Design training for researchers

Our online programme

Helping you to make better infographics, visual abstracts and posters (not to mention figures, logos, presentations, social media, reports, policy cards…) 

The programme lasts for 6 months (the start date is up to you), and you can join online workshops, complete assignments and challenges, and get professional support and feedback on your work. 

£150 per student for a 6-month programme

Training you will access

  • Workshops via Zoom (all workshop variants run at least once every month) – see programme content
  • Design mentoring and peer support via Slack 
  • Personal goal setting and reviews 
  • Monthly design challenges and regular assignments
  • Monthly webinars, open and challenge sessions

+ individual licence for Affinity Designer (for you to keep after the programme has ended)

Skills you will gain

  • Good technical grounding in the principles of colour, images, type and composition applicable to all visual communication outputs
  • Software skills in Affinity Designer
  • Confidence in presenting your work and collaborating with others
  • A broader overview of visual communication
  • Using design thinking to solve problems

We also offer SHORT COURSES for organisations looking for bespoke courses or seeking to produce a specific output.


Programme content

Core sessions

Design principles for visual communication (90 mins)

This workshop introduces key design principles: colour, images, type and composition and explores their use in digital and print formats. 

We also begin to think about tools and approaches to visual communication and how these will be explored through the programme.


Essential Affinity Designer training (3 hrs)

Introduction to Affinity Designer, our key software for the online programme.

  • Introduction to tools and palettes
  • Creating and manipulating objects
  • Working with layers
  • Defining your workspace – customising the tool bar, creating shortcuts
  • Design principles in practice – colours, type, images and composition
  • Shapes challenge – create an image using simple shapes and tools

Skills sessions

Affinity skills for designing posters (2 hrs)

This session will provide you with the core skills you need to design a poster – either in your own time or during a ‘Workshop: design your own poster’ session

  • Typography
  • Palettes and stylesheets
  • Poster grid systems

Workshop: design your own poster (3 hrs)

  • Structuring your poster
  • Using your skills – work on a poster of your own research or a supplied brief

Affinity skills for designing infographics and visual abstracts (2 hrs)

This session will provide you with the core skills you need to design an infographic or visual abstract – either in your own time or during a ‘Workshop: design your own infographic or visual abstract’ session

  • Drawing with the pen tool
  • Creating an icon

Workshop: design your own infographic or visual abstract (3 hrs)

  • Design thinking to plan your infographic or visual abstract
  • Using your skills – work on an infographic or visual abstract of your own research or a supplied brief

Advanced Affinity Designer training and practice: Pens, pencils and brushes (2hrs)

Advanced Affinity Designer training and practice: Figures, tables and equations (2hrs)


Additional sessions

Focus on….. webinar

60-minute session looking at a particular subject or skill in detail, eg. logo design, creating an animated gif.

Open session

You can ‘drop in’ via Zoom at anytime during this 3-hour session to ask advice, gain feedback or help with a particular challenge. 

Challenge session

In this 3-hour session you work in small teams to address a design challenge. A great opportunity to practice design skills and collaborative working.

We always welcome suggestions for new programme content.


Outline timetable

Cycle repeated every 4 weeks which means you can start anytime. Please note this outline is given as a guide and actual dates will vary.

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Design principlesSkills for postersDesign principles (repeat)Skills for infographics & abstracts
Essential Affinity Designer trainingWorkshop: postersEssential Affinity Designer training (repeat)Workshop: infographics & abstracts
Advanced: figures, tables & equationsWebinarAdvanced: pens, pencils & brushesChallenge session
Open sessionOpen session

You are welcome to attend as many sessions as you wish (note that some sessions have maximum attendance). You may find it useful to repeat a session at a later stage to refresh their skills.

Sign me up

To join, just send us an email, or fill out the form below. We’ll contact you to take your payment and then register you for the programme.