Graphic Design
Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2014

Two students drawing on a draft table

About this course

Accreditations and partnerships:

D&AD, ISTD, The UK Socrates-Erasmus Council Creative Skillset
  • Entry year: 2014/15
  • Course code: W211
  • Applications: UCAS
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Tariff points: 280
  • Department: Creative Industries
  • Campus: Bower Ashton
  • Duration: Three years
  • Delivery: Part-time, Full-time
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Programme leader: Colum Leith


This course will enable you to explore the changing concept of graphic design and the role of the graphic designer in society and the professional world. In its many forms, graphic design makes an increasing contribution to the cultural and economic life of contemporary society. It exists in the public domain, is an indicator of current cultural thinking and is a catalyst for social, cultural and political change.

Over the last six years we have exhibited our graduating students work at D&AD New Blood, London, where students have won Best in Show Awards and received commendation for collaborative projects. Over the past 2 years students were shortlisted for the Royal Society of Arts student awards with graduating student Rebecca Penmore winning the award in 2012.

The International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) is the professional body run by and for typographers, graphic designers and educators. For a graduating student gaining membership to the Society gives them the edge when applying for work within the creative industries. Over the past number of years our students have been extremely successful in this scheme receiving commendation, merit and pass certificates.

For the past three years, UWE Graphic Design students have been represented in the final short-list of the Best Student Book Category of the Best British Book Design & Production Awards.

For examples of work by current students and graduates visit, the graphic design blog,,,,, Level 1 Vimeo,Level 2 Vimeo, Level 3 Vimeo, and flickr page.

The course is an Academic Partner of  and an institutional member of the International Society of Typographic Designers,

This course is recognised by Creative Skillset, Sector Skills Council, and carries the Creative Skillset Tick for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare for a Creative Industries career.

This video requires javascript to be enabled and flash installed to view.View this video on the youtube website

>> Structure

Student's view

The tutors have been fantastic and have played a huge role in my enjoyment of the last 3 years, leaving me with confidence in my own abilities as a designer and many happy memories. Jono



Across all three years of the course, Professional Practice/Work Experience modules allow you to explore and effectively engage with industry and professional outcomes as an emerging practitioner.

Year 1

Emphasis is placed on experimentation and critical reflection, providing opportunities for you to experience a range of mediums, processes, technologies and concepts. You will explore communication through image-making, typography, print and screen graphics.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Words and Images
  • Communicating with Words and Images
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 1

Year 2

You will consider the professional aspects of graphic design. Option modules provide opportunities for exploring and focusing on particular areas of interest including type and print, moving image, and visual narratives. In Year 2 you can also take part in Erasmus international exchange.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Exploring Graphic Design Process
  • Critical Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 2

Plus one of the following:

  • Exploring and Developing Practice in Graphic Design
  • International Exchange

Year 3

You will focus on a self-directed programme of study culminating in a final show. You will have the opportunity to undertake live briefs, national and international competition including RSA and ISTD.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Graphic Design
  • Extended Study in Graphic Design
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 3

Please note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied over a longer period and the structure will differ.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is through projects, lectures, seminars and tutorials.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


A variety of assessment methods are used including projects, essays, group presentations and visual presentation. There are no exams. Critical evaluations are written throughout the course. In these students are expected to critique and analyse their own work and also relate it to the broader context and history of graphic design practice. Marks from modules undertaken at levels 2 and 3 can contribute to your final degree.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features

Professional accreditation

This course is recognised by Creative Skillset, Sector Skills Council, and carries the Creative Skillset Tick for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare for a Creative Industries career.


Study exchanges with European colleges of Art and Design are available as part of the EU funded SOCRATES programme, and European work placements are available through the LEONARDO programme.


European and International visits and field studies are an integral part of the programme of study. Students are expected to pay for these, but prices are kept within strict limitations.

Study facilities

The Faculty's facilities include comprehensive video and animation resources, printing, photographic workshops, and extensive computer and digital media laboratories.

