Communication Design and the Creative Economy

Study mode:On campus Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 9.94 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 15.8 k / Year(s)  
801–1000 place StudyQA ranking:7020 Duration:12 months

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Choose Kingston's Communication Design & the Creative Economy MA
The Communications Design & the Creative Economy MA is an intensive, collaborative masters course which combines the skills and craft needed for ground-breaking communication design, with the solid business know-how to get your ideas and innovations off the ground. This MA is suitable for graduates and for industry professionals alike. It is cross-faculty, interdisciplinary, and extremely practical.

Communication design is one of the fastest evolving sectors of the creative economy. This message-driven discipline covers graphic design, print media, electronic media, information architecture and more. Communication design has applications in an ever-growing range of sectors including branding, marketing, packaging and publishing. With the rapidly growing and evolving media sectors, this is a sector set to grow dynamically.

If you would like to develop your career or create your own business in the communications design sector, this course is ideal. It will help you to explore and understand creativity and its management not only in the design sector but also across a wide range of the creative industries, while also equipping you with entrepreneurial skills.

"It's all very well to have good designers, it's all very well to have good businessmen, but if they don't work together we are never going to make the creative economy grow." Catherine Morel, course director

What will you study?

By the end of the course, you will have developed a strong understanding of the various challenges faced by communication designers and acquired the practical and entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in this creative industry.

Input from industry experts: you will take part in creating start-ups, pitch ideas to real industry bosses at a "Dragons' Den" and visit a wide variety of different entrepreneurial businesses. You will need to be able to think in 3D, and analyse the current business and creative landscapes. The aim is to leave this masters with not just enhanced skills, but a network of contacts.

"The nature of the course brings the industry in all the time: at the start of the year we have a start-up weekend which imitates what's going on outside, with somebody from the industry. All the speakers and judges come from the industries, so there's a lot of industry input all the time." Janja Song, lecturer

Personal Research Project: the final piece of work will be an independent piece of research and development on any topic of your choice. This will be the culmination of everything you have learned across your creative economy course, and you will have one-to-one supervision. Some students take this as an opportunity to create a large piece of creative work, others choose to develop a product or launch their own business. The brief is extremely open-ended, giving you the opportunity to forge your own path in the areas which interest you most.


A mix of project work and formal assessments, including essays, case studies, reports and presentations, plus the final Personal Research Project (approximately 15,000 words).

Energised and entrepreneurial

Kingston's Creative Economy masters courses are high-octane, interdisciplinary and cross-faculty programmes designed to give you the skills to develop both creative ideas and business plans. This focus on entrepreneurism combines both your creative passions with business know-how to bring those ideas to fruition.

Our courses will show you how to develop your ideas and business plans so that you can make a living doing what you love. They are extremely practical and encourage you to jump right in you will work with others to design, position and market a product and even run a business.

"This course is designed to imitate the nature of work in the creative industries. The core modules have been designed by listening to the industry and what the industry requires. The modules correspond exactly to the skills and knowledge that they say they need in the creative economy." Catherine Morel, course director


Creativity is celebrated as an individual phenomenon but it depends upon teamwork and the dynamic interaction of people with different skills and experience. A beautifully designed car is the product of the many not the few creativity on its own is not enough to achieve value. During the course you will work with other creative economy students in groups to design, create and run a business.

"It's not about attending a lecture and going home to read a book, it's so much more than that. Most of the learning happens when students are mingling, meeting people and talking to them and this facultyhopping allows that." Janja Song, lecturer

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

For the core modules, you will study with students from across all the creative industries programmes. For the specialist modules, you will study alongside communication design students.

Core modules

* Mapping the Creative Economy
* Re-Imagining Leadership
* Conducting Collaborative Creativity
* Personal Research Project
* Business Design: Lean Start-ups and Design Thinking

Specialist modules

* Designing Research
* Creative Futures

Learn a language

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish.

What this course offers you
This course is part of Kingston's unique Creative Industries portfolio of masters programmes. These courses provide an unusual mix of creative and business skills, so that creative people have the business development, collaborative and entrepreneurial experience to make a success of their talents.

