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BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration)

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

University buildings
UCAS code: 
W293
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).

 

 

  • Our Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration degrees are taught together giving you the option of transferring between courses.
  • We do not teach a house-style – you steer your creative interests so that when you graduate, your portfolio truly represents you.
  • Employability is embedded throughout the course, with client facing projects and industry set briefs as part of the curriculum.
  • Small classes mean you get generous contact time with tutors and technicians, with plenty of access to equipment and studios.

Introduction

Our Graphic Illustration and Graphic Design courses offer you control over your creative direction and career ambitions. Because we teach both degrees together, you are not tied to one study route; for instance, if you develop a passion for Graphic Design you can transfer to the graphics pathway to study that area in much more depth.

Within both courses, project briefs help you develop the creative and technical skills you need for industry, while also being open enough to allow you the freedom to steer your work to suit your interests. This way, you get the most out of your time with us – tailoring your degree, exploring your career options and developing a personal approach to your creative process.

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Anemone book cover by Sabina Manolache

Sabina Manolache – Anemone children's book concept and cover  

   

A key feature is our small class sizes; throughout your degree you benefit from generous contact time with our tutors and technicians and easy access to all facilities, supporting you to advance your learning and hone your applied illustration skills. 

Employability is at the heart of our Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration) 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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Rebecca Meekings TV channel proposal

Rebecca Meekings – Imagatoon television channel concept

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 received industry-set briefs from BBC Studios and Jacob Bailey, and worked on client-facing live projects for 4YP, Saxon Packaging, MT Productions, Ipswich Vision and The Royal Society of Arts. Tutors will also advise and support you in approaching design studios to arrange practical work experience.

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Ioana Danilla property brochure illustrations

Ioana Danilla – property brochure illustrations

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. 
  • Show work that represents illustration 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 analyse your own work and the work of others.
  • 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

Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration) student work

Graphic Design student work 

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Course modules

Our programme is delivered as a series of related modules that cover the technical, creative and contextual aspects of graphic design and graphic illustration 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 Interpretations (Mandatory)

This module introduces key digital software and contexts, familiarising students with industry standard requirements and encouraging them to explore the creative potential of digital processes

Ideas Generation in Illustration (Mandatory)

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

Exploring Visual Language (Mandatory)

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

Typographic Exploration (Mandatory)

This module introduces the basic principles of formal typography and how type can be used creatively. 

Print Media for Graphic Illustration (Mandatory)

This module explores a range of print processes and media for creating illustration outcomes.

Contextual Studies (Mandatory)

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

Visual Identity (Mandatory)

This module develops a student’s understanding of contemporary visual branding and how a designer/illustrator communicates their clients’ identity.

Applied Ideas in Graphic Illustration (Mandatory)

This module allows students to explore how sequential narratives in applied contexts influence and affect an audience's interaction with illustrative outcomes.

Illustration for Screen (Mandatory)

This module allows students to develop their knowledge and digital skills in UX and UI illustration and design for screen-based communications.

Applying Critical Perspectives (Mandatory)

This module builds on Contextual Studies at Level 4 and introduces the underpinning research and writing skills needed to be able to approach a Dissertation at Level 6. It seeks to extend students’ critical questioning of their discipline and introduces design writing and publishing as a potential career option.

Professional Illustration Practices (Optional)

This module extends student’s knowledge of contemporary illustration contexts through projects focusing on employability and professional practice, where-possible, through client-facing briefs.

Work Based Learning (Optional)

This module allows students to use experience of a work placement towards their degree. (Replaces Professional Illustration Practices.)

Graphic Illustration Portfolio Development (Mandatory)

This year-long module focuses on the development of a Graphic Illustration Portfolio. Through reflective analysis and the completion of set and negotiated projects, it provides the student with the opportunity to produce work that represents their personal career ambitions. The module allows the student to bring together all that they have learnt on the course to date, and to develop a self-awareness of their personal creative process and how to produce highly effective and professionally realised visual communication outcomes.

Personal and Professional Critical Review (Mandatory)

This module allows students to explore the personal and professional career or postgraduate education options open to them. Through reflective creative projects, engagement with industry partners, discussions surrounding contemporary practice, and exercises that explore employability skills, the module seeks to position the student more confidently in their progression from higher education.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

The Dissertation provides an opportunity to conduct a significant piece of research that engages critically with the student’s own interests. It allows them to articulate their findings through a piece of academic writing and to position themselves as an emerging expert in their field of study.

Career opportunities

We encourage work placements for all of our students and are happy to support you in approaching design studios. Thanks to our links with professionals in the industry, we strive to provide you with the knowledge and networking opportunities to prepare you for employment with the likes of our Life After Lectures – a series of talks by designers, illustrators and creative directors about progressing from education to the workplace.

Access to national competitions give you opportunities to get your work seen and promote your talent. Recent successes at the 2019 Starpack Awards saw students winning 3 gold awards and 1 silver; alongside 2 students being highly commended and one winning a work placement.

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 Saatchi & Saatchi.

If you want to become a freelance illustrator, the degree also equips you with the crucial skills to be successful in self-employment or to set up your own studio. Alternatively, you can progress to an illustration 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
  • Fashion Illustrator
  • Book Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Marketing
  • In-house Designer
  • Web / Digital Designer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Teacher / Lecturer

Student profiles

I was attracted to the Graphic Design course partially because of the high standard of work showcased, but also because of the course's phenomenal reputation amongst students and graduates. With something as creative and personal as design, it's important to feel comfortable in your...

Fees and finance

2020-21

  • 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                                                       

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. 

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

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

All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.

If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.

How to Apply

Non-Academic Requirements

Any offer of a place will be subject to:

  • a 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.

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. 
  • Show work that represents illustration 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 analyse your own work and the work of others.
  • 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 / Course Leader for Graphic Design

Lecturer in Graphic Design / Illustration

Lecturer in Graphic Design

Lecturer in Printmaking

Lecturer in Arts – Dissertation Lead

Lecturer in Graphic Design

Lecturer in Contextual Studies

Facilities and Resources

You will be based in our dedicated Arts Building, which is home to all of our Art and Design programmes. The Graphic Design courses have two dedicated studios on the first floor, adjacent to an Apple Mac Pro digital suite. On the ground floor, you will have access to our Printmaking Studio and 3D workshops, with facilities for screen-printing, linocutting, etching, laser-cutting, plastics vacuum forming and woodworking. The Printmaking Studio also houses large-format digital printing, vinyl cutting and mounting equipment; while the photo-lab provides further printing and finishing equipment. The top floor contains a Drawing Studio, and all teaching and workshop spaces have generous 'open access' availability with dedicated technician support in specialist areas.

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Bookbinding workshop

Bookbinding workshop in the Printmaking Studio

All computers in the Arts Building run Adobe Creative Cloud. There are colour laser printers and scanners throughout all university buildings. There is also 24-hour access to the Waterfront Building, late night opening to our well stocked library, and cafes are abundant around campus and the waterfront.