Visual Communication:

Design, Society, Nature

A one-year, part-time programme exploring the fundamental principles of visual communication.

dsn end of year show gif.gif

Visual Communication End of Year Show, 2022

Brand identity by Emma Self, Visual Communication Graduate

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

By joining you will be part of an intimate cohort, studying in a busy, dynamic, and sociable environment. 

Students are an integral part of our community, comprising of students across 3 courses, academics, support staff, studio holders, local creatives, and Margate's surrounding communities / general public.

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

**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. This academic and professional background does not need to be directly related to the field. Candidates would need to submit an application, CV and attend an interview if selected.

Images by Visual Communication Students, 2021 - 2022

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

Term Dates

29 September, 2022 - 13 July, 2023

Deadline To Apply

Applications Closed

Interview Dates

Applications Closed

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 input to Margate Festival of Design.

Teaching methods include:


- Hands on workshops

- Seminar discussions and group critiques

- Group and individual tutorials 

- Collaborative work, including with the wider community


Lessons are on Thursdays with the majority taking place at TMS or in close proximity, eg the local beaches. 

The Design Society Nature coordinator and tutors are all practicing designers and will work with you to build and develop your practice.

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


These practice-based modules run throughout the year, supported by critical studies and design history

Practice Module


Visual Language

Visual language takes you back to the very basics of graphic design - using dots, lines, form, placement 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. 

Practice Module



You’ll explore image making through photography and illustration, investigating how constructed imagery can be used to tell powerful stories in a single image ‘inside the frame’.

Practice Module



Focusing on film making, this module takes you from a basic introduction to creating your own short film. We take your stories on a journey into moving image and sound.

Practice Module



In these sessions you’ll explore typographic anatomy and structure as well as how to lay out text in a way which is attractive and legible. These sessions will be hands on, fun and collaborative, giving you a grounding in the fundamental principles of typography.

Practice Module



You’ll start to develop your own identity as a designer, moving into a more self-directed stage of the course, and building towards your end of year show or contribution towards the Margate Festival of Design. 

Practice Module


Human Centred Design

Human Centred Design is a method that empowers an individual or team to design products, services, systems, and experiences that address the core needs of those who experience a problem. You’ll work as a team to find a solution to a local issue close to your hearts. 

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.

Students are encouraged to discuss the subjects as a group and to use the research to inform their project work. 



Margate Festival of Design


The final portion of the course will be spent refining your project work in time for assessment and working with the course co-ordinator to develop your contribution to Margate Festival of Design:

Additional Support

  • Guest Lectures from industry experts 

  • Workshops in screenprinting, letterpress, laser cutting, and darkroom developing

  • Sample session with a paper manufacturer

  • Visit to a local printer

  • 9 tutor tutorials

  • 1 to 1 support from the course co-ordinator 

  • Course Slack board

  •  Feedback via a self-managed course blog

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

Term Dates

29 September, 2022 - 13 July, 2023

Deadline To Apply

Applications Closed

Interview Dates

Applications Closed


Course Facilities

  • Desk in a shared studio space with evening
    and weekend access

  • Communal project space

  • Research library

  • Digital suite with full Adobe suite and Ableton music production software

  • Screenprinting

  • Small letterpress

  • Print station

  • Screening space

  • Photography Studio

  • 3D Printing

  • Laser cutter

  • Photographic Darkroom

  • Sewing Facilities

  • Kiln and Potters wheel 

  • Woodwork

Our Design, Society, Nature Co-ordinator and all tutors are practicing designers.


The programme is supported by guest lecturers and workshop facilitators.