BA (Hons)

Graphic Design

  • UCAS code(s): W211
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City site
  • Starting: September 2016
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • The entry requirements may be different while in clearing

Our BA (Hons) Graphic Design at NTU is known for producing interdisciplinary graduates who are industry-ready.

This course gives you the opportunity to explore the different areas of Graphic Design through studio practice and academic research and study. You’ll study the broadest range of disciplines including typography, branding, advertising, illustration, editorial design, interactive design, animation, moving image, information design and packaging.

It will equip you with the professional, creative, intellectual and technical skills required to work successfully within the global design profession. By the end of your degree you'll have developed a professional portfolio, tailored to your own career aspirations, ready to launch your career as a designer.

Key features

  • Gain a professionally accredited degree - this is the only Graphic Design course in the UK to be accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers.
  • The course has been awarded the Creative Skillset tick, a mark of quality and strong links with industry.
  • Explore the whole subject area of Graphic Design, from typography to illustration, from branding to interactive design.
  • Learn in a creative studio environment, using industry-standard equipment and software.
  • Spend Year Three developing a professional portfolio in line with your career aspirations.
  • Work with national and international companies on live briefs, such as Abercrombie & Fitch.
  • Develop your professional skills through self-initiated work experience placements, competitions, collaborations with organisations and visiting lecturers.
  • Apply to go on an overseas exchange in Year Two to a partner university in Europe through the Erasmus scheme.
  • Go on field trips and optional study visits to cities like New York and Barcelona.
  • Be selected to showcase your work at London graduate exhibitions including D&AD New Blood, New Designers and our Royal Society of Arts Portfolio Review event.
  • Follow in the footsteps of NTU student Cairo Hamilton who has recently won the prestigious RSA Student Design Award.
  • 90% of students are satisfied with this course. (National Student Survey, 2015)

Accredited by:

Creative Skillset logo
Chartered Society of Designers logo

What you'll study

  • Year One

    Design Studio 1 (100 credit points)
    In this module you will learn about, and begin to practise, the process behind the development of effective graphic design solutions. This module will be fast-paced, with a studio and tutorial debate around the design process. Risk taking will be encouraged as well as the development of strong personal visual abilities.

    You'll complete a number of different projects that will focus on areas such as typography, image making, branding, packaging, editorial design, illustration, and film / animation. You'll also produce a portfolio of process and outcomes in response to a seven-week workshop rotation which will include screen and analogue printing, photography, visualisation, design and layout, paper craft and book binding, and Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

    Visual Culture 1 (20 credit points)
    This module will give you an introduction to the history of graphic design, from the Renaissance to present day. It will look at the various factors that have shaped graphic design and also the role it has played in spreading ideas.

    Through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials, emphasis is placed on raising your awareness of relevant issues and controversies, as well as establishing a timeline of events. You will also be introduced to research methods, writing and analytical skills.

  • Year Two

    Design Studio 2 (100 credit points)
    This module gives you the opportunity to build on your Year One experimentation, creative skills and techniques. You will engage with tutor written briefs, live industry projects, negotiated and competition briefs.

    You will be encouraged to explore the varied strands of contemporary graphic design practice, in order to identify your personal strengths and interests, and your own personal identity as a designer.

    Visual Culture 2 (20 credit points)
    This is a historical and theoretical module which builds on the skills and knowledge developed in Visual Culture 1, and prepares you for your Year Three dissertation module. It aims to enable you to identify characteristics of graphic design through reference to other creative practice and media forms.

    This module offers you the opportunity to develop your writing and presentation skills. You will become familiar with a range of current issues in visual culture which will help to give you ideas for your dissertation.

  • Final year

    Design Studio and Visual Culture 3 (120 credit points) (Studio work 84%, Dissertation 16%)
    This year-long module includes both studio work and a written dissertation. In your studio work you will complete a number of set or negotiated projects, with a focus on independent learning and portfolio development.

    This will include professional membership schemes (ISTD student assessment scheme), student competitions (D&AD, Design InSight RSA, Creative Conscience Awards, YCN, MPA Roses), set projects by tutors, negotiated projects proposed by you, and live briefs and outside commissions. Through these projects you'll develop a portfolio of professional-level design work ready to launch your career.

    Your dissertation will be 5,000 words based on a subject relevant to visual culture, which you can negotiate with tutors. This gives you the opportunity to study and write about a subject of personal interest by putting into practise the researching, critical thinking and writing skills you will have developed throughout the course.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Studio practice is a key element to this course, and you'll spend a lot of time in a creative studio environment.
You will also learn through:

  • studio activities;
  • peer groups;
  • lectures;
  • workshops;
  • seminars;
  • group tutorials;
  • one-to-one surgeries;
  • portfolio reviews; and
  • self-initiated work experience.

You will also be involved in self-directed project work where you will have the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.

Assessment

Assessment for this course is 100% through coursework.

How you are assessed will depend on the individual module, but may take the form of:

  • a portfolio of design work;
  • presentations (individual and group);
  • essays;
  • seminars;
  • lecture quizzes; and
  • a dissertation.

To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credits each year. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Trips and study visits

Recent international destinations include New York and Berlin where you'll have the opportunity to visit design studios and meet practitioners working in these countries.

Trips also offer the chance to explore museums and galleries, and gather insights and inspiration to inform your own practice and project development. First and second year students have recently attended Pick Me Up Graphic Arts festival at Somerset House in London.

