Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective students. If, after reading through the answers, you still have a question, please use the contact form to get in touch and we'll do our best to answer you as quickly as possible.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the programme varies depending on whether you are a home/EU student or an overseas student and whether you take the programme in full-time or part-time mode. It also depends on whether you already have a masters level qualification or not. See Tuition fees for more information. In addition to tuition fees, students should allocate around £200 for book purchases. Those on a tight budget should note that all texts on course reading lists are available from the University library however, some of them are excellent references that you'll want to keep with you at all times.
What should I do before starting the programme?
Although we don't assume any knowledge of web design, it would be beneficial for all students to do some background reading before commencing the programme. In addition, you will need to make sure you can commit a great deal of time for your studies and this may require planning ahead. See Preparing for study for more information.
Do I need to know HTML?
You need no experience of web design before starting the MA. We start from scratch and assume nothing other than a familiarity with general office software. However, prospective students with little or no experience may find it beneficial to do some background reading before the start of the programme. See Preparing for study for more information.
At what time of year does the programme begin?
There is just one intake each year at the end of September. Unlike some other programmes, we do not have a Spring intake.
Will we learn how to use Dreamweaver?
Dreamweaver is not an essential tool for web design. There is a common misconception that one becomes a web designer by learning how to use Dreamweaver — nothing could be further from the truth and in some respects, such tools get in the way of developing a fundamental understanding of web design.
We don't ban the use of Dreamweaver; it can be a useful tool and we believe designers should be free to use the tools with which they feel most comfortable. Dreamweaver is available at the University and some of our students choose to use it but there are no specific classes in Dreamweaver. See Design principles for more information.
How much study time will I need each week?
The actual time spent on study and project work will vary from student to student but on average you should plan on spending 25-50 hours per week (in addition to attendance) for the full-time mode and half that for the part-time mode. Be realistic about the time you have available. For students with no previous experience of web design or those in full-time employment, we recommend the part-time mode.
What do students do after graduation?
Students who study with us vary greatly in what they plan to do after graduation but there are 3 common intentions:
- To gain new skills with the aim of improving their career prospects with their current employer.
- To develop an existing interest in web design to such a standard that they can work for a web design company.
- To expedite a career change. This may be because they are not happy in their current career or because their circumstances have changed - they may have children and need to spend more time at home.
See Our students to find out what some of our students are doing now.
Which day do we attend?
Currently, all students on the programme attend on a Wednesday. Full-time students attend a full day, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. Part-time students attend one half day, 2pm to 5pm in year one and 10am to 1pm in year two. See Attendance for more information.
What software will I need?
You don't need anything special. If you already have a copy of Dreamweaver and Photoshop, that's fine but if you don't, there's no need to buy them. There are many free and open source applications for the web designer and a good software toolkit can be assembled at no cost - see below.
A Web Design Toolkit
Although most web designers will prefer to work with applications like Dreamweaver and Photoshop for maximum flexibility and functionality, it isn't really necessary. A perfectly adequate toolkit can be had for free. The applications listed below are all you need to create brilliant web pages.
- Notepad++ - Excellent open source code editor with syntax highlighting.
- FileZilla Client - Probably the best free/open source FTP client.
- Paint.NET - Amazing free image and photo editor, similar interface to Photoshop.
- Firefox - The open source and standards compliant browser.
- Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox - Indispensable set of browser utilities for web designers.
- Firebug for Firefox - Edit CSS live in a browser window; ideal for those pixel-perfect moments.
- HTML Validator - Simple tool that reports validation errors in the browser status bar.
- Pixlr Grabber - Excellent utility for capturing web pages. You can even edit them ready for posting to your blog.
- FireFTP - A very good alternative to FileZilla if you want to keep your FTP client neat and tidy inside Firefox.
Write your (X)HTML and CSS code in Notepad++, create and edit your images in Paint.NET, preview the results in Firefox and then upload to your web server using FileZilla or FireFTP.
If you prefer working in an integrated development environment, take a look at Aptana Studio. In a nutshell, it's Dreamweaver without the WYSIWYG editor and because it's open source, there is a free version.
I'm an international student. Can I get help with my visa?
The University of Greenwich has a whole team of advisers who can give specific help to international students. See the International students help page for details.
Where are lectures held?
All classes are held in the Tower Block at the Mansion Site of the Avery Hill Campus. This is based at Eltham in south-east London and is well served by public transport. See Location for more information.
When is the best time to apply for the programme?
You should apply as early as you can. The programme is very popular and our annual intake is often full before June for the September intake. Applications should ideally be made around March or April to ensure that your application is considered for entry in the same year.
Where can I get financial advice?
We realise that for many prospective students, course fees are an important consideration. You can get advice on how to pay fees and when they become due from our Student Services team on 0208 331 9585. More information on student finance is also available on the Student Finance & Financial Support webpage.
Is this programme mainly theory or practice?
We aim to make the programme a good balance between theory and practice. Theory is delivered via lectures and seminars but is backed up by practical project work.