Communication Design MA/PgDip/PgCert

1. Overview

Our MA Communication Design degree enables graduates to develop the design skills, critical understanding and specialist knowledge required to follow a rewarding career as an independent communication designer or to work within a related creative industries perspective.

This course provides a tailored learning environment that encourages and supports your creative development, your independence in creativity, imagination and ideas, from the individual perspective of the student. The course seeks to support and develop new interdisciplinary practices, conceptual skills and a broader understanding of the debates informing Art & Design practices, which are a fundamental aspect of the programme. 

The course is delivered by an experienced team of recognised designers, critical theorists and curators who encourage and support a diversity of approaches within Communication Design and its expanded field. The course actively supports and creates opportunities to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary practices, which challenge subject norms and areas of expertise. It is ideal for students who have an undergraduate honours degree in Communication Design, Graphics, Illustration, Web Design or Photography. 

2. What you will study

Stage 1 

  • Applied Studio Practice – Communication Design
  • Critical Contextual Studies & Research Methods
  • Personal Development & Professional Networks 

Exit Award: Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Communication Design 

Stage 2 

  • Applied Studio Practice – Communication Design
  • Critical Contextual Studies & Research Methods
  • Personal Development & Professional Networks 

Exit Award: Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Communication Design 

Stage 3 

  • Masters Project & Negotiated Thesis 

Award: Masters (MA) Communication Design 

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses, and course content and structure may change over time. 

3. How you will learn

Full-time Study

The programme provides a series of connected learning experiences, which are delivered through four modules. 

This critically develops students specialist disciplinary practices by encouraging and supporting a diversity of approaches within their chosen specialist discipline and its expanded field.

The main teaching strategies for this practice-based course are delivered through structured seminars and critiques, workshops and individual one-to-one tutorial support. Although a practice-based programme, the MA places great emphasis on contemporary critical and visual cultural debates and appropriate research practices. Students are expected to assimilate and evidence these critical aspects in all aspects of their practical work. You will work as an individual but also will take part in group activities, presentations and discussions. 

4. Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree or above in a relevant subject.

Applicants with a lower degree classification and/or relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis. 

English Language

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent. 

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

* All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.

5. Student Funding

Scholarships & Funding 

Scholarships and funding are available to eligible students at Robert Gordon University, further information via our scholarship pages.

Postgraduate Funding

Applicants (Scottish domiciled and EU) to this course may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan (PTFL). Full-time students can apply for a PTFL up to £3400. Part-time students can apply for up to £1700. The tuition fee loan is only available to part-time students who are undertaking at least 50% of a full-time course, and therefore, complete their qualification in 2 years.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU, further information available via the Alumni page.

6. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2018/2019

Scottish/EU Students


  • £5,500 .


  • £2,750 per academic year

Rest of UK Students


  • £6,750 .


  • £3,375 per academic year

International Students


  • £13,200 .


  • £6,600 per academic year

For Academic Year 2017/2018

Scottish/EU Students


  • £3,400 .


  • £1,700 per academic year

Rest of UK Students


  • £6,750 .


  • £3,375 per academic year

International Students


  • £12,820 .


  • £6,410 per academic year


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


7. How to apply

Course Enquiries 

If you have any course related questions, please contact the course leader Dr Jon Pengelly, Head Postgraduate Studies, Grays School of Art.

All students can Apply Online. 

If you have any PG queries, please contact our Admissions Office: 

If you are an International Student and would like further information and application advice:


Terms and Conditions of Admissions

The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

8. Prospects

Graduates from this course are ideally situated to pursue a career as a professional Communications or Graphic Designers or Illustrator, or work within a related role in the creative industries. 

This course offers a platform to broaden students' knowledge and experience of their specialist discipline while strengthening the North East regional portfolio of postgraduate opportunities, not only for our recent graduates, but also for practicing professionals and ‘returners’ to life-long education. We provide you with the opportunity for higher-level study in a specialist discipline, which is subject to limited provision at postgraduate level.

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Start Date


Course Length

Full-time September start 12 months
Part-time September start 24 months

Mode of Attendance

Full-time or Part-time

Academic School
Gray's School of Art

“Supporting and mentoring new creative talent, is beneficial for our organisation and the region as well as the students’ future.”

Claudia Zeiske Director of Deveron Projects, Huntly

“What did this course mean to me? How can I simply put in words a 2 year experience that has fulfilled a life-time goal as well as providing me with a new direction and focus in my personal and professional life?”

Chris Alexander Head of Art, Design and Performing Arts, Dundee & Angus College