The creative economy is populated by individuals with a wealth of different yet complementary skills and experience. Creating value in the creative economy is a dynamic process that cannot be taken by individual 'creatives' on their own.

"It is a very experiential course. You need to participate in your own learning and in other people's learning. We are looking for students who can think in 2D or 3D" Catherine Morel, course director.

Industry expertise

The learning on the creative economies courses does not happen in a bubble in addition to the cross-faculty expertise, students also benefit from regular visits from industry experts. There are field trips to see small and medium-sized businesses, as well as a whole host of events which connect industry, the local community, and to examine market interest. Input from practitioners in the creative industries and other industry experts and stakeholders adds an extra perspective to your studies.


Staff teaching on this course will be drawn from across the University, adding a richness and breadth to your learning. You will be taught by experts from:

* the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture;
* the Faculty of Business and Law; and
* the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences.

Collaborative and practical

This range of courses is, by definition, collaborative. Students will be put in groups of four or five to work on their group projects with a broad mix of skills and specialisms in each group. Music students will be working alongside journalists and designers, and all students will have to try their hand at a wide variety of tasks and roles.

"I think that international mix is one of the nicest aspects of the course. You have such a diverse group of students; because it imitates the nature of work outside where you not only have to work across borders but on a global scale. Students learn a lot immediately about how they're different and how they're the same and how they can work together." Janja Song, lecturer

The course aims to hone your workplace skills, including:

* communication (oral, written and electronic);
* time management;
* data collation, review and synopsis;
* computing; and
* operation and teamwork.

International networks

Students come from all over the world to study on Kingston's creative economy courses, creating a truly international student body. During your masters course you will meet and work with students from a wide variety of countries and cultures. This will add international insight to class discussions and working groups, and contributes to a strong global alumni network.

"The course is geared towards having a network by the time you leave." Catherine Morel, course director

How to make things happen

While students on this course don't need to be entrepreneurs, they do need to be entrepreneurial. To take dreams and good ideas and turn them into a reality, you will need an understanding of what business looks for before investing, and what processes are needed to take a product or an idea to market.

"Unless creatives know how to talk to people who do business and know what makes them tick, they will not be successful in their careers. Students on this course soon learn what the questions are that the business side is asking and why." Janja Song, lecturer

The creative economy courses offer students the opportunity to try out many aspects of business and entrepreneurial roles, giving them the critical and analytical tools to develop their ideas and take them to the market.

Social and media-savvy

To be part of the growing and supportive community, all students are encouraged to create a blog and a twitter account to record and advertise their areas of interest, and share what they are creating. This leads to a learning community which can be accessed 24/7, as well as an established online presence.

We usually expect applicants to have: * a second class degree or above in a relevant area and/or two years' work experience in the creative industries; * an understanding of the context of the creative economy; and * the ability to rationalise why this course will be of value to them personally.We also carefully consider non-standard entrants with relevant personal and work experience who can demonstrate the interest, commitment and ability required to undertake this course successfully.Personal statementAll applicants should demonstrate their understanding of the context of the creative economy in their personal statement, plus how the course will be of value to them personally.PortfolioFor the communication design route you will need to provide a maximum of 20 images of your design work.Please carefully select and edit your work to produce an exciting, creative and representative portfolio which informs us about your skills, interests and ambitions. Once you have curated your work please ensure that the material can be accessed online and provide a link to your portfolio with your applicationYour portfolio should include a: * selection of your student work (if relevant); * selection of your professional work (if relevant); * examples of preparatory creative work (for example, images from your sketchbooks).We are also unable to give individual feedback on your portfolio.InterviewsWe normally invite applicants for this course to an interview with the course director and/or the subject leader. International students based overseas can arrange for an interview by email or telephone.English language requirementsAll non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with special conditions in all elements. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.Applicants from one of the recognised Majority English Speaking Countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


Eduniversal best masters winner 2014
This course has been rated as the 25th best arts and cultural management masters in the world by the Eduniversal masters ranking 2013/14.

Best masters ranks masters programmes from more than a thousand business schools and universities. Key criteria include: the reputation of the programmes with human resources managers, career prospects, salaries and details of first jobs. The rankings also look at the results of a satisfaction survey of recent graduates.

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