BA (Hons) Graphic Design: Visual Communication

3 years full-time /

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If you are interested in this course then please visit us on one of our open days. For more details please follow the link below:

This course emphasises practical and conceptual skills, and enables you to integrate a command of visual language with imagination, theory and technology. The course prepares you for contemporary practice, with a multi-disciplinary approach where an open and flexible methodology is developed.

You explore how communication forms interact and converge, producing idea driven solutions.  Projects could include editorial design, typography, book arts, digital and broadcast media, traditional and digital printmaking, information design, and visual narrative. Throughout the course the discussion of contemporary issues encourages you to investigate the culture and theory of communication design. These studies also develop research skills and your ability to structure your ideas and arguments.

We encourage exchanges with other design institutions enabling students the possibility of study abroad with a diverse range of places from Australia to Italy, USA to Ireland.

Tutors are professionals in the industry working as designers, typographers, illustrators, fine artists and photographers and they encourage you to be innovative and extend your creative ideas. Throughout this course you will be encouraged to articulate your own personal voice as a designer, whilst creating visually driven communication content that is relevant to contemporary culture.


You have access to:

• Digital media rooms with Macs, programmed with the latest industry design software including: Adobe Creative Suite (inDesign, Photoshop, illustrator, etc..), Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, After effects, Adobe publishing suite and Premiere pro.
• Digital SLR and HD video cameras
• Fully-equipped video and photographic studios, darkrooms and photo finishing areas
• Printmaking studios, providing you with access to lithography, screen-printing, etching and relief printing.

Industry experience

The course has an active programme of links with design practitioners including a strong relationship with International Typographics magazine, Baseline. Recent visiting speakers include Bruno Maag (typographer), Jonathon Barnbrook (British graphic designer and typographer) and Hans Dieter Reichert of Baseline magazine, as well as representatives from companies such as Conran Design and Rare Corporate Design.

Career opportunities

Our graduates develop careers in graphic design, art direction, and also as picture editors, information designers, account handlers, web and broadcast designers. They work in design and advertising agencies, publishing houses, museums, art galleries, television and film companies.

Year 1

• Introduction to visual communication
• Explore typography and relationship of language to visual communication
• Sign culture: constructing meaning and exploration of the place of graphic design in culture and society
• Extended practice electives: this might include animation, photography, video, printmaking, bookworks, web development, sound, video, etc
• Narrative and sequence: screen-based design

Year 2

• The editorial process: exploring the visualisation of complex information
• Work experience elective: short work experience or ‘live’ brief (includes possibility of competition entry)
• Extended practice electives: this might include animation, photography, video, printmaking, bookworks, web development, sound, video, etc
• History of art and design relevant to your practice
• Critical histories: a seminar programme offering a distinctive critical history of art and design relevant to your practice
• Critical roles: engages you with the social and ethical responsibility of the designer
• Defining your practice: reflection on a specialist interest that you hold within the field of visual communication
• Research seminar: a series of research seminar options which focuses on one of a range of subject-based and inter-disciplinary themes

Year 3

• Self-initiated projects – ‘minor’ and ‘major’
• Dissertation
• Portfolio and career development.


We like to see your creative potential from sketchbooks through to completed project work. Portfolios should be carefully edited to show a range of work that illustrates the breadth of your creative skills. You could include typography, text and image, photographic and illustrative work.


Tel: Judi Batten, Course administrator: 01227 817466.
Email: Hugh Harwood, Course Leader: