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Visual Communication and Iconic Research, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
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The interdisciplinary MA programme at the Institute of Visual Communication is open to students with a BA degree from an Academy of Art and Design or a university with a focus on the Humanities. It is the only Master’s programme in Design in Switzerland to award 120 ECTS, thus meeting all the requirements for enrolment in a PhD programme.

The programme degree in Visual Communication and iconic Research, offered by University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, is founded on the conviction that, singly, neither a technical and craft-based design practice nor theory-based reflection on visual messages is a sufficient basis for working in the modern field of visual communication. Both are required, that is, analytical, process-oriented design practice combined with a sound understanding of iconic and media theory and media technology. It is the only way to approach Visual Communication as a scientific methodological tool in its own right.

Career Development

  • An MA degree from the Institute of Visual Communication qualifies you for a job in a transdisciplinary work environment, either at home or abroad.
  • As a graduate you can either work freelance and create and design your own visual messages, or take on a job as a designer, art director or communication expert. As a curator you are involved in the conception and staging of exhibitions and presentations in the field of art and design. 
  • Your expertise and knowledge in media and images also open the door to the world of journalism, both in the field of analogue and digital media.
  • A MA degree in Visual Communication is also the first step towards a PhD and becoming part of a research project in the field of image, design or media research, and qualifies you to teach at an Academy of Art and Design.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Specialization in Design Practice in Digital and Analogue Media
  • Specialization in Iconic and Media Research
  • Specialization in Image and Media Theory

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Admission and Records:

  • A successfully completed BA degree from:
  • Visual Communication
  • Graphic or Media Design
  • Art History
  • Media Science
  • other adequate disciplines

Applicants must submit:

  • A design portfolio of 40 pages (maximum)
  • A text writing sample of at least 2x A4 manuscript pages (e.g. BA Thesis)
  • A letter of motivation 
  • Two letters of recommendation

Tuition Fee

  • International

    9028 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4514 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    1264 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 632 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Semester fee: CHF 700 (CH & EU); CHF 5000 (non EU)

Living costs for Basel

  • 1615 - 2340 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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