This programme gives students the opportunity to develop the professional skills and theoretical understandings needed to produce creative, visually stunning, industry-standard design and illustration for print and digital display. The emphasis of the programme is the development of confidence with the creative processes, technical skills and contextural understanding that enable the production of Graphic Design. The programme is designed for those who have an active interest in graphic design but may not necessarily have studied it in the past.
The graphic design industry has seen major changes over the last decade as a result of the digital revolution. Today it is an exciting and multidisciplinary field of visual communication embracing typography, advertising, photography, image manipulation, page layout, illustration, motion graphics, drawing and printmaking. Graphic Design covers all of these aspects, giving students practical experience of the technologies and processes involved and a growing confidence with how these skills can be used in order to create unique outcomes to a range of design challenges. Students acquire skills in the use of professional software such as Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and After Effects. Students’ competencies are extended through an understanding of a range of related creative practices such as animation, web design, video production and photography, which can be extended according to the modules they select as they progress through the course.
Graphic Design is designed to offer progression from introductory graphic-design skills and understandings in Year 1, through increasing subject expertise and specialisation in Year 2, to student-led, professional-standard project work in Year 3.
Year 1 provides a comprehensive introduction to the essential creative contexts, software applications, and professional practices related to digital design. Students share a common first year with the two other single honours digital design programmes at the Broadstairs campus: Web Design, and Video and Motion Graphics.
In Year 1, all students study hands-on modules in Graphic Design, Web Design, Lens Based Media, Motion Graphics, Creative Practice, and an underpinning theoretical module, Design Contexts.
In Year 2, students select a range of modules from those available, tailoring their studies with the skills relevant to their career objective. Compulsory ones are: Typography, Layout, Introduction to Professional Practice, and Creative Contexts. Optional modules are: Design for Print, Design for Screen, 3D Graphics, Digital Image Manipulation, Lens Based Media, Advanced Animation, and Individual Project.
In Year 3, students further develop their specialist expertise by working on a large, industryequivalent project that demonstrates professional graphic design skills. Compulsory modules are: Major Practical Project, Mixed Media Research Methods, Mixed Media Essay, and Professional Practice. Optional ones are: Advanced Graphic Design, Advanced Web Design, and Advanced Video & Motion Graphics.
Learning and teaching methods are designed to meet the objectives of each module. Core theoretical knowledge and understanding is acquired through lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual study. Professional skills are acquired and developed in workshops that simulate the professional work environment. Students benefit from technical support and have access to a wide range of the latest digital media equipment including Apple Mac and PC computing suites and professional studios. Students can book equipment including HD solid-state video cameras and digital SLRs to complete their project work.
A variety of assessment methods are used, as appropriate to test the achievement of the learning outcomes of each module and to best reflect the demands of the creative and cultural industries. The understanding of theoretical concepts is typically assessed through written essays, reports and presentations. Professional skills are assessed through the production of individual projects to professional design briefs. There are no examinations on the programme.
Graphic Design gives students the opportunity to acquire a range of practical, theoretical, creative, social, technological and managerial skills and resources appropriate for employment in the exciting and multidisciplinary graphic-design industry. It also equips students for employment in the wider creative sectors and would provide a strong foundation for those intending to start their own companies.
The programme offers the opportunity to obtain Apple Pro User and Adobe Certified Expert qualifications alongside the degree; such qualifications should enhance students’ employment opportunities.
BA single honours
3 years full-time
5 or 6 years part-time
240 UCAS points including CCC at A2 Level, or equivalent (see here)
Applicants are interviewed and, where appropriate, have the opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for their chosen programme through the presentation of a portfolio of relevant practical work
Coursework, group projects, presentations