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BA (Hons) - Graphic Design (with integrated foundation year)

Have alternative qualifications or don't quite meet our entry criteria? No problem. If you’re looking for a graphic design foundation course that will develop your skills and confidence in a supportive, dynamic environment then look no further. Your introductory year will give you the technical expertise and knowledge to progress to our highly respected undergraduate programme.

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Graphic Design (with integrated foundation year) cover image

Course Overview

To break into the competitive but rewarding graphic design industry, you’ll need an exciting portfolio, excellent subject knowledge, the skills to use the latest professional equipment and technology – and your own unique flair in creatively solving communication problems.

So, if you’re looking for a graphic design foundation course that will develop your skills and confidence in a supportive, dynamic environment then look no further. Your introductory year will give you the technical expertise and knowledge to progress to our highly respected undergraduate programme.

Following your foundation year, our hands-on course is designed to take you to your creative limits and graduate with the confidence, experience and skills that are so sought after by employers in this highly selective but exciting industry.

On this course you will...

  • Develop an appreciation of the key theories and contexts that influence graphic design today.
  • Develop a portfolio of graphic design work that demonstrates your understanding, visual skills and critical judgement.
  • Work on industry-led briefs enabling you to develop autonomy, creativity and professionalism.
  • Develop a range of industry standard skills: idea generation, design development, typography, layout, 3D graphics, motion graphics, digital artwork, presentation skills, etc.
  • Undertake group projects which simulate the workflow of a professional studio.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

You will work closely with illustrators exploring the fundamental principles of visual communication and many of the core principles and considerations are shared between the two disciplines,

As well as visual communication skills, you will also develop the personal management, interpersonal and team working skills that will help you to deal with the challenges of the exciting, fast-changing industry that you’re a part of during and after life as a student. From Semester 2 onwards your learning will become ever more specialised and industry-focused. This enables you to develop specialist skills and understanding in such diverse areas as typography, editorial and book design, branding and identity, packaging, motion graphics, exhibition design, etc.

Year one

The year is all about gaining experience and confidence that will act as a springboard onto your main degree. When you join us you’ll become a valued member of a wide creative community and from the outset, you’ll be encouraged to share your ideas, experiences and work with staff, fellow students and, eventually, the wider world.

You will have the same access to facilities as any other student in the Institute of the Arts, but with the added advantage of working very closely alondgside illustration, fine art and photography IFY students, seeing how different disciplines approach visual enquiry and problem-solving. Gaining practical experience of collaboration at this early stage is a unique feature of the course that mirrors industry practice. Design is rarely a solo occupation!

  • Visual Literacy
  • Technical Processes
  • Applied Visual Practice
  • Design Cultures
Year two

In this year, you’ll gain fundamental knowledge and practical experience of visual communication, the building blocks of visual language and professional attitudes and practices.

  • Design Fundamentals
  • Design in Context 1
  • Communicating Ideas
  • Thinking through Image-Making
Year three

This year is focused on applying the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to a series of design challenges. Testing and refining your design and personal management skills in a number of scenarios will give you confidence in your abilitiy to tackle unfamiliar challenges. As your confidence grows through experience you’ll begin to develop your own, personal stands of interest or specialism.

  • Principles of Graphic Design
  • Principles of Multimedia
  • Exploration of Graphic Design
  • Design in Context 2
Year four

Flexibility is most evident in this final year where all of the skills, knowledge and confidence you have developed so far is brought together to produce a portfolio of design work that showcases your talents. With your career aspirations or personal research interests in mind, you’ll have a high degree of freedom in choosing what type of work you want to develop.

  • Graphic Design Application
  • Professional Context
  • Graphic Design Practice
  • Professional Practice

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