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Choosing a master's at Reading

Headshot of Tamsin Oglivie, former student who studied book design at master's level in the Department

Following an undergraduate degree in theatre design, Tamsin Ogilvie forged an exciting career in film set and exhibition design.

 

However, Tamsin wanted to expand her skills and enhance her opportunities.

 

"While I had a good grounding in structural design, my graphic design was self-taught, so I wanted to formalise and expand my practice. It was through a particularly inspiring typography evening class led by Catherine Dixon that the MA Book Design course was recommended to me."

Balancing studies with work and family life

As well as finding a master's course that matched her passion, Tamsin needed to find one that was flexible enough to allow her to balance her studies with family life and working for her existing clients.

 

"I researched several MA options, but Reading offered something special. As a mature student with a family, I benefited enormously from being able to study part time. It gave me the opportunity to spread the workload over two years, which reduced the disruption to family life.

 

"It also allowed me to continue to work with my established clients. The course was so well structured with clearly defined deadlines, that with a bit of organisation, it was possible to balance submission dates with other commitments."

The right fit

Tamsin realised that she'd found the course that was right for her as soon as she set foot in the Department. Not only does the Department have a long-established reputation, but the quality of the teaching and the warm sense of community were a real draw.

 

"The tutors are the backbone of the course. They each bring vast knowledge and a specialist perspective to all their teaching. What stands out is how personally invested they are in each student, encouraging them and making time to address concerns."

 

But it wasn't just the tutors that inspired Tamsin. The other students were a significant aspect of her experience at Reading, expanding her outlook and influencing the way she worked.

 

"The course attracts high quality students from around the world. This international reach enriched the learning environment substantially. Working with other students, of all ages and experiences, introduced new perspectives which inspired me to extend myself further."

Mastering new design skills

Tamsin believes the course will benefit her career in a number of ways.

 

"My master's has refined my ability to articulate complex materials and enriched my approach to design projects. Specialising in book design has already lead to new opportunities within publishing. The process of studying requires challenging oneself to master new skills. This process has given me greater confidence to tackle new challenges. I am even considering pursuing a PhD."

 

But learning these new skills hasn't been the best part of the journey for Tamsin – it's the way she's been able to inspire her young family.

 

"Best of all, my daughter is thrilled about my graduation. I hope she recognises that it is possible to work, study and be a supportive mother."

 

Visit Tamsin's website

Dan Rhatigan: from Reading to a senior role at Adobe Type

Studying typeface design at Reading enabled Dan to progress and specialise in his chosen field of typography, after an already successful career in design and publishing.

Lozana Rossenova: typography across print and digital

Examples of work by Lozana Rossenova as part of her master's in book design at Reading
Lozana decided to study book design at Reading as she wanted to pursue her interests in typography, art and design history.