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BA (Hons) Graphic Design

UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

  • We ranked in the top 5 for student satisfaction for Art and Design in the Good University Guide 2016.
  • For two years running – 2015 and 2016 – our Graphics degrees were rated at 100% by our students in the National Student Satisfaction Survey.
  • Our Art and Design courses are rated 11th in the Complete University Guide 2017.
  • Our Graphic degrees are taught together, giving you the option of transferring between courses.
  • Small classes mean you get generous contact time with tutors.


Our Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration courses offer you something unique. Unlike other universities we teach both degrees together. So, rather than being tied to one study route, you can be flexible and transfer between courses as you progress.

For instance, if you develop a passion for illustration you can transfer to the Graphic Illustration route to study this pathway in much more depth.

This way, you get the most out of your time with us – tailoring your degree, exploring your career options and strengthening your personal approach to your creative process.

Sue Taylor – Metamorphosis.

Another key feature is our small class sizes; throughout your degree you benefit from generous contact time with our tutors, advancing your learning.

Employability is at the heart of our Graphic Design course. Alongside developing a broad range of practical skills, you learn how to be a creative and critical thinker.  

Luke Pyett – Creative Process map.

Our links to more than 40 professional bodies, experts and design practitioners make for an industry-focused programme, providing you with fantastic networking and placement opportunities and helping you really develop your skills.

For example, students have recently worked on live projects for clients such as The British Red Cross, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Vision and The Royal Society of Arts. Also, we are more than happy to support you in approaching our industry contacts to arrange practical experience.

Alex Rawlins – TCM 'Uncharted' film season poster.

To give your work maximum exposure, we encourage you to take part in national competitions and exhibitions. Read more in Career Opportunities below.

To see what the work our students are producing, look at examples. Or visit our Course Facebook page.

Applicant portfolio advice

Below we provide some useful tips on what to include in your application portfolio. Since there is no set ‘checklist’, if you do not have all of the suggested elements, we still encourage you to apply.

  • Include a range of work demonstrating creativity in its broadest sense. If you can, provide examples of applied design, typography and digital skills.
  • Show work that represents graphic design with ideas at its centre and that aims to communicate a message.
  • Provide examples of drawing skills in a range of different mediums.
  • Demonstrate your ability to select and apply colour, and to analyse your work and research skills by looking at historical and / or contemporary art and design.
  • Show a project from start to finish, so we can gauge your creative journey and understand your design process.

Contact us with your questions:


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To download the app, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile device and search ‘University of Suffolk 360’.

Course modules

Our programme is delivered as a series of related modules that cover the technical, creative and contextual aspects of graphic design to enhance your personal development and career goals. We offer technical support such as enhancement workshops and you have generous open access for self-study.  

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.

Digital Studies (Mandatory)

This module introduces key digital software and contexts, familiarising students with industry standard requirements. 

Ideas Generation in Graphic Design (Mandatory)

This module introduces you to approaches and methods for the generation of ideas in order to solve visual communication problems. 

Visual Image (Mandatory)

This module engages you with the activity of image making as a multi-faceted language, reinforcing the idea of drawing as a core skill to both the graphic designer and illustrator. 

Typographic Exploration (Mandatory)

This module introduces both the basic principles of formal typography as well as to how type can be used expressively. 

Print Media for Graphic Design (Mandatory)

This module explores a range of print processes and media for creating graphic design outcomes and examines how visual language affects communication.

Contexts in Graphic Design & Illustration (Mandatory)

This module introduces the historical and contemporary contexts of Graphic Design and Illustration and explores their relationship to professional practice.

Graphic Identity (Mandatory)

This module develops your understanding of contemporary visual branding and how a designer communicates their clients’ identity.

Applied Design Ideas (Mandatory)

This module builds on an understanding of graphic design at Level 4, through theme-based projects, to develop confidence and knowledge across a diverse range of graphic applications. 

Design and Illustration Analysis (Mandatory)

This module allows you to develop a more critical questioning of your discipline through personal research and academic writing.

Interactive Screen Design (Mandatory)

This module allows you to develop your digital knowledge and skills by exploring how design principles apply to contemporary and emerging screen-based platforms.

Conceptual Projects (Mandatory)

This module develops a deeper, more personal and theoretical questioning of you creative discipline, relating to your practice and potential academic and future career progression.

Advanced Design Practices (Optional)

This module extends your knowledge of contemporary design contexts through projects focusing on employability and professional practice.

