Why study with us?

It’s a sad truth that at many other institutions, students rarely see their tutors due to huge group sizes and often have limited access to studio space, technology and resources – happily we’re very different! We know that small year groups are best and so we recruit around fifty students each year. This means that you see us regularly and receive a massive amount of regular tutor support and feedback. We also believe that you should work from a studio base. In our case this is a huge, modern, dynamic, well equipped, multi-functioning space in which all years of our course happily mix, share ideas and inspire one another.

Our course is carefully structured, starting at first principles, allowing you to develop rapidly using innovative project briefs, technical workshops, frequent studio lectures, practical demonstrations and visits from professional designers.

We love graphic design and, after studying with us, we’re sure you’ll feel the same. More importantly, you’ll be using that passion to produce exciting design across a wide range of traditional and digital media, showing your skill, commitment, versatility and creativity to potential employers.

To see much more of what we do please visit our website


and our course blog


What can this course lead to?

Our purpose is to help you graduate as a flexible, fully prepared, highly motivated, professional designer. In fact, just the type of person the creative industries are crying out for.

We’re very successful at what we do and our graduates go on to work for national and international design and advertising consultancies, multi-media agencies, TV companies, publishing houses and magazines.

Our reputation for excellence in the teaching of typography and magazine design means that each year a number of our graduates are head-hunted by the major magazine publishing houses including Future Publishing, IPC and Condé Nast.

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We have also had great success in the world of multi-media design – two of our students gaining highly prized jobs at MTV as designer/animators and Ryan Young and Lee Freeman are now working at the innovative London advertising agencySell! Sell!

Fredrik Öst and Magnus Berg returned to their native Sweden to start their own, highly individual, multi-disciplinary design company Snask, a design studio which is now so successful and famous, you canbuy a book about them!

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Recent news, awards and jobs

This year our students were busy with a wide variety of live project work.

Luvena Petty created a complete identity and website for TV antiques expert Paul Laidlaw’s new auction house. Ford Mason created the packaging design for TMR’s revolutionary new ‘Imprint’, mountain bike grips and Ruth Fogden created a website for a large renewable energy company.

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Josh Ford saw his work for Bear Alphabites win a YCN award.

As for visiting speakers, Gary Bovill and James McCarthy, who are both Cumbria graduates, visited us. Gary now works at Energy Design Studio in London and James is a senior designer at Drumbeat Creative in Manchester.

We also welcomed graphic illustrator Nik Holmes and the wonderful Jill Calder who came to talk about her recent illustration work.

Perhaps the most memorable visit of the year was the triumphant return to their former University of Snask’s Freddie and Magnus who not onlygave a lecture but also brought along a rock band (like you do)!

As for jobs, in a challenging economic climate, our recent graduates have been amazingly successful at quickly gaining good jobs in the design industry. Derrian Bradder achieved her ‘dream job’ as a designer atPenquin Books, Adam Peel joined Think Publicity, James Cope works for Benoy, Jasper Van Looveren Baines joined thePMN Group, Adam Norfolk is at Turley, Luci Ormrod is a designer atFoot Asylum, Luvena Petty is the in-house designer atUCSU, Samantha Davison works forChic Magazine, Samantha Priestley is a designer atCaterite, Ami Swift is with Fleishman Hillard and Ruth Fogden is atNeomam.

Resources and facilities

We are immensely proud of our fantastic, huge and well-equipped studio space. It contains over eighty Mac workstations, small tutorial and lecture spaces, staff offices, and lots of space for student work bases. It also has the advantage of having an in-house reprographics department for all your printing needs. The benefits to you of working alongside students from all years of the course are immense and the mix creates an inspiring, dynamic, stimulating and continually changing environment.

Unlike most other universities, we also believe you should be able to exploit any technical areas your project work may require. We make sure you have access to computer training labs, animation suites, printmaking studios, moving image editing suites, wood, metal and plastic workshops, textile studios, photography studios and even our ceramics department! One of our students even converted a caravan into a travelling contemporary design gallery...

Please feel free to browse the photos in our course gallery of the studio, campus and resources our students use and enjoy on a daily basis.

Teaching, Assessment and Learning

We believe that assessment is not the end but the beginning of the process of learning. Feedback can come not only from lecturers, but also from their peers, or the student themselves. We have our own website with more information about teaching, learning and assessment in graphic design and illustration: www.grillust.com/tal.

Have a look at our learning resources for Graphic Design.

What our students say

Watch the video above to find out what design superstars Freddie and Magnus of SNASK had to say about their old university...

“The University of Cumbria appealed to me greatly due to the staff, learning environment and location. It was easily the best I visited – all aspects were better than other universities.” – Ross Edwards (Year 1 student, originally from Maidstone in Kent)

“The small class size meant I would receive plenty of feedback. Before I visited, Cumbria was my 4thchoice but after visiting, on an open day, I realised it was a far more attractive and sensible choice than the other Unis I had previously placed above it.” – Lewis White (Year 1 student, originally from Blackpool)

I visited and loved it! The tutors here are so friendly and fun, I’ve got access to lots of equipment and it’s also great to be in a smaller group.” – Charlotte Hepworth (Year 2 student, originally from Leeds)

“Cumbria was recommended to me by my tutor. I did some research and the more I did, the more I wanted to come here. The facilities are some of the best – the tutors are friendly and obviously love their job.” – Alex Hill (Year 2 student, originally from Wigan)

“Thanks again for everything. Wouldn't be anywhere near where I am now if not for you guys!” – Jasper Van Loovern Baines (graduate now working at the PMN Group)

“Thanks for all your help over the 3 years and I’ll be sure to pop up to sunny Carlisle – who’d have thought I'd be moving to London?!!” – James Cope (graduate now working at Benoy)


Home and EU students: £9,000 per academic year

International students: £10,500 per academic year

For more information on finance: