Graphic design is a crucial element of any sort of marketing. Graphic designers are responsible for all of your favourite logos, and the way you remember certain brands and products. A degree in graphic design will allow you to develop your design skills using industry standard technology and modern design processes. You will be able to widen your experience within the discipline, preparing you to thrive in your future career in graphic design.
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About Graphic Design
The accreditation of a graphic design degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by the level at which you will be studying. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Design (BDes), a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or an integrated Master of Design (MDes). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or a Master of Arts by Research (MA (Res)). Further study will award research degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate graphic design degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £8,000
An undergraduate degree in graphic design will give you a good foundation level of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on visual communication, adobe software (including adobe photoshop and adobe indesign), visual culture, history of graphic design, image and branding, creative writing, and sight and sound. The majority of graphic design degrees will be designed to suit those students who do not have a large amount of experience in the area, as well as challenging those who have previously studied or worked within the subject. All of the modules will be aimed at developing your graphic design practice. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating studio-based practical sessions. Assessment methods might include written work, project based work, presentations, and a final major research project.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MA, you will build on the skills and knowledge gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of graphic design. You will develop your understanding of both traditional and contemporary concepts of the subject area. Modules and specialisms might include creative analysis, typography, business skills for creative industries, contemporary issues in graphic design, and international graphic design. Assessment methods could include written work, project work, presentations and a final major research project.
The entry requirements for courses in graphic design will depend on where you choose to study. They will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree may require you to have a background in graphic design or other similar creative design courses. If you do not have a strong background in this area, but can prove that you are passionate about graphic design, some universities may still consider your application. You can display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in graphic design, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - ABB-BBC
- UCAS Points - 128-112 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Art, Product Design, Photography, Design and Technology
- Other Entry Requirements - some institutions might require that you submit a portfolio as part of your application. They will be able to provide you with more information about what to include and how to submit it.
- Degree Requirements - 2:2 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Graphic Design, Art, Photography, Product Design, Architecture
Graduates of a graphic design degree will find that there are many different career opportunities available to them. The wide range of skills gained throughout your degree will be useful and applicable in a variety of industries. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, jobs might include working as a graphic designer, a creative director, animator, illustrator, or a printmaker. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to your degree, jobs could include working as a fine artist, a CAD technician, an interior designer, an architect, a photographer, or a stylist.