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MA Graphic Design

1 year Lincoln School of Design Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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This intellectually rigorous MA is designed to challenge and enhance your understanding of graphic design. There is a focus on design research and enterprise, driven by your own creative practice.

This programme challenges you to explore your potential to innovate and achieve impact with your creative work. You will be encouraged to use theory to test, adapt and judge the success of your practice, and you will have the opportunity to hear from visiting professionals and design researchers throughout your studies.

In addition to having the chance to develop a critical understanding of design history, you will have the opportunity to engage with commercially oriented design briefs and self-negotiated projects that are relevant to your career aspirations.

How You Study

Teaching is through lectures, seminars, workshops and personal tutorials as well as through group-based projects and interactions with peers. There is an emphasis on extended critical and supportive dialogue with tutors and peers throughout your learning. You will also have the opportunity to participate in extra activities such as the external speaker programme and live projects.

Our staff team are experienced in visual communication, complemented by visiting professionals and design researchers. We aim to help you to tailor your learning in a way that is relevant for you and your specific career aspirations.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment is through project work and written studies. Students normally exhibit work in a Final Show held in September.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:1 honours degree in a related subject or considerable
work experience in the field. Applicants should present a portfolio that demonstrates creative awareness and submit two academic references.

Mature students can gain non-standard entry if they possess appropriate professional experience, creative design skills and critical design studies knowledge.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Christopher Twigg
+44(0)1522 835 080

+44 (0)1522 837171

Master's Level

Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Methods for Designers (Core)

Design problems are often complex and ambiguous, and are considered to be non-routine and ill-structured. Since these kinds of problems require the production of innovative solutions, design problem-solving involves creative thinking. As the context and problems designers are addressing have increasingly become more complex and global in nature, problem solving methods and techniques are being increasingly explored and employed by designers and organisations.

This module will emphasise the process of solving a problem rather than the solution itself with the aim of heightening your critical thinking as well as aiding communications and professionalism with clients. You will have the opportunity to explore the ways that Creative Problem Solving (CPS) techniques can be used in part or in whole to solve design problems in the design process through workshops and other exercises.

Design Debates (Core)

This module aims to introduce you to the range of debates that inform, and have informed, contemporary design practice. The module seeks to introduce you to the demands of Masters level study and to the subsequent demands of the proposed programmes. The study of design and its ‘contexts’ aims to enable you to apply both your research methods approach to your own disciplinary understanding and your creative practice. The module content will include an introduction to research skills, including, reviewing literature, managing information and developing an essay proposal.

Entrepreneurial Effectiveness (Core)

This module is designed to provide an introduction to enterprise and entrepreneurship, specifically through examining and practicing the characteristics of entrepreneurs that are relevant to postgraduate taught design students.

This module has been designed to begin the development of your ‘entrepreneurial effectiveness’ through a combination of enterprise awareness, entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial capability. Entrepreneurial effectiveness is often defined as the ability to behave in enterprising and entrepreneurial ways. This module aims to develop your awareness, mindset and capabilities to enable you to perform effectively in taking up opportunities and achieving desired results.

You will have the opportunity to define and explore entrepreneurial mindsets and skills as well as practice their use in a variety of situations. This includes generating ideas, developing networks, protecting business expertise and understanding entrepreneurial traits and their contribution to employability. You will also have the chance to examine your own personal skills and consider ways of developing and applying them in the near and long-term future.

Through a series of seminars, workshops and small group learning activities you will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the importance of enterprise, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills on a personal and organisational level.

Graphic Design Creative Practice (Core)

This module is designed as a practical exploration of the creative/design process and the fundamental elements of graphic design practice. This phase of the programme aims to enable you to begin re-appraising what you know about the field, what is meant by content, meaning and ways of communicating.

Key societal and commercial themes are introduced, providing opportunities to explore how designers engage with individuals, social groups, clients and businesses. These themes also create opportunities to develop a better understanding of the many facets of contemporary graphic design practice; information and data, narratives, image driven communication, interaction and non-mainstream publishing.

Graphic Design Major Project (Core)

This module aims to combine the skills, experience and knowledge gained through your programme of study. You will have the chance to focus upon developing refined design outcomes addressing and working through your approved Major Project proposal. You will be expected to study independently, set goals and manage your own workload to execute and realise the project.

Your practical design project forms the major component of your submission. There is also a requirement of an 8,000 word document that contextualises and critically reflects upon your Major Project, including consideration of the dissemination of your project outcomes to the design community.

Graphic Design Major Project Proposal (Core)

Building upon the portfolio of exploratory creative concepts and development work produced in Graphic Design Creative Practice, you will now have the chance to focus on working toward identifying a design challenge and articulating a research proposal to be undertaken in the Graphic Design subject area.

This module will also seek to build upon the Practice-led Research Methods and Techniques module where you can practically familiarise yourself with research techniques applied through studio projects. You will be expected to develop a practice-led research proposal that will be tested and explored over the course of the module. Successful completion of this module is designed to prepare you to undertake the Graphic Design Major Project module.

Research-led Practice and Practice-led Research Methods (Core)

Much of the content of this module is concerned with research methods derived from a hands on model for starting and understanding research in relation to creative practice.


The School of Architecture & Design is located in a purpose-built building, complete with specialist postgraduate design studios and workshops. You will have access to design hardware and software of a professional standard.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to prepare you for employment in design agencies or as an in-house designer. Some graduates may go on to set up their own businesses, study at doctoral level or pursue a career in academia.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation and general living costs.

There are additional costs associated with this course. These will vary depending on the scope and ambition of the research and practice carried out by each student on the programme.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

Please note, this programme is only available full-time.

Postgraduate Loans

A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses has been introduced in the UK. Find out if you are eligible.

  2018/19 Entry*
Home/EU £7,300
(including Alumni Scholarship 25% reduction)**
International £15,700
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £87 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.