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Visual Communication:

Design Society Nature

A modular, part-time programme exploring the fundamental principles of human-centred visual communication under the guidance of outstanding educators.

dsn end of year show gif.gif

Design, Society, Nature is unique in its collaborative and hands-on approach to design education. The course instills independent thinking and creative confidence by developing critically-minded designers who are socially and environmentally engaged.


  • Our cohorts are small - meaning more tutor time per student

  • Our classes are hands on and dynamic

  • We encourage collaboration within the course and wider school community of staff, residencies, studio holders and students

  • Students are encouraged to explore their local community and environment through their work

**This course operates at postgraduate level but a degree is not required if the candidate can demonstrate sufficient experience and practice in a relevant field. 

Visual Communication End of Year Show, 2022

Brand identity by Emma Self, Visual Communication Graduate

Images by Visual Communication Students, 2021 - 2022

* This course runs subject to recruiting the minimum number of students each academic year.

Term Dates

October 2023 to June 2024

Deadline To Apply

Applications Are Open

Interview Dates

TBC Applications Are Open

Students will study practical design modules, supported by contextual sessions, regular one to one tutorials and a programme of workshops and guest lectures.

The last portion of the course will be spent on refining your portfolio for assessment and developing your final show, which will form part of Margate Festival of Design.

Teaching methods include:

  • Hands on workshops

  • Seminar discussions and group critiques

  • Individual tutorials 

  • Collaborative work

  • Software sessions

  • Study day

  • Guest lectures

  • Walks and gallery visits


We welcome applicants who will embrace learning in this collaborative context and will work in a way that benefits the world around us.

"Designing is not a solitary activity. It is a part of a larger social community of discourse" Drew Margolin.


The course comprises of 6 practical modules, supported by critical studies and design history sessions, which underpin and strengthen your learning, alongside software sessions, collaborative projects, workshops, guest lectures, maker sessions and tutorials.

Practice Module


Visual Language

Visual language takes you back to the very basics of graphic communication - using dots, lines, form, placement, symbolism and colour. These sessions will be hands on and off the computer and are a fun, interactive introduction or reminder of the fundamental principles of visual communication. 

*Available to study on an individual basis.

email to enquire

Practice Module



In these sessions you’ll explore classifications and anatomy of type, style, space, scale and sparkle alongside typographic hierarchy and digitising your type. Also included is an afternoon of quick fire typographic experiments and a letterpress workshop. 

*Available to study on an individual basis.

email to enquire

Practice Module



You’ll explore image making through photography, collage, data visualisation and comic art. Included is a guest lecture, screenprinting, binding and print workshops.

*Available to study on an individual basis.

email to enquire

Practice Module


Moving Image

This module takes you through animation, film and sound. Included is a software session, guest lecture and workshop with our Sound Arts tutors.

*Available to study on an individual basis.

email to enquire

Practice Module


Final Project

Compiling all of your learning on the course so far, you’ll spend 7 weeks developing your own final project in an ‘open studio’ format with tutor and peer support, focussing on an issue that you are passionate about and would like to tackle through Visual Communication. Also included is a paper session with leading paper manufacturer G . F . Smith and further production support, which is defined by student project needs.

Practice Module



For this section of the course you’ll work as a group to design and realise your final show - your physical contribution towards Margate Festival of Design. You’ll work on a clear brand and marketing campaign which will be used to promote your event and design and build the exhibition as a team.

Core Module

Critical Studies + Design History


This subject will run alongside all of the practice-led modules and support your learning by developing critical thinking and exploration through design theory and historical context. In these sessions you will also cover sustainable practice methods and a human-centred design approach.

Students will maintain a blog throughout the course and write two essays which explore what they have learned in class.

Software sessions

Introductory sessions in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Premier Pro are provided, with additional support on hand outside of course hours if needed. 

Guest lectures

One guest session is included per module. Past speakers have included Lucienne Roberts, Rob Lowe (Supermundane) and Anthony Burrill. 



Students work together on a collaborative task per module. Past tasks have included designing a poster for an exhibition and creating a typographic mural in the School. 


One individual tutorial is included per module, alongside open studio support for your final project and an assessment advice day before your final hand in.


Final assessment is in the form of a portfolio hand-in. The assessment criteria are as follows and students are encouraged to ‘self assess’ against these throughout the course:

  1. An understanding of the fundamental elements of visual communication

  2. The ability to develop individual ideas and collaborate with others

  3. Strong observational, research and analytical skills

  4. Creative problem solving

  5. The ability to learn from criticism and be objective about their work