Towards a new Master’s Degree in Graphic Design for the Durban University of Technology.

Carey, Piers



Graphic Design & Visual Art


  • sustainability, good citizenship, value of design

This presentation will report on progress made in the development of a new Master’s degree structure in Graphic Design at the Durban University of Technology.

In 2006, the Faculty of Arts at the DUT was tasked with the development of a new Master’s degree in Design, intended to replace the current separate Departmental MTech offerings. The new degree was therefore to be structured to accommodate the four Design disciplines in the Faculty of Arts: Fashion and Textiles, Graphic, Interior and Jewellery. Subsequent restructuring of the Faculty, now known as the Faculty of Arts and Design, has resulted in this plan falling away. However, in this process, the Department of Graphic design began discussions on the purpose and nature of higher qualifications within the discipline, and how these might affect the structure and course offerings within the department. In particular the department is examining the possible effects of developing subdisciplinary streams within the department.

The presentation will detail decisions taken about the philosophy, structure, and content of the proposed programme, and invite comment and discussion of them. At the moment it is anticipated that the degree will combine common theoretical and methodological components with a sub-discipline specific dissertation and/or applied research project.

We are particularly interested in issues of sustainability and development and social responsibility in design, and how this can be integrated into the degree structure. Other theoretical elements particularly under consideration for integration into the programme are: issues of; indigenous knowledge; the position of Visual Communication Design and its sub-disciplines in the globalised and post-colonial world; and in South Africa; along with current contemporary critical issues of culture, communication, representation, and so on.

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