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BA (Hons) Design

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UCAS code: 
WW27 BA/DesCa
Institution code: 
East Coast College (Lowestoft)


Three years full-time.

Typical Offer: 

96 UCAS tariff points (or above)

CCC (A-Level), MMM (BTEC).

Next available intake for this course is September 2022



Students on the course have a strong record of winning national competitions and gaining meaningful employment upon graduation. Past students have progressed to employment in graphic/ textile design studios, advertising agencies, publishers, teaching, arts administration, fashion and interior accessories, textiles, furniture and ceramic design. Others have set up their own studios and worked on a freelance or self employed basis. Students have also progressed to postgraduate level at a number of institutions including the Royal College of Art.

BA Design

Assessments on this course will be varied, to enable you to experience and adapt to different assessment styles. These can take the form of: presentations, group critique, peer review and self-assessment. This course is for the student who is looking for a multi disciplinary and experimental approach to design problems that will inform and enrich their chosen specialist area in: Ceramics, Graphics, 3 Dimensional Design or Textiles.

As part of your studies an annual European Field Trip takes place in February. The cost is approximately £200 for accommodation and travel for 3 to 4 days depending on the destination. Previous trips have been to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris, Rotterdam and Valencia. The course aims to develop in the student the personal qualities, professional attitudes and self-reliance essential for successful employment in design practice, post-graduate study or self-employment. Throughout the course students are encouraged to develop a professional awareness by entering national competitions. Students have won many prestigious prizes, including the Royal Society of Arts Student Awards, Design & Art Direction Award and the Bradford Textile Society Student Awards. There are also opportunities to participate in external exhibition opportunities. Recent student exhibitions have included: Craftco Gallery, Southwold and Anteros Art Gallery, Norwich.  A specialist university Careers Advisor visits Lowestoft regularly to give careers advice and planning. Students are also encouraged to visit the new Careers Gateway based in the LRC at Lowestoft College. Teaching is delivered by an experienced, professional course team who are also practitioners in their field. A visiting lecturer programme provides opportunities to form networks with industry and encourages the undertaking of work placements. Recent visiting lecturers include Emmy Award winner and previous Lowestoft College student Nick Benns; who is responsible for designing many prominent film opening credits. The studios can be accessed by students outside of taught hours and are staffed by a team of qualified Technicians.

Ba Design

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Course modules

The academic year is organised into two semesters, which are 15 week periods (12 weeks of teaching and 3 of assessments). Students will take 2 or 3 modules per semester leading to an accumulation of 120 credits.

It is our aim to provide students with a range of learning environments and styles of teaching and learning which will suit the varied subject matter within the different modules, and support the needs of students at all levels of the programme. Teaching and learning will take place in the context of lectures, seminars, workshop activities, off campus trips and work placements, if applicable to your course, each supported by a comprehensive programme of tutorial support.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Visual Studies and Technology (Mandatory)

The Visual Studies & Technology module reinforces and enhances the student’s experience and understanding of the primary elements of design and the application of technologies to problem solving.

Historical and Contextual Studies (Mandatory)

The Historical & Contextual Studies module introduces to the student the importance of contemporary design from the mid 19th century to the present day. It explores the social, political, economic and ideological factors which underpin modernist and post-modernist design practice and ethos.

Design Concepts and Materials Exploration - Part 1 (Mandatory)

Design Concepts & Materials Exploration – Part 1 introduces the student to developing a wide range of design concepts and ideas. Students will be encouraged to research and develop experimental approaches to design problems through practical projects utilizing materials handling and exploration in specialist workshop areas.

Design Concepts and Materials Exploration - Part 2 (Mandatory)

Design Concepts & Materials Exploration – Part 2 develops and expands the approaches to problem solving acquired in Part 1. Further conceptual projects, research and experiments with materials and processes within the specialist works areas leads to determining the design specialism at levels 5 & 6. Students are encouraged and guided to progress to their intended specialism by the completion of this module.

Advanced Design Technology (Mandatory)

The Advanced Design Technology module extends the student’s practical experience and knowledge in design technologies and their applications to increasingly complex design problems. The module will enforce and enhance the students’ experience and understanding of ‘digital media technology / printmaking / photographic’ techniques and processes and their relevance and application.

Design Professional Practice (Mandatory)

The Design Professional Practice module acquaints the student with the various business and management aspects of design practice. The module includes investigation of the role of the designer in society and their responsibility regarding ecology, sustainability and design ethics.

Design Process (Requisite)

The Design Process module is the initial stage of the students specialist subject programme. Students now study with a subject specialist tutor within the following areas: Graphic & Typographic Design; Textile Design; Ceramic Design; 3D Design.

Design Development (Requisite)

The Design Development module encourages the student to make a substantial visual statement through a series of studio based assignments embracing realistic and documented work schedules culminating in a self-negotiated final project. Students are encouraged to locate and organize work placements within their specialist field during this module.

Design Dissertation (Mandatory)

Students work independently to produce a 6000 word dissertation. Tutorial support will be provided by appropriately allocated staff from the course team. Students are required to produce a self-negotiated assignment in consultation with module tutor.

Design Refinement (Requisite)

The Design Refinement module demands that the student questions and challenges conventions and produces an innovative body of work in response to a given or self negotiated assignment. The student is also required to consider the “Final Major” project during this module and produce a written proposal with all necessary supporting material.

Final Major Concept (Requisite)

The Final Major Design Concept module is the first of two stages of producing a major piece of work that synthesizes the individuals learning experience on the programme. Overall it demands a high degree of autonomy and reflective evaluation in the management of own learning. This stage relates to the subject research, the development of concept proposals and final selection.

Final Major Production (Requisite)

The Final Major Design Production module is the second of two stages of producing a major piece of work that synthesizes the individuals learning experience on the programme. Overall it demands a high degree of autonomy and reflective evaluation in the management of own learning. This stage relates to the development and production of a final selected concept. It is also required that the student plans and executes the display / exhibition of the final design outcome. 

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • Full-time International tuition fee:  £14,598 p.a

Further Information                                                       

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements