BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    Institution code: N39
    Course 3 Year UCAS code: W210
    Course 4 Year UCAS code: W216
    Course length: 3 or 4 year options
    Work-based learning opportunities: Creative Professional Development Year (Level 5 diploma) available between years 2 & 3

    You will be inspired to create innovative answers to branding, packaging and promotional design questions facing businesses on NUA’s internationally-renowned Graphic Design degree.

    Our BA (Hons) course has a global reputation for producing graduates who are creative thinkers with accomplished technical skills and a strong grasp of the latest technology.

    The course benefits from close links to some of the leading names in the design industry.

    You’ll follow a proven path that has led to NUA graduates securing roles at some of the UK’s leading design studios, branding and advertising agencies.

    Design ideas that work

    Our course has a strong emphasis on commercial work and you’ll be challenged to generate high quality creative solutions, including:

    • Visual identities
    • Packaging
    • Websites
    • Cross-platform advertising campaigns.

    Briefs are designed to inspire you to generate original, innovative and – crucially – effective design solutions.

    You’ll learn how to question a brief using research techniques that will help you develop a thorough understanding of each client, their challenges and target market.

    Future-thinking about Graphic Design

    You’ll be taught by passionate and experienced tutors who have worked in some of the best design agencies in the UK.

    And their reputation for nurturing talent, coupled with our strong reputation in industry, means that leading design groups and agencies seek actively to recruit graduates from the course, including:

    • Carter Wong
    • Turner Duckworth
    • Brandhouse
    • Design Bridge
    • Pearlfisher
    • Lewis Moberly
    • BrandOpus
    • JKR
    • Ziggurat
    • Bloom 

    Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

    • Graphic Designer
    • Packaging Designer
    • Creative Director
    • Branding Designer
    • Editorial Designer Brand Strategist
    • Copywriter
    • Marketing Creative
    • Photographer
    • Website/App Designer
    • Printmaker/Printer

    You’ll also get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

    All courses run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning, and follow current UK government safety advice. Applicants and students will be notified directly if any changes need to be made.

    Course content

    • Year 1
    • Develop skills in typography, printing, layout, photography, design research, idea generation, visual narrative and story telling
    • Learn technical skills in various design-related digital media such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator
    • Explore print, paper, material, format and hand-craft/making skills
    • Develop your ability to design solutions for presenting complex data and information through editorial design and infographics.
    • Year 2
    • Work on visual identity, packaging design, advertising and promotion, design for digital platforms and editorial design
    • Work on projects set by external bodies such as industry employers, live clients and competition briefs
    • Pitch your work to leading industry professionals
    • Collaborate with second year students from another course at NUA on interdisciplinary projects.
    • Year 3
    • Construct a professional portfolio of work
    • Undertake projects including competition briefs and other professionally-focused projects
    • Enhance creative thinking, idea generation and problem solving; alongside core skills in typography, image use and production
    • Complete a Research Report that provides broad contextualisation to your practice.
    Visit the Degree Show website

    Typical UK offers

    A / AS Levels – GCE
    GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

    BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
    Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

    BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
    Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

    UAL Extended Diploma
    Merit

    UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
    Merit

    UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
    Pass

    Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
    Merit

    Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
    Pass

    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    A minimum of 27 points

    NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

    If you are studying at the time of your application and your application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

    If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

    International applications

    We accept qualifications from all over the world. To find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

    Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

    We also accept some alternative English qualifications. Learn more about our English entry requirements.

    You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree portfolio guidance

    Your portfolio should be relevant to this course, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of innovative design.

    You may wish to include some of the following:

    • Drawings, painting or illustrations that demonstrate your image making skills, including life drawings, images drawn from observing people and landscapes or from your imagination
    • Models or sculptural works in any medium
    • Experiments in various print making processes
    • Typography
    • Editorial work
    • Collages, montages and mixed media
    • Web design
    • Sound design
    • Film or animation work
    • Photography
    • Work created using Adobe Creative Suite or other appropriate design software package
    • Package design
    • Visual identity
    • Advertising
    • Brand extension – how your idea works across a range of media
    • Suggestions for context (i.e. where you see this work being used)

    Further portfolio advice and tips

    Get more advice on presentation formats, layouts and when to submit your portfolio in the application process.

    2022/23 University fees for new entrants

    NUA will assess students’ tuition fee status using the guidance provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs

    Students from the UK or Ireland and EU students with ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status will be charged ‘Home’ fees if they meet the relevant residency requirements.  They will usually be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning that they won’t have to pay NUA’s tuition fees up front.

