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Graphic Design

BA (Hons)
Graphic Design
3 years (full-time)
UCAS W210

Graphic Design is a hands-on, ideas-driven studio-based course where you will learn a variety of approaches to visual communication. Distinctive creative personalities are nurtured and the unconventional is actively encouraged. 

After developing your creative visual language in Year 1, you will be able to apply your skills to a range of personal and industry-related projects in Year 2. Your final year will see you develop a professional portfolio that reflects your personal interests and individual career aspirations.

At all stages of the course we focus on contemporary and relevant design that embraces intellectual curiousity and design as an ‘experience’. You have the opportunity to connect with industry, either through visiting speakers, ‘live’ briefs or work experience.

Special Features

  • Opportunities for work placements throughout the UK.
  • Students’ successes include awards in regional, national and international arenas including D&AD Global Student Awards, ISTD, Young Creative Network, Openad Talent and the Global Spin Awards. 

Course Content

At all stages of the course we focus on contemporary and relevant design that embraces imaginative thinking. You have the opportunity to connect with industry, either through visiting speakers, ‘live’ briefs or work  experience.

Recent destinations for work experience have included The Designers Republic, Love Creative, The Chase, True North, Bert Agency, Dinosaur, Wired magazine, Penguin Books, Truth, Code Computer Love, Modern Designers, Hope for Justice, Creative Concern, Topman, Liberty, Havas Lynx, Men’s Health magazine, Design By Day, The Mill, Gyro, Elle magazine, Condé Nast, BBC, ITV, Hinterland (NY), Mike Perry (NY), Eskimo Creative, Instruct Graphics, Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and Vogue magazine.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will be introduced to the studio-based culture of the course through a series of design projects encouraging the development of ideas, experimentation with visual language and acquisition of technical skills. This is supported by a contextual programme that places practical elements into a wider cultural, critical and social context.

Unit X

This unit  encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts, tutorial group meetings, and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and will designed to be responsive to creative opportunities. The course encourages students to respond to contemporary media and as such, it is a live unit in which we discuss films, television, comics, games and the news relating to the media in any specific week.

Visual Thinking 1: Image and Idea

This unit offers a practical introduction to graphic design.  It will outline the fundamental concepts, methods and tools that underpin the culture of the programme in order to develop your awareness of their creative potential. It includes two practical studio projects that analyse the key subject building blocks of image and idea. These are supported by a range of induction, seminar and workshop activities that include opportunities for developing research and making verbal presentations.

Visual Thinking 2: Narrative and Typography

A creative unit that explores the tools and basic techniques used in the origination of graphic design. This unit examines fundamental relationships between text, ideas and visual execution. Two practical studio projects analyse key subject areas of narrative and typography. These are supported by a range of induction, seminar and workshop activities that include opportunities for developing research and making verbal presentations.

Contextualising Practice 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. The unit includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study more specific areas of graphic design practice. A programme of workshop projects develops both technical and conceptual skills. Studio content is developed in liaison with industry and offers opportunities for work experience.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Visual Communication 1: Disruption

This unit aims to develop your creative visual thinking by exploring notions of the unconventional.  Two practical projects analyse the importance of developing a questioning approach to graphic design work and introduce a graphic vocabulary with which to challenge conventions.  The main projects on this unit are supported by a range of seminar, workshop activities and skills sessions that include opportunities for developing technical skills, engaging in research, typography, making verbal presentations, preparing work for portfolio presentation and working in small groups.

Visual Communication 2: Specification

This unit introduces you to the professional environment of the graphic designer and explores the impact of external factors on graphic design practice. Projects analyse the influence that external considerations have on the development of graphic design ideas and introduces a vocabulary of professional specification. Coursework is based around applying a range of print and digital design solutions within a variety of specified technical, professional, social and ethical constraints. 

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will study a series of self-directed options designed to develop a professional portfolio that reflects your individual careers aspirations. Your work is supported by a visiting lecture programme that offers a diverse range of perspectives across the whole platform of graphic design practice.

Graphic Design Practice

This unit will develop your independent, self-directed study based around graphic design projects that have real-world parallels with the professional designer and/or creative industries.  Studio based projects will extend your professional understanding and will develop your capability for self-directed learning.  Three projects look at ideas of authorship based around a given theme, responding to a live brief and initiating personal work.  A negotiated option within each project will build on your existing skill set and are described using a series of student authored learning agreements. 

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Assessment Methods

Unit end assessment and coursework.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

Study
  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Student Work

Visit our online Degree Show galleries to see examples of student work.


Staff


Studentsí work displayed on the Circle Square development

In the top ten for design, crafts and architecture

Graduates

Graduates have gone on to be designers in design consultancies and in-house teams for industry and public authorities; magazine and publication designers; art directors and creative teams in advertising agencies; digital media designers and filmmakers for creative online content.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a Digital Portfolio to support your application.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate26 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2018 Entry

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

£900*  plus optional £100* Average printing costs per year. In 3rd year there could be an additional amount of £100, approximately, towards printing for the Degree Show. Core materials include an A3 portfolio the contents of a pencil case, scalpel ruler. £200 to £400 per year

Trips and Placement Costs

Optional £1,000* Students can choose in 2nd or 3rd year to go on a study trip. These are optional and usually taken during self to directed time so no studio sessions are missed. £300 to £700 in both second and third year.

* All amounts shown are estimates.