In a complex and dynamic world, it has become essential to understand visual codes, their design requirements and potentials. The written word has been the ideal for scientific substantiation and argumentation for ages. Today, visual rhetoric and various visualization strategies are playing an ever-increasing role in knowledge acquisition and decision-making processes in science, research, economics and politics. Along with artistic imagery and illustrative approaches, the spheres of experience and knowledge in digital media culture are relying more and more on analytical visualization tools (e.g. mapping, images statistics, navigation, etc.).
In addition to the traditional focus on the theory and history of visual communication (art history, image science, aesthetics, communication design, media-specific design theories), Visual Culture (along with Visual Studies and Visual Research) explores new areas of instruction and research that offer a new perspective of reflection and provide access to a larger range of professional opportunities in the field of visual communication, such as those employed in the artistic, political or marketing activities in digital networks for purposes of information/communication, action and archiving. The analytical categories of the image and imagery (forms of visual perception, politics of visibility and cultures of viewing, intercultural problems) and interdisciplinary research in communication and media science have evoked new methods and approaches to communication aesthetics.
The master’s degree programme »Visual Communication/Visual Cultures« requires a particularly high degree of initiative. Students in the programme also have the possibility to realize commissioned projects and topics with a high degree of practical relevance both inside and outside the university. The supervision of the master’s project takes place in group consultations as well as in individual one-to-one discussions. As part of their studies, students are provided with the facilities of the university and the Faculty of Art and Design (for example, workshops, laboratories, libraries).
The master’s degree programme in Visual Communication allows students to form a concentration in any of the chairs of the degree programme. Currently, these include Graphic Design, Typography, Information Design, Staged and Documentary Photography, Image/Text Design, Advertising, Film/Video and Visual Culture. The students’ master’s projects are supervised by at least one professor from the practical area of the degree programme and another from the theoretical area. When candidates apply for admission to the degree programme, they should explicitly state the area of practical application in which they are interested.
The master’s projects are based on suggestions provided by the students, who continue to develop and complete them on their own in continual dialogue with their supervisors. The relatively liberal academic structure allows students to personally plan and carry out their master’s projects, which take the research character of their design into account and enable students to establish a well-founded position in technical discourse. The interdisciplinary interweave of scientific and design-related components in the master’s degree programme also prepares graduates for an advanced career in academics, e.g. possible admission to the doctoral programme at the Faculty of Art and Design which concludes with a PhD degree in Art and Design/Fine Art/Media Art.