I’ve learned loads about myself socially and academically, it’s set me up for next year and I feel really confident about it.


    How do you want to study?


    4 years


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    A foundation year helps you develop the study skills and self-confidence needed for higher education when you don’t reach the entry requirements for your subject or you need a grounding in a new subject area.

    Throughout the course, you’ll develop your skills in real-world situations, through live briefs and national competition briefs.

    To build on your design work, you’ll learn business and entrepreneurial aspects of the industry from professional graphic designers.

    You’ll be able to take on freelance commissions during the course and have the chance to work with local design agencies, alumni, and our staff.

    You can also study abroad, gaining international experience of design.

    Why Study Graphic Design with Foundation Year?

    Good designers are always in demand and having the knowledge, creativity and determination will help you find the right job, take on freelance work and even give you the confidence to set up your own business.

    From day one, we'll consider you as designer with thoughts and opinions that can lead to great ideas and impactful work.

    We'll support you in building your creative confidence, technical skills and critical understanding so that you can step outside of your comfort zone and push your designs to the limit. To do this, you'll hone your software proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, AfterEffects, XD and Acrobat, learn the basics of coding for web and make data visualisations using Tableau to communicate global stories.

      All about the course

      During the foundation year, you'll have an introduction to graphic design and you'll learn essential skills to help you as you progress through your degree.

      You'll study in a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

      Whether you are a school leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year may give you a way of accessing higher education.

      Entry requirements

      Qualification type


      A Levels EEE
      BTEC PPP
      Access Pass 45 Credits
      International Baccalaureate 24 points
      Combinations A combination of qualifications totalling 32 UCAS points minimum

      For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

      More information about entry requirements.

      UCAS Points

      Module information

      Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

      Core/optional modules

      How you’ll learn

      You'll be taught through a combination of practical workshops, lectures, tutorials and critique sessions.

      Each module will require you to respond to at least one 'brief' (as in industry). The brief will specify your deign challenge, itemise resources and assets, note any constraints and advise a schedule of activities.

      During practical workshops you'll gain the skills and technical knowledge needed to respond to the briefs. Lectures will give you a firm grounding in the theoretical aspects of graphic design and will help you to develop your critical understanding of your own practice. Tutorials enable you to discuss your individual design work with your tutors and the critique sessions are to help you show and explain your working processes and to deliver and receive feedback with your peers and tutors. This combined approach encourages expression of your ideas, observations and experiences within a supportive academic environment.

      You'll also meet with your academic personal tutor to get personal support throughout the course.

      You'll typically have around 12 contact hours per week, but your actual contact hours depend on any optional modules you select.

      All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

      When not attending lectures, critiques, workshops or other timetabled sessions, you'll continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves working on practical briefs and preparing for coursework assignments, workshops and tutorials, reading journal articles and books and undertaking research in the library, and making use of the print making studio facilities. Independent learning will take up to 24 hours per week.

      Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

      In some of your modules in Year 2 and Year 3, you'll undertake independent research working under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly and they will support you to ensure you carry out your research effectively and reach your full potential.

      While your workload will change in response to deadlines, you should see your studies as a full-time job of at least 36 hours per week.

      The team consists of highly qualified industry professionals, who have interests and experience in diverse areas of graphic design. All of the teaching team hold teaching qualifications and are research-active, sharing a range of expertise and experience. They all have experience in delivering research-informed teaching and have an enthusiastic passion for design. 

      A foundation year provides an introduction to academic study and life at university, supporting every student to achieve their full potential.

      Martin WattsFoundation Year Programme Director

      National Student Survey 2021

      of our Graphic Design students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course.

      How you’ll be assessed

      Graphic Design is assessed through the submission of practical assignments normally consisting of a practical response to a brief (such as a game), and a supporting set of materials (such as a PDF collection of sketches and planning, and/or a written or video-based evaluation). The requirements of each module will be made clear in their handbooks / briefs. There is one module per year that is assessed using essays, but this is primarily a practical degree programme. There are no formal exams. Each module contains several opportunities for 'formative' assessment also known as a “crit”/"critique" for which you give and receive feedback from your tutor and peers.

      Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

      Graphic Design is assessed 100% through coursework. Each practical module (5 per year in Years 1 and 2) will contain 2 briefs requiring responses from you. In the case of group work your individual contribution is what is assessed. While this is primarily a practical degree every year you have one theory-based module requiring an essay as your coursework submission. You are assessed against module-specific Learning Outcomes and School-level marking criteria which are made available to students during their studies.


      You will receive formative feedback on all practice assessments and summative feedback on end of module assessment hand-ins. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. In addition to summative feedback (normally returned 15 working days after submission), you will have frequent opportunities to present and receive feedback on your progress as part of the teaching.

      80% Practical coursework
      20% Written coursework

      National Student Survey 2021

      of our Graphic Design students were satisfied with the learning opportunities on their course.

      Your future career

      Graphic design is a creative professional discipline that remains in strong demand. Graduates from the course have moved into a range of creative careers, including working as graphic designers either salaried within design agencies or on a freelance basis.

      Our interdisciplinary ethos and approach assist graduates in working not only in prescribed work roles such as graphic designers, graphic artists and art workers but in working across a range of creative industries including graphic design, influencing, marketing, social media, web design and beyond.

      Graduate destinations include AMA Healthcare, Dassie Artisan, Truth, Mountain Warehouse, and ASAP UK LTD.

      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.

      A foundation year provides an introduction to academic study and life at university, supporting every student to achieve their full potential.

      Martin WattsFoundation Year Programme Director


      The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

        UK** Overseas***
      Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £9,250 £14,500
      Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £14,500

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

      * The tuition fees of £9,250 / £14,500 relate to 2022/23 only. Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

      **Home (UK) Fees

      The fees above are for the 2022/23 academic year but may be subject to change following any announcements by the UK Government (approved by Parliament) regarding maximum Undergraduate tuition fee caps for 2022/23.

      In addition, the University reserves the right to increase all full-time and part-time Undergraduate tuition fees mid-course, in line with any further inflationary increase in the Government tuition fee cap which is approved by Parliament. The University will publish information about any changes to tuition fees on its website.

      ***Overseas Fees (including EU fees):

      Undergraduate Overseas tuition fees for International students are not subject to the Government’s regulations on maximum tuition fees.

      Students with an Overseas fee status will be eligible for an International student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500, which will be applied to all Full-time Undergraduate courses with a tuition fee of £14,500.

      Students with an EU fee status will be eligible for the EEA Transition Scholarship. Further details can be found here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/fees-and-funding/international-student-fees-and-funding

      Diamond Jubilee Scholarships and Bursaries

      To celebrate 60 years of transforming lives through education new cash bursary and scholarship opportunities are available for students starting a degree in September 2022. See full details.

      Industry links

      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 Finally Agency, Rising Sun Domestic Abuse Charity, The Goods Shed, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Red Bullet Agency, Edible Kingdom, John Baxter (Parisian author and literary walking tour guide), Broadstairs Folk Festival, Saga Holidays, Greyhound Board of Great Britain, Sea Green Art and The Canterbury Society.

      Regulated by the Office for Students

      The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

      Apply now


      4 years


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