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Visual Communication and Iconic Research

The MA programme merges practice-led design with aspects of iconic and media theory along with iconic and media research.

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 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.

In each semester you select either a practical, a theoretical or a research focus. By working together and interlinking and complementing their knowledge and skills, students from the different foci steadily achieve iconic and media competence in practical, theoretical as well as research terms.

The MA programme qualifies you for a career in an international, transdisciplinary work environment, either in business, in the creative industries or in research and teaching. For more details, see “Career prospects”.

Main Modules

Career prospects / Outline of the Profession

Organizational Matters

Institute Visual Communication

Visual communication is a tool of knowledge generation in its own right. Visualizations make things perceptible, imaginable and graspable.


Institute of Visual Communication

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Academy of Art and Design, Institute of Visual Communication, High-rise: D 5.03 Freilager-Platz 1 CH - 4142 Münchenstein near Basel

Dreispitz Basel

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Academy of Art and Design Freilager-Platz 1 4142 Münchenstein near Basel
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