BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Ever judged a book by its cover? Then you've been influenced by graphic design. This ever-changing field of visual communication requires problem-solving, creative professionals able to use typography, photography and illustration to grab attention and communicate ideas, values and emotions in a matter of seconds. Interested? Then explore our Graphic Design degree.

Graphic Design

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

3 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

UCAS points:

96

UCAS code:

W210

Start date:

20/09/2021

Course Details

Every day we read adverts, engage with websites and spend money based on choices influenced by messages delivered through graphic design. Graphic designers produce content for digital and traditional media. They creatively combine photography, illustration and typography to communicate messages for clients from big brands to small businesses.

This industry has seen massive changes in working methods, practices and media over the last ten years. However, the creative thought process that designers employ remains the same. Built on a series of diverse and challenging practical assignments underpinned by appropriate theory, our Graphic Design degree aims to give you the skills to understand the creative process from start to finish.

The course is designed to help you understand the creative and technical possibilities of contemporary graphics image making coupled with great typography and driven by original thinking. We'll encourage you to explore the theoretical and historical elements that that influence design and think critically about your own work and that of others.

We'll also focus on helping you to develop career-relevant skills. Creativity, technical knowledge, problem solving, team working, independence, time management and communications skills are all essential for success as a professional graphic designer.

Highlights
  • Our Art courses are placed in the top ten in the UK for student-to-staff ratio by the Guardian University League Tables 2020, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • You'll have the opportunity to work on client-led briefs and be encouraged to engage in additional live briefs during your spare time so that you can gain industry-relevant professional experience to enhance your CV.
  • You'll be encouraged to apply for placements, internships, awards, competitions, masterclasses and other external development opportunities, such as the D&AD (Design and Art Directors) folder clinics – the ‘Oscars’ of graphic arts.
  • We'll offer you the opportunity to present your work to the public and impress potential employers during Bolton School of the Arts’ Creative Showcase in your final year.
Key Features
  • Our £10 million purpose-built facilities include extensive computer suites featuring the latest design and graphics software, professional standard traditional and digital photographic studios, and fully equipped fine art workshops and studios.
  • You can learn to use the latest design software, while being encouraged to generate ideas and problem solve using traditional media and techniques.
  • You'll have the opportunity to use traditional graphic design media, including wood block printing, screen printing and lino cutting.
  • You'll have access to a rich visiting speaker programme, providing insight into industry experts’ professional practice and up-to-the-minute developments in the sector.
  • Our specialist tutors and technical support staff have professional experience and industry connections.
  • We offer opportunities for you to participate in foreign study trips, as well as visit current exhibitions and events at galleries and arts centres around the UK. We also encourage you to attend design-related professional development lectures and conferences.
Professional recognition


  • 96 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include a graphic design or associated subject; for instance, A-level Graphic Communication/Art and Design or BTEC Extended Diploma in Graphic Design.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language.
  • You'll be required to attend for interview and to provide a portfolio of appropriate work.
  • The quality of the portfolio/interview is the primary basis on which applicants are selected; therefore special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


A graphic design graduate will develop a good mix of subject-specific and technical skills that include communication, creativity, project management, the ability to manage time and meet deadlines, concept development, presenting ideas, networking and liaising with clients and the ability to work independently. You'll also use a range of software packages, and learn to create images that convey a product or message.

Graphic design provides a stimulating working environment, a wide variety of clientele and an ever changing portfolio of briefs and projects. An experienced graphic designer may never encounter two projects that are exactly the same.

What can I do with this qualification?

In the private sector there are opportunities to work with design consultancies and studios, branding specialists and publishers. Advertising and PR agencies are another possibility, where you would be creating positive images of organisations, individuals and products, and delivering imaginative solutions that generate sales or an increase in business interest.

In the public sector, employers include museums, local authorities, schools, colleges and hospitals. Some graduates set up their own studios and work as exhibiting artists or work as part of a studio collective.

Some graphic designers might also work as logo designers, advertisement designers, web designers, photograph editors, book layout artists, magazine layout artists, illustrators, art directors and print makers.

Alternative career options

Graduates can use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. They include:

  • Exhibition design
  • Interior and spatial design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Medical illustration
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Commercial and industrial design
  • Teaching
  • Games development
  • Visual effects

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/24
2020£9,250£9,250£9,250-£27,750
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/24
2020£12,450£12,450£12,450-£37,350

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


We use a blended approach to teaching and learning – you'll have face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. You can expect a mix of seminars, lectures and tutorials, practical workshop demonstrations, our visiting speaker programme, critiques, study visits, self-directed study, IT sessions, library and guided study. The University’s e-learning portal Moodle will support your online learning. We'll also encourage you to use the internet for research and to set up digital portfolios.

Module-based design briefs help to give you an insight into the professional environment. These involve simulated design briefs, client-led live briefs and competition briefs. Group tutorials and critiques, one-to-one tutor feedback, and regular feedback from clients and collaborators combine to support your learning. You'll also be able to seek further advice and feedback at the published drop-in sessions, via email and online discussions, and at scheduled tutorials.

Formal assessment is by coursework. This may involve you presenting your portfolio of artwork along with a supporting sketchbook of developmental ideas and a written research journal. It can also take the form of assignments, projects and written work.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Design Principles
  • Thinking with Type
  • Visual Thinking
  • Contextual Studies in Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Studio Practice in Graphic Design
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Past Present and Futures: Theory into Context
  • Craft and Digital Production
  • Design Practice
  • Motion Graphics
  • Design for Emerging Technologies
  • Professional Practice and Self-Promotion
  • Major Project
  • Advanced Design Practice
  • Advanced Visualisation for Graphic Design
  • Research in Context
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 58%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 42%
Level twoGuided independent study 53%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 47%
Level threeGuided independent study 60%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 40%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Carol Allison
Programme Leader

C.Allison@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903271

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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