Web Design

BA single honours Web Design 2017/18

Year of entry

Great news!

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer. When you join us, you will benefit from a year at Broadstairs, a modern and purpose-built campus with great facilities for arts and humanities students, before moving to Canterbury for the start of your second year.

Find out more about these specialist facilities in our video.

You will learn the foundations of good web design through workshops, demonstrations, practical tasks and collaborative working in a supportive studio environment. From day one we regard you as a designer with thoughts, opinions and a meaningful contribution whilst developing your own portfolio of work and individual sketchbooks.

The emphasis of the course is on process, building creative confidence, technical skills and critical understanding of what constitutes front-end web design. The course is designed for those with an active interest in web design, but who may not necessarily have studied it in the past.

Our students have won a number of awards in recent years:

Dan Palmer - RSA award 2015

Rachel Hancock - Design Museum 2014

Elliot Galbraith - D and AD 2014

Kaloyan Yankulov - D and AD 2011

Working alongside students from the graphic design course you will produce a wide range of projects. By giving you the opportunity to collaborate, encouraging individual and creative responses, and recognising the opportunities that this way of working offers, you will be fully prepared to enter the contemporary design industry. You will be able to not only speak the language of design, but understand how your unique creative practice fits into this mix.

The design industry has seen major changes over the last decade as a result of the maturation of digital platforms. Now more than ever the lines between web design and design for print are blurring, and clients frequently demand solutions that stretch across interactive, web and print. Web design is an exciting and multi-disciplinary field of visual communication embracing interaction, layout, typography, motion graphics, branding, photography, image manipulation, illustration, animation, drawing and printmaking. Web design covers all of these aspects, giving you practical experience of the technologies and processes involved and a growing confidence with how these skills can be used in order to create design solutions. You will acquire skills in the use of professional design software and are helped to develop your own personal style and creative voice. This is combined with teaching you design processes and research methodologies that enable you to see design as a highly rewarding problem-solving activity, and one in strong demand in the contemporary workplace.

Top reason to study this course

Unlike most other design degree courses BA Web Design aims to prepare students for challenging work in the creative sector focusing on process, creative thinking and versatility. The Programme is structured to develop a student’s ability to respond to challenging, complex and often ambiguous design problems, utilising appropriate research and synthesis abilities, placing more autonomy on the student through each progressing year. This key idea enables the student to develop confidence in their own abilities, whilst preparing them for the chosen industries in which they go on to seek employment.

Alan Meades (Programme Director) researches arcade culture and has a Streetfighter 2 machine in the MAD Lab studio. Students, staff and visitors play it for free, although they never win.

Our BA Web Design course provides progression from introductory web design skills and understanding in year one, through increasing subject expertise and specialisation in year two, to student-led, professional standard project work in year three. You will develop individual creative and technical abilities within web design to a high level, and will understand the complexities of design thinking and production. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed upon the integration of practice and theory through the completion of sequential design projects that typically run over five week blocks.

Other information

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

Visits to current exhibitions at a range of venues including Turner Contemporary, Victoria and Albert Musaeum, Design Museum, Barbican, The Beaney, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Pie Factory Modules often start with local visits used as the client and/or catalyst for a project e.g. Powell-Cotton Museum, Ramsgate Tunnels, Pugin Society, Resort Studios The programme taps the expertise of practitioners in related fields (illustration, printmaking, book binding) for one-off workshop sessions and uses a mentoring system with external design agencies to support the professional practice module.

Kate McLean (Senior Lecturer) researches urban smellscapes around the world and maps how humans experience them. She has the scent of dinosaur poo in her growing ‘not-so-fragrant’ collection.

Core modules

Year 1

Design Induction

This module will encourage you to work in small groups on a single unpredictable design problem over the duration of the module project. Each week you will be introduced to different elements of the process and will then put these into practice on your task.

Designing for Print

The production of original visual material making use of principles is vital to web design and interaction. In response to this demand this module introduces designing for print and how graphic design conveys messages, meaning and information compositionally through the development of shape, structure, balance and hierarchy, and semantically through typography. This module will encourage you to produce experimental design ideas and explore arrangements of type and image with consideration to visual communication, through the awareness and proficiency with the operation of a range of professional image production software and associated processes and techniques (such as applications in the Adobe Creative Suite).

Designing for Web

You will study the basic concepts of web design and production using industry standard tools and techniques. You will be introduced to a range of different technologies and practices that will give you an insight into how the web works and the different ways of producing material for it, and will be introduced to applicable theoretical concepts such as Web standards, Human Computer Interface (HCI), Accessibility and Usability.


