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

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS
TEF Silver

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 in demand, so having the right skills, talents and determination will help you find the right job, take on freelance work or even give you the confidence to set up your own business.

As a graphic designer, you can push your creativity to the limit and use your creative flair to influence human behaviour and action through visual and sensorial communication.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

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.

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 will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

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 restrictions 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. You'll then be in smaller groups for seminars to enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and to express your ideas, observations and experiences in a supportive academic environment.

You'll regularly present your work during critiques, where academic staff and your peers will help you to develop your work and you'll also meet with your academic personal tutor to get personal support throughout the course.

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

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

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions, you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves working on briefs and preparing for coursework assignments, workshops and seminars, reading journal articles and books and undertaking research in the library. 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.

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours per week and up to 24 hours of independent study per week. In addition, there will be field trips.

For each 20-credit module, total study time is about 12 hours per week.

The team consists of highly qualified academics, who a 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. For more information see individual staff profiles and our professional practice web sites:

Kate McLean (Programme Director) – https://sensorymaps.com

Nadine Smith – http://www.chaosnadine.com/

Shelley Bartlette – http://www.shiveringsands.co.uk/

Rob Flowers – https://robflowers.co.uk/

Tony Lyons – http://www.estuaryenglish.co.uk/

Becky Glendining – http://lgions.com/

Tom Kell – http://tomvek.tv/

Note: All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

As intelligent, talented young designers you will learn skills of graphic design through an understanding that we all need to be ethical and sustainable, using Graphic Design for Good.

Kate McLeanGraphic Design Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

Graphic Design is assessed mostly through practical submission that comprise final design work and supporting documentation for each practical module. There is one essay-based module in each year. Each module contains several opportunities for “crits” in which you receive critical feedback on your work from your tutors and peers.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

Portfolio-based practical submission and essays will typically be used to assess the Graphic Design course. You will be responding to a number of creative briefs that enable you to propose and develop solutions using the skills, approaches and disciplines that you deem appropriate. You are assessed against module-specific Learning Outcomes. There are no exams.


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. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.

80% practical coursework
20% written coursework

Your future career

Graphic design is a creative professional discipline that remains in strong demand, due to the ways that its underpinning principles inform almost all visual communication. 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 assists graduates in working not only in prescribed work roles such as graphic designers, graphic artists and artworkers, but in working across the range of creative industries including graphic design, influencing, marketing, social media, web 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.

Recent graduate destinations include:

Alumni in Work around the World

Lisa Sloan (2013) – Lecturer in Art & Design at Peterborough Regional College

Rachel Philogene (2014) – Interactive Designer at Teads and Teads.tv, London

Margaret Limbu (2016) – Graphic Designer at Bigjigs Toys Ltd., Folkestone

Rachel Hancock (2014) – Creative Lead at PROGRESS, Ashford & Masters Student CCCU Graphic Design

Becky Upson (2016) – Graphic Designer at ASAP UK Ltd. & Masters Student CCCU Graphic Design

Luke Sutton (2014) – Creative Director at LEAP Marketing & Brand Development, Maidstone

Alana Handford (2014) – Digital Designer at The Simply Group, Faversham

Elliot Galbraith (2014) – Digital Brand Manager at Match Grade Medical, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

Daniel Palmer (2015) – Freelance Motion Graphics Designer Nik Suchak (2015) – Director at Anabasis Media, Broadstairs

Tyler Ayers (2015 & 2017) – Junior Designer at Truth, London

Mark Willis (2017) – Brand Videographer & Graphic Designer, Mountain Warehouse

Kieran Walker (2017) – Junior Web Designer at Smart Domain Group Clarissa Holt (2018) – Designer at Dassie Artisan, Brighton

I chose CCCU because I was very warmly welcomed when I got in contact for information about the university. I found in my time in CCCU that people are very keen to socialise with you and are interested in learning about your background. My biggest fear was the cultural difference I would have to face but it was easy to settle in.

SimranYear 3 Graphic Design student


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

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

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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, 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.

Apply now


4 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS
Any questions?

Phone us

+44 (0)1227 928000

Find out more

Sign up to hear the latest from the University, including upcoming events, useful updates, student life and more!