Graphic Design (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Art and Design
- City Campus
- Four years
- Programme leader:
- Julian Scott
- Key fact:
- Study in a studio environment with professional-standard facilities and the focus on the real-world skills you need to succeed in your career.
Page last updated 13 November 2018
Why study graphic design?
Graphic design makes a powerful contribution to the cultural and economic life of contemporary society.
It exists in the public domain, acts as an indicator of current cultural thinking and is a catalyst for social, cultural and political change.
The role of the graphic designer in society and the professional world is multifaceted; designer as curator, author, craftsperson, editor, educator, collaborator and agitator.
Studying graphic design is excellent preparation for a creative career in the UK and abroad.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Graphic Design is based at UWE Bristol's Frenchay Campus in the foundation year and then at the Arnolfini, on Bristol's historic waterfront, from year one onwards.
Situated above this renowned centre for contemporary art, you'll be at the heart of Bristol's creative and cultural community.
Past students have won awards in prestigious national competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards and the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and the course ranks very highly in the National Student Survey (NSS).
In recent years, graduates' work has been exhibited at D and AD New Blood, London, where they won Best in Show awards and commendation for collaborative projects.
Our students are regularly shortlisted for the Best British Book Design and Production Awards.
Our strong industry links with the thriving city of Bristol ensure ongoing input from professional designers. You won't be working on hypothetical designs. Projects are socially and culturally relevant, whether undertaken inside or outside the university.
Go on work placements and internships and volunteer throughout the course to gain valuable workplace experience.
Attend talks from studios like OK/RM, Pentagram, Moving Brands, Mother London, Muf, APFEL and Bookworks.
Graduate ready to make your mark in your chosen industry.
Where can it take you?
This course prepares you for a rewarding freelance or studio career in graphic design. Many of our graduates have found work with highly respected design studios in the UK and worldwide.
Many of our graduates establish their own freelance businesses or independent design companies.
Others go on to further study, including our MA Graphic Artsat UWE Bristol.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
Year zero (foundation year)
You will study:
- Drawing and Making
- Developmental Project: Building a Creative Identity
- Foundation Project
- Academic Skills.
You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.
You will study:
- Introduction to Words and Images
- Communicating with Words and Images
- Critical Perspectives
- Professional Practice and Work Experience 1.
You will study:
- Exploring Graphic Design Process
- Creative Analysis
- Professional Practice and Work Experience 2.
Plus, one optional module from:
- Developing Practice in Graphic Design
- International Exchange.
You will study:
- Preparation for Extended Study in Graphic Design OR *Introduction to Level 3 Graphic Design
- Extended Study in Graphic Design
- Independent Research Project
- Professional Practice and Work Experience 3.
*For Level 3 entry students only.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
Learn through a mix of projects, lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Explore and engage with industry and professional outcomes as an emerging practitioner work experience modules.
Experience and experiment with a range of mediums, processes, technologies and concepts. Discover how to communicate through image-making, typography, print and screen graphics.
Present your work at the final year Creative Industries Degree Show.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
Visit Typenowhere, a website set up to support graphic design students' learning and act as an online platform to exhibit UWE Bristol students' work and successes. See City Edition Studio to explore work of our alumni.
Read about how Olivia created the winning UWE Bristol Christmas e-Card.
All students have the opportunity to join the student run Graphic Design Society. The society runs social events, workshops and cross-year critiques of students' work.
You can expect to be assessed through projects, essays, group presentations and visual presentation. There are no exams.
You'll write critical evaluations and analyse your own work through the course, relating it to the broader context and history of graphic design practice.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
This course is an institutional member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD).
Over the past few years, our students have been extremely successful in the ISTD scheme, receiving commendations, merits and pass certificates.
Students who get work experience tend to graduate with more skills, industry knowledge and a professional network, making them sought-after graduates.
We have extensive links with industry, commerce and the cultural and voluntary sectors.
You'll explore and engage with industry as an emerging practitioner. Undertake work placements, internships and volunteering opportunities with studios across the region.
You'll typically spend 36 to 40 hours a year engaging with industry-related projects (from Year one onwards).
Study exchanges with European colleges of Art and Design are available as part of the EU-funded Socrates programme.
Get help to find your placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
European and international visits and field studies are an integral part of the course, depending on take-up.
Recent trips have included New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Istanbul and Krakow. Students are expected to pay for these but we keep prices within strict limits.
You'll go on regular visits to design studios, publishers, paper merchants and printers, including GF Smith Paper Merchant, Burleigh-Portishead Press, Fedrigoni Papers and Ripe Digital Printers.
In your foundation year, you'll study at our Frenchay Campus, and have access to all our facilities and accommodation.
From Year one onwards, you'll be based at the City Campus at Arnolfini, which occupies the top three floors of the Arnolfini building on Bristol's harbourside and offers studio and teaching spaces for Graphic Design students.
Computing facilities and student support services are available. Visual culture modules and a range of guest lectures are delivered here as well as other sites within the City Campus.
Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries as well as student support services.
A mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
Our students go on to successful careers as graphic designers, art directors, digital designers, creatives, studio managers and account managers for a range high-profile studios and companies.
Recent graduates have found work at Eye Magazine, JWT Advertising, McCann Erickson, the Guardian, Two Times Elliot, The Times and Sunday Times, Undercurrent Brands, Esterson Associates, Studio Makgill, DRAFTFCB, Play Nicely, Redhouse Lane Communications, Hello Charlie, Peloton, BDH, Dirty Design, Pentagram, NB:Studio, City ID, Think Public, Domain Associates, Telegram, dn&co, Oakwood, nerv interactive,YCN, Collision Films, Mind Design, Aardman Animations and Plastic Horse.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.
Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13500|
|International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1688|
Indicative Additional Costs
|Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year||420|
|Optional Field Trip - (Maximum Cost)||500|
Supplementary fee information
Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 48
- GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
- 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 one A-Level.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
Applicants will be invited to submit a digital portfolio for review. We are interested in your creative ideas, skills and ability. For guidance on what to include in your portfolio, watch our portfolio advice video.
We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.
Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Graphic Design.
UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through UWE Bristol's International College which, upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year 1 of the degree.
If you have not received your exam results, your offer from us will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.
If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that we will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.
To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies here, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333