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MA/Postgraduate Certificate

Studying Digital Design and Communication: 15 questions answered

Considering studying a Digital Design MA online with the University of Leeds?

You have two options to choose from – a full Digital Design and Communication Masters (MA) or a Digital Design and Communication Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert).

Whether you have specific questions about digital design, the course options we offer, or the online learning experience, find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

About Digital Design and Communication

Digital Design involves the process of creating a piece of online material or ‘design’ for viewing on a digital device. This is an overarching term used to define the creation of a range of digital aspects such as websites, apps, social media advertisements, animations and more.

On the other hand, Digital Communication refers to the way online messages are delivered to customers. After identifying gaps or areas of improvement for digital communication, digital design can be leveraged to communicate messages more clearly.

By studying Digital Design and Communication online with the University of Leeds, you’ll be ready to Advance Your Digital Design Career. You could work across a variety of creative companies, join an agency, or set up your own studio as a freelancer.

The course content will help you develop core practical digital design skills and a range of soft skills that are fundamental to succeed, progress, and become a leader in the digital design sector and relevant creative industries.

Discover our 5 reasons to study Digital Design and Communication.

Managers in the digital design industry are responsible for overseeing the creative process of a brand or campaign spanning across web, app, social media design and more.

That’s why, as part of the Digital Design and Communication course, you will:

  • Critically and creatively evaluate current issues and research in digital design and communication.
  • Develop specialist knowledge and mastery of techniques applicable in the field.
  • Proactively formulate ideas and hypotheses to develop, implement, and execute design and communication action plans.
  • Exhibit proficiency in the exercise of subject-specific abilities needed in digital communication industries.
  • Take a proactive and self-reflective role in working and developing professional relationships with fellow graphic designers and other subject experts.

There are several skills required to succeed as a Digital Design Manager, all of which you can develop through our online Digital Design MA course. These range from:

  • Technical skills in graphic design software.
  • Soft skills such as research and communication.
  • Management capabilities.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, the number of digital design jobs are anticipated to grow to 225,000 in the US alone by 2030, marking a staggering 40% increase over a ten-year period. This figure accentuates the growing need for businesses to hire managers in the field and the high demand for digital design skills.

By studying a Digital Design and Communication MA, you’ll enhance your career opportunities and earning potential. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be ready to enter a range of careers in digital design management including:

  • Animation Design Manager.
  • App Design Manager.
  • Digital Animation Manager.
  • Digital Product Design Manager.
  • Digital Graphic Design Manager.
  • Interaction Design Manager.
  • Product Design Manager.
  • Social Media Design Manager.
  • Web Design Manager.
  • UX Manager.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Digital Design Manager in the UK is £49,929 per year as of December 2022, with the potential to increase to £68,000 per year for those with significant experience.

Discover some of the top digital design jobs available.

About the course

Our distance learning course is designed for current or aspiring Digital Designers looking to accelerate their career to management level. You’ll use professional design tools and graphic design software to drive innovation and solve complex communication problems in digital design.

Depending on the pathway you choose, you can complete the digital design course in a minimum of eight months or a maximum of four years:

  • MA: 2 years (full-time) or up to 4 years (part-time).
  • PGCert: 8 months (full-time) or up to 16 months (part-time).

Our online digital design MA covers a range of topics to help you become a well-rounded expert and leader in the field. You’ll study foundation modules in:

  • Design and Research (15 credits).
  • Creative Design Thinking (15 credits).
  • Design in a Digital World (15 credits).
  • Design Project – MA pathway only (45 credits).

You can also tailor your learning to suit your personal interests with development modules in:

  • Digital Design Practice and Communication (15 credits).
  • Data, Analytics and Design (15 credits).
  • Human-centred Design (15 credits).
  • Design in a Dynamic Team (15 credits).
  • Digital Design Trends (15 credits).
  • Applied Design, Communication and Case Studies (15 credits).

Visit our module and course catalogue to find out more.

About studying with the University of Leeds

You’ll become part of a prestigious, research-intensive Russell Group university, ranked in the world top 100 and UK top 15 (Complete University Guide, 2023) with a global reputation for excellence in research and teaching. The online course uniquely integrates both digital communication with digital design and covers all aspects of digital design for the virtual environment.

Alongside this, you’ll study with the University of Leeds School of Design, ranked 8th in the UK for Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2023). The School’s research submission also achieved 100% ‘world leading’ status for the research environment (Research Excellence Framework, 2021). We’re an interdisciplinary School bringing together expertise from a range of design and technology specialisms.

Find out how the University of Leeds School of Design are leading the way in digital design.

When you study online with the University of Leeds School of Design, you can fit your studies around your life and career, and benefit from a whole host of advantages that distance learning brings, including:

  • Enjoying the support of a dedicated Student Success Advisor.
  • Learning through our specialised learning platform, Minerva.
  • Networking online with digital designers across the world.
  • Paying your fees in manageable installments.
  • Starting the course at multiple points throughout the year.
  • Studying when and where it suits you.

Visit our website to find out more about the advantages of online learning.

For your application, you’ll need to demonstrate that you meet the course entry requirements and English language requirements.

All applications can be submitted online, and suitably qualified candidates will be interviewed by one of our Enrolment Advisors as part of the application process. For more information about the course and how to apply to study on the online course, please email, or call +44 (0) 113 341 1262 to speak to a member of our Enrolment Team.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by the Student Success Team at the University of Leeds. Whether you have a concern or query around disability support, personal tutoring, emergency situations or counselling, we’ll help you make the most of your studies.

Your online learning will be delivered via our award-winning virtual learning environment, Minerva, which can be accessed on different devices, whenever and wherever it suits you. The platform has been designed by a team of experts to ensure your distance learning experience is of the highest quality and prepares you for success, both academically and professionally.

You’ll study through live online sessions with our world-class academics including lecturers, professors, industry experts, and trained postgraduate researchers. You’ll also collaborate and learn from like-minded digital designers during regular interactive activities, including live seminars, virtual discussions, and group projects to develop a support system within a growing global community of virtual learners.

Read our Q&A with the Digital Design MA Programme Lead, Dr Dian Li.

Assessment methods will emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. These will vary from module-to-module, with examples including:

  • Individual projects.
  • Group discussions and assignments to build on your real-world experience.
  • Live and pre-recorded student presentations of case studies and pitches.
  • Portfolios demonstrating creative strategies and case studies.
  • Literature reviews, using extensive online resources via the library.
  • Reflective logs.
  • Essays and written reports.
  • Multiple choice exams (these typically count for just 5% of the total summative assessment of the taught modules but are often used as formative feedback to check on your learning). We do not use traditional exams as our experience has indicated that these are not suitable for online learning students.

Can’t find the answer to your question here?

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Online postgraduate courses - University of Leeds