Communication Design

Key Facts


Programme Overview


MDes Communication Design. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.


Coursework, essays, practical design projects. Formative assessments take place at key points throughout the year with summative assessments at the end of each academic year.

Range of facilities including dedicated studio space, crit/group tutorial spaces, Case Room with a range of equipment including letterpress, Macs, digital cameras, animation, linoprints, wood engravings and monoprinting, photographic studios with facilities for colour and black and white processing.

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Graduate Destinations
Graduates from the GSA's department of Communication Design have gone on to work with Pentagram, Graphic Thought Facility, Studio Fernando Gutiérrez, Lust, O-SB, Weiden + Kennedy, Lewis Moberly, BBC, Stand, ISO, or succeed in freelance practice, working in publishing, editorial, film and TV.

Programme Leader

Brian Cairns


Colin Faulks
Andy Stark
Matthew Walkerdine

Programme Overview

The Master of Design (M.Des) in Communication Design is a two year programme delivered by the Department of Communication Design at The Glasgow School of Art. The programme is practice-led and process-oriented in relation to definitions of broad design practices. It is also committed to the acquisition of principles within design theory relating to educational and commercial contexts. The programme provides rigorous methods for the interrogation of visual and textual research, positing questions relating to the role of the designer in society, and fundamental questions regarding personal and social responsibility.

The programme aims to:

  • Offer each individual student the opportunity to critically develop his or her own work in the context of a rigorous but supportive intellectual climate;
  • Encourage students to identify and explore key contextual issues relevant to their practice as contemporary designers;
  • Develop students' awareness and knowledge base in communication design philosophy, theory, practice and research in the context of innovative forms of communication design;
  • Enable Communication Design graduates to critically evaluate their work and that of their peers in the context of contemporary design practices;
  • Enable students to achieve the highest possible standards in their work, so that graduates have the confidence, maturity and intellectual and interpersonal skills necessary to function successfully in the communication design field;
  • Equip students with the highly developed intellectual, practical and interpersonal skills deemed necessary for careers in design.

Further information is available online at;

Application Deadline Dates

Applications to this programme will be processed in three rounds: Standard 1; Standard 2 and Late. We guarantee to review all complete applications received by the Standard 1 deadline date of 28 January 2022. After this date, this programme can become full and close to applications in advance of the Standard 2 and Late rounds. Early application is therefore encouraged to avoid disappointment. Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place on the dates indicated below, please ensure you can be available.


Deadline to apply

Interviews taking place

Decision on application by

Standard 1

Friday 28 January 2022

Monday 21 February – Friday 4 March 2022

Friday 18 March 2022

Standard 2

Friday 18 March 2022

Monday 11 April – Friday 22 April 2022

Friday 29 April 2022


Friday 10 June 2022

Monday 4 July – Friday 8 July 2022

Friday 22 July 2022


Applicants must submit a completed application form and personal statement by 12:00 noon (GMT) on the deadline to apply date. Applicants should then submit their digital portfolio by 4:00pm (GMT) the same day. Submissions made after these times will automatically move to the next round unless the programme has closed to applications.

Application Guidance

Further guidance on applying to this programme can be accessed below:

Start an application on the How to Apply webpage. Online application forms for 2022 entry will be available from November.