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BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Open days

Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
W212
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

 

  • Our Design courses are rated 1st for students Satisfied with Teaching, and 2nd for students Satisfied with their Course, in the Design and Crafts catagory of the Guardian University League Table 2019.
  • Our Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration degrees are taught together, giving you the option of transferring between courses.
  • Small classes mean you get generous contact time with tutors.
  • We do not teach a house-style, but allow you to steer your creative interests so that when you graduate, your portfolio truly represents you.

Introduction

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 that 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.

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Indie Cinema Festival Posters by Marcus Roth

Marcus Roth – Indie Cinema Festival poster and branding


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 developing transferable skills along the way.
 

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7 inch single and packaging by Correy Abbott

Correy Abbott – Audio Map psychogeographic conceptual map

 

Our links to professional bodies, experts and design practitioners makes for an industry-focused programme, providing you with fantastic networking and placement opportunities. 

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 can advise and support you in approaching design studios to arrange practical experience.

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Advice posters

Scarlett Painter / Samuel Aherne – If I Knew Then What I Know Now advice posters

 

To give you and your work maximum exposure, we support rolling out competitions from partner organisations as extracurricular projects, as well as embed national competitions within the course curriculum. Read more in Career Opportunities below.

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: graphics@uos.ac.uk

See more Graphic Design student work on our portfolio page.  

See Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration) student work here.

Visit our course Facebook page.

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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 such as Firebrand CreativeJacob BaileyKingsland Linassi and Spring Agency; while others have gone on to work at national organisations including Government Digital Services, FutureGov, JellyFish, M-is 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 degree or initial teacher training.

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Ipswich Vision branding and student presentation

Sabah Mohamad, Amy Gunnee, Lelia Gretcan, Alex Sudds, Holly Webber – Ipswich Vision | project launch w/ Cllr David Ellesmere 

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

 

Student profiles

"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

2019-20

  • 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: £13,330 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

2019 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.      

Portfolio Guidance

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.
Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.

Staff

Senior Lecturer and Graphic Design Course Leader

Lecturer in Graphic Design/Illustration

Lecturer in printmaking

Lecturer in Graphic Design

Lecturer in Arts - Dissertation Lead

Facilities and Resources

You will be based in our dedicated Graphic Design Studio, supported by second design studio, on the first floor of the Arts Building. Adjacent to the studio are two computer suites equipped with networked MacPros and high-specification PCs respectively. On the ground floor, you will have access to our Printmaking Studio and 3D workshops, with facilities for screen-printing, linocutting, etching, laser-cutting, vacuum forming and woodworking. The Printmaking Studio also provides large format digital printing and vinyl cutting services, while the photo-lab provides further printing and finishing equipment.

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Bookbinding workshop

Bookbinding workshop – Printmaking Studio

All campus computers run Adobe Creative Cloud and colour laser printers and scanners are available throughout all university buildings. 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.