Uttam from India, MA in Graphic Communication
‘I’m beginning to understand design as a more collaborative process than an isolated one.’
Uttam Kumar lives and works in India. He decided to undertake a postgraduate degree in Graphic Communication from the UK’s Interactive Design Institute, an online course that leads to a master’s (MA) qualification from partner institution the University of Hertfordshire.
Why did you choose a UK master’s qualification?
'I’ve mostly been a self-taught person throughout my professional career. Now, since I started to work with academics, I thought of getting formal credentials to support my industry experience and get better opportunities.
'So I was looking for a solution that could give me international exposure, and access to global opportunities. In my area – specialising in graphic design – the UK was the obvious choice.
'This also gave me the opportunity to learn directly from professionals working in the global industry. Studying alongside fellow students from different cultures was another advantage of the UK qualification I chose.'
What did you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?
'For me, the most important element was the work posted by the other Interactive Design Institute (IDI) students. I had conducted thorough research on the institutions I wanted to join, and was really impressed with the quality and the level of the work at IDI. The next step was to look at the academic credentials of the lecturers, and again I was not disappointed.'
How did your perception of your subject change as a result of your course and studies?
'I’m beginning to understand design as a more collaborative process than an isolated one. The importance of creative networks is getting clearer to me as I am progressing, and I’m also able to understand the concepts of critical thinking much better than I did before. In a way, the basic subjects have helped me see the creative world around me with a much wider perspective.
'The teaching methods at IDI encourage more self-discipline and self-motivated learning, and not really spoon-feeding. I believe that is the key element of studying at postgraduate level.'
Some of Uttam's graphic design projects. Clockwise from top left: visualisation, motion graphics and page layouts (All images ©Uttam Kumar)
What does being ‘creative’ mean to you?
'Creativity, to me, means simplifying solutions. You don’t have to be educated to be creative; even an illiterate person can be creative. I also believe creativity is something not everyone is born with. It can be learnt and one can train oneself to be more creative.'
What advice would you give other international students hoping to apply to a UK course?
'Studying for a master’s degree requires a lot of motivation and commitment at an individual level. Sometimes, it is not easy to sustain working and studying at the same time. Another critical factor is finding the right kind of platform and team that can help you achieve your goals. I’ve been satisfied with all that has been delivered to me by IDI.'
What are your ambitions for the future?
'I want to continue as a design lecturer. Hopefully, one day I’d like to pursue a PhD as well!'