design encourages a critical engagement with historic and
contemporary practice, relating social cultural and political
contexts. Learning is supported by a weekly series of professional
practice lectures, in which some of the most respected designers in
Europe visit the School and meet our students.
Students are encouraged to undertake appropriate industrial
placements and external assignments, as well as to engage in the
numerous opportunities for national and international specialist
competitions. Staff are active in research within the graphics
industry through consultancy and freelance design.
There are three distinct specialisms in Communication Design at
- Graphic Design
Each of the specialisms encourage students to develop an
inventive and critical approach to solving communication design
Forum for Critical
An element of the programme is delivered by the Forum for
Critical Inquiry (FoCI) The Forum is an essential component of the
programme. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes
in design and fine art, one day per week of the student timetable
is allocated to the Forum. It is a cross-school and
externally linked critical mass of diverse research expertise in
broad-based critical studies for contemporary creative practices in
design, art and architecture.
The range of teaching styles varies from traditional keynote
lectures to interactive discussion groups and experiential
learning. Courses are constructed in order to both underpin studio
practice and to open out and extend the range of student
All students are required to attend lectures and discussion
groups, to make oral presentations, to write essays and in the
final year, to present a piece of personal research in the form of
an Extended Essay (20% of the final degree mark) or a Dissertation
(30% of the final degree mark).
Students requiring learning support are provided with additional
teaching tailored to individual needs. Each student also has a
departmental contact tutor who acts in an advisory and pastoral
capacity in relation to progress in Forum for Critical Inquiry.