Graphic Design BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

It’s not too late to apply for September 2017. Find out more.

About the course

This industry disciplined, innovative course will support you to develop the creative, conceptual, experimental and technical skills needed to become a professional Graphic Designer. The module structure places emphasis on becoming a thinking design practitioner. Typography, layout, packaging, branding, advertising, motion and user experience design are core features of this lively course. You'll be encouraged to develop cultural awareness and a rich visual language through creative experimentation and a growing knowledge of industry standard software.

Based in our specialist design studios in the flagship Creative Arts Building, you'll contribute to the vibrant culture of the course. You‘ll have the opportunity to become inspired by the wider community, the national and international Alumni network and the staff's professional and industry experience. An impressive theory and guest speaker programme, with professionals from companies such as Elmwood and the BBC, will help you in becoming a Graphic Designer with a strong knowledge of the agendas that shape your discipline. You'll be encouraged to participate in workshops, ‘live' briefs and international design competitions, which aim to prepare you for placements, internships and future graduate employment.

This course is part of a suite of three courses which includes Animation BA(Hons), Graphic Design BA(Hons), and Graphic Design and Animation BA(Hons). Once you have enrolled on one of these courses, you can transfer onto any of the other courses within the suite should you wish. This offers you flexibility on the course and allows you to develop your own path. You therefore only need to apply for one course from the Graphic Design and Animation suite.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally one of the following:

•  BBB at A level or equivalent

•  DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

•  120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications

•  Pass in Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design combined with A level or BTEC qualifications, to total an equivalent of 120 UCAS tariff points

•  Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.

•  Pass International Baccalaureate with an overall score of 31 points.

•  Candidates for whom English is not the first language are required to have International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 6.0 overall and no less than 5.5 in any component (academic or general test).

You will also be required to attend a satisfactory interview, when strong emphasis will be placed on the quality of your portfolio.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements at

Please note: UCAS points are based on the new UCAS tariff, introduced for courses starting in 2017/18.


School of Art, Design and Architecture
Tel: +44 (0)1484 472114

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Facebook: /HuddersfieldUniADA
Twitter: @ADAHuddersfield
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Places available:

120 across a suite of three courses

(this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Find out how to apply Book on an Open Day Order a prospectus Ask a question

Course content

From a foundation in the essential elements of good design such as typography, layout, conceptual design and digital technology, you'll be supported in developing your design skills through project and studio work.

Inspirational field trips to destinations of educational and cultural significance are a component of the course and will be funded by the University. Study trips may include visits to galleries, museums, and exhibitions.

Year 1

Core modules:

Foundation Studio Practice

Foundation Studio is delivered across all teaching weeks of the first year of study. You will be asked to develop a body of work in response to a studio theme. This is defined and structured by module tutors to promote an exploration of the potential of graphic design and animation, as independent and converging practices. This is through the development of experimental practice and proposals as appropriate to your contemporary art and design practice, for the exploration of: the image, image and text, visual grammar and the visual field, typographic form, multimedia materials, photography and motion graphics, animation and interactive media environments. 100% portfolio.

Process and Production 1

The module will introduce you to the key principles of contemporary practice in terms of technique and process. It will focus on the fundamental techniques of production. It will help to develop your understanding of two and three dimensional space and the importance of the image, the frame, the timeline, the loop and the digital processes to generate and capture your work. 100% portfolio.

Theory as Practice 1

This module introduces you to vital discourses and debates surrounding the history, influences, production and critical reception of graphic design and animation. The module explores and introduces contemporary theory as practice, with reference to a wide range of artefacts and texts. We will help you to recognise and understand key conventions and contexts, and create concepts useful to both your studio practice and for a series of written assignments. You’ll be asked to produce assignments in a range of written formats, which will develop and then test your confidence and ability to demonstrate your understanding of and engagement with contemporary practice and visual, material and digital cultures. 100% portfolio.

Year 2

Core modules:

Intermediate Studio Practice

The intermediate studio requires you to produce works of increasing sophistication having successfully completed the foundation studio. The module encompasses diverse and interdependent areas of practice. It expands and elaborates upon the exploration and communication of ideas introduced in foundation studio. 100% portfolio.

