MA Visual Communication: The different pathways

Visual Communcation is a broad field of design, allowing for experimentation and specialisation through different forms. Professor Andrew Kulman talks to us about the different pathways you can take when studying MA Visual Communication, to help you determine what may be your best option.

Exhibition of MA Visual Communication student work

What is Visual Communication?

The term Visual Communication is a catch-all title for all things that cover the fields associated with Graphic Design and new media. Studying a postgraduate degree in Visual Communication, as we affectionately abbreviate it to, allows you a chance to experience four different subject areas, Graphic Communication, Film and Animation, Illustration and Photography. Students are able to explore the four pathways and decide if they wish to specialise in one or more of these areas. We find we have illustrators using type and photographers creating films.

What different areas can I go into?

The staff team comprises of experts in each field so you can be assured of specialist supervision and guidance throughout your studies.

Graphic Communication covers design, creative advertising, typography, web design, user experience, Virtual realty and motion graphics. This pathway allows students to select projects from publishing to information posters, from way finding to letterpress. Students engage in live briefs and competitions. Rui Yang and Becky Howeson lead this area. We have first class facilities including a well appointed letter press print room.

Film and Animation offers students a chance to work on storyboards and develop short films be it live action or animation. Recent graduates have picked up international awards such as Femmesolation International Film Festival 2020 and the New York Film Festival. Under the assured guidance of Matt Tromans students build their confidence to create small masterpieces of moving image.

Illustration is the area I teach and is a broad based approach to the subject. We have students making three dimensional models, creating character designs, developing comic books and writing children’s books. There are so many great opportunities for illustration graduates today.

Photography students are supported by course leader and international photographer Robert Gibb. Students work on projects that range from documentary and reportage photography to commercial fashion photography. Despite these specialisations, fine art and experimental approaches to the subject are encouraged.

What’s new at BCU?

Recently the University has invested in VR kit and this is an area we are expecting to see postgraduate students starting to research in. Robert Sharl is directing the research and we're very excited to see what work will be produced in this area.

Visual Communication Courses

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