You will explore the production of images using a range of equipment and tools for the generation of images to fulfil design briefs. Initial sessions will cover the creation of a picture library and cover a range of manual illustration styles and the equipment required to complete them and then move on to cover a range of photographic techniques. Finally you will make use of digitisation technologies to develop a taxonomy of illustration options, assessing them critically for their affective properties in design.

Moving Image

Initially you will be introduced to the basic digital video production based practical skills e.g.: exploring software tools and output methods. This module places emphasis on practical video and animation work in order to develop your procedural, technical and constructive skills, and is designed to serve as an example of the complete production process. You will individually produce short animations for web based distribution and explore the technical considerations of encoding, bandwidth and interaction. You will be encouraged to make experimental use of digital and analogue animation techniques with reference to other creative forms e.g.: pixellation, stop-motion, paper-based and object animation and theories salient to the production of animation for screen based consumption.

Design Theory

This module serves as an underpinning perspective on the themes and complexities explored in the project modules. In so doing, design theory presents critical and core theory, texts and examples, and situates design within the broader cultural, political, artistic and commercial contexts. The module aims to support your project work by offering a range of perspectives, challenges and inspiration, and ultimately develop your understanding of where design might be located as a practice, and aims to examine both past and contemporary practices and practitioners. Knowledge and understanding acquired through this module will directly inform your preparation and design development for the project modules they are undertaking, and in order to enable this the delivered content responds directly to the themes explored: process, identity, form, affect and environment. While this content is intended to support and underpin your practical project development, you are also expected to engage in essay writing and develop skills in research and the articulation of arguments through writing.

Year 2

Web Design Agency

This module focuses on embedding employability within a design curriculum in a seamless and meaningful way within the context of your future working environments. It is envisaged that while you will primarily rely upon course staff for continuity and structure you will also benefit from mentorship and support from external practicing web designers and agencies familiar with the demands placed upon web designers. While the course embraces an ethos that design practices overlap and benefit from interdisciplinary this module recognises that there are situations where the roles of web design and graphic design are more clearly delineated, such as within the context of group and agency work. This module responds to this by having you work on projects within a mixed skill-base group, where the roles and expected contributions of the web and graphic designers are more defined, combined with lecture, mentorship and support sessions where web designers are encouraged to understand the complexities of their roles within agency team work, and in so doing become aware of the pivotal role of the web designer within design development. 

Design Project: Materials and Processes

A sound understanding of materials and processes is central to the work of the designer, whether it takes the form of an awareness of the qualities of screen-printing inks, the functionality of mobile phone app data sources, or the ways that paper can be folded and scored. By understanding what materials are used for and capable of, you will also be able to present novel and challenging uses, enabling design innovation and the creation of unexpected solutions to briefs. This project is based upon recognition of the critical importance of materials and process (physical and data based), the very constituent materials that the designer must work with and use to solve problems. This project forces you to critically assess materials for their utility and qualities, seeking new ways of applying them within the confines of a design brief.

Design Project: Interpretation and Translation

A sound understanding of interpretation and translation is central to the work of the designer whether it is in the field of environmental design or interactive app development. Interpretation, a journey into the realm of hidden stories and little-known facts, can be exposed through text and image, light and other sensory stimuli. Interpretation will spark your imagination and conjure the invisible affording the audience memorable and meaningful experiences that educate, entertain, inspire and evoke. Translation is an indispensable tool, a means to convert information from one medium to another whilst retaining the message. All designers must be comfortable in their ability to interpret & translate ; from client to audience, from word to image, from miniature to giant.

Design Project Play and Interaction

A sound understanding of play & interaction is central to the work of the designer whether it is in the field of graphic design or interactive app and web development. Play & interaction results in things being put together in new ways and will make you aware of new options. Play is how we engage our human brains to develop novel ideas and solutions. How do we design for Play? How can design seek to evoke a sense of enjoyable? What are the constraints or problems to solve through play and interaction? How we play and interact with design becomes paramount to understanding the user experience and engagement. All designers must be comfortable in their ability to explore notion of play & interaction ; learning how to critically analyse users’ needs and define user experience through systematic research principles, play and interaction methods.

Design Project: Intervention and Provocation

Design is not a passive activity, it naturally calls for and brings about change within the audience. Whether this occurs through informing and presenting perspectives (e.g. infographics), the mode of persuasion and voice used to talk with the audience (visual communication), or taking an explicitly interventionist stance such as through protest and concepts like detournement. The point here is that design has the capacity to bring about change (or to reinforce existing practices), and thus the actions of the designer have weight, significance, and ultimately responsibility. This project recognises the critical importance of the design’s ability to call for and bring about change, and within it you will explore the ways that you can intervene and provoke reflection and change. In so doing the you will recognise that the designer is not simply a subordinate element of a commercial design process, but that design can be used for social good and bring about change. This project forces you to critically assess the messages and prevailing social context of design and designing, seeking ways of exploring and applying this within the confines of a design brief.

