Communication Design

Key Facts


Programme Overview

How to Apply

Institution Name: GSA
Institution Code: G43
UCAS Code: W213


BA (Hons) 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.

Glasgow Clyde College Associate Student Scheme
This programme participates in the scheme supporting year 2 entry to selected programmes at the GSA - find out more here.

The department offers a range of facilities, including dedicated studios, crit/group tutorial spaces, screen-printing Macs, digital cameras, animation, along with photographic studios with facilities for colour and black and white processing, and a large Caseroom featuring letterpress, Riso and relief printing.

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 undergraduate programme can be found in leading studios including Pentagram, Graphic Thought Facility, APEL, Saatchi & Saatchi, Weiden + Kennedy, BBC Creative, Stand, ISO, and in freelance practice, working in illustration, photography, publishing, editorial, film and TV.

Programme Leader
Steve Rigley


Elise Allan
Marc Baines
Michael Dancer
Moira Dancer    

Colin Faulks

Emma Keogh 

Seonaid Mackay

Kimberley O’Neil

Jo Petty

Susan Roan

Andy Stark

Matthew Walkerdine

Visiting Tutors
Ross Hogg

Kat Louden

Programme Overview

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 the GSA:

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Photography

Each of the specialisms encourage students to develop an inventive and critical approach to solving communication design problems. 

Design History and Theory

An element of the programme is delivered by the department of Design History and Theory. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes in design, one day per week of the student timetable is allocated to Design History and Theory. It is an externally linked critical mass of diverse research expertise in broad-based critical studies for contemporary creative practices in design. More information on the department and staff profiles can be found here.