Visual Communications Showcase

Visual Communications - Wexford Campus - Showcase

Students in our degree course study subjects in four distinct themes that flow over the four years of the course. See descriptions of these themes and student work below:

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 Studio Stream

The first year of the course is a common/core first year where both design and art students share the same space, allowing for integration of ideas and exploration centred on key concepts and theories of design and art. The module aims to stress the importance of drawing, painting, fabrication and 3D design, image-making and their multi-disciplinary role in the development of the student’s creative practice. Emphasis is on observation and recording as well as visual and analytical investigation/curiosity.

The projects are tutor led.  The student will be introduced to a number of basic digital processes including drawing, selections, transforming, colour, and scanning, downloading, uploading and printing images. They will learn the appropriate methods of formatting and saving images.  They will be given instruction on the functions of manipulation tools and their applications.

Year 2 creative studio starts to look at rich and new media. Taking the design process learned in year 1, and enhancing the critical analysis of the students. Students are also introduced to rich or new media elements. They start to work on projects based around interactivity, game design, 2D animation, sound and video. It allows the student to enhance their critical thinking while adding new dimensions to their design skills.

A project based learning methodology is used, both individual and group projects are assigned. This allows the students to engage in the industry standard design process. Students work continuously as conceptual designers while enhancing both their technical and design skillset. Standard design elements, layout, colour theory, typography, photography, interaction design, user centered design; these are the main design elements students will be immersed in during year 2.

When students reach year 3 we move into a more conceptual design approach. We start to focus a lot more on conceptual design, creating a reason for the designs existence, and allow our skills from year 2 to form the visual. We become far more critical of design elements such as layout, typography, balance and colour.

Students are immersed in a very strong studio styled approach, focusing on critical thinking, presentation, development and deployment. Students start to work on elements like design reports and style guides. They begin to learn the processes and procedures of the design industry, printing technology, typography, presentation of ideas to clients. Students work on a project based method; this encompasses both short and long term briefs, short and long term deadlines.

When the student reaches year 4, critical analysis and concept design become very important. Students are based in a studio environment working individually on industry standard projects. These projects range from branding to web design, from packaging to advertising.

Here, everything revolves around concept, we use short term deadlines, and presentations to enhance concept and presentation skills. Students learn how to become more aware of design around them, how to interpret and draw influence from design and how to critically analyse their work, take criticism and push the idea further.

All work created in year 4 is set to industry standards, everything from colour and layout, to output file types and methods. Assessment is through a project based method, with each project covering a new element of the design industry. Each completed project then creates a major element for the end of year portfolio. Students completing year 4 are both critically and technically ready for entry to the design industry.

Digital Media Stream

Students work with design principles in year 1 in their studio and start to implement those principles through different mediums. The stream of Digital Media is dedicated to the medium of the web and internet communications.

The fundamental technologies of this medium are taken up in the Media Arts subject in year 2. Two of the most important web standards, HTML and CSS, are studied thouroughly in the context of interactive web design. Students learn not only to design towards visual goals but also to design towards the optimisation of the interactive web user experience.

An increased layer of sophistication is added to the web interfaces that students produce in year 3 by adding data-driven features. Web users can store information in databases attached to websites and retrieve that data for processing at a later time. This transforms these portals from mere static web sites to web applications. Web programming and database skills are key learning outcomes of the Media Arts year 3 module.

When the students reach 4th Year, we take a slightly different take on media systems and web design. We start to use off the shelf CMS driven platforms as a base for our conceptual design. We focus mostly on the ideas behind web-design, style, look and feel, typography, layout; we look at the process of information hierarchy and colour theory. We strive to provide the best possible method to deliver information on the web, and mixed platforms.

In year 4 we tend to use standard pre-developed platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, along with things like bootstrap, HTML5, the idea being that we fit the technology to the design idea, not the other way around. We don’t walk away from technology completely, each student learns how to upload, install, setup server side cms platforms from start to finish. The student works on a live test environment, so gains very valuable hands on experience. All web design projects must be responsive and cross platform / browser checked. This allows students to be working with the most up to date technology and software.
Students are assessed using a continuous assessment method, with project based learning being the main focus. Each project is based on industry standards. Taking real world clients and creating exciting design briefs to challenge the students' creativity and technical know how. Each student works on multiple design projects at one time, teaching them how to create and maintain a work schedule and project timeline.