Design Theory: User Centered Design

This module further develops your understanding of the interconnectedness of theory and practice within web design and interaction, and in particular the critical importance of understanding the needs, demands and perspectives of audience and client. This module serves as a supportive perspective to the themes and complexities explored within the project modules (materials & processes, interpretation & translation, play & interaction, and intervention & provocation). In so doing Design Theory: User Centred Design presents critical and often contradictory perspectives on these themes, through the exploration of exemplars and texts. This situates design within the broader cultural, political, artistic and commercial contexts, and exposes the competing discourses that a designer must be aware of, must navigate, and make use of. 

Year 3

Design Project: Simplicity and Complexity

It is important for designers to be aware of and have experience of the relationship between simplicity and complexity – and thus situations where designs can only make incremental or temporary improvements. This presents design not as a magic bullet, but as part of the ways that humans rationalise and interact with their surroundings and contexts. In addition to being a humbling and useful concept to engage with, simplicity & complexity also helps prepare you for the pitfalls and challenges within a typical Final Major Project that follows after this module. This module challenges you to explore the relationship between (apparent) simplicity and complexity, and the ways that design can respond to such messy real-life contexts.

Web Design: Final Major Project

This will present you with the opportunity to produce a substantive piece of work that represents the culmination of your understanding and ability in your chosen areas of creative practice. It allows you to conceive, plan and create a major project under your own initiative but with tutorial support from subject specialist tutors – allowing you to learn from other practising web designers as you negotiate your project.  Introductory lectures will look at examples of possible outcomes for the final major project, creative methods for tackling a wide variety of ideas, existing practice and audience. Workshops will demonstrate techniques for idea generation, planning, proposal writing, time-handling and waypoints. You will then be able to nominate subject specific tutors from the teaching team who then (where appropriate) are able support you in their on-going web design project production.

Web Design: Dissertation

You will be supported in the completion of a proforma indicating the proposed topic for study and how it sits within web design as a discipline, and any resources considered to be essential to collect data and to lead to the completion of the dissertation. You will be expected to produce a written individual study of approximately 10,000 words.  A 200 word abstract at the beginning of the piece will summarise the topic, the approach adopted and the main conclusions. Your individual study can embrace any topic related to web design, either a further development of work explored earlier in the course or a new topic that sits within web design. You will be expected to indicate how the proposed dissertation intersects with web design as a discipline – this therefore allows you to propose emergent and novel dissertation subjects but ensures that you remain focused upon and within web design as a discipline.

Design Practice: Employability and Exhibition

Workshops, seminars and lectures throughout the course should be designed to deliver knowledge and skills with guidance being given on sources of information. Several external talks will focus on design jobs within the design sector and will provide you a useful contact network for future internships and work experience. A summary exhibition of student work is intended to ensure you realise the importance of presentation within a public arena in order to compete with other graduating designers. 

Web design isn’t about technology, screens or code. It’s about understanding your target audience. We strongly advocate user-centred design.

Web design, alongside graphic design, is a creative professional discipline that remains in strong demand, partly due to its ubiquity but also because of the ways that its underpinning principles inform almost all visual communication. Successful graduates from the course have moved into a range of creative careers, including working as front-end web designers either salaried within design agencies or on a freelance basis. Our interdisciplinary ethos and approach assists graduates in working not only in prescribed work roles, but in working across the range of creative industries including web design, advertising, marketing, social media, graphic design and beyond. Many students also continue on to further study, such as postgraduate courses in graphic design or related creative disciplines both at Canterbury Christ Church University and at other institutions.


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Printing & Photocopying Some Web Design modules require students to submit printed work as part of their learning. In these cases students will be provided with sufficient materials / university print credit to complete the submissions to an appropriate standard. This material / credit is allocated according to the requirements of the module. If students choose other production methods or require repeat printing due to error this is not automatically covered by the budget.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

The modules in Web Design Programme are taught in a variety of ways, depending on their level and the required outcomes. In years one and two of the course one out of six modules are theoretical, the remaining five focusing upon the creation of visual design work. All practical 20-credit modules will have 60 contact hours over the year, and for each module you will be expected to engage in approximately 140 hours in self-directed study. As you move into year three contact time reduces as you undertake increased individualised independent, supervised study, getting support primarily through tutorials and group critiques.

Our teaching on each module will usually include a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, demonstrations, and exercises, though the balance between these elements will vary depending on the specific module content (such as the different balance between theory and practical delivery in a modules). This variety of approaches is designed to cater to your needs, as you might learn best from hands-on workshops and reflection, while other students learn well from listening to a lecture, independent reading, or from in-class discussion. You will then be asked to apply the skills you have acquired, often in the form of a practical task that becomes increasingly complex, and offers greater latitude for interpretation and individualisation as the course progresses. Further teaching takes place using the many of the computer-based systems relevant to the contemporary creative practitioner.

