Graphic Design MA
Study modes: Full-time
Programme website: Graphic Design
This programme’s curriculum is student-led with an emphasis on independent learning. With tutorial guidance, you will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of research and practice, beside set projects particularly in the first 2 semesters to support and inform your line of enquiry. You will initially focus on the research and development of a study proposal.
What will I learn?
With support from our team of experienced tutors (all industry practitioners or researchers) you will be encouraged to expand on your preconceived ideas and let your findings dictate future development. We expect you to engage in sophisticated design dialogue to push your ideas to their full potential. There will be a lot of debate and prototyping before any designs are taken into production.
Assessment and progression
The written component of the programme helps amplify and contextualise your understanding of process and this wider awareness of design feeds back into your practice-based work. You will produce written contextual assignments alongside studio-based work.
We are committed to providing you with enhanced career prospects and the ability to achieve at the highest level.
Our graduates are professionally vital and well-informed, and are able to enter the design industry with a freshness of approach and the flexibility and adaptability to respond to change.
A contributory factor in this is the programme’s Design Agency project, which won the employability initiative category in the Guardian University Awards 2013.
This flagship initiative enables our graphic design students to form their own design agencies, creating their own brand and working collectively towards a common objective based on ability, regardless of age or experience.
Edinburgh-based design agencies act as mentor partners to these student agencies, developing long-term relationships that allow our students to show, over an extended period rather than just a few weeks on placement, what they can contribute to potential employers.
Our graduates work in a wide range of creative career paths. The variety of projects, approaches and opportunities we offer enable you to apply your knowledge and experience of the design process and your considerable skills to many disciplines. Typically, our graduates leave to become members of a graphic design agency.
Our extensive links with industry, built through industry-led projects and staff research, and our range of visiting speakers, ensures you will be aware of the full range of career possibilities and have a strong footing from which to develop your career.
Previous career paths have included:
- experiential design
- digital design
- interaction design
- exhibition design
- design research
- retail design
- design management
These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.
A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in graphic design or a relevant subject.
You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio should show your creativity and particularly your ideas: focus on the thinking behind your work rather than technique and show development as well as finished pieces. You should include a short description of the idea and context of the work you are presenting.
Your portfolio should:
display a high standard of conceptual awareness and development
reflect a clear ability to think laterally
clearly present your research methods and routes, and show the development of ideas
include evidence of your working process, from project inception to resolution, demonstrating experiments and explorations
demonstrate original and professionally resolved work
include high-quality images of completed work across appropriate and varied platforms
If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.
Students from China
This degree is Band C.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
English language requirements
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:
- IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.
Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)
Degrees taught and assessed in English
We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:
We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.
If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.
Find out more about our language requirements:
UK government postgraduate loans
If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.
The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:
- your programme
- the duration of your studies
- your tuition fee status
Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.
Other funding opportunities
Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:
We are no longer accepting applications from students with overseas fee status for entry in 2022/23. UK students can still apply.
Start date: September
Awards: MA (12 mth FT)
The deadline for students with overseas fee status has passed. You can apply for entry in 2023/24 from October 2022.
We encourage UK applicants to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application.
You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.
Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:
- Postgraduate Admissions Office
- College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- 57 George Square
- Central Campus
- EH8 9JU