Certificate in Visual Communication:
Design, Society, Nature

A one-year, part time postgraduate programme, starting October 2021

The Margate School is introducing an exciting one year course, designed to give students a unique foundation in the fundamental principles of Visual Communication and centred around Design, Society and Nature. 


Students will study six key practice-led design subjects, spending five weeks on each:

  1. Visual language

  2. Typography

  3. Image

  4. Narrative

  5. Digital

  6. Human centred design


The last five weeks will be spent on a final, self directed project. 


The practice-led modules will be supported by Critical Studies and Design History, regular one to one tutorials and a programme of workshops and lectures, some of which will be shared with our Fine Art Masters students.   

In addition, students will have the opportunity to help develop and take part in Margate’s first Design Festival.

05/07/21 - Applications open

TBC - Open afternoon w/tour

30/07/21 - Information event, Canterbury

27/08/21 - Application deadline

October 2021 - Course begins

July 2022 - Course ends

Subject tutors and visiting lecturers will include established academics and Visual Communication professionals. Students will benefit from links with our French partners, the renowned art school from Normandy L’École Supérieure d’Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen (ESADHaR). 


‘Design, Society, Nature’ will be delivered over c.5 hours teaching per week plus self directed study. It’s ideal for those wishing to work part time during their studies.


By joining this course you will become part of a community, comprising TMS students, academics, support staff, studio holders and exhibitors and the surrounding local communities / general public. The School is situated in one of the UK’s poorest wards and most pressurised high streets in the country. Our open door policy, public events and outreach work help to reinvent our High Street and help to alleviate the social pressures that come with social and urban deprivation. This is essential to our mission. We welcome students who will embrace this philosophy, and who will work in a way which benefits this community. 


You will be part of an intimate cohort, bringing the first course of its kind to Margate. You will be studying in a busy, sociable environment. Classes will be hands on, dynamic and collaborative. 


The Margate School is about people. As part of the course we will seek opportunities to learn outside the immediate context of the School. We believe that learning in a collaborative and critical environment will nurture independent thinking, self-confidence and raise aspirations. ​We are inspired by Margate’s past and passionate about the future. The course will support Margate’s artistic development, thirst for social justice and environmental conscience. 


  • Spacious personal studio space with evening and weekend access

  • Adobe CC license during the course

  • Communal project space

  • Research library

  • Photographic studio and Darkroom

  • Screenprinting studio

  • Printing facilities

  • 3D Printing

  • Laser cutter

  • Digital suite with full Adobe suite

  • Woodwork

  • Metalwork

  • Cafe

“You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people”


Dieter Rams

It is now 70 years since I first attended art school in Margate where I took the course in graphic design. My graduation finally led to my recognition as a Royal Designer, (RDI) as well as becoming an Oscar winning film director. This wise choice of profession led to the fruitful life I enjoy to this day.


Arnold Schwartzman OBE, RDI FRSA and TMS Patron


Design Society Nature will support you to develop as a critically-minded designer, equipped to contribute to our local community. You will leave the course with a completed portfolio to take to work or further study in fields such as:

  • Graphic design

  • Editorial design

  • Illustration

  • Identity design

  • Web design

  • Animation

  • Information design

  • Design theory

​The Margate School is also developing a Masters level course in Visual Communication which will be accredited by our partners ESADHaR. Our Masters in Design Society Nature will accept this Certificate course as proof of prior learning. 

Transferable skills

The transferable skills you will gain from undertaking the course will include:

  • An understanding of the fundamental elements of visual communication

  • The ability to develop individual ideas and collaborate with others

  • Strong observational, research and analytical skill

  • Creative problem solving

  • The ability to learn from criticism and be objective about your work

  • An openness to new influences and concepts

  • Business and client-facing skills

  • Event planning

Course fees

The price for the one year Design Society Nature course, including your own generous studio space at The Margate School and an Adobe CC license is £3,500 per annum.

Discounts on selected short courses will also be offered to students.

To register your interest in the course or to ask a question, get in touch with Rebecca Thomas, the Course Co-ordinator: 

Entry requirements

We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds. Applicants will usually hold a first degree or equivalent, however this does not need to be in an arts related subject. We welcome mature students, those with experiential learning or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning.


We expect students to begin the course with a working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Software is not taught on the course however TMS can recommend software courses for you to attend prior to beginning your study with us.


Candidates will attend an interview with TMS members of staff and present a portfolio or evidence of experience they feel is relevant to their application.

Phil Gomm


Based in Whitstable, Phil Gomm is an award-winning writer, director and producer with twenty years’ experience teaching students about design, film, and storytelling. Phil is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Phil is a practicing photographer, film-maker, and blogger at, and communications director of Ding, a consultancy specialising in creative education. Phil will be teaching the Narrative module on the course. 

Katarina Dimitrijevic


Katarina Dimitrijevic is an interior architect, design activist, educator and researcher. Katarina will be teaching Critical Studies and Design History.

Libby Scarlett


Libby Scarlett is a communication designer/artist and educator currently based in London. She has experience working with diverse communities through self-initiated projects, commissions and freelance work with organisations such as the Wellcome Trust (UK), Marpha Foundation (Nepal) and Innovation Unit (UK). She has also taught as an Associate Lecturer on the Graphic Design course at Manchester School of Art since 2016. Libby is our Human Centred Design tutor. 

Tony Prichard


Tony Pritchard SFHEA FISTD PgCert L&T is a graphic design educator and practitioner. Tony has worked freelance and with the design consultancy Root 2 Design. He has run postgraduate courses in visual communication at London College of Communication. Tony has been an external examiner for numerous UK higher education institutions. He is a board member for ISTD. Tony will be teaching the Visual Language and Typography modules. 

Why study with us?

  • Part-time, flexible study allowing for employment alongside study

  • Supports the creation of new career paths, step up to Masters study or the acquisition of visual communication skills for professional practice

  • Ideal for portfolio building

  • A stunning location - in the heart of Margate, a stones throw from the beach

  • A pioneering liberal art school