Taught course

Communication Design

Norwich University of the Arts · Norwich University of the Arts

Entry requirements

The offer of entry onto a Masters Degree (MA) is based on an expectation that you have the potential to fulfil the aims of the course of study and achieve the standard required to successfully complete the award. Entrants should normally have achieved a BA (Hons)/BSc Degree of 2:1 or above, or other qualifications (including non-UK) that the University considers equivalent, in a subject related to your proposed course of study. Applicants who hold a Degree from another discipline may also be considered for entry, subject to the submission of a satisfactory portfolio of art, design or media-related work in support of their application.

Months of entry


Course content

NUA's MA Communication Design builds on existing expertise and substantial specialist resources within the broad fields of graphic design and communication at Norwich University of the Arts. The course will challenge you to reflect on your existing practice in relation to current research and contemporary issues surrounding communication design. You will be supported in developing and realising self-directed projects that address issues in professional, theoretical, ethical, technical, conceptual or visual aspects of design.

With access to substantial industry resources, students are supported in areas of communication design including image making, typography, web design, illustration, product packaging, information design and interactive communication design, in order to develop the skills needed to stand out in the sector.

Through NUA's MA Communication Design you will be encouraged to challenge conventional thinking as you consider the practical application of your ideas. As part of a community of tutors, researchers, visiting lecturers and fellow students, you will engage in debate concerning new trends and research. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to the postgraduate experience and you will work alongside students from across art, design and media. This will support your intellectual curiosity and enable you to develop a network of contacts with different skills and perspectives.

We encourage our students to engage in critical discourse through course specific seminars, lectures and critiques; larger NUA symposia such as Cowbird for design students; and attendance at national and international exhibitions and conferences.

Communication Design students make extensive use of the Digital Design studios for access to professional creative software on both Windows and Mac with on-hand support from a team of workshop technicians. Laser cutting is available with a large-bed cutter for card, board and acrylic materials and associated digital design hardware and software, as well as a Print Making Workshop for silk-screen, etching, lino-cut and relief printing, mono-printing and collographs. The Digital Print workshop can produce prints from A4 to 1.5m wide on a variety of media and provides students with access to wide format, CD printing and laser printing. NUA’s Library has the largest specialist art, design and media collection in the East of England including 32,000 books, 1,300 journal subscriptions and 3,000 DVDs.

Dr Rob Hillier is the MA Communication Design Unit Leader and Director of Studies for PhD Research Degree students, as well as a Year One BA Graphic Design Tutor. He has been teaching at NUA since 2000. Dr Hillier is a practicing designer and design educator with over 30 years of experience, during which time he has won many design awards, particularly within the field of information book design. He designed the Sylexiad range of fonts for adult dyslexic readers as part of his doctoral research and has presented the findings at numerous design institutions and conferences. Dr Hillier has also had a number of solo exhibitions.

Scholarship and funding information is available. See NUA website for details: www.nua.ac.uk

Information for international students

NUA has earned an international reputation for excellence over the course of its 170 years training leaders in the creative industries. The University’s international community are genuinely valued for their contribution to student and academic life. International student scholarships are available. Applicants typically submit digital portfolios and interview via Skype.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Students are eligible to apply for the student awards from the AHRC, subject to the support of the University.

For more information on funding, please go the NUA website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1603 610561
+44 (0)1603 615728