The MA Visual Communication program allows you to expand your existing design expertise to include skills in concept, critique and method, for instance in order to reorient or widen your design practice, to take leading positions in the creative industry, or to take first steps into a career in academia (e.g., teaching). During your studies you will work in an explorative and future-oriented way and strive for new insights, methods and/or aesthetics. The focus of the program lies on reflective, multi-modal and multi-perspective ways of working: you are prepared to question your creative practice and are open to new viewpoints. The individual focus of the Master's diploma project also allows you to acquire knowledge in related fields (e.g. art, media or social sciences) or in relation to new technologies. In your studies, you will benefit from an interdisciplinary environment and diverse internal, external, local and international networks. As a graduate you will thus be able to adapt to new fields of activity in a rapidly changing professional field.
In our Master's program you will immerse yourself in a self-chosen, research-oriented Master’s diploma project («thesis project») within the multifaceted area of Visual Communication. This diploma project spans across all three study semesters and includes a written and a practical component, as well as the mediation of the project in an exhibition. During the first semester, you will define your thesis project, research your topic and choose methods, in order to then establish creative hypotheses and search for appropriate forms of designerly implementation in the second semester. In the final semester, you will review your goals, the resulting outcome and the chosen method in order to communicate your project in a wide range of formats. Seminars and workshops focusing on various designerly approaches, discursive foundations as well as contextual studies complete the curriculum.
Master’s diploma projects usually focus on the conception of new design methods, the research and development of new forms of visualization and narration, as well as the comprehension, critique and mediation of current and complex issues. Projects that incorporate various disciplines are also very welcome, as are projects with a social, cultural or historical focus.
For your studies, you must have sufficient knowledge of German and English to be able to follow the lessons.
The programme starts every summer semester in February. The application deadline for the next start was on 24 October 2022, but we accept late applications. Please contact Prof. Dr. Sarah Owens if you still would like to apply. The application requires, amongst others, a portfolio of your work, a letter of motivation and a description of the proposed master project.
The programme is open for students with diverse backgrounds and does not necessarily require a bachelor degree in visual communication or design in general. If you are considering to apply to the program, we are happy to discuss the application with you and are looking forward to meet you on one of the upcoming open days.
Further information regarding the application process can be found here.
25 November 2022 at 13:30 and 17:30
Room 3.D21 (Level 3)
Zurich University of the Arts
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zürich
Prof. Dr. Sarah Owens (head of program)
Marica Tran (administration)
Dr. Bjorn Franke (lecturer)
Cybu Richli (lecturer)
Jonas Voegeli (lecturer)
Thomas Wolfram (lecturer)
Guest Lecturers and Experts
Martin Andereggen, Claudio Gasser & Jonas Wandeler (ATLAS), Anthon Astrom & Lukas Zimmer, Ludovic Balland (Typography Cabinet), Hagen Betzwieser (The Institute of General Theory), Klaus Birk (DHBW Ravensburg); Sara de Bondt (Occasional Papers), Valeria Bonin & Diego Bontognali (BonBon), Nicolas Bourquin (onlab Berlin), Marina Bräm (NZZ am Sonntag), Roland Brauchli, Daniel Eatock, Klaus Fromherz & Martin Geel (Peng Peng), Jan Gloeckner (OOS Architekten), Barbara Hahn & Christine Zimmermann (von B und C), Maike Hamacher & Barbara Hoffmann (Büro 146), Gregor Huber & Ivan Sterzinger (Glashaus), Oliver Jallard, Michael Kryenbühl & Ivan Weiss (Johnson/Kingston), Urs Lehni (Rollo Press), Paloma Lopez (FHNW Basel), Monica Märchy (Roth & Maerchy), Martina Merz (eikones), Gabriel Peisker (erdmannpeisker), Michael Stoll (University of Applied Sciences Augsburg), Matthias Michel, Irene Vögeli, Marco Walser (Elektrosmog), Andreas Werner (Newcastle University), Evert Ypma (HSLU), Noam Toran, Foreign Legion (Matylda Krzykowski & Vera Sacchetti), Ronny Hunger, Christian Lange, Vera van de Seyp, Elisabeth Klement, The Rodina, and more.
In their projects, students can choose to cooperate with companies and institutions. Past project partners include: Museum Rietberg Zurich, University of Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Design Museum Zurich, Swiss Radio DRS, Swiss Television SF, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, University Hospital Zurich, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.
100 Best Posters Germany, Austria, Switzerland; Die schönsten Bücher Österreichs; Women’s Business Award; Design Preis Schweiz; Master Design Förderpreis; Art Director’s Club Deutschland; European Design Award; Social Impact Award; Open Output Award; Deutscher Design Club; Sächsischer Staatspreis für Design; Die Schönsten Schweizer Bücher; Red Dot Award; European Newspaper Design; Bayrischer Staatspreis; and more.
Master Visual Communication