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Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
Our passionate and highly experienced staff understand how to nurture talent and are dedicated to building your confidence, knowledge and design skills that will help you to succeed within the creative industries. We have fantastic facilities, award-winning students and alumni, and a focus on employability and cutting-edge professional skills.
The Graphic Design team combine teaching with professional practice in a variety of fields including: graphic design, branding, illustration, exhibition and experience design, editorial, print, web and mobile interface, packaging, 3D (digital/physical/Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)), animation and motion graphics. Each bring their industry insights and experience directly into teaching and, when coupled with influential guest speakers, enriches your student experience and ensures that the course meets the needs of an exciting and dynamic industry.
Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning, with support and a structure that helps you develop independent study skills. You'll take advantage of the University's specialist learning communities, knowledge structures, facilities, computer suites and enhanced techniques to develop a command of core and advanced creative skillsets.
Year 1 focuses on skills and knowledge acquisition and development, applied across a comprehensive range of techniques, both studio and software-based. Moving into year 2, you'll focus on idea and conceptual development, while honing technical skills for a broad range of print and screen-based outcomes.
You'll have the opportunity to apply to undertake an optional placement year out in industry between your second and final year, this is sometimes known as a sandwich degree.
In your final year, professional practice is underpinned by further theoretical, conceptual and technical development that culminates in a major project that defines your practice, interests, skills and knowledge.
If you study this course on a part-time basis you'll typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the normal working hours and you will be studying as a member of the full-time cohort.
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the important theoretical and historical contexts which have shaped modern design, opening up creative possibilities in your work. Gain a broad view of design disciplines, through lectures and seminars intended to provoke wider debate. Develop analytical and research skills by exploring subjects in design theory and history through assignments. Finish the module with an understanding of various historical and theoretical ideas, intended to encourage you to challenge conventional thinking.
Develop design experience and knowledge for print and screen, through a range of visual and practical methodologies. Learn the underpinning design principles through various workshops, lectures and set projects using industry standard software and facilities. Explore creative typography, image making and contemporary visual communication to build a strong foundation for further development.
Explore the techniques and dynamics of visual communication, such as semiotics and Gestalt theory, that assist you to understand and develop a visual intelligence. Learn the aesthetics and dynamics of visual form and the applications it has in a variety of subject areas such as advertising and graphic design. Develop a personal, reflective, independent exploration and evaluation of communication, graphic enquiry, typographic contexts, visual analysis and image generation.
Develop your ability to convey ideas through moving image, by learning techniques that will allow you to design, plan, edit and create movies using motion graphics and special effects. Understand the language used to communicate through time-based media and learn a range of industry-standard software and hardware to hone your skills. Practice the techniques that will allow you to create and synchronise moving graphics, video, sound, typography, animated elements and visual effects to create dynamic and effective movies.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Develop a critical understanding of important issues linked to design such as the environment, globalisation, gender representation, equality and diversity. Be encouraged to consider your ethical role as a developing designer. Be introduced to ways of considering a major piece of written work (the dissertation in Stage 3), based on a subject relevant to your own practice. Finish the module with a developing design philosophy that potentially impacts on your ways of working and thinking in terms of studio practice.
Get a basic introduction to the historical, theoretical and fundamental principles of typography and design. Follow this up with in depth practical research on typography, image creation and advanced layout techniques using new technology and traditional processes.
Combine and build on the techniques learned at stage one to produce compelling motion design suited to real world applications. Research and experiment with advanced motion and cinematic techniques, as a vehicle for exploring the creative and visual possibilities of professional motion graphics and special effects. Develop your abilities individually or collaboratively, to sell ideas, persuade, inform, change views and behaviour, through the powerful medium of motion design. Create engaging movies which can impact an audience and enhance your professional portfolio.
Understand how Graphic Communication is a term used to describe Graphic Design where the boundaries and parameters are consciously eroded and redefined. Demonstrate a greater creativity and originality in your practice by testing and challenging established outcomes in graphic design. Explore originality in responses to contemporary culture in which the audiences themselves share in the act of communication; and where meaning is more significant than surface superficiality.
