The University of Southampton
Winchester School of ArtPostgraduate study

MA Communication Design

This studio-based programme will develop your understanding of key academic and industry themes relevant to a networked digital media environment. Through critical creative practice, you will explore the implications of mobile platforms, media convergence and situated technologies while building on your existing design skills. In the final stage of the course, you focus on a specific area of interest, define a research question and produce a practice-based research project. #WSAmacd graduates leave the course with the conceptual tools, technical skills and personal attributes they need for further study or to thrive in a fast-changing industry.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MA Communication Design at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Communication Design and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MA Communication Design.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.


With a focus on design for mobile and digital networked media this programme brings practical design work together with the latest thinking about digital media, digital cities, remix and mobile cultures.

An emphasis on research ensures your work is grounded in the key current critical debates within the communication design discipline. This also ensures your designs and design practices have relevance, impact and power in a distributed media space.

One such debate is the role of the designer in a remix culture where source material everywhere means anyone can and does design, where your carefully produced work can be remixed, reused, re-contextualised or reworked. How do you design when you no longer have control?

Through lectures, practical workshops and seminars, WSAmacd takes on these big questions and equips you with the practical and theoretical skills to deal with them.

By the end of the course you will have completed a portfolio of creative work, developed your professional skills and gained the analytical and design production competences to secure employment in the media and design industries, start your own business, or pursue further research.

Our course Facebook page provides up to date information about the teaching and learning on the programme, follow and like us there. Also, you can follow us on the @WSA_macd Twitter feed to see what is going on in the studio.

Click here to download the full Programme Specification.

Key Facts

  • Practice-research based course
  • Dedicated studio space
  • Self directed final major project

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

The admissions policy for the MA Communication Design is based on students having a good honours degree in a relevant subject (2.2 or above) or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

MA Communication Design at Winchester School of Art is both practice and theory based. It is important that you demonstrate your artistic ability in a portfolio, as this will be the determining factor for entry. Your portfolio should include evidence of exploring how design responds to developments in media and digital culture, examples of work that shows an innovative and experimental approach to tackling a design challenge, and examples of work that demonstrates an engagement with the full range of contemporary ‘communication design’ not just graphics design . Please include a variety of projects in your portfolio. Your portfolio should not exceed six pages in length or ten megabytes in size.

Personal statement

WSAmacd is about exploring (and preparing you for) the fast changing design industries and media spaces. Use your personal statement to tell us where you are in relation to these shifts - new technologies, mobile media, new readership practices, new attitudes to media and design, social media, globalised distributed media etc. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing design? What do you is the role of the designer in these new spaces? Yes, we want to know about what you do and why you do it but we also want to know what you think, what writers and designers you have looked at to help you think through these issues? WSAmacd is about making you a thoughtful designer, a practice-researcher using communications design to explore emerging media and design and creating new design practices and philosophies that can exploit the new possibilities.

If you have any questions, you can contact us via our Facebook page  or mail the Programme Leader, James Branch at

If you would like the opportunity to discuss any details of the course in more detail, please email

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning .

English Language Requirements

International and EU students applying for this course are required to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each component or equivalent, prior to starting the programme. For a full list of English language tests accepted please see here

The University also runs a number of English language courses to prepare students for study, details can also be found here for more information about the WSA pre-sessionals.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

MA Communication Design students study compulsory and optional modules aimed at honing their own artistic practice.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name. DEFAULT

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculator: The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentArt equipment and materials: Drawing paper, painting materials, sketchbooks Students on the Studio programmes will be required to purchase Sketchbooks the cost of which will vary.
EquipmentArt equipment and materials: Fabric, thread, wool Students taking the Studio based Fashion Design and Textile Design Programme will be required to purchase their own materials, the cost of which will vary. A student can choose the quality.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
Printing and copyingWritten coursework: In most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student.
Printing and copyingPortfolio: Printing for the collation of a student’s portfolio will be the responsibility of the student.
OtherOptional visits (e.g. museums, galleries): Some modules may include optional visits to a museum, galleries, or industry. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel, admission and food unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherParking costs: Free parking is not normally available on campus to students.
TravelThe Student’s Union provide a mini free bus service which runs every two hours between the Winchester Campus and the Highfield Campus. Students are responsible for all other daily travel expenses.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Winchester campus

Winchester campus

Winchester School of Art is set in pleasant, green surroundings close ...Find out more

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