Graphic Design BA | 2018/19
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Graphic Design BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:

AHU006

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Flexible part-time

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018

 

Fees:

2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £14,104)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

With one of the best Graphic Design courses in the UK, we can help you achieve your ultimate design goals and launch your dream career!

A career in graphic design requires intelligence, imagination and plenty of originality. You’ll be challenged to come up with creative solutions to engage, instruct and entertain all types of audiences, depending on both the business and the brief, expertly adapting your designs to suit the full range of print and multimedia platforms. 

Our course prepares you to do just that. Our innovative approach helped one graduate go on to receive an Academy Award nomination in 2014 for ‘Best Visual Effects’ on the Hollywood blockbuster Iron Man 3, while another has built an enviable reputation working in the music business with NERD, Pharrell Williams and will.i.am. 

Ranked among the 15 best universities in the country for ‘Design and Crafts’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018, our experienced faculty, many of whom still practise design themselves, will encourage you to be tech-savvy and generate great ideas. We’ll show you how to master creative thinking, communicate effectively and stay ahead of the game by monitoring new design trends. In our spacious and dedicated studios, you will have the opportunity to create imagery, animations, movies, advertising campaigns, branding, books, stamps, installations, identities, posters, infographics, T-shirts, events, reactive media, interactive media, letterforms and websites. Students will produce proper design-platforms, together with personal and expressive portfolios that best demonstrate their creative agility and technical prowess.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Adobe

As part of our extensive skills development, we offer you the chance to take Adobe accredited modules as part of the University’s Add+Vantage scheme. Assessed by exams, this training will give you official Adobe accreditation in whichever software you’ve elected to study, providing a valuable addition to your CV, which is sure to enhance your employability.

What our students say

Graphic Design is just awesome, my teachers are well prepared for every lecture and seminar, everybody is really friendly and I just love the studio practice sessions.”

Pavel Nedev, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, currently studying abroad, 2016

Course information

We will begin by exploring the basics of typography and visual communication, before encouraging students to experiment with type and image to solve graphic design problems. Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to explore the four key themes of graphic design –typography, visual communication, design contexts and design practice. Responding to different design briefs during each year, students will discover a real sense of achievement as they progress their studies and creative practice.

You will be actively encouraged to be imaginative, ambitious and resourceful, not least so that you are better equipped to face the challenges of an unpredictable, demanding, globally competitive and technologically-driven world. We will help you develop the necessary creativity, critical reflection, questioning, understanding, theoretical underpinning and practical skills to pursue successful professional careers in both home and international contexts.

In our spacious and dedicated studios, you will have the opportunity to create imagery, animations, movies, advertising campaigns, branding, books, stamps, installations, identities, posters, infographics, T-shirts, events, reactive media, interactive media, letterforms and websites. Students will produce proper design-platforms, together with personal and expressive portfolios that best demonstrate their creative agility and technical prowess.

97%

of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (106Kb)

Modules

Overview

Modules

  • Typography

  • Design Practice 1

  • Visual Communication 1

  • Design Contexts 1

  • Creative Identities: Personal Development Planning

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

Modules

  • Typography 2

  • Design Practice 2

  • Visual Communication 2

  • Design Contexts 2

  • Creative Pathways: Personal Development Planning

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.

Overview

Modules

  • Typography 3

  • Design Practice 3

  • Visual Communication 3

  • Design Contexts 3

  • Creative Futures: Personal Development Planning

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

12th

Coventry university is rated 12th best in UK for Design and Crafts in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

In more detail...

  • Ranked 12th in the UK for ‘Design and Crafts’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • High levels of overall student satisfaction of 97% in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Outstanding graduate employability record – 100% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).
  • The School of Art and Design is an ‘Adobe Partner by Design’, as well as being an Adobe Outstanding Centre of Excellence.
  • Excellent links with industry, many of whom provide employment, placements or professional guidance to our students, like Watermill, IBM, and Opus Books.
  • Opportunity to participate in self-funded study trips abroad to places like Cyprus, Finland and Australia through the Erasmus scheme, as well as Holland and China as part of shorter cultural trips.
  • Strong track record of student success in national and international competitions. In recent years, these include: first prize and runners-up for the Puffin Penguin book cover design competition; a D&AD yellow pencil; highly placed and runners-up in the Sky Arts television sting competition.

Excellent links with industry such as Watermill, IBM, and Opus Books.

Your main study themes are:

  • Typography: How to design and manipulate type across print and on screen, and in contexts such as posters, books, websites, apps and signage.
  • Visual Communication: We explore digital and analogue image-making, including drawing and printmaking, alongside contemporary approaches utilising photo-manipulation and vector graphics, amongst others.
  • Design Contexts: We will investigate professional applications of graphic design in areas such as branding, advertising and information design, and look at the subject’s theory and history across international contexts.
  • Design Practice: How to integrate graphic communications across multiple formats and channels – including print, moving image, digital and interactive – to create coherent campaigns and brand identities.

The course normally lasts three years when studied full-time and four to six years part-time. After successfully completing the first two years of the course, you can opt to take a sandwich year and spend a year on a professional placement or studying abroad, with students previously studying design in Australia, Finland and Spain.

Graphic Design is a practice-based course with creative, critical, reflective and technical skills developed in the studio. Your morning may typically start with a lecture or other keynote presentation to set the tone of the day's work patterns. This is usually followed by studio practice, seminars or tutorials. Workshops and other specialist sessions, such as off-site visits, presentations, critiques and live projects, are timetabled into modules. Competition briefs get you into mainstream design, while open briefs will let you choose your own media and content.

