BA (Hons) Graphic Design
Designed by industry partners, this course engages you in developing a rich combination of new and traditional technical and creative skills.
UCAS code: W210
Duration: 3 years full-time
|2 A-Levels and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent) plus a portfolio of work or audition to demonstrate ability in the specialist area.
1 A-Level, a Foundation course (or equivalent) and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent) plus a portfolio of work or audition to demonstrate ability in the specialist area.
|Applicants who have English as a second language and do not have a GCSE in English will be asked to present an IELTS UKVI certificate or equivalent as part of their offer conditions. They will need to achieve an overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in the writing element and 5.5 in all other sub-elements.
The assessment of your application will include a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.
As an industry-facing and practice-led BA (Hons) programme, this course will allow you to pursue a career in the varied and creative Graphic Design industry. The course embeds industry practice along with a creative professional approach to Graphic Design. You will be encouraged to develop your own design practice and are provided with the opportunity to undertake ‘live’ briefs and collaborative working, encouraging team-building, communication skills and ideas development that will build your profile as a working graphic designer.
There will be opportunities for you to specialise in the development of your own practice and develop skills to critically analyse all aspects of your work. You will consider creative direction and audience response, as well as develop an understanding of industry requirements so that your work has both aesthetic value and is commercially relevant for the design sector.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including:
- practical and creative studio-based workshops
- small group study
- self-directed study
- study trips
- Collaborate and develop your abilities with cross-media experimentation and fulfilment of live briefs from within the department and professional external studios.
- Delivered by expert tutors with industry experience
- Access to a dedicated computer suite, print room, photography studios and a 3D workshop.
- Study across various media, processes and disciplines, including graphic design, illustration and animation.
The first year centres on gaining knowledge of techniques, ideas and the essentials of the creative process, exploring the many facets of the subject, including digital and interactive platforms. You will also gain a broad overview of historical and contemporary issues relating to the design context.
Unit 1: The Creative Process
A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities, including:
● Conducting effective research
● Sketchbook work
● Ideas Generation
● Idea Development – mood boards, mind maps
● Concept sketch development
● Presentation skills
● Evaluative and reflective skills to inform personal development
Unit 2: Cultural and Contextual Studies
A series of sessions and workshops that form the basis of your understanding of theoretical frameworks and cultural, historical and social contexts from a design and creative perspective and begin to develop research and investigative skills. You will engage in discussions and debates as you explore various topics and communicate your response to these topics through self-initiated research and critical examination.
Unit 3: Materials and Methods
A range of workshops, demonstrations, discussions and learning activities, including:
● Introduction to typography
● Printmaking workshops
● Laser cutter induction
● Packaging / Paper engineering
Unit 4: Digital Design
● Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop
● Presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint)
● Social media
● Digital for Print
● Scanning, Image Resolution
● File Formats
● Creating PDFs
● Skills set audits
Unit 5: Applied Graphic Design
● Advanced Typography for /print/ screen
● Use of the grid in Graphic design
● Typography in magazines, posters and information delivery.
● A brief with a set outcome for one of the above incorporating the elements covered in Module 1,3,4
Unit 6: Minor Project
The Minor Project allows you to focus on your self-initiated work.
You will propose and implement a planned project with planned outcomes.
- Develop knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of practice and professional context
- Initiate and design personal creative responses to brief with planning
- Enable critical self-reflection and an awareness of cultural, historical and contemporary events and debates that inform practice.
- Researching market and competition.
- The Creative Process
- Presentation methods
- Evaluative and reflective skills
In year two, you’ll focus on the professional environment, market awareness and generating the creative and self-management skills necessary for the workplace.
Unit 7: Professional Practice 1
Two projects that are ‘live’ industry-focused briefs:
● Setting of the brief & research & development
● Follow up discussions and ideas development
● Interim crit
● Finalising design/media creative outcome
Unit 8: Advanced Cultural & Contextual Studies
A series of sessions that continues to develop your understanding of theoretical frameworks and cultural, historical and social contexts. You will engage in discussions and debates and be supported in the continued development of academic and research skills. You will engage in self-directed research and critically examine a topic, presenting your response in an academic format.
Unit 9 Professional Practice 2
This module differentiates itself from Applied Graphic Design 01 by building on your experience and knowledge developed in the previous module. You will be introduced to two more challenging projects covering two new aspects of graphic design- Branding and packaging or something similar. You will be consolidating your understanding of working on ‘live’ briefs and/or with a professional client as experienced in the previous module. The structure remains the same as the previous module and consists of two consecutive briefs.
This brief will have detailed instructions on how the work must be presented to the ‘client’ with the same protocols and procedures you would find in the industry.
Unit 10: Business Practice
A business-led module that looks at professional responsibilities and opportunities. Material covered in this unit may include (but is not limited to):
- Creation of a PDF portfolio
- Establishing a social media presence
- Tax, invoices and record-keeping,
- Visiting Professionals
Unit 11: Independent Project
This module enables you to develop an in-depth and significant body of work for exhibition and portfolio promotion.
The subject and nature of the work, together with a detailed outline proposal of research, reference, planning and outcomes, is presented and discussed at the commencement of the project.
This allows you to prepare a proposal for a body of work that will reference proposed areas of study and is aligned with the module's learning outcomes. This unit will also allow you to contribute to the curriculum by designing your learning, enabling the programme to be tailored to your
The final year is designed to develop your creative thinking, and this exciting, multidisciplinary degree programme encourages experimental, collaborative and conceptual work. The focus will be on your development as an individual, capable of working independently and collaboratively.
Unit 12: Portfolio Studies
- Analysis of external competition briefs’ requirements with particular reference to selected areas of study relating to current practice
- Lectures and seminars on key issues raised in project briefs, such as environmental considerations, sustainable design issues, target marketing, and designing in a European/global context
- Work plan, scheduling and organisation to meet deadlines
- Presentation of research, rationale and specific requirements of the selected brief to a professional standard
Unit 13: Creative and Critical Research Project (Dissertation)
This unit supports a self-directed, detailed research examination of a topic, which is a critical investigation. An initial series of sessions will support you in your proposed choice of topic, which is then presented in the form of a proposal and includes an overview of research sources and resources that have informed your choice of research activity.
The second part of the unit will be carried out through self-directed research, where you will critically investigate and form a response to a negotiated research area topic, supported by individual feedback and tutorials as the investigation is undertaken. The final presentation of the research results will use academic convention in its layout and identification of research sources and include a detailed critical commentary offering a perspective of the research and investigation into the topic.
Unit 14: Final Major Project
- Identify the area of Graphic Design in which you would like to specialise (packaging, branding, etc.)
- Research your chosen specialised area.
- Ideas generation and development.
- Experimentation with media.
- Realisation of project
- Presentation in the form of an exhibition.
Unit 15: Self-Promotion
The focus of this module is to prepare you for the working environment. It aims to provide a context and opportunity for original research into the business environment and your place within it, creating print and digital self-promotion materials. You contact potential employers and learn how to freelance, including invoicing and tax payments.