Work Based Learning (Optional)

This module allows you to use the experience of a work placement towards your degree. (Replaces Advanced Design Practices.)

Graphic Design Portfolio Development (Mandatory)

This double module focuses on the development of a Graphic Portfolio, via reflective analysis and the completion of projects, to emphasise creative interests and design aspirations.

Personal Graphic Design Projects (Mandatory)

This double module involves the completion of a major multi-disciplinary creative graphic design project, concurrent to your interests and aspirations.

Dissertation and Critical Review (Mandatory)

The Dissertation provides an opportunity to conduct significant research that engages critically with your own interests articulating your findings through a piece of academic writing. The Critical Review aspect allows you to focus on you graduate progression via analysis of your degree course, relating this to future employment or education opportunities.

Career opportunities

We encourage internships and work placements for all of our students. Thanks to our links with professionals in the industry, we strive to provide you with opportunities to prepare you for life after your degree.

Access to national competitions give you opportunities to get your work seen, and promote your talent. Our students have recently won awards including:

  • Starpack Packaging Awards
  • Penguin Random House Design Awards
  • Antalis McNaughton Student Designer Of The Year

We are proud that many of our graduates find jobs with respected graphic design studios in Suffolk, while others have gone on to work at national organisations and brands including Government Digital Services, FutureGov, Fat Face Clothing, Penguin Random House, The National Theatre, The British Museum and Select Model Management.

If you want to run your own business, the degree also equips you with the crucial skills to be a successful freelance designer or to set up your own design practice. Alternatively, you can progress to a design-related Masters or initial teacher training.


Students visiting The Partners design agency, London.  

The transferable skills taught on the course ensure you can choose from a whole range of careers after graduation. For starters, you could choose from…

  • Junior Designer in a design studio
  • Freelance Designer
  • Freelance Illustrator
  • Book Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Marketing
  • In-house Designer
  • Web / Digital Designer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Teacher / Lecturer


"There is a point early in the degree when you begin to view your surrounds with a different perspective. You gain an appreciation for clever designs as well as a critical eye for items less so. Ideas for university briefs and personal projects stemmed from these new perspectives. I...

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £10,080 p.a.


Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £13,000 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • 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. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Also see How to Apply.

Non-Academic Requirements

Any offer of a place will be subject to:

  • successful interview
  • show a portfolio
International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.      


Nigel Ball joined the Graphic Design team in 2007 and has been Course Leader since 2011. He lectures across all levels of the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration) courses on both practical and contextual modules. ...

Anna Hardinge studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design (BA Hons), later gaining an MA at Cambridge School of Art. Shortly after graduating, Anna worked as a Graphic Designer for Rough Guides travel books and later at BBC Worldwide, where she designed magazines ranging from BBC G...

Rob Ramsden has lectured in HE institutions across the UK since 2011, on Illustration (Plymouth BA / Falmouth MA) and Animation (NUA BA) Degree courses, delivering both practical and contextual modules. He joined University of Suffolk in 2016. ...

Dale Devereux Barker is a lecturer in Graphic Design, Graphic Illustration and Fine Art and teaches a range of visual studies and printmaking techniques across these areas. Dale has worked as a practising artist for over thirty years in the realm of printmaking and has extended this...

Dr Pat Hurrell is Lecturer in Visual History and Theory in Photography. She gained her first degree at Suffolk College in 1998 and progressed to an MA in History and Theory of Modern Art at the University of Essex. This led to a scholarship-funded PhD within the same institution. Du...

Facilities and Resources

You will be based in our dedicated Graphic Design Studio in the Arts Building, which offers iMacs, Wi-Fi, light boxes, scanning equipment, audio / visual equipment and a colour proofing printer.

An additional, well-equipped studio is used for general teaching and as a student workspace. Our two computer suites have networked Apple MacPros and a high-specification PC lab, used for digital workshops.


Above—Students in the Graphic Design Studio.

We also have state-of-the-art printmaking and 3D workshops in the Arts Building, with facilities for screen-printing, linocutting, etching, laser-cutting, vacuum forming and woodworking. The printmaking studio also provides large format digital printing, vinyl cutting and a dedicated finishing room.

All campus computers run Adobe Creative Cloud and colour laser printers and scanners are available throughout the campus. There is also 24-hour access to the Waterfront Building where you are welcome to use more iMacs.

For more information, visit our dedicated facilities page.