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Advertising & Brand Design, MDes

University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the United Kingdom

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

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About Advertising & Brand Design, MDes - at University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Course Overview

MDes Advertising and Brand Design is all about studying to become a professional creative. Our projects encompass all kinds of media, from magazine to social media, radio to TV and from billboards to public events.

It's also about communication for business and enterprise. We liaise with businesses and look at real problems to solve from the very outset. Our 'hands on' projects include design for branding, creative art direction (working with photographers and video students among others), 'pitching' your concepts and ideas, marketing strategies and leading innovative new campaigns. This is what we are about.

We can't promise you an easy ride, but all our ex-students say it's been an enjoyable one - and they've 'learned loads'. So, if you have been wondering what's the best way for you to put your creative juices to work, this is the course for you.

The course is spread over four years and is designed to enable you to get the skills you need step by step. Each year has two semesters and we offer you new building blocks in each one. It's a journey of discovery and you can't just sit back for the ride, you have to get involved. We believe that to understand things you have to experience them.

Key Features

The programme is all about studying to become a professional creative. Our projects encompass design for various media, from magazine to social media, radio to TV and from billboards to public events. Understanding brand design and development is integral to the course.

It's also about communication for business and enterprise. You will liaise with businesses and look at 'real world' creative problem solving. Hands on projects include brand design, creative art direction and you will have the opportunity to work with other disciplines such as photography and video students. You will gain experience in pitching your concepts and ideas, marketing strategies and leading innovative new campaigns.

We can't promise you an easy journey, but all our ex-students say it's been an enjoyable one - and they've 'learned loads'. So, if you have been wondering what's the best way for you to put your creative juices to work, this is the course for you.


Typical modules include:

Level 4

  • Typography (ABD)
  • Copywriting
  • Advertising Environment
  • Graphic Communication (ABD)
  • Visual Studies 1
  • Visual Studies 2
  • Ways of Thinking
  • Ways of Perceiving

Level 5

  • Brand Experience
  • Digital Advertising
  • Integrated Advertising
  • Sustainability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (VC)
  • Visual Enquiry 1
  • Visual Enquiry 2
  • Creative Research
  • Research Practices

Level 6

  • Graduate Portfolio
  • Advanced Creative Enquiry
  • Marketing & Self Promotion
  • Dissertation

Level 7

  • Advanced Critical Thinking
  • Minor Project:Thought Experiment
  • Advanced Professional Practice
  • Major Project

Year 1

In year one, you will gain an understanding of the foundations blocks of creative design. Modules in History & Contextual Studies will help you to understand art and design theory. Typography, Copywriting, Graphic Communication and the Advertising Environment are all classes that will help you to take those first creative leaps. We include marketing lectures. Visual and Technical Studies classes include workshops in Adobe CS6 computer-based design programmes.

Year 2

In year two, you will continue to develop your understanding of design theory in the module History & Contextual Studies. The Brand Experience Module allows you to explore branding in terms of design and communication strategy. This will help you to realise your concepts in tangible form. It doesn't stop there in year two, Digital Advertising is introduced, in SEE you will be able to experience setting up a business venture of your choice in a team with other disciplines. This is just one opportunity that will prepare you for the world of business.

Visual and Technical Studies supports and underpins all of this, and helps to develop your creativity through audio and visual exploration. Curiosity is the key to year two, there is so much to learn and it never stays still, so we bring in more clients and professionals to set the challenges and to keep us up to date with current industry trends.

Year 3

In year three you will embark on a self-driven learning process culminating in your final degree show. It is time to turn the tables on the staff, and to explore and develop your skills and areas of interest. Negotiation is the key here, not only with the staff but also with your very own clients.

Personal and External (client driven) projects are the name of the game and you still get to hone your skills in conceptual thinking in the Advanced Creative Enquiry module. You will also be asked to develop a dissertation of your choice.

