Our passionate and highly experienced staff understand how to nurture talent and are dedicated to building your confidence, knowledge and design skills that will help you to succeed within the creative industries. We have fantastic facilities, award-winning students and alumni, and a focus on employability and cutting-edge professional skills.
The Graphic Design team combine teaching with professional practice in a variety of fields including: graphic design, branding, illustration, exhibition and experience design, editorial, print, web and mobile interface, packaging, 3D (digital/physical/Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)), animation and motion graphics. Each bring their industry insights and experience directly into teaching and, when coupled with influential guest speakers, enriches your student experience and ensures that the course meets the needs of an exciting and dynamic industry.
Year 1 (national level 4):
- Design Theories, Practitioners and Context (20 credits)
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the important theoretical and historical contexts which have shaped modern design, opening up creative possibilities in your work. Gain a broad view of design disciplines, through lectures and seminars intended to provoke wider debate. Develop analytical and research skills by exploring subjects in design theory and history through assignments. Finish the module with an understanding of various historical and theoretical ideas, intended to encourage you to challenge conventional thinking.
- Visual Communication - Exploration and Practice (60 credits)
Develop design experience and knowledge for print and screen, through a range of visual and practical methodologies. Learn the underpinning design principles through various workshops, lectures and set projects using industry standard software and facilities. Explore creative typography, image making and contemporary visual communication to build a strong foundation for further development.
- Applied Design Principles and Techniques (20 credits)
Explore the techniques and dynamics of visual communication, such as semiotics and Gestalt theory, that assist you to understand and develop a visual intelligence. Learn the aesthetics and dynamics of visual form and the applications it has in a variety of subject areas such as advertising and graphic design. Develop a personal, reflective, independent exploration and evaluation of communication, graphic enquiry, typographic contexts, visual analysis and image generation.
- Fundamentals of Motion Design (20 credits)
Develop your ability to convey ideas through moving image, by learning techniques that will allow you to design, plan, edit and create movies using motion graphics and special effects. Understand the language used to communicate through time-based media and learn a range of industry-standard software and hardware to hone your skills. Practice the techniques that will allow you to create and synchronise moving graphics, video, sound, typography, animated elements and visual effects to create dynamic and effective movies.
Year 2 (national level 5):
- Global Challenges and the Ethical Designer (20 credits)
Develop a critical understanding of important issues linked to design such as the environment, globalisation, gender representation, equality and diversity. Be encouraged to consider your ethical role as a developing designer. Be introduced to ways of considering a major piece of written work (the dissertation in Stage 3), based on a subject relevant to your own practice. Finish the module with a developing design philosophy that potentially impacts on your ways of working and thinking in terms of studio practice.
- Beyond Desktop Publishing (20 credits)
Get a basic introduction to the historical, theoretical and fundamental principles of typography and design. Follow this up with in depth practical research on typography, image creation and advanced layout techniques using new technology and traditional processes.
- Advanced Motion Design and Visual Effects (20 credits)
Combine and build on the techniques learned at stage one to produce compelling motion design suited to real world applications. Research and experiment with advanced motion and cinematic techniques, as a vehicle for exploring the creative and visual possibilities of professional motion graphics and special effects. Develop your abilities individually or collaboratively, to sell ideas, persuade, inform, change views and behaviour, through the powerful medium of motion design. Create engaging movies which can impact an audience and enhance your professional portfolio.
- Design Edge: Counter-culture and Experience Design (40 credits)
Understand how Graphic Communication is a term used to describe Graphic Design where the boundaries and parameters are consciously eroded and redefined. Demonstrate a greater creativity and originality in your practice by testing and challenging established outcomes in graphic design. Explore originality in responses to contemporary culture in which the audiences themselves share in the act of communication; and where meaning is more significant than surface superficiality.
- Experiencing the Creative Industries (20 credits)
Experience a short work placement with an employer. Alternatively, gain other experience of working in the creative industries. Examples include: live jobs; competition briefs; a creative placement; and a collaboration with fellow students from relevant subject areas.
Work placement (optional)
Final year (national level 6):
- Design Dissertation (20 credits)
Develop an in-depth investigation into a particular issue or topic that is relevant to you as a developing designer, or an issue inspired by wider society. Utilise and build on your knowledge of various design and theoretical disciplines and techniques. Gain research and organisational skills through an introductory lecture, tutorials and discussion. Complete the module with a dissertation (3,500 to 4,500 words), supported by a clear central question and hypothesis relevant to the chosen topic. Research conducted in this module can be used as the foundations for your major final project, although this is not compulsory.
- Graphic Design and Professional Practice (40 credits)
Explore specific aspects of graphic design and choose a range of projects according to your own personal interests or portfolio/career needs. Demonstrate a wide range of independent research, creative and technical skills and create high quality work, which you can include in a formal portfolio.
- Design - Final Major Project (60 credits)
Produce a project that will be the centrepiece of your showcase to future employers, demonstrating your fresh and creative approach to your discipline. Develop new and specific skills, explore creative direction and be immersed in the exploration of broad, deep, enquiring and focused communication.