Process and Production 2

The module encourages you to extend your knowledge of graphic design and animation, with an emphasis on exploring more advanced processes and production techniques. The frameworks and methods introduced at foundation level are refined and developed. This will support you in establishing a more specialist approach and a professionally orientated practice. 100% portfolio.

Theory as Practice 2

This module looks at theories in the development and coming-together of cultural and historical practices in graphic design and animation, in many different forms. The module aims to build upon and expand the cultures and conditions of postmodernity and the idea of the 'contemporary' introduced in year 1. Through combining theory and practice, you’ll be encouraged to experiment creatively with ideas and concepts.

Year 3 - optional placement year

School of Art and Design Placement

You will normally spend a total of 48 weeks between the end of year two and the beginning of your final year in a managed work experience. You will be encouraged to obtain a placement activity relevant to your area of specialism, however a wide range of placements will be regarded as suitable. The placement will be monitored and you will be assessed on completion. (100%).

Final Year

Core modules:

Advanced Studio Practice

This module supports you in the independent production and presentation of work appropriate to final year honours degree standards. Its purpose is to help you to make concepts manifest (for graphic design, animation or graphic design and animation) in an appropriate and personal manner whilst demonstrating a level of technical resolution in accordance with pre-negotiated targets. 100% portfolio.

Research and Development

This module is designed to provide a vehicle for you to illustrate and develop concepts for original graphic design and animation appropriate to final year honours degree standards in either graphic design, animation, or the combined award of graphic design and animation. Research and production contexts for the module will be defined by your course and project needs. 100% portfolio.

Theory as Practice 3

The module is specifically designed to unfold throughout the final year, reflecting theoretical, technical and professional issues appropriate to your practice. The module is intended to be a critical and diagnostic tool with which to examine and extend your work. It can be made up of a series of outputs and will help you to determine and contextualise the direction of your practice-based modules. It concludes the undergraduate Theory as Practice programme. 70% dissertation/30% special study.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers an optional one-year (48 weeks) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Students within the area of Graphic Design have recently taken up placement opportunities with companies including: Elmwood - Leeds; Media21a - Leeds; TIG Sports - Amsterdam; Zelig Sound - London; The Tetley - Leeds; and National Media Museum - Bradford.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University's Enterprise Team. You'll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

Career opportunities

90% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Companies who have employed our talented students from the suite of Graphic Design and Animation courses include SEA, Thompson Brand Partners, the BBC and Google. The course aims to help you develop the skills needed to work in design agencies and design consultancies, both in the UK and abroad, in roles such as graphic designer, graphic artist, digital designer, UX designer, typographer and design manager. You could also consider training as a teacher.

Professional links and accreditations

During this course you can benefit from the opportunity to gain the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) accreditation in addition to your degree, at no extra cost. This is a globally recognised accreditation awarded by one of the leading software package providers to the creative industries, so could be valuable in your professional career. This accreditation is attractive to a number of employers and so it could give you a competitive edge in the job market. To be awarded the ACA accreditation, you'll need to pass an online test.

Teaching and assessment

28% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops etc.

You will have the opportunity to experience studio-based design projects, workshop demonstrations and practical sessions supported and informed by lectures and seminars. Your assessment will include portfolio exhibitions and presentations of studio production, research and development work, as well as written assignments.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only University where all our permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our studios are based in the iconic Creative Arts Building and house up-to-date Apple Mac suites. You'll also have full access to the Digital Print Centre, our specialist facility capable of printing on a variety of media including wide formats with high-end print-finishing techniques.

In addition to having full access to the facilities during University opening hours, you'll also be able to access the specialist software licensed to the University from your own computer, whilst away from the campus out of studio opening hours. This means you won't have to invest in expensive software packages during the course.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


You will need to cover the cost of printing your work during the course. You'll also need to supply your own materials, which may include sketchbooks, pens, specialist papers, sculpting materials and specialist tools. The approximate cost of these items in recent years has been £100 in the first year, £200 in the second year and £200 to £500 in the final year. We also recommend that you purchase a hard-drive in order to back up your work throughout the course.

Other information

Graduates from this subject area have been acknowledged for or have won numerous awards and accolades. These include D&AD Best of New Blood and D&AD Yellow Pencil nominations; YCN student awards, the Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards, the Sh! Awards and Northern Design Competition Awards. Students have also been runners up and shortlisted in major competitions including Creative Review / BFI competition and the Little Big Chip Awards.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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