BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Ever judged a book by its cover? Then you've been influenced by graphic design. This ever-changing field of visual communication requires problem-solving, creative professionals able to use typography, photography and illustration to grab attention and communicate ideas, values and emotions in a matter of seconds. Interested? Then explore our Graphic Design degree.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Course details

Every day we read adverts, engage with websites and spend money based on choices influenced by messages delivered through graphic design. Graphic designers produce content for digital and traditional media. They creatively combine photography, illustration and typography to communicate messages for clients from big brands to small businesses.

This industry has seen massive changes in working methods, practices and media over the last ten years. However, the creative thought process that designers employ remains the same. Built on a series of diverse and challenging practical assignments underpinned by appropriate theory, our Graphic Design degree aims to give you the skills to understand the creative process from start to finish.

The course is designed to help you understand the creative and technical possibilities of contemporary graphics image making coupled with great typography and driven by original thinking. We'll encourage you to explore the theoretical and historical elements that that influence design and think critically about your own work and that of others.

We'll also focus on helping you to develop career-relevant skills. Creativity, technical knowledge, problem solving, team working, independence, time management and communications skills are all essential for success as a professional graphic designer.

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: W210
  • Duration: 3 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Art courses are placed in the top five in the UK for student-to-staff ratio by the 2018 Guardian University Guide, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • You'll have the opportunity to work on client-led briefs and be encouraged to engage in additional live briefs during your spare time so that you can gain industry-relevant professional experience to enhance your CV.
  • You'll be encouraged to apply for placements, internships, awards, competitions, masterclasses and other external development opportunities, such as the D&AD (Design and Art Directors) folder clinics – the ‘Oscars’ of graphic arts.
  • We'll offer you the opportunity to present your work to the public and impress potential employers during Bolton School of the Arts’ Creative Showcase in your final year.

Key features:

  • Our £10 million purpose-built facilities include extensive computer suites featuring the latest design and graphics software, professional standard traditional and digital photographic studios, and fully equipped fine art workshops and studios.
  • You can learn to use the latest design software, while being encouraged to generate ideas and problem solve using traditional media and techniques.
  • You'll have the opportunity to use traditional graphic design media, including wood block printing, screen printing and lino cutting.
  • You'll have access to a rich visiting speaker programme, providing insight into industry experts’ professional practice and up-to-the-minute developments in the sector.
  • Our specialist tutors and technical support staff have professional experience and industry connections.
  • We offer opportunities for you to participate in foreign study trips, as well as visit current exhibitions and events at galleries and arts centres around the UK. We also encourage you to attend design-related professional development lectures and conferences.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: W210
  • Duration: 3 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language.

You'll be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

The quality of the portfolio/interview is the primary basis on which applicants are selected; therefore special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

A graphic design graduate will develop a good mix of subject-specific and technical skills that include communication, creativity, project management, the ability to manage time and meet deadlines, concept development, presenting ideas, networking and liaising with clients and the ability to work independently. You'll also use a range of software packages, and learn to create images that convey a product or message.

Graphic design provides a stimulating working environment, a wide variety of clientele and an ever changing portfolio of briefs and projects. An experienced graphic designer may never encounter two projects that are exactly the same.

What can I do with this qualification?

In the private sector there are opportunities to work with design consultancies and studios, branding specialists and publishers. Advertising and PR agencies are another possibility, where you would be creating positive images of organisations, individuals and products, and delivering imaginative solutions that generate sales or an increase in business interest.

In the public sector, employers include museums, local authorities, schools, colleges and hospitals. Some graduates set up their own studios and work as exhibiting artists or work as part of a studio collective.

Some graphic designers might also work as logo designers, advertisement designers, web designers, photograph editors, book layout artists, magazine layout artists, illustrators, art directors and print makers.

Alternative career options

  • Exhibition design
  • Interior and spatial design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Medical illustration
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Commercial and industrial design
  • Teaching
  • Games development
  • Visual effects

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/23
2019/20 £9,250£9,250£9,250-£27,750
2020/21 -nullnullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/23
2019/20 £12,450£12,450£12,450-£37,350
2020/21 -nullnullnullnull

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply

Home/EU

International

Teaching & assessment

Modules

Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Scholarship
  • Ideas into Reality
  • Typography
  • Visual Literacy
  • Applied Creativity
  • Principles of Design
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Design Practice
  • Design for Emerging Technologies
  • Past Present and Futures: Theory into Context
  • Motion Graphics
  • Craft and Digital Production
  • Advanced Design Practice
  • Advanced Visualisation for Graphic Design
  • Professional Practice and Self-Promotion
  • Major Project
  • Research in Context

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a blended approach to teaching and learning – you'll have face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. You can expect a mix of seminars, lectures and tutorials, practical workshop demonstrations, our visiting speaker programme, critiques, study visits, self-directed study, IT sessions, library and guided study. The University’s e-learning portal Moodle will support your online learning. We'll also encourage you to use the internet for research and to set up digital portfolios.

Module-based design briefs help to give you an insight into the professional environment. These involve simulated design briefs, client-led live briefs and competition briefs. Group tutorials and critiques, one-to-one tutor feedback, and regular feedback from clients and collaborators combine to support your learning. You'll also be able to seek further advice and feedback at the published drop-in sessions, via email and online discussions, and at scheduled tutorials.

Formal assessment is by coursework. This may involve you presenting your portfolio of artwork along with a supporting sketchbook of developmental ideas and a written research journal. It can also take the form of assignments, projects and written work.

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)
Level Two Coursework (100%)
Level Three Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (58%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (42%)
Level Two Guided independent study (53%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (47%)
Level Three Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
    W210
  • Course type:
    Full-time
  • Start date:
    23/09/2019
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
    96
  • Duration:
    3 years

Contact us

Carol Allison
Programme Leader
Email: C.Allison@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903271

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903