Postgraduate study is a major undertaking and a big investment of time and money — so please satisfy yourself that this is the right programme for you. Most web courses come either from graphic design or from computer programming, and a few are business-related. Our aim is to balance these considerations so that graduates understand what goes to make a good website. On graduation, you will be on course to plan, design, deploy and promote a small website for a small business or co-ordinate a team of graphic, technical and business experts in managing the content of a large corporate website.
Our approach to web design is more correctly called ‘website architecture’. We define website architecture as ‘the art and science of creating good websites’. This requires:
- Useful and well-organised content [utility, commodity, utilitas].
- Good technical design [efficiency, firmness, firmitas].
- Good visual design [beauty, delight, venustas].
The Latin words and translations in square brackets are from the oldest surviving European work on design theory: Vitruvius Pollio's Ten books on architecture. Vitruvius deals with buildings but also with towns, harbours, clocks and other facilities. As a relatively new branch of design, it is right that website architecture should aspire to the Vitruvian principles. They were known to generations of designers as ‘Commodity, Firmness and Delight’. Websites should also contribute to ‘the business side of the art’ because websites invariably have a business objective.
The overall aim is high quality. We learn from other design approaches, from design analogies and from design theories. Websites on this programme and designed, built and assessed on the basis of Commodity, Firmness, Delight and Business.
Informed by Industry
It's all very well having a well-defined pedagogy and a solid theory and approach to web design but ultimately, we are educating students who are moving towards a carreer in web design. To that end, much of the content we teach is shaped by contemporary industry practice and emerging ideas. In order to do this, we listen to what web design professionals are telling us, we invite our graduates back to tell us how things work in the ‘real world’ because many of our students are now working for top agencies at the cutting edge.
Talk Web Design
One of the key events of our academic year is Talk Web Design, a day of talks from leading industry experts. We have good contacts with many of the leading lights in the web design industry and our students get to hear the very latest ideas from those who propose them. In 2012 our speakers included Andy Budd, Jeremy Keith, Richard Rutter, Chris Mills and Rob Hawkes. Our very own Kerri-Anne Ellis also spoke about ‘Life as a Front End Developer’. Kerri-Anne graduated in 2010.
Web Design at the University of Greenwich
The University of Greenwich MA Web Design & Content Planning takes an even-handed approach to the education of individuals who can create good small websites or manage the production of large websites. The programme is based in a design school and draws upon general design principles. We aim to take graduates from the full range of undergraduate disciplines and convert them into website architects, front-end developers or e-Professionals. Applicants might have backgrounds in science, technology, fine art, design or the humanities.
Critical appraisal of website types and the practical design of good websites are key aspects of the University of Greenwich programme in Web Design & Content planning. Electronic publishing offers teachers, textbook authors and others an opportunity for better financial returns than traditional publishing, combined with much more feedback from their readers and wider circulation of their work.