Year 4

Aims to nurture enterprising and sustainable practice in order for students to be at the forefront of the contemporary and future creative arts industry. The modules are designed to encourage advanced understanding of theoretical knowledge in research methods, entrepreneurial thinking and art and design practice. In particular, students studying at this level are encouraged to display resourcefulness, entrepreneurial skills, and the capacity to establish new and innovative ways of working.

Professional Accreditations

D&AD network member.



During your time with us you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad

Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here.

Course Tutor(s)

  • Ian Simmons
  • Caroline Jones
  • Martin Bush


All work is assessed formatively, on an ongoing basis in different scenarios as describe below. Summative assessment is made for each module at the end of each academic semester or year.

Different modules will often require different strategies and balances of experiences to deliver the specific subject. Contact periods can consist of General studio work, lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, one-to-one tutorials,and presentations

Within Advertising and Brand Design the year group is on average 20 students, workshops are delivered to the entire group.

General Studio Work

The largest contact time is in weekly module/project workshops where a brief has been delivered and the students are working on that brief. Depending on the nature of the brief, students will be producing individual or team responses to that brief, so lecturers need to spend time with students discussing; research, concept development working toward a response to the brief and formulating a way forward with them. This can be in the form of a group pin up crit. This kind of intensive contact also provides invaluable feedback on student progress.


Usually the start of a scheduled contact period will generally consist of a formal lecture giving information relevant to that accompanied by visualised examples through digital projection or actual examples. A typical example would be for Sustainability, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Level 5, where the lecturer might deliver a 45 minute lecture on print processes backed up by video/slides on screen and actual examples of printing plates and separations. This could be one-off or, in this case part of a series.

The rest of the contact period would be as described above in General Studio Work.


Delivered to teach specific skills to students, group size will depend on subject and room size, can include project work, these are not usually formally marked, but will be subject to group criticism, and informal feedback will be given. Can be delivered by technician demonstrators.

Small Group Tutorials

The small group allows for participation and peer criticism and also solves the problem of shorter individual tutorials if a student is late or does not show, the lecturer's time is still well spent even if only one student turns up. This works well in cross course project such as the ones with Photography and Video students.

One-to-One Tutorials

These are scheduled on a weekly basis for year 3 students and once a term for year 1 & 2. At the start of year 1, students are seen on a weekly basis for 4 weeks. The one-to-one tutorials allow students individual time with the lecturers which can often raise pastoral care issues as well as planning professional development strategies for the student.


Presentations and pitches are usually made by students to peers, staff or clients, through all stages of a project, from research and development through to finished work. These are usually introduced slowly in year 1 in order to build confidence in the process. Presentations can be simple to start and become more involved using media and pitch style as the student develops their skills and presentation of pitch concepts to peers, staff and clients become more extensive. Year 3 students make three VIVA presentations to staff in the third year.


Students vivas take place in a formal setting with all of the Graduate Portfolio lecturers present. Students present the progression of their Graduate Portfolio work and talk through their research and concept development in terms of achieving the learning outcomes of the module. Students are given formative feedback after the viva.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities are diverse; from working within an advertising agency as part of a creative team or as an Art Director or Copywriter, as an Account Executive working with Agency clients to develop a brief, or Account Planning, working on media communication strategy, social media management. Graphic Designer and in Marketing

Brand management roles can include developing a brand image and environment. Some graduates pursue a career as freelance creative, some forge creative partnerships which are in high demand by the industry, while others go on to continue their educational development or start their own business.

Further Information

"Great course to improve creative thinking. The focus on external clients in the third year is invaluable."

"University has been an exciting, thrilling and challenging experience. Throughout my experience I've certainly grown as a person and creative, building confidence in myself.'

"Advertising and Brand Design is a very unique course as you receive regular feedback and constant contact and support from the tutors. It has allowed me to grow and develop my skills within design and find creative solutions to problems. The course has given me valuable life skills and helps grow student confidence by sharing and presenting ideas in a creative environment. The only thing I would change about my university course experience is do TIMESHEETS! Other than that it's been amazing and challenging."

Related Courses

BA Hons Advertising and Brand Design

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.

Entry requirements

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don't have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

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