Exchange opportunities

The University is part of the Erasmus programme and has agreements with a number of partner institutions throughout Europe.

If you're thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, Erasmus is a great way of experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, learning a new language and gaining a study experience which will enhance your CV. Exchanges usually take place during Year Two of your studies.

Recent exchange destinations our Graphic Design students have visited include the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Degree Show

You will exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show. This event includes all final-year students across NTU's Art and Design courses, and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in our final year portfolio review at the Royal Society of Arts and to be selected to exhibit your work at D&AD New Blood and New Designers graduate shows London, where your work will be viewed by industry.

Careers and employability

This course has a reputation for employment, with many graduates securing jobs at well-known national and regional design consultancies. Graduates have also chosen to use their well-developed interpersonal skills in other fields such as teaching and management, while others have gone on to set up their own businesses or work as freelancers. Some progress to postgraduate study.

Professional practice is embedded in to each year of this degree course through competitions and live projects. Short periods of work experience are also encouraged , giving you the opportunity to find out more about the different roles within the industry.

Recent graduates from this course are now working in a range of design consultancies across the broad spectrum of graphic design including packaging, branding and identity, illustration, publishing, art direction, motion graphics and post production, and design for screen / interactive design.

Recent graduate destinations and job roles include:

  • BYG Systems, illustrator / artist;
  • Benoy, junior graphic designer;
  • Design Bridge, graphic designer;
  • Elmwood, junior designer;
  • Graphite Print & Design Ltd, graphic designer;
  • Hallmark Cards, designer;
  • Interbrand, junior designer;
  • Rare Breed Marketing, account executive;
  • River Island, assistant online graphic designer;
  • Stockdale and Martin, graphic design;
  • Storm DFX, 2D designer;
  • The Creative Branch, graphic designer;
  • Together Design, junior graphic designer;
  • Tullo Marshall Warren (TMW), junior motion designers;
  • Webb deVlam, graphic design intern;
  • Zoocha, junior web designer; and
  • Skew, graphic designer.

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Links with industry

Industry professionals visit the course to guest lecture and share their experience. Recent visitors have included:

  • Peter Hollingsworth, Futurebrand;
  • Anup Parmer, Esquire;
  • Carolyn Roberts, The Observer;
  • Jenny Webber, YCN;
  • Emmi Sanolen, Studio Emmi;
  • Tigerprint;
  • Fraser Davidson, Sweet Crude;
  • Kamran Khalvani, AllofUs;
  • Alun Edwards, Studio Output;
  • Mike Smith, Channel 4 news;
  • Stephen Woowat and Ruth Wood, Elmwood;
  • John Paul Dowling, ISTD;
  • Craig Sinammon, Mind Design;
  • Eleanor Holton and Richard De Hoxar, Fitch;
  • Tim Jackson, Rachel Nee and Stuart Watson, venturethree;
  • Hallmark; and
  • Interbrand.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You will be actively encouraged and supported to undertake informal work experience and professional practice in addition to your studies.

You will normally complete these placements during holiday times, but you will have the option of taking up to two weeks out of term time which you can negotiate with your tutor.

Our teaching staff, including part-time lecturers who are professionally active, help and support students in directing them towards work placement and professional practice opportunities. This can be through their own contacts, through graduates from the course, or through links with companies and practitioners that have been built by the course over a number of years.

Companies and organisations that our Graphic Design students have worked with on placement include:

  • Aardman Animations;
  • All of Us;
  • Elmwood;
  • Esquire magazine;
  • Fitch;
  • Hallmark;
  • Interbrand;
  • Paul Smith;
  • Rolls Royce;
  • Saatchi Design;
  • SKY;
  • Stocks Taylor Benson;
  • Studio Output;
  • The Observer;
  • The One Off;
  • Tigerprint; and
  • XL Recordings.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 280 UCAS Tariff points achieved from a maximum of four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths or Science, grade C.

We will accept a BTEC Extended Diploma as equivalent to three qualifications. We will accept an Art and Design Foundation Diploma as equivalent to two qualifications.

Other requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 280 UCAS Tariff points achieved from a maximum of four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths or Science, grade C.

We will accept a BTEC Extended Diploma as equivalent to three qualifications. We will accept an Art and Design Foundation Diploma as equivalent to two qualifications.

Other requirements

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can prepare for this course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City site and NTIC can use all of the University's facilities.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You'll find our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests here. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students which are full of advice and information about to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where invited, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Graphic Design interview and portfolio information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline, 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the international entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where applicable, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are resident in the UK and invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Graphic Design interview and portfolio information.

Application deadline

If you aren't resident in the UK we'll ask you to make an online work submission. Download our BA (Hons) Graphic Design work submission information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline, 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students which are full of advice and information about to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In
addition to expert tuition and access to our first class workshop and IT resources,
you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies;
  • £100 print/materials credit for each year of your course (maximum three years) for use
    within Bonington art shop, College workshops and College print facilities;
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops / laboratories;
  • Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) as required;
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable);
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable); and
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance within NTU print shops and library photocopiers.

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In
addition to expert tuition and access to our first class workshop and IT resources,
you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies;
  • £100 print/materials credit for each year of your course (maximum three years) for use
    within Bonington art shop, College workshops and College print facilities;
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops / laboratories;
  • Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) as required;
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable);
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable); and
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance within NTU print shops and library photocopiers.

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418