Academic input

The Graphic Design programme is taught by full-time members of the School of Media, Art and Design, and a number of talented sessional tutors who also work in industry. Staff include:

Dr Alan Meades (Senior Lecturer in New Media Theory, Programme Director for Web Design)

Alan is a media theorist, design anthropologist, comic maker and artist. Alan joined CCCU in 2002 after working as a graphic designer, and has led the Web Design and Graphic Design courses since 2006. He holds a BA in Interactive Arts from Manchester Metropolitan University, an MA in Electronic Arts from Middlesex University, a PhD in videogame culture and digital anthropology from Brunel University and a PGCHELT from Canterbury Christ Church University. He has extensive experience in teaching digital humanities and new media theory, as well as practical digital design workshops and seminars. He has published widely on the subject of videogames, player behaviour and online communities, and regularly presents on these subjects. Alan is a researcher in residence at Dreamland Margate, and is working on a long-term project about arcade cultures. Alan’s 2015 book, Understanding Counterplay in Videogames, was published by Routledge.

Kate McLean (Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design)

Kate is a sensory designer, cartographer, photographer and smell collector. Educated in the UK and USA she has a BA (Hons) in Related Arts from the University of Chichester and a diploma in Graphic Design from NESADSU in Boston, USA. Her MFA (with distinction) is from Edinburgh College of Art. She has taught Masters students at the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University, Boston and at Edinburgh College of Art. Her research links sensory perception with urban environments in the form of Sensory Maps. She investigates how smell, in particular, can be used to generate memories of a specific place. She creates visual maps of the smells of cities and produces bottled scents which are then exhibited as participatory exhibitions.  

Gerald B Kennedy (Lecturer in Graphic and Web Design)

Gerald B Kennedy BA, MA is a professional Multimedia Designer, specialising in an eclectic assortment of creative media, including: Graphic Design, Digital Multimedia Design, UI/UX Design, Native Mobile Application Development (iOS and Android), Interactive Design, Print / Web Design, Motion Graphics, Television / Film / Audio/Video, Broadcast Design, Typography, Painting, Illustration, Animation, and Photography. Gerald has recently been appointed as a lecturer in Graphic and Web Design in CCCU after 15 years working as a Digital Designer across various media. He holds a BA in Visual Communications/Graphic Design from LYIT, a BA (Hons) in Digital Media from AIT, an MA in Digital Arts and Humanities from UCC and is in the process of obtaining a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Academic Practice from CCCU.

Portfolio based practical coursework and essays will typically be used to assess the Web Design course. You will be responding to a number of creative briefs that enable you to propose and develop a solution using the skills, approaches and disciplines that you deem appropriate.

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

When you join us, you will benefit from a year at Broadstairs, a modern and purpose-built campus with great facilities for arts and humanities students, before moving to Canterbury for the start of your second year. Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

In addition to Apple Mac computer labs we have other specialist spaces: The ‘MadLab,’ an open-access design space, offers students a space to work on their creative projects. Unlike the teaching spaces the MadLab is student-owned – a space for students to work, think and create. The screen printing studio offers specialist equipment and the chance to physically print posters, designs and T-shirts. You also have access to large format digital printing equipment, 3D printing equipment, photographic studios, darkrooms and a range of bookable equipment, from tablets to video cameras.

We work with a range of design companies and other industry partners as the initiators of live client briefs. In recent years these have included John Baxter (Parisian author and literary walking tour guide), Broadstairs Folk Festival, Saga Holidays, Greyhound Board of Great Britain, Sea Green Art, The Canterbury Society.

Other industry links are in a mentorship role and are delivered through the professional practice modules. Recent graduates talk about their transition from college to work and bring their expertise from Realia Marketing, Purple Cow, The Rye Agency. Practising professionals add their perspective from DesignMap, Mary Claire Smith Illustration, Accenture UX amongst others.

Resort Studios, a local artists’ co-operative studio space, is used as a safe exhibition experience by second year students learning how to curate and set up a show. Employability specialists deliver content on expectations on applying for jobs within the creative sector, and they set a job description and conduct mock interviews. Local attractions, businesses and museums frequently contribute as initiators to briefs and as external critical advisors for the resulting projects.


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Full-time study

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For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


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Fact file

UCAS code

  • WG2L

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2017

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 96-112 UCAS Tariff Points.

    Applicants have the opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for the chosen programme through the presentation of a portfolio of relevant practical work.

    More entry requirement details.



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Last edited: 13/07/2017 15:06:00