MA Contemporary Typographic Media
This course is taught within the School of Design at LCC
|Study Mode||Full Time|
|Course Length||One year (45 weeks)|
£7,500 (full-time estimate for study in 2013-14). Fees given could be subject to review.
£1000 discount available to Home/EU students successfully awarded a UAL BA, FdA, PgCert or PgDip. For details call +44(0)20 7514 6599.
For a full breakdown of standard fees visit the University's Tuition Fees pages.
£13,800 (full-time 2013-14 fees).
Fees given could be subject to review. Some courses charge non-standard fee rates and additional costs. For details call the International Office on +44 (0)20 7514 8138.
A small number of Rector's Scholarships worth £5,000 each are available to UK and EU students on this course. For more information please go to the MA funding page.
|Term Dates||The course runs from January to December each year.|
You will need to apply for this course through the College.
UK and EU students should download this application form (PDF - 4MB). International students should use the international postgraduate application form which is available to download on the international office's web pages.
Informed by significant contemporary debates, you will undertake extensive research studies in areas such as word and image, message and audience, type and typography, aesthetics and systems and media and technology, developing a uniquely valuable set of critical skills which will provide a firm foundation for your career as a creative visual communicator.
"The purpose of typography...is to build a bridge from one mind to another. The nature and quality of that bridge determines what travels across it." - Bruce Mau
MA Contemporary Typographic Media at LCC offers the opportunity to investigate the inherent ambiguity and dynamism of visible language through the intensive study of type and typographic design. The programme is nationally and internationally unique in its provision, taking a wide multi-disciplinary and exploratory approach to two closely related, but distinctive, fields of study: type design and typographic implementation. This reflects sustained, intense interest in both areas from undergraduate and postgraduate students over several years and is motivated directly by the requirements of the design profession.
Focusing on your particular interests, MA Contemporary Typographic Media builds on the design skills, knowledge and interests already gained through degree studies and/or professional practice in graphic design, typography or a related field. You are encouraged to explore and develop your individual approach to the production and communication of messages.
The course builds on LCC's long-standing and widely acknowledged reputation as a national and international centre of excellence for typographic design education. The history of Postgraduate provision within the College (formerly the London College of Printing) begins with the advanced typography course instigated by Anthony Froshaug and Ernest Hoch in 1972 and is represented most recently by the MA Typo/graphic Studies which was revalidated as MA Graphic Design in 2004.
This course is taught within the School of Design at LCC.
- Unit 1.1 Text/Media
- Unit 1.2 Text/Context
- Unit 1.3 Major Project Proposal
Unit 1.1 Text/Media
This practice-led Unit is intended to introduce you to the programme of study, your fellow students and the appropriate manner of working while studying on the course. Text/media involves a progressive series of practical projects that allow you to examine the form and function of the visible word. It is based on key studies of two competing historical themes evident in contemporary type and typographic design, comparing and contrasting its deep humanistic origins with more recent systemic and programmatic approaches to form-giving. The Unit places emphasis on applying essential visual research methods to help you to develop a personal approach to both practical and theoretical components of your work. In the articulation of visual language you will have the opportunity to re-examine some fundamental and defining design principles and to consider their relationship to meaning and understanding. The intention is to provide you with an opportunity to re-assess and re-evaluate your own practice to date.
Unit 1.2 Text/Context
This Unit is intended to provide an understanding of the significant debates, ideas and theories that have shaped contemporary typographic design and visual culture. Drawing on a series of key readings and related contextual studies, you will investigate the significant issues which have shaped contemporary design discourse and debate them with your course tutors and peers. The basis for these studies will be not only commentaries and opinions generated from within the practice but a range of wider ideas and theories from related disciplines. The Unit will re-enforce the critical foundations of your own practice and, in particular, it will inform the development of your Major Project in Phase 3 of the course.
Unit 1.3 Research Methods: Major Project Proposal
Research methods studies enable you to develop a personal and critical point of view through investigating, documenting and evaluating visual, verbal and textual information from a wide range of sources and applying those findings to the construction of a carefully defined Major Project Proposal, which details the work you will undertake in Phase 3 of the course. You will be expected to develop a rigorous foundation for your Major Project Proposal by stating a clear research question which is based on key aspects of your chosen subject or issue. Your Major Project Proposal will include the identification of the field of study, the rationale for your particular focus, suitable and effective methods for testing your ideas and reference to audience, materials and media, historical and contemporary precedents. It will also draw on relevant theoretical models and the relationship to a wider cultural and social context
- Unit 2.1 Workshop Options
- Unit 2.2 Text/Performance
- Unit 2.3 Major Project Definition
Unit 2.1 Workshop Options
Workshop Options Unit provides opportunities for you to pursue studies that enhance your specialist interests and to acquire skills and knowledge that may additionally inform your personal practice and the development of your Major Project. Two Workshop Option projects are undertaken, Option A and Option B. Information regarding these Options and their availability is published through the course Blackboard sites and in separate postgraduate Workshop Options overviews and briefings.
Unit 2.2 Text/Performance
This practice-led Unit is intended to allow you to test and refine your project work and ideas as you move towards the Definition stage of your Major Project in Unit 2.3. The Text/Performance Unit enables you to openly explore type and/or typographic design project work which will inform your practical approaches to the Major Project in Phase 3. Building on the intentions and methods outlined in the Major Project Proposal submitted in Phase 1, you will continue to progress your programme of investigation into a subject of personal interest which is relevant to contemporary typographic media through a cyclical reflective process of research, experimentation and contextual study. Through this process you will realise a substantial and diverse body of work which you will document in the form of a designed and illustrated visual summary. This Unit will be conducted in parallel with Unit 2.3 Major Project Definition, allowing you to test ideas and visual communication methods relevant to the research question.