Complementary Studies Stream  

The Complimentary Studies element of the course opens the door on the various historic, cultural and technological forces that imprint themselves upon the visual world. Art and Design history traces the changing nature of our understanding of these disciplines, of their mutual relationship and of how the social and technological forces that were integral to Modernism and Post Modernism shaped them and their reception.

Cultural and Critical Studies seeks to introduce essential concepts and practices related to the study of popular culture and Cultural Studies generally.  It focuses upon questions related to culture and ideology, issues of subjectivity and identity formation and the nature of representation in the contemporary world. Special emphasis, in second year, is placed on Film Studies, which further establishes the importance of crossovers between theory and practice as well as maintaining the importance of a focus on visual and material culture.

Being explicitly cultural, Visual Communication responds to and is also defined by the historic, the technologic and the cultural.  Images create, to a certain extent, the context of their reception while also being equally led by that context.  As a student you will be introduced to a variety of interpretative visual strategies, will acquire an awareness of the multi-layered, context-bound nature of meaning and will engage in discursive and creative learning. In effect in Complimentary Studies we explore and interpret how specific visual works, created in various technological forms and delivered over different platforms respond to specific and real world debates and events.

Business Streamebusiness videos wexford campus

Throughout the business stream students prepare for work in an entrepreneurial environment. This involves studying many different topics that are closely related to the core design learning on the course.

Examples include the eBusiness subject where students learn about optimising their content on websites and online platforms to attract as much targeted user visits as possible.

Topics include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), web traffic analytics and web personalisation. The study of these business topics often integrates closely with students digital skills.






The Marketing module in year 2 is aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of students to develop a deep understanding of customers and their particular world they inhabit. This understanding can be used by students to inform the development of products/services as well as messages that have appeal and effectiveness. Thus the module will require students to conduct detailed analysis of a particular companies and industries and their customers using transferable frameworks and research approaches.

Furthermore, students will be required to identify the most effective means of positioning products/services in the minds of target audiences through the development of brands and associated communications strategies using multiple forms of media. In summary, the module provides a detailed framework in developing an understanding of a particular set of customers and how to communicate effectively with them. The Marketing Management module builds on the knowledge and skills gained in year 2 Marketing through the use of applied tasks, discussion, guest lectures and case examples. Students will develop a more strategic perspective of marketing incorporating traditional and emerging tools and frameworks.

Learners develop a marketing plan for a local company which acts as a useful platform to engage in marketing activity in a practical way. Analysis and decision making skills are developed to enable learners to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving in a dynamic and competitive business environment.

The Marketing Management module in year 3 builds on the knowledge and skills gained in year 2Marketing through the use of applied tasks, discussion, guest lectures and case examples.  Students will develop a more strategic perspective of marketing incorporating traditional and emerging tools and frameworks.

Learners develop a marketing plan for a local company which acts as a useful platform to engage in marketing activity in a practical way.  Analysis and decision making skills are developed to enable learners  to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving in a dynamic and competitive business environment.

Have you always wanted to be your own boss and start your own business? The Entrepreneurship module in year 4 gives students the opportunity to develop their own business ideas from a concept phase through to the production and presentation of a detailed business plan. A broad range of topics are explored starting with a focus on key entrepreneurial figures in our society.

What drives and motivates such individuals to achieve success? Do you possess the same traits and characteristics? Students will also look at issues such as HR, Marketing, Finance and Legal issues related to starting their own business. The subject is dynamic and looks at case studies of start-up companies and explores what issues, challenges and successes they achieved along the way. The module is supported by local enterprise agencies who provide advice to students in the development of their business plans. Real-life entrepreneurial experiences are delivered by a series of guest speakers throughout the year.