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Communication Design




Build on your design knowledge and technical skills while also developing a critical and socially engaged design practice, where people and the planet come first.

For an overview of the Visual Communication Design course at The Margate School, please watch the video below

Entry Requirement:

BA(Hons) or relevant experience, which does not need to be directly related to the field of visual communication


Evidence of previous creative practice shown in a pdf portfolio, Instagram or website (eg illustration, photography, printmaking)

All applicants will be invited to have a tour of school and an interview with one of the course tutors


Part-time October 2024 to June 2025

Taught sessions on:

Thursday. 15 hours minimum independent study


Cohort size:

Up to 15 places

What is Visual Communication Design?

Visual Communication is now the most widespread form of communication in the 21st Century. Visual Communication is how we communicate information, tell stories, and design experiences with purpose and clarity.

This course includes many of the key principles and practices of Graphic Design, such as typography, editorial design and semiotics, and also invites you to explore Visual Communication across animation, film, photography, illustration, art, architecture and digital visual culture.

At The Margate School we take a critical and multi-disciplinary approach to design. We believe design has the power to inform, educate, challenge the status quo and to tackle some of the most urgent social and environmental issues of our time.

This course will enable you to develop your design knowledge and technical skills while also developing a critical and socially engaged design practice, where people and the planet come first.

Who is this course suited to?

This one-year part-time course is suited to those who already have some form of creative education or practice. However, we do welcome applicants who come from other disciplines or backgrounds who have a keen interest in elements of visual communication design and wish to explore the discipline for the first time.


What can I expect from this course?


You will learn about a wide range of principles and practices of visual communication design. The course is structured over four thematic modules; Visual Language, Typography, Image and Moving Image.


Supported with ongoing workshops and tutorials, you will then focus on a self-directed body of work, exploring a theme, method and medium of your choice. Examples of student’s self-directed projects in recent years include researching and re-interpreting ‘seaside typography’; exploring how design can reduce car use and pollution locally; and a visual study of Margate’s iconic architecture.


The course concludes with a collaborative module, where along with tutors and the events team at The Margate School, students plan, design and curate their graduation show, which takes place in the School’s main gallery at the end of the course.

Project by Becca Jones for the Site Lines Exhibition in Margate
Students learning to screen print during a workshop on the Visual Communication Design course

Screen printing workshop on the Visual Communication Design course

Guest Lecturer David Wadmore teaches students the traditional techniques of Letter Press

Guest Lecturer David Wadmore teaches students the traditional techniques of Letter Press

Design Society Nature: Design as an Intervention


We support students to develop a critical design practice, equipped to contribute positively to their community and the wider world.


Throughout the course, students will engage with critical design theory and practice. Gaining an understanding of socially and environmentally engaged design practice, including Human Centred Design, Speculative Design and Sustainable Design Practices. 


We invite students to develop and design a ‘critical design intervention’ as part of the course, which responds to a local social or environmental issue they have identified.


What will you get from this course

  • A programme of workshops, lectures and seminars scheduled across one day a week, including Design History and Critical Design seminars. 

  • A diverse programme of practical specialist workshops, including screen printing, analogue photography and darkroom developing, letterpress and woodblock printing and more. 

  • Guest lectures and specialist visiting tutors as part of every module. 

  • Regular one-to-one tutorials with the Visual Communication Design tutors.

  • Live industry design briefs in partnership with local businesses and organisations.

  • Introductory tuition in Adobe Photoshop, In Design, Illustrator and Premiere Pro.

  • The opportunity to collaboratively plan, design and curate your Graduate Show, which is an integral part of Margate Festival of Design

  • Regular opportunities to collaborate with and meet others in the TMS community, including invites to film screenings, exhibition openings,  talks and performances.

  • 7 days a week access to the TMS Design Studio, including workspaces equipped with Adobe Create Cloud enables PCs.

  • 7 days a week access to the TMS facilities and equipment including; dark room, screen printing facilities, woodwork studio, kiln and 3D printing. (Note, some equipment requires inductions, which your tutors can arrange)

  • A portfolio bursting with a diverse range of design projects and explorations which will take you to where you want to go next.


£4,000 per academic year, including hot desk, and computers with Adobe Creative Suite.


or £691 per individual module

We believe that your financial situation should not be a barrier to education, please get in touch by email ( for a conversation to discuss how we can assist

Individual Module Short Courses

The following course units can also be booked as stand alone 6 week short courses without the requirement to take part in an interview

Moving Image: 23 May - 27 June 2024

The price includes induction to facilities and 3 months TMS Fellowship on completion of the module

Need more info?

Send us your details and we'll be in touch to answer any questions.

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Apply now for the Visual Communication Design course at The Margate School

Why study with us?

  • The schedule allows you to work part time alongside study​

  • The course can open up new career paths, step you up to Masters study or further your existing practice​

  • Small student numbers means more individual attention

  • Ideal course to build your portfolio

  • Outstanding roster of permanent and visiting tutors

  • Stunning location, a stone’s throw from the beach

  • Locally-focused sustainable learning practices and human-centred design

  • A pioneering liberal arts school

  • ​Free or heavily discounted access to all TMS events, workshops and inductions

  • Community focused - group lunches, film nights and peer support

  • Community gardening sessions

  • Student discounts with local businesses

  • Be a key part of Margate Festival of Design with free ticket to all events

Course Modules

The course comprises six practical modules which include practical workshops, guest lectures, live industry briefs and tutorials. The thematic modules are integrated with Critical Studies and Design History seminars, which underpin and strengthen your project work and critical design thinking.

Practice Module


Visual Language

The Visual language module takes you back to the basic principles and practices of visual communication design. You will explore how colour, composition, signs and symbols, form and scale are used to communicate meaning and emotion. These workshops are hands-on, non-digital, interactive and fun. You’ll be introduced to and explore working with visual semiotics and the Gestalt principles of visual perception. 

*Available to study on an individual basis.

Email to enquire

Practice Module



In the Typography module you’ll explore the classifications and character of typography alongside the history of typographic design and printing. You’ll experiment with found type and develop an understanding of typographic hierarchy and layout. Throughout the module you will design your own typeface and digitise it. Practical workshops in this module will include screen-printing and letterpress / wood-block printing.

*Available to study on an individual basis.

Email to enquire

Practice Module



In this module you’ll explore visual communication through a variety of image making techniques, including analogue photography, collage, mono-printing and you’ll take on a live industry design brief in a collaboration with local businesses and organisations. The module will culminate in an interim exhibition / show, which students are invited to design and curate at the School.

*Available to study on an individual basis.

Email to enquire

Practice Module


Moving Image

The Moving Image module invites you to explore time based media design, including forms of animation, experimental film-making and sound design. This module includes tuition in Adobe Premiere Pro.

*Available to study on an individual basis.

Email to enquire

Practice Module


Final Project

Drawing on the knowledge, skills and interests you develop in the first 4 thematic modules, in this module you embark on producing a self-directed body of work, supported by ‘open studios’ with ongoing tutor and peer support and guidance. The culmination of this module is a body of work, including elements which you will exhibit in your final graduate show.

Practice Module


Graduate Show

In this module you will collaborate to plan, design and realise your final graduate show, which will take place during the Margate Festival of Design. Together you’ll develop a visual identity, marketing campaign and materials for the show, and will take a lead on curating the show alongside the Events Team at The Margate School.

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