• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Graphic Branding and Identity

Applications closed 2018/19

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

Understand, translate and communicate brand stories graphically. MA Graphic Branding and Identity encourages students to challenge what is understood about the meaning of graphic branding.

About this course

This MA course focuses on the role of visual identity within branding, with the aim to produce versatile and creative practitioners who understand design within a business, social and cultural context.

Driven by intelligent enquiry and evaluation, you will explore the strategic thinking underlying brands and look at how that strategy can drive creative expression. 

Student films and profiles

Student Work // Sabela Ros – Between. Creating actual connections.

Orange Label Project student-designed identity and logo.
Student Nikolai Garcia Gamarra wins competition to design the visual identity of the Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá, Colombia.
© Nikolai Garcia Gamarra

Watch // Postgraduate Shows 2016: Design School


Driven by intelligent enquiry and evaluation, MA Graphic Branding and Identity encourages students to challenge what is understood about the meaning of graphic branding. It explores the strategic thinking underlying brands and focuses on how that strategy can drive the creative expression.

Look around you and you will see examples of the power of brands; on the high street, within organisations and in the media. From Coca Cola to Virgin, the most successful brands are worth billions. This MA course focuses on the role of visual identity within branding, with the aim to produce versatile and creative practitioners who understand design within a business, social and cultural context.

MA Graphic Branding and Identity addresses the subject from a broad perspective, covering individual, group, cultural, national, international, corporate and commercial identities. You will be encouraged to look critically at the graphic elements which make up a contemporary visual identity. The emphasis is on practical design, supported by theoretical components and the application of clear research methodologies.

As well as developing a deeper knowledge of branding and graphic design, you'll gain an understanding of how to develop brand strategies and propositions. An important part of the course involves developing an independent personal project that investigates these principles and their application.

Learning at this level will be about intellectual engagement, discovery, interaction and change. The final product, for us, is not in itself the goal - it is the research, evaluation and understanding of branding and identity that makes this MA distinctive.

This course is taught within the Design School.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Brand and Design Principles (40 credits)
  • Field of Study Report (20 credits)

These two units involve a process of reflection, broad exploration and understanding of the brand and design process itself, through a practical project exploring the fundamental principles of brand and design literacy and visual grammar.

You will work on identifying your own practice in relation to common approaches and develop a deeper understanding of the techniques required to produce effective graphic, brand and design communication. A series of lectures, workshops and seminars will be available covering research methodologies in theory and practice and the wider contextual framework for contemporary graphic branding.

In addition, you’ll undertake a scoping and profiling project called the Field of Study Report, in order to establish a working rationale and focus for your Major Project Proposal. This will help you to develop an appreciation of current debates that are shaping the future of the subject and gain an informed view of your own practice.

The skills and knowledge developed during this unit will provide you with a firm foundation from which to undertake design research and are a platform for your personal graphic branding and identity practice.

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • Major Project Proposal (40 credits)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • Major Project Proposal (continued)
  • Final Major Project (60 credits) OR Thesis (60 credits)

The Major Project Proposal moves your Field of Study Report forwards through a series of practical and contextual stages to find a clearly defined and evaluated research question for the Major Project Proposal. This question will then be answered in the Final Major Project in the last unit of the course.

You'll write, design and produce a re-evaluation of the intentions and methods outlined in the Field of Study Report submitted in Unit One, in order to strategically plan the development of the Major Project towards its final resolution.

During this unit, you may choose to refocus or even change your project. At this point, it is also advised to consider the type of final project (Final Major Project: Practical and Report, or Final Major Project: Thesis). These decisions will need to be discussed and agreed with your tutor prior to the completion of the Major Project Proposal.

During this stage, you will also be able to undertake the Collaborative Unit, where you can work within the branding industry, collaborate with another course or organisation on a chosen branding project or brief. The Collaborative Unit allows you to be directly in touch with the realities of a professional branding practice, and to examine these techniques, approaches and theories in a professional context. (Examples of previous collaborative partnerships at LCC include: Pentagram, Wieden + Kennedy, SCOPE, Channel 4, One Show New York, Mother, Blue Marlin and Interbrand).

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Final Major Project: Practical and Report (continued) OR Thesis (continued)

The Final Major Project builds on the knowledge and skills acquired during the earlier units, together with the defined and tested rationale developed in the Major Project Proposal and definition stages of the course. These elements are then applied in the creation of an original brand design research project.

This involves the completion of an independent Final Major Project on the basis of extensive research and a firm methodological approach. You will develop a programme of investigation and analysis that supports you in the further development of your personal research project.

As you move towards the submission of your Final Major Project, you'll be required to qualify and evidence your design development; exploring the context of your project as well as identifying key issues in the work such as appropriate discourses, your strategic thinking, branding ‘touch points’, materials and media through which you can effectively communicate your branding ideas.

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.


  • A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
    Image © Lewis Bush

    Printing and finishing

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • A tutor in the process of producing a print.
    Image © Lewis Bush


    This workshop offers a wide-range of expertise in everything from etching to lithography.

  • The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
    Image © Ana Escobar

    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.


Course Leader

Grant Rose

Associate Lecturer

John BatesonEugenie DoddRobert Mowbray


Paul Jackson

Visiting Lecturer

Peter Stimpson

How to apply


Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and additional items you would need to supply.

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement, portfolio and study proposal/major project proposal

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.


You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history 
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note: if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).


You will be asked to supply:

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work and may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.


Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Graphic Branding and Identity attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course in a field relevant to graphic design, product design or architecture, or those with other, equivalent qualifications.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. 

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection Criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in a specialist subject area to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated
  • Critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject area and capacity for research-led design, intellectual inquiry and reflective thought through: contextual awareness (professional, cultural, social, historical); evidence of research, analysis, development and evaluation (from previous academic study and employment) and a grounded understanding of the world of sonic, visual and networked culture as well as the ability to engage with and contribute to critical discussion
  • In the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology
  • Portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment


Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement (approximately 200 words) describing why you want to study on MA Graphic Branding & Identity.

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in Graphic Branding & Identity and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study Proposal/Major Project Proposal advice

In the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Portfolio and interview advice

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application, to include personal work and commercial work if appropriate, supported by a short description of the project and your involvement if commercial.

The portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, must show your thinking and making process and demonstrate a curious nature to explore, test and experiment. If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone. 


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

What happens next?

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments


Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.