BA (Hons)

Graphic Design

  • UCAS code(s): W211
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This award-winning course will give you the chance to learn about graphic design and engage with it in a way that reflects current industry practice.

You will have the chance to study the broadest range of disciplines including typography, branding, advertising,
illustration, editorial design, interactive design, animation, moving image, information design, and packaging.

The course will equip you with the professional, creative, intellectual, and technical skills you need to work successfully within the global design profession, and it is known for producing interdisciplinary graduates who are industry-ready.

By the end of the course you will have developed a professional portfolio tailored to your own career aspirations, and be ready to launch your career as a designer.

Key features

  • Gain a professionally accredited degree – this course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD).
  • This 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, and from branding to interactive design.
  • Learn in a creative studio environment, using industry-standard equipment and software.
  • Spend your final year developing a professional portfolio in line with your career aspirations.
  • Work on live briefs with national and international companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Tigerprint, Hallmark, and Paul Smith.
  • Develop your professional skills through self-initiated work experience placements, competitions, collaborations with organisations, and visiting lecturers.
  • Apply to go on an overseas exchange to a partner university in Europe through the Erasmus programme.
  • Go on field trips and optional study visits to cities like New York, Berlin, and Barcelona.
  • Be selected to showcase your work at London graduate exhibitions including D&AD New Blood, New Designers, and our Royal Society of the Arts Portfolio Review event.
  • 95% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

Student work

Accredited by:

Chartered Society of Designers logo
Creative Skillset logo
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What you'll study

  • Year One

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Design Studio 1 (100 credit points)
    You will learn about, and begin to practise, the process behind effective graphic design. You will focus on topics such as typography, image-making, branding, packaging, editorial design, illustration, and film or animation.

    You will also produce a portfolio – from a seven-week workshop rotation – that includes screen and analogue printing, photography, visualisation, design and layout, paper craft and bookbinding, and Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

    Visual Culture 1 (20 credit points)
    You will be given an introduction to the history of graphic design, from the Renaissance to the present day. You will study the factors that have shaped graphic design and the role that this discipline has played in spreading ideas.

    Through lectures, seminars, and tutorials, you will increase your understanding of relevant issues and controversies. You will also cover research methods, writing, and analytical skills

  • Year Two

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Design Studio 2 (100 credit points)
    You will build on your Year One experimentation, creative skills, and techniques. You will engage with tutor-written briefs, live industry projects, and both negotiated and competition briefs. In order to identify your personal strengths and interests – and your own identity as a designer – you will also explore the varied strands of contemporary graphic design practice.

    Visual Culture 2 (20 credit points)
    This historical and theoretical module will prepare you for your final year dissertation. Upon completion, you will be able to identify
    characteristics of graphic design through reference to other creative practices and media forms.

    You will develop your writing and presentation skills, and study a range of current issues in visual culture to generate ideas for your dissertation.

  • Final year

    Design Studio and Visual Culture 3 (120 credit points – studio work 100 credit points, dissertation 20 credit points)

    This module includes both studio work and a written dissertation. In your studio work you will focus on independent learning and portfolio development, and complete a number projects. This includes professional membership schemes (ISTD student assessment scheme), student competitions (D&AD, RSA Student Design Awards, Creative Conscience Awards, YCN, Roses Student Awards), negotiated projects, and live briefs.

    You will write a 5,000-word dissertation based on a subject relevant to visual culture that you can negotiate with tutors. You will study and write about this subject, applying the researching, critical thinking and writing skills you have developed throughout the course.

Course specification

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

Explore the whole subject area of graphic design.

How you’re taught

Studio practice is a key element of this course, and you’ll spend a lot of time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences will include:

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

Assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework. You will be assessed at the end of each module and awarded a grade. You will receive feedback throughout. Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:

  • a portfolio of design work
  • presentations
  • essays
  • seminars
  • lecture quizzes
  • a dissertation.

Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Trips and study visits

Our Graphic Design students have recently travelled to New York and Berlin on optional trips, where they visited design studios and met practitioners.

Trips also offer the chance to explore museums and galleries, and gather insights and inspiration to inform your own practice and project development. Year One and Two students have recently attended the 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 in London, where your work will be viewed by industry.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Learn in a creative studio environment.

Careers and employability

This course has a reputation for employment, with many graduates securing jobs at well-known design consultancies. Some choose to use their skills in other fields such as teaching and management, while others go on to set up their own business or work on a freelance basis. 95% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

Graduates from this course are now working in areas such as:

  • packaging
  • branding and identity
  • illustration
  • publishing
  • art direction
  • motion graphics and post production
  • design for screen and interactive design.

Recent graduate destinations and job roles include:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch, graphic designer
  • BYG Systems, illustrator / artist
  • Benoy, junior graphic designer
  • Design Bridge, graphic designer
  • Hallmark Cards, designer
  • Household Design, junior 2D designer
  • Interbrand, junior designer
  • Rare Breed Marketing, account executive
  • River Island, assistant online graphic designer
  • Start Judgegill, graduate designer
  • Stockdale Martin, graphic design
  • TMW Unlimited, junior motion designer
  • Webb deVlam, graphic design intern
  • Zoocha, junior web designer
  • 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 for up to three years after completing your course.

Links with industry

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

  • Ben Brookbanks, MultiAdaptor
  • Bruno Maag, Dalton Maag
  • Freda Sack, The Foundry
  • Jack Renwick, Jack Renwick Studio
  • James Richards and Sean Murphy, Kind Studio
  • Jonathan Barnbook, Barnbrook
  • Mike Meyer, sign painter
  • Norman Hayes, Waste Studio
  • Phil McNeill, Kin Design
  • Richard de Hoxar, Vault 49
  • Roderick Mills, illustrator
  • Stephen Woowat, Something More.

Our students have also recently worked on live projects with Cartils, Vault 49, Hallmark and Tigerprint.

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), giving you free membership during your studies. You will also have access to CSD online careers advice, guidance, and vacancies.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You’ll be encouraged to undertake work experience alongside your studies. Course staff will support you by directing you towards work placement and professional practice opportunities.

Our Graphic Design students have recently gained work experience with companies such as:

  • Aardman Animations
  • Esquire magazine
  • Interbrand
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Sky
  • The Observer.

95% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created  this calculator to help you work it out.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created this calculator to help you work it out.

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 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 you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

You'll need a creative portfolio to apply for this course.

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 that 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 +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 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.

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 that 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 +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. You can also 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 and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with 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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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 and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with 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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418