Taught sessions are held at our Dubai Knowledge Park campus (Block 16, 17, 04 and 19) during the week (Sunday to Thursday) between 8:30am and 6:30pm. Additional sessions might be scheduled over weekends or holiday periods and you can expect to receive plenty of notice for these. Attending scheduled weekly classes is an important requirement for completion of this programme.
You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of your programme. Such participative approaches aim to put you at the centre of your learning so you are involved and engaged in all aspects of your assessment and learning. Your programme will require your deep involvement in learning activities and collaboration with your fellow students, working and learning with others as part of small groups. Learning activities may also occur both within and outside the classroom.
With a range of specialist workspaces, digital media, equipment, software and library facilities on-site you'll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools with expert support to help you develop your work.
Your learning will also be supported by technology. Increasingly your tutors will be using existing and emerging learning technologies to engage you in e-learning activities. Your programme may be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools (My Learning on UniHub, podcasts, wikis, etc.) By engaging with e-learning you will also be developing skills which are essential for your learning and are also highly valued by employers. These include but are not limited to: working flexibly, communication, understanding of IT, team working and creating shared understandings based on quality resources and access to global expertise.
Visual Communication Workshops 1 (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to provide an opportunity to explore a variety of different graphic media and understand the value as methods of visual communication. It aims to encourage an inventive and experimental response to the use of processes and materials in workshop areas which include photography, print making, typography, design thinking and digital inspiration. The module also aims to offer students the opportunity to learn a range of transferable practical and technical skills in art and design, through material handling, exploration of process, production and presentation.
Introduction to Graphic Design (60 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to explore research, thinking and communication skills to develop sound working methods, using logical and structured approaches to identifying and solving graphic design problems. It will encourage an experimental and questioning approach to the use of structure, materials, media and process. Fostering critical skills in the creation of the student’s own work and in the discussion and evaluation of the work of others. It aims to introduce the creative and communications potential of typography, the breadth and diversity of historical and contemporary practice in graphic design and the dynamics of team working to enable the development of an open-minded and self-analytical approach to further study in the subject area.
Understanding Communication Arts (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims: to encourage students to question how practitioners from Visual Communication Design the Communication Arts, here understood as Photography, Illustration and Graphic Design, both shape, and are shaped by, our material world; and to extend and deepen student’s understanding of the relationship between their developing practice and the practices that have developed at other times and at other places. With particular reference to the Communication Arts of the modern and postmodern periods, we aim to encourage an appreciation of how the design and consumption of Visual Culture is intimately bound up with cultural change; to enable students to place the history of communication arts and their own practice within the broader contexts of the histories of art and design, and to understand these in turn in their relation to the histories of society, culture and ideas; and to enable students to apply a range of critical approaches in order understand a range of images, texts and objects.
Graphic Design Practice (60 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to encourage the development of a distinctive graphic and typographic visual language. Students will learn to integrate and enhance the practices of problem solving and typography developed in earlier modules and to further extend a range of skills through a wide variety of project briefs. It will enable students to investigate the potential of format and structure using the analysis and presentation of complex information as the basis for imaginative visual communication solutions. The module will encourage students to exploit the potential of materials and the opportunities provided by new media to enhance traditional communication practice. It will encourage a focus on exploring and refining concepts, resolving details and further developing the time management skills needed to meet the deadlines of professional external requirements. It also aims to develop practice skills through a choice of briefs from internationally recognised design competitions. It will enable the development of strong presentation and argumentation skills to support proposals.
Visual Communication Workshops 2 (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to develop an understanding of specialist subject areas of creative practice through studio and workshop based activities. It enables students to develop individual approaches to visual communication and to begin to identify broad areas of interest that could form the basis for further specialist study on their programme. It will encourage the acquisition of intermediate specialist skills to work effectively in creative workshop areas chosen from within advertising, book-art, magazine design, moving image, letterpress, interactive and web design. The module aims to further develop skills in using creative processes analysing, evaluating visual pieces of work and presentation methods.
The Visual Activist (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to provide students of Graphic Design with a broad understanding of Critical Theory with a view to arming and empowering them for engagement with the political and social context in which design practice takes place. Students will be introduced to concepts from Critical Theory and Cultural Studies as well as to the application of these theories and concepts to practice within their own discipline and the wider cultural sphere. Emphasis will be placed on the engagement of the practitioner with current political and social debates and on an understanding of the role of the designer in shaping opinion and taking a political stance. The module will promote discussion and debate as key elements in the consideration of the context of illustration and design practice and seek to foster students’ capacity for the discussion of ideas in both spoken and written expression. It will also encourage the student to develop an activist voice and to understand the potential of their area of practice in making a contribution to political action and debate and to civil society. It should prompt students to see themselves as citizen designers and illustrators with an active role to play in society.
Critical and Contextual Research Project (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to enable students to identify and deliver a research project related to their studio practice. The project will involve an analytical engagement with a range of research resources in order to have a greater understanding of an aspect of studio practice through its historical, theoretical and social contexts. The module will consolidate the development of skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, visual analysis and critical argument. Students will extend their ability to think creatively about the presentation of conceptual, critical and contextual material in both written and visual form. Students will further consolidate the development of skills required for autonomous learning.
Professional Portfolio and Major Projects (90 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to provide the opportunity for students to extend their range of specialist skills in graphic design and visual communication and to pursue creative problem solving projects, self-directed major projects and graphic authorship utilising production and presentation to a professional level. The module will enable students to develop an individual graphic design style and working methodology to and above the standard required by industry and postgraduate study. It will encourage students to further deepen and extend their knowledge and skills through a choice of briefs in branding, publishing, publicity, advertising, retail, packaging, interactive media and internationally recognised creative industry competitions. This includes a self-initiated project for students to explore the idea of graphic authorship and experimental graphic design. The module aims to enable students to develop their professional practice in graphic design through producing a professional portfolio or collection of work tailored to the area of graphic design, visual communication or new media that students wish to pursue as a career destination or as postgraduate study.