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University of Sunderland

100% online MDes Design with Graphic Design

Imagine a new future with an MDes Design with Graphic Design from a global university

Apply By 20 August 2024
To Start 3 September 2024
  • 180 credits
  • Complete within 24 months
  • £6,780 total fees
  • 5 star QS Teaching Rating (2023)

Why Sunderland?

  1. 100% online MDes within 24 months
  2. 5 star rating for teaching, inclusiveness, employability and facilities*
  3. Top 50 UK University**
  4. 70% of university research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’***
  5. 7th in the UK for social inclusion****
  6. £6,780 total fees, option to pay £565 per module
*QS World University Rankings 2023
**Guardian University Guide 2024
***Research Excellence Framework 2021
****The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Watch your new career in design take shape

Graphic designers combine colour, shape, form to convey meaning and create designs that motivate, inspire and engage. Use your imagination and creativity to help employers develop and deliver their brands to a wide range of audiences with the University of Sunderland’s 100% online MDes Design with Graphic Design.

This course is meticulously crafted to cultivate highly skilled and ethically conscious designers who grasp the influential role of design in shaping society and the world.

Course content delves deeply into critical aspects of graphic design, intertwining theoretical frameworks, historical contexts, practical exercises, and case studies, to help students develop advanced skills needed to critically analyse and innovatively address design challenges.

Emphasising the fusion of design theory and practice, your studies are supported by specialised online tutors committed to your success.

With a focus on flexibility and global relevance, the course spans a diverse range of media, materials, techniques, and processes, so you can tailor your educational journey to your passions and career aspirations. Overall, you will gain the technical proficiency and creative ingenuity, career-focused mindset, and insight into the evolving creative industries landscape needed to thrive in the dynamic realm of graphic design.

Learn by design. A fully flexible learning experience, tailored to your life

Getting the skills and qualifications needed to excel or take your career down a new path, while maintaining your existing work, family and social commitments can be a challenge. This course is designed to help working professionals overcome these barriers with fully online teaching and learning and no need to attend campus.

Structure your studies around your life with asynchronous learning and study at your pace, either full-time or part-time, as and when you’re able.

Our purpose-built digital learning environment is designed to optimise the flexibility made possible by online delivery, so you can pick up your studies as and when you’re able around your day-to-day life.

Six intakes per year also mean you can get started within weeks of admission, even if outside of the traditional academic calendar.

What will you study?

This course aims to graduate skilled and ethical graphic design professionals with a full understanding of how their work can positively impact society and the world. You will develop a systemic understanding of design knowledge and awareness of the existing challenges and new insights of contemporary design practice.

You will develop a keen understanding of the creative industries, so that you know how to recognise career paths, and position and promote your creative projects, understanding likely demand for your work among prospective clients.

Key knowledge and skills taught on this course:

  • How to generate creative ideas and apply them to design concepts
  • Develop creative brand awareness concepts using research
  • Ethical design issues including sustainability, inclusive design and social responsibility
  • A body of work showcasing original ideas, skills and knowledge application
  • Producing creative and technically advanced materials to generate paid work
  • Strategic design thinking and design leadership and management
  • Transform complex data into engaging, informative graphics
  • Key principles behind witty graphics applied to a creative brief

A university with global connections and excellent online learning expertise

We are a global university with experience teaching international learners spanning more than 40 years and campus locations in Hong Kong, Sunderland and London, as well as partnerships in the Caribbean, Greece, Kenya, Malaysia, Lanka, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tashkent and Vietnam. Our students benefit from the wide variety of perspectives, experiences and networks this global focus brings.

Our distance learning students can be found across the world and international students comprise a high percentage of our total student cohort. We are also highly regarded for our efforts in UK widening participation, and have been awarded 7th in the UK for social inclusion (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024).

Our expertise, our cutting-edge technology and our vast experience delivering excellent online learning experiences to global students is key to what sets the University of Sunderland and our online MDes Design with Graphic Design apart.

Admission requirements

Applicants must be of age 19 and above and should have or be about to complete:
And have
  • At least a UK 2.2 honours undergraduate degree in a design or related subject (or international equivalent)
  • A third-class honours degree or an ordinary degree (without honours) in a design or related subject (or the UK equivalent) together with a minimum of 2 years appropriate work experience
  • The work experience must be at a graduate level, in a relevant field of design, which may include voluntary work, placements, internships, project management etc
  • Applicants who do not hold a recognised degree will be asked to provide evidence which demonstrates a minimum of three years’ relevant organisational experience
Software requirements for studying this course
    Students will need their own access to some software licenses. (The University could provide guidance with the students pricing)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft 365
  • Clo3d (MDes Design with Fashion Design)
  • ToonBoom Essentials, Advanced or Premium (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • Maya (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • 3D Studio Max (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • Maxon One Student (Cinema 4D, ZBrush, Red Giant, Red Shift, Capsules, Training, etc) (MDes Design with Graphic Design)


Total course fees
Per 15-credit module fee

If you are based in the UK, you may be eligible for a government-backed postgraduate loan to cover the full costs of the course.

In addition, if you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Sunderland, you are eligible for a 10% tuition fees reduction on our postgraduate programmes.

You pay tuition fees for each module taken, either module-by-module or in full at the start of your course.

If you pay module-by-module, you will pay in instalments of £565.