Program Overview

Communication Design is constantly evolving across a wide range of industry sectors and our BA (Hons) programme supports students to develop creative, critical and technical skills that reflect this change as well as anticipate the needs of future evolution in this sector. The programme structure allows students to undertake a cross-disciplinary path of study with a main focus on Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography.

The Communication Design programme develops three key areas of conceptual, applied and entrepreneurial forms of communicating information through a variety of media. The evolving technological components, growing ease of social media and globalisation of communication require the design and interpretation of information to transcend beyond existing industrial and capitalistic formats.

This new type of communication design deals with collaborative experiences, socially dynamic and inclusive agendas, and provides key forms for critical informational research. This programme enables studio cooperative learning within a life-centred design approach in four evolving areas: Graphic Design (inclusive illustration), photography, moving image/animation,  and interaction design (UX/UI).

This is further supported by courses in Art direction and Storytelling, Design Branding, Advanced practice and evaluation, Critical and Contextual Studies and Global Fashion Management. These courses also focus on the key element of entrepreneurship and will prepare students for a variety of roles within the design industry and beyond including film, media, and social enterprise. In the end, it promotes a new type of student for a new type of world, where the disciplinary divisions are erased to promote a transdisciplinary approach to design.


Why study Communication Design at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus?

  • To develop socially-aware creatives in entrepreneurially engaged, evidenced-based communication design.

  • To encourage critical engagement with entrepreneurial social enterprise within and with creative industries.

  • To maintain strong industry connections worldwide particularly within MENASA (Middle East North Africa South Asia) and the European Union.

  •  To promote sustainable, life-centred, socio-political communication design, development, and research.


DubaiUnited Arab Emirates

  Course Duration

48 Months

  Tuition Fee

AED 67,704




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Year 1

The first year focuses on initial design and visualisation skills preparing the student with the fundamentals in overall photography, visual development, design thinking, and introductions into illustration.


Year 2

The second year builds upon the fundamentals taught in the first year, by introducing specialist topics such as typography, videography, and advertising. This is supplemented with courses in creative writing, professional practice, and graphics.


Year 3

The third year involves a unique series of four themed elective specialisations in design management, fashion communication, interaction design, graphics and illustration. However, we will initially be introducing just one pathway in graphics and Illustration. These third-year courses include events management, visual merchandising and fashion styling.


Year 4

The final honours year will entail a two semester developed honours project using supervisory pedagogies, being supplemented by advanced evaluative practice and review.

Our normal entry criteria are listed below. However, please note that the final decision remains at the discretion of the course director after evaluating scores of individual relevant subjects.

Students who are eligible to be admitted directly into second year can choose to join the first year, where available.

Second year entry

  • Successful completion of first year of a recognized degree programme in related field with a strong portfolio of work. Please contact the Recruitment and Admissions Office to discuss further.

  • Transfer students from other universities may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction at secondary school, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 Academic (with no element below 5.5).

AED 67704 per year

  • Graphic Designer

  • Illustrator

  • Art / Creative Director

  • Brand Manager

  • Motion Design

  • Design consultant

  • Content Creator

  • (Photo & Video)

  • Digital creative / designer

  • Advertising


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