Experience a short work placement with an employer. Alternatively, gain other experience of working in the creative industries. Examples include: live jobs; competition briefs; a creative placement; and a collaboration with fellow students from relevant subject areas.
Develop an in-depth investigation into a particular issue or topic that is relevant to you as a developing designer, or an issue inspired by wider society. Utilise and build on your knowledge of various design and theoretical disciplines and techniques. Gain research and organisational skills through an introductory lecture, tutorials and discussion. Complete the module with a dissertation (3,500 to 4,500 words), supported by a clear central question and hypothesis relevant to the chosen topic. Research conducted in this module can be used as the foundations for your major final project, although this is not compulsory.
Explore specific aspects of graphic design and choose a range of projects according to your own personal interests or portfolio/career needs. Demonstrate a wide range of independent research, creative and technical skills and create high quality work, which you can include in a formal portfolio.
Produce a project that will be the centrepiece of your showcase to future employers, demonstrating your fresh and creative approach to your discipline. Develop new and specific skills, explore creative direction and be immersed in the exploration of broad, deep, enquiring and focused communication.
Our typical offer is:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement||GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)|
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
If you are studying a HND or Foundation Degree you may be able to enter onto the final year of our degree courses. Candidates wishing to be considered for direct entry to Level 2/3 should contact email@example.com.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
We are interested in your creative potential; please prepare a portfolio of work you have completed so far. We are not looking for perfection as we appreciate you may still be developing work. We would like to see:
If you are an international applicant, please send a link to your online portfolio.
The annual, full-time fee for this course is:
Tuition fees for part-time students are £6,935 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area), and Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme are classed as international, however, for 23/24 admission you will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the home tuition fee rate for the duration of your studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Throughout the course we'll support you to launch your design career. You'll develop a creative and industry-ready portfolio, access work placements, attend employability days and put your designs on show to the public.
On modules such as ‘Graphic Design and Professional Practice', you'll also receive valuable advice on a variety of work-related topics. These range from costing and business plans to going freelance, self-promotion, self-employment, enterprise, careers, networking and copyright issues.
You'll also develop a Professional Engagement Document. This highlights all your self-development activities and engagement with industry, as well as other factors that give you an edge compared to other graduates.
Our graduates have gone on to work all over the globe in graphic design, editorial, infographics, motion graphics, advertising, web, packaging, experience and interactive design. Our graduates boast employment at Everything Different, Ordinance Survey, MTV, Sitel Group, Newcastle Football Club, Sports Direct, Initials Marketing, Cravens, Blumilk, Frontier (games) and SEGA. Most work in the creative industries of publishing, design consultancies and advertising design, while others prefer self-employment.
This creative degree can also open doors into many other careers, such as teaching, or further study to Masters or Doctorate level.
We encourage you to participate in competitions and award schemes including those run by the Design and Art Directors Association (of which we are a corporate member). Such competitions are part of building up a compelling creative portfolio.
In your final year you'll display your work at our annual Degree Show, attended by industry experts and potential employers. You may also have the opportunity to take your work to London.
In addition, our academic team organises visits to arts venues across the UK and in cities such as Edinburgh, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and New York. Our London campus hosts a visit each year, providing access to the varied museums and galleries and opportunities to visit studios such as JRK Global, Anyways and Ogilvy.
We hold specific ‘employability days’ to help give our students that essential cutting edge. We invite graduates and employers to come into the University in order to look at student portfolios and give advice.
Through our links with industry, we also attract professionals in graphic design to come in and give talks throughout the year. These help you gain valuable insights and contacts in the world of work. Our creative spaces and conferences attract acclaimed guest speakers from across the design world, such as Andy Altmann (Why Not Associates) and Andy Sandoz, an Honorary graduate and former president of the internationally influential Design and Art Direction. To find out more about our guest speakers visit Creative Lives.
Creative Industries Week gives everyone in Arts and Creative the opportunity to participate in a range of projects, workshops, talks, industry visits and career events. This exciting week encourages interdisciplinary working, broadens your experience, to build your confidence and help develop your career path.
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