    Students who do not meet the necessary residency requirements will usually be charged ‘Overseas’ fees and will not be eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan. Since 2021/22, this includes new entrants from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who do not have ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status, because the UK has now formally left the EU.

    Fee status Course Fee
    Home Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £9,250
    Overseas Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £17,500

    In subsequent years inflation may be applied to the fees of those who started in 2022/23, at no more than the Office for Students’ recommended measure based on forecast RPI-X.

    Financial support for UK students in 2022

    Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are usually available to UK and some EU students, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries based on family income. Find out more about applying for funding.

    Creative Professional Development (1 year, Level 5 Diploma)

    The Diploma in Creative Professional Development has been developed to offer undergraduate students the chance to spend a year, between the second and third year of their course, exploring their employability options through a structured programme of input sessions and work-based learning.

    Not just an ‘industry sandwich year’ —

    The Level 5 Diploma in Creative Professional Development is:

    • Designed around your needs as a creative student, particularly if your personal network does not currently reach creative industry.
    • Based on our award-winning Profile skills framework.
    • Co-delivered with industry partners who share our approach.
    • Supporting you with carefully planned interventions and activities before and after their placements, so that you are ready to undertake placement learning and then equipped to derive the maximum insight from the experience afterwards.
    • Opening a wide range of creative roles that you may not imagine you would be able to apply for after your study at NUA.

    It has been designed for:

    • Students who want to work in creative industry but have not yet decided the sort of role they would like.
    • Students who do have a clear sense of career direction but need to develop a structured plan to achieve it.
    • Students who do not have relevant work experience, and want to graduate with a fuller CV.
    • Students who think that business start-up or freelancing may be their preferred option and want to explore it further.

    Four year degree

    Our innovative four year degrees are exactly the same as our three year degrees but include an extra year of study at the beginning – Year 0.

    Year 0 is all about developing the skills and knowledge you need to successfully complete your degree course. Building on your experience from A Level or equivalent courses, the Year 0 curriculum allows extra time to develop the practical, technical and creative skills that are critical to successfully completing an undergraduate degree at NUA.

    While studying Year 0 BA (Hons) Graphic Design you’ll gain fundamental design skills centred around typography, publishing, packaging and building a brand. You will first encounter four intense week-long projects, each focused on a key area of design, before progressing to explore graphic sequences and thematic design.

    There are weekly critiques on progress and you will be expected to engage fully with the iterative process. There will also be an opportunity to negotiate your own brief. Regular workshops will enable you to continually build on your digital skills using industry standard software.

    You’ll be taught by Graphics tutors throughout and you’ll have the opportunity to join first, second and third year students for guest lectures.

    Typical UK offers and entry requirements for Year 0 entry

    GCE A/AS Levels
    2 A-level qualifications at grades CC or higher.

    BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
    Merit, Merit, Pass in an art, design or media related subject

    BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
    Distinction, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

    UAL Extended Diploma
    An overall Pass

    UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
    An overall Pass

    Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 
    Pass

    Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
    Pass

    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    A minimum of 24 points

    NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

    Students
    Photo of a young brunette woman, wearing a cream cardigan, standing in the graphics studio, looking into camera

    Olivia Knights

    "I love that I am being taught to have ideas and think in an entirely creative way. Design can influence the future, encourage sustainability and social change."

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    BA Graphic Design student Leona sits in graphics studio at Norwich University of the Arts

    Leona Heung

    "Being in a design studio is a great experience. You’re working on different aspects of the same project, so everything must be consistent and you also get to learn from each other."

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    Lauren Meiszner, graphic design student at Norwich University of the Arts stands outside at NUA

    Lauren Meiszner

    "Having an actual client critique and give feedback was a very valuable experience, it prepares you for when you step into the industry, giving you confidence to meet a client's requirements."

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    photo of alum Craig Riseborough standing and looking away from camera with short dark brown hair and wearing a checkered red and black shirt with a white wall background

    Craig Riseborough

    "I’ve developed an ‘ideas driven’ way of thinking which means my concepts are so much more creative. I’ve learnt the value of observation and the importance of understanding design history- which allows me to approach any brief with confidence."

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    Lecturers

    • Mette Ambeck

    • Emma Bailey

    • Bryony Birkbeck

    • Jordan Blyth

    • Christopher Challinor

    • Martin Devenney

    • Maria Fletcher

    • Helen Furness

    • Mike Harrington

    • Neil Hedger

    • Andrew Johnson

    • Simon Loxley

    • Professor Laura Jordan Bambach (Visiting Lecturer)

      D&AD
    • Sean Perkins and guests (Visiting Lecturer)

      North
    • David Pearson (Visiting Lecturer)

      David Pearson Design

    Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

    Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please give us a call.

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