Unit 2.3 Research Methods: Major Project Definition
In this Unit students will write, design and produce a re-evaluation of the intentions and methods outlined in the Major Project Proposal submitted in Phase 1, in order to strategically plan the development of the Major Project towards its final resolution. A working model of the proposed project, based on contextual and theoretical studies (in Unit 2.3) and practical work (Unit 2.2), will be delivered formally at the end of Phase 2. You will participate in a formal presentation detailing the underlying principles and values of the proposed work, and outlining projected outcomes.
In Unit 2.3 you will also decide on the mode within which you intend to undertake your Major Project in Phase 3, either as a body of practical work supported by a written report (Unit 3.1 Major Project Resolution: Practical and Report) or as a written thesis supported by practical work (Unit 3.2 Major Project Resolution: Thesis). Your choice of mode will be determined largely by the nature of your subject and the appropriateness of the methods you have identified in order to address it, though you should note that these alternatives are not mutually exclusive. It is not normally acceptable to change modes after completing Unit 2.3, except by agreement with tutors.
Once students have progressed satisfactorily through the PgDip stage of the course, they continue with the Major Project to resolution at the final assessment stage of the programme.
- Unit 3.1 Major Project Resolution: Practical and Report
- Unit 3.2 Major Project Resolution: Thesis
Unit 3.1 Major Project Resolution: Practical and Report
The Major Project consolidates knowledge gained in the earlier units, enabling you to apply the work of the course to a practical resolution and to demonstrate your skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to a specified design problem. It will demonstrate both in content and form your advanced understanding of contemporary type design and/or typographic practice. The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission. Reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself, the research should be conceptually integrated within the practical work.
Project topics are expected to be wide ranging (see Indicative Major Project Areas of Study below) and are an opportunity to fully investigate a practical design issue, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to contextualise your work and your ideas politically, socially and culturally and to identify and apply appropriate media as a means of articulation. You will submit a final developed practical project resolution together with a visual summary evidencing supporting research and development, visual testing, materials and media investigations and key texts and theories employed in your work. You will also write, design and produce a report of 5,000-7,000 words which critically reflects on the development of the project including research methodology, the testing of ideas and its relation to wider cultural, social and technological contexts.
Unit 3.2 Major Project Resolution: Thesis
This mode of the final Major Project is intended to provide the opportunity for a substantial and extensive body of writing in thesis form (12,000-15,000 words). This work consolidates the knowledge gained in the earlier Units, enabling you to relate the work of the course to a written resolution. The thesis will demonstrate your advanced understanding of contemporary typographic media. It will show evidence of your skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial research programme and responding critically to a defined design related problem.
Project topics are expected to be wide ranging and are an opportunity to fully investigate and apply the academic work of the course. Topics must allow the opportunity to contextualise your work and your ideas politically, socially and culturally and identify applicable theory, debate and discussion. Defining the project is very much part of the project itself. The thesis should be substantiated by means of practical examples and case studies. It should set out the intentions of the project, critically reflect on issues of context, technology and methodology, analyse the results, draw conclusions and make recommendations.
All students leaving the course find their possibilities in the workplace have widened and are more focused on the area of communication they wish to pursue.
Enterprise and employability at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Staff in our Centre for Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Artists and designers tell us they value UAL's informed engagement with their career and professional practice development and our ability to offer them practical advice, guidance and opportunities across the wide spectrum of possible professional pathways - as entrepreneurs and employees. Staff value the resources and skills UAL makes available to help them deliver effective professional and career development through the curriculum.
Find out more
ArtsTemps (SEE) is the UAL in-house recruitment agency placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
Creative Opportunities (SEE) is the UAL job vacancy and work placement website for students and graduates and advertises hundreds of creative job and placement opportunities each month.
Get more information and advice on employment and creative careers for all UAL students and graduates.
An Honours degree in a relevant subject, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree. If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the AP(E)L system. Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.
International and EU students: If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our International Applications page.
Your portfolio should cover your most recent commercial or academic activity, showing your aptitude, ability and experience in typographic design. This can be supported with visual summary documents showing your research and working processes.
Important information: All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio on CD or via a website with their application form. This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material as described above. These should be clearly annotated and organised. All candidates will be expected to outline their major project ideas in the application. This should describe the area of interest - the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project - the methodology. It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.
You need to apply to this course through the College. UK and EU students should download this application form (PDF 4MB).International students should use the international postgraduate application form which is available to download on the International Office's web pages. Applications should be sent to Postgraduate Admissions, Central Administration Office, 5th Floor Tower Block, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, London, SE1 6SB
For enquiries about admissions please call the admissions team on +44 (0)20 7514 6599 or email email@example.com (for UK and EU student enquiries) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for international enquiries).
Home/EU student fee discount
If you have successfully completed a UAL undergraduate degree, PgDip or PgCert you will qualify for a £1000 discount from your tuition fees. For further information please contact email@example.com
The AHRC has awarded the University a limited number of Block Grant Partnership Studentships for MA and research students. Find out more about AHRC studentships.