Professional Practice

Throughout the three years you'll engage with Professional Practice and Work Experience modules and meet a range of speakers and industry professionals. Past visitors include:

Julia Studio, Conor & David, Poke London, Tristan Manco, Shaz Madini, Praline James Langdon, Arthur Cox, GF Smith Paper Merchant, Burleigh-Portishead Press, Printers, Sandy Suffield Wolf Olins, Moving Brands, Brendan Walker Aerial, Michael Marriott, Rudd Studio, Mark Ecob, Epoch Design, True Digital, Immediate Media, House-hold, Stuart Hilton, Scott King, Catherine Nippe, Nicholas Ostler, The Wilson Brothers, PAM, Heath Bunting, Accept and Proceed, Kerr/Noble, Spin, Paul Davis, Charlotte Heal, Europa, APFEL, Matilda Saxow, Wayne Daly AA, Karen Hoffstead, Peskimo, Amy Spencer, OK-RM, Beth White, Ginger Monkey, Three Media, Anthony Sherret, Jon Grey, Conway and Young, Adam Hayes, Ben Newman, Jam Factory/Gavin Strange and Bookworks.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

The course provides excellent preparation for a rewarding career in graphic design, including design groups and agencies (UK and international). Many graduates establish their own freelance careers and independent design companies.

Some of our recent graduates have found work with renowned studios:

Pentagram, Eye Magazine, The Guardian, Two times Elliot, The Sunday Times, Undercurrent Brands, Esterson Associates,Studio Makgill, DRAFTFCB, The Times, Play Nicely, Redhouse Lane Communications, Hello Charlie, Peloton, BDH, Dirty Design, Pentagram, NB:Studio, City ID, Think Public, Domain Associates, McCann Erickson, Telegram, dn&co, Oakwood, nerv interactive,YCN, Collision Films, Mind Design, Aardman Animations and Plastic Horse.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating- includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

Creating employable students

UWE places strong emphasis on employability and skill development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives, including the highly successful Undergraduate Internship Scheme, we nurture talent and encourage innovation. Through these opportunities students gain valuable real world experience and graduate with diverse career prospects and a competitive place in the job market.

See great graduate prospects for further information.

Be inspired

See Alex's youtube film about preparing for employment.

See some of our students' work on flickr.

Hear about some of the work opportunities generated by the Enterprise office.

Useful links

UWE - careers in graphic design

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector

The UWE careers service provides guidance and support throughout your studies and after you graduate in addition to useful resources, CV checks, career coaching and details of current job vacancies. They also source opportunities for students to gain work based experience. This support can be accessed face to face, over the telephone or online.

>> Fees


FeeCost (£) / per year
Full-time home / EU9,000
Full-time home ( ELQ )9,000
Full-time home / EU placement1,125
Part-time home / EU (per 15 credits)1,125
Full-time offshore9,000
Full-time offshore placement1,125
Part-time offshore (per 15 credits)1,125
Full-time International10,750
Part-time International (per 15 credits)1,344
Full-time International (per 15 credits)1,344

Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

>> Entry


Joining instructions

For students starting this course in September 2014, view your joining instructions. For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 280
  • GCSE: Grade C or above in English Language
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Art and Design, Technology
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DMM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 L3 credits at merit; achievement of Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency (where appropriate) in English Language. Applicants completing Level 3 credits in Art and Design are guaranteed an interview.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 25 points

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. Students of all ages and from all social backgrounds are recruited with a variety of qualifications including Foundation Studies Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, A levels or equivalent qualification in Art and Design

Applicants demonstrating commitment to and knowledge of the subject on their application form are invited to a selection session where they will be required to present a collection of their creative work to demonstrate a good practical ability in and understanding of their chosen field.

You should be enthusiastic and articulate and interviewers will be looking for evidence of a high degree of creativity and invention and will want to see a wide range of work including sketchbooks. Experimental work is encouraged along with the use of colour and typography.

Entry is based on portfolio and ability.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

Copyright 2014 © UWE better together