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MA Graphic Design

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Discover how visual communication can be a powerful force for change. Enrich and advance your skills in graphic design research, process, and practice, and learn how to use them to change people’s lives for the better.

Already have an ARU degree? You may be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship for students starting postgraduate courses.

Can graphic design make a real difference to people’s lives? Our MA Graphic Design is unique in evolving your design practice while exploring and developing your role as a creative designer who wants to effect social change.

This could include issues such as behavioural and perspectival change, community cohesion, integration and diversity, and environmental challenges.

Whatever your background, you will advance your visual practice in the key areas of design, including research, textuality, materiality, concept development, visual communication, and typo/graphic innovation – leading to a more individualised, more coherent, and more competitive professional portfolio.

You'll augment this with more advanced knowledge of the complexities of socio-environmental problems, gaining insight into institutional and government structures, learning how to collaborate effectively, and rethinking how creative project development and management can play a central role in society.

This will enable you to gain the confidence to progress your career as a graphic designer, and take an active creative role in social and environmental change-making processes.

As a postgraduate student at ARU, you’ll have access to a dedicated base studio, along with specialist studios including film, photography, and printmaking.

You'll also be able to make use of (and receive training in) all our other creative resources and facilities, including mono, screen, risograph, letterpress, and photographic printing.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

Looking for different course options?

Studying Graphic Design at ARU

Lexi is a student and Course Rep for our MA Graphic Design, as well as President of the Z.A.M.P. (Zines And Mini Publications) Society. Find out more about her, and how the course has helped progress her design practice.

Lexi's story

Entry Requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Fees and Paying for University

Facilities and showcase

Industry-standard equipment

All our Graphic Design students have access to facilities including:

  • the full Adobe Creative suite
  • Apple iMacs
  • wide-format printers and scanners.

Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.

Studios and workshops

As well as our dedicated digital facilities and design studios, you’ll have use of:

  • a printmaking workshop including etching, screen printing, lithography and relief presses, letterpress studios
  • 3D workshops with equipment for woodwork, plastics/vacuum forming, metalwork, plaster, clay, mould making, laser-cutting and 3D printing
  • a digital photography lab
  • photography studios and darkrooms
  • Mac and PC suites.

Take a closer look

Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.

You can also explore the work of our graduating students in our digital graduate showcase.


Our Masters course will equip you for a career as a freelance graphic designer (editorial, publishing, packaging, UX and UI design, advertising, self-initiated projects), as well as creative roles in areas of graphic design, advertising, branding, design consultancy, media and communication, PR and publishing; and design and consultancy roles in project teams focused on sustainability and socio-environmental development and change implementation in institutes, organisations, governments and companies.

You could also find work as a designer in areas such as type design; typography; sign writing; promotion; book and magazine design; gallery artist or curator; illustrator; animator; motion graphics; UX, UI and experience design; design or gallery technician; web designer; online/social media content provider; and visual creative and director in areas such as interactive storytelling, vlogging, image mapping, interactive books, data-visualisation, design for games, or networked and automated storytelling.

It will also give you a basis for a teaching career, or to continue to a research degree, like our PhD Art and Design, PhD Graphic Design and Typography, or PhD Fine Art. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees.

As an ARU student, you can compete for funding to establish your own projects through The Big Pitch and the Andy Wilson bursary.

Nick Jeeves

"A meaningful arts education asks you to bring your own interests with you, and expects you to pursue them and discuss them in the context of the set projects. Each of my art school experiences was like that, and went on to inform my own teaching practice entirely."

Nick Jeeves

Course Leader, MA Graphic Design

Find out more about Course Leader Nick Jeeves

Apply now for MA Graphic Design

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Benefits of postgraduate study

Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.

Postgraduate study at ARU

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