Our teaching places an emphasis on experimentation, versatility and technical expertise. It is informed by staff practice and research in the areas of typography, photography, editorial design, branding, UX and information design. 

We also regularly invite speakers from industry or experts in the field, which in the past have included Naomi Games, David Walters, Zenon Texeira and Martin Lambie-Nairn. You may also have the opportunity to visit galleries in this country, such as the V&A, Ikon, Herbert, National Gallery, Photography Gallery, Design Museum, or take part in industry trips to Birmingham and London.

In addition, we offer a range of extra workshops you can sign up for to enrich your skills in things like sublimation, photography, print-making and digital media. 

Typical graduate portfolios might include branding, publicity, info-graphics, animations, publishing or web and app design in a range of technology and media from a mix of in-house assignments, self-initiated tasks, national or interna

You will get technical support and access to industry-standard software and hardware, as well as in other technologies like silkscreen, letterpress and laser-cutting from specialist technicians

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. There is one written assignment per year and the rest of the coursework is in the form of practical projects, usually mounted on boards and accompanied by developmental work and sketchbooks. Some project submissions are electronic and in these cases you’ll either supply a disc, flash drive or load your work onto the University server.

Coursework is assessed using a variety of methods including: presentations, portfolio reviews, essays, reports, reflective logs, e-journals, blogs, displays and exhibitions.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows: 

  • Practical coursework 70%
  • Essays/reports 20%
  • Presentations 10%

In order to achieve the award of Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a student must satisfy the University requirements of 360 credits. A student who does not wish to progress to a subsequent year of study may apply for an intermediate award of Diploma of Higher Education if they pass a minimum of 240 credits. A Certificate of Higher Education may be awarded to a student with minimum of 120 credits.

70% assessed by coursework

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate systematic understanding of particular or general communication issues, and the overlaps between established graphic design practice and new media opportunities.
  • Understand the broader creative context in which your own discipline sits.
  • Engage creatively and intelligently with briefs or self-initiated assignments, recognising their potential, clarifying their content and using intellectual dexterity, applicable research, analysis, criticism and sustainable arguments.
  • Produce a body of work that evidences sustained creative, intellectual and technical development.
  • Identify and address the variety, extent and occasional unpredictability of audience needs.
  • Present your work effectively and competently, demonstrating visual, oral and interpersonal skills.
  • Use a range of specialist media productively and manage digital files competently.
  • Present and/or exhibit your work expertly and professionally.
  • Apply workshop and health and safety instruction intelligently.
  • Demonstrate the inclination and ability to work independently or capably as part of a collegiate team or group.
  • Demonstrate professional awareness of ICT conventions and trends.

95%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 17 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 2 hours of smaller tutorial/seminar with focused tutor contact each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 5 hours of workshops and technical demonstrations
  • Large group teaching: 6-8 hours of seminars with 2-3 hours of lectures.
  • Studio Practice: 8 hours of self-directed studio practice each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying, coursework and revising in your own time.

There are opportunities for exchange with students on a similar course in overseas universities. For example, second and third year students have the chance to visit China for two weeks on a cultural exchange programme at Central South University in Changsha, within the Hunan Province. As part of this experience, the students who visit China will also welcome CSU students to the UK and provide them with an equivalent experience to get a taste of UK design education.

Throughout the course, graphic design projects will be set with an international focus, enhancing your global experience and broadening your mind-set. Recent examples include: stamp design to promote world democracy; publicity for the 2014 FIFA World Cup emphasising international cooperation and competition; a campaign to raise the profile of the BBC World Service; D&AD brief involving international branding; and an image-led health information film for audiences in Malawi.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni


2,101

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16



16,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our alumni say

I am very grateful for the amount of support, guidance and advice out tutors have given us. With all of this, as well as my own effort, I am proud to be able to say I am a professional graphic designer with a graduate degree.” 

Layla Adam, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, graduated in 2015, now studying MA Graphic Design at Coventry University

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: AHU006
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBC to include at least one Art or Design subject DMM in an Art or Design subject. 29 points to include Visual Arts or Design Technology at Higher level. Minimum 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English.

Portfolio

You may be required to submit a portfolio/show-reel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.

A-Levels

A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

A pass in the Access Diploma, plus GCSE English Language at grade A*-C, or a specified equivalent.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2017.

What our alumni say

I entered this course through clearing, not really knowing what my future as a graphic designer would look like. By my final year, I was fully aware of who I am and what I wanted to do!"

Jamie Macaffer, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, graduated 2015, now junior designer with Chemical Code

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9250 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9250 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £14,104) (per year)


Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip
  • Any additional specialist printing: £50+ per year

What our alumni say

A year after graduation and a year full of freelance work, I have a full-time job as a graphic designer and as a social media expert. I’m the only designer, things will get challenging and stressful, but I am definitely up for it!” 

Oyku Yigit, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, graduated 2013, now junior online designer at House of Fraser

Career prospects

The structure of the course, the experiences and support made available to you are all designed with a view to developing the skills, competencies and imaginative thinking necessary for a creative career in a demanding, competitive and rapidly changing work environment.

We have a nose for what’s going on in the business; we understand that the best and latest graphic design is changing really fast. Our course produces graduates who are flexible and responsive and, more importantly, industry ready.

As well as having the option of a year-long work placement, you also have the opportunity to engage with professional studio experience or a substantial live project in the second semester of your second year. Students can work as freelancers for clients or apply for placements, which have previously been provided by BBH, Disney, Saatchi & Saatