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Master's courses – University of Reading

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  • Master's Scholarships 2019

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  • Progress your career

    Learn top-level academic skills from world-class experts

Master's courses

Master's courses in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication are taught by world-class experts, providing you with top-level academic skills and greatly enhanced career opportunities.

"The Department of Typography and Graphic Communication is regarded worldwide as one of the best to study any subject related to typography, even in South America it is constantly referred to."

Mauricio Villamayor

MA Book Design, international student

Whether you are a recent graduate or have years of professional experience, our courses are designed to suit your needs.

build top-level academic skills

Our master's courses provide skills in thinking critically, analytically, and reflectively. You will be taught design as a process that brings together creativity, intellectual curiosity, and innovation.

"My time at Reading has helped me ask better questions of myself and the world around me, and to better understand how I might continue to develop my focus and my approach."

Andrea Wong

MA Information Design

You will have the opportunity to develop your own insight into the everyday relevance of design's historical development, recognising how history and theory informs design of professional practice and behaviours. This will enable you to develop the critical skills to analyse design, skills which can be applied in the progression of your own work.

skills that make a difference in your career options

Some of our courses integrate professional practice into the curriculum, and provide the opportunity to engage with clients on real projects. Visiting teachers and lecturers from our extensive industry network enrich the experience of studying at Reading.

You will also gain skills in effective presenting, report writing, project management and many other valuable fields that can be used to advance your career.

"The most interesting part of my course was the client-directed project. I was assigned to work with an amazing publisher in London with more than 60 years of experience making high-value books."

Mauricio Villamayor

MA Book Design, international student

Wide range of staff who are world-class experts

Our academics are highly accessible, going beyond formalised contact hours. Staff are more than lecturers but are collaborators who will work closely with you on projects. Academics come from broad and varied backgrounds, from practitioners to historians and researchers.

Teaching actively and flexibly supports the development of your knowledge and skills. There are several systems of support in place; and we are good at customising interventions to suit your individual needs.

"The staff of the department consist of world-class experts in the field. Their outstanding lectures and feedback sessions are accompanied by several visiting lecturers throughout the year. Furthermore the communication with other students and with students from other programmes in particular is an important source of view-points and inspiration.

I am still slowly realizing how much I have learned in this remarkable year."

David Brezina

MA Typeface Design graduate

Access unique resources in our Collections & Archives

Since the 1970s, Typography at Reading has built up unrivalled collections and archives relating to lettering, printing and graphic design. These are now regarded as being of international importance.

"The access to the collections was one of the most amazing aspects of my course. The extent of the archive and the scope that it covers is impressive; having the chance to study the artefacts up-close is a unique and open-minding experience and of course it is more than useful when it comes to applying this knowledge on our practical work."

Natalia Qadreh

MA Typeface Design

By studying at Reading you will have access to a wide range of internationally significant and world-leading resources in the Department's collections and archives:        

Lettering of almost every period, scale, style and material is represented in the Typography collections, from Egyptian hieroglyphs to the latest digital technology. We have examples of letters that are printed, drawn, cut, moulded, woven and sewn, painted and hand-written.

Our printing workshop provides an opportunity for students to try out many printing processes for themselves using historical equipment. We have material covering the many typesetting technologies, including a working Monotype machine.

Archives from major individual designers and design companies are an important part of the collection. We have material relating to Hans Schmoller, Ernest Hoch, George Mackie, Banks and Miles and many others, as well as specialist archives such as the Non-Latin Type Collection and the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection. Our students also benefit from other University archives and collections located outside the Department, including the Publishers' archive and the John Lewis collection of ephemera. They are accessed through the Special Collections.

Read our Typography collections blog to find out how we use collections in teaching and research.


Our graduates go on to work in both large, international companies and smaller studios in their field.

Many eventually go into teaching, and several return to continue their studies at higher levels.

Employers include:

  • Apple
  • The Financial Times
  • Monotype
  • Microsoft Typography
  • Nokia
  • Oxford University Press
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Our graduates make their mark across the fields of publishing and editorial design, branding, graphic design, information design and typeface design.

You can be confident that you will develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers and that your qualification from the University of Reading will be held in high regard, enabling you to progress your career.

See our individual course pages for more detailed careers information.


We are delighted to offer a range of scholarships to master's students applying for September 2019 entry. We are offering five scholarships of £3,000 each for international students and five scholarships of £1,500 each for UK/EU students, across all master's courses in the School of Arts & Communication Design.

how to apply

To apply for one of our programmes, please make a profile on the University's Applicant portal or the course links below. There are instructions there for uploading scans of previous qualifications and the details of two referees. Please upload also a CV in PDF form, a Personal Statement describing how you developed your interest in the field, the programme (and, if applicable, the pathway) you are applying to, your relevant experience, and your goals. Please also upload a portfolio with your work in PDF form, or via a link for us to download. You should include all work that is relevant, with sufficient annotation to explain the context of the work (for example, whether a project is part of an assignment at a previous course, a professional project, or a self-initiated project) and how you approached the brief. If you are showing collaborative projects, please explain what your contribution was. We are particularly interested in evidence of your work processes, like sketches and revisions. If you have written reports about your work, or made presentations, please include these. Finally, we are also interested in any texts you have written independently of design projects, either for assignments or publication. Please note that we cannot review your application until your CV, Personal Statement, and portfolio are uploaded.

our courses

Combine elements of publication and editorial design with user-centred design, supported by advanced typography. Students work on projects that engage with text-intensive print and digital applications in each of these areas.

Practical design for printed books and ebooks, delivered by practising designers through projects and assignments. You will study theory and history, taught through a variety of lectures, seminars and workshops.

Learn to apply a user-centred approach to support design decisions and generate new design opportunities. Produce functional, aesthetic and highly crafted complex documents, interfaces and interaction environments.

The global reference programme in the field, and the first university-based programme in this subject. This programme combines practical and academic elements into a signature model for design education, with a wide variety of typographic scripts covered.

Develop strategic and creative thinking skills and learn to apply design thinking to business. Major themes include information design, service design, user experience and brand identity.

A research-intensive programme that develops independent research and writing skills. Flexible structure allows you to tailor the programme to your personal interests. Ideal preparation for higher study and self-directed research.

This course is for experienced, practicing typeface designers who want to develop a deeper understanding of the historical and theoretical aspects of their field, and gain a research-intensive qualification that allows them to teach a postgraduate level.

find out more

Take a look at our course brochure.

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