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BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Reasons to study Graphic Design

  • Teaching takes place in a dedicated light and spacious state-of-the-art studio where you will be learning to use the latest software and technology.
  • The degree has built strong links with the Northwest design community, providing work-related opportunities with local and regional design studios.
  • There are thriving digital and creative firms across the Northwest and the resurgence of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool brings excellent career prospects.
UCAS Code: W211
Institution Code: S51
Start/End Date: September 2018 - June 2021
September 2019 - June 2022
Duration: 3 years full-time
Campus: Town Centre Campus
Course Contact: Dan McBride
01744 623252
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For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see the course specification for 2017.

For detailed information about studying this course at University Centre St Helens, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: - (2017 Entry - Coming Soon)
Validated By: 
University of Chester

Our BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree reflects the current demands of contemporary graphic design practice. The degree offers you the opportunity to explore graphic design through a range of digital and traditional media. Teaching is thematic with a strong emphasis on research informed design practice.

The evolution of a new, versatile designer who has a thorough understanding of traditional graphic design principles as well as an ability to work creatively with digital technology is crucial to the future of the industry. We intend to match this expectation with students capable of responding to, and meeting these demands.

The degree will introduce you to visual communication and typography and allow you to develop a technical understanding and working methodology whilst building a greater appreciation for creative problem solving and innovative experimentation.

This degree has built good links with the Northwest design community and offers work related opportunities with local design studios as well as the chance to work on live projects in collaboration with other creative organisations.

Course in-depth

What will I study?

Year 1

The first year introduces you to ideas and concepts through a range of major artistic, cultural and ideological issues that have influenced and informed 20th and 21st century creative practice. You will begin to develop methods of image making whilst exploring a variety of different graphic media to understand their value as methods of visual communication. Traditional and current typographic practice will be explored and an understanding of theoretical study and practical activity developed. Through a live project you will be able to engage in a live design competition sourced from industry. A presentation by the client will introduce the project brief, which will be accompanied by visits to appropriate organisations and exhibitions.

Year 2

The second year further develops core areas of graphic design. You will have the opportunity to explore the work of key individuals who have influenced the graphic design profession. You are introduced to a range of research skills, methodologies and techniques. You will also explore the design and production of a range of design materials including corporate identity, packaging design, brochure design and layout, branding guidelines manual, information graphics and related marketing materials. A series of lectures will introduce various forms of contemporary media, leading to discussion and analysis of successful practices. Students will be given the option of which form of linear or non-linear work they produce in accordance with designated briefs. You will also have the opportunity to undertake work related experience.

Year 3

The third year will build upon the creative and analytical aspects of your practice, working on national competition briefs and a self-initiated design study. Students undertake selfdirected projects forging links to their identified career aspirations and identifying the resources they require. These will be scheduled, planned and resourced accordingly. The research report provides students with the opportunity to pursue a significant piece of individual, independent research. Your skills in organising production of finished visuals, meeting set deadlines and delivery of final product will also be enhanced. Through professional practice you will develop knowledge of the creative industries and appropriately prepare for entering the world of work or to progression onto further study.

How will I study?

Learning will be theoretical and practical through lectures, workshops, seminars, group critiques, self-directed study, written work, presentations, group work, visits and guest lectures. You will be supported by a range of resources including library materials and IT access. During the second year, a work placement will enable you to build upon your experience and links within the industry.

Teaching takes place in a dedicated light and spacious state-of-the-art design studio, based in the former SmithKline Beecham building at the Town Centre campus.

The Creative Arts department is friendly and approachable and of a size that enables us to know our students personally and be able to respond to their needs.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment allows you to display your knowledge and skills; it includes group and individual critiques, design artefact(s)/ outcomes, essays, workbooks, initial response maps (proposals), project plans, visual rationales and presentations.

You will also be assessed through the effectiveness of your initial development of design knowledge and your research skills (including visual exploration and experimentation), thinking skills, technical skills, making skills and communication skills.

A final year show in the third year will allow you to display your work to a wider audience, including influential industry advocates.

Who will be teaching me?

An experienced team of lecturers with a wide range of interests reflecting all areas of graphic design practice will work with you. Our lecturers are active researchers in their fields and have extensive industry experience.

Ref: Dan McBride

Why study Graphic Design with us?

Industry Experts

Our tutors are experienced industry experts and passionate about their subject.

Creative Environment

Develop your skills in our state-of-the-art Apple Mac studio using the latest Adobe software.

Excellent Progression

Excellent progression from the level 3 course to degree level study at University Centre St Helens.

Adobe Accreditation

Undertake accredited Adobe Associate exams to enhance your CV and university application.

Live Briefs and Projects

Work on live briefs and projects with professional clients in the industry.

Employer Links

We have strong employer links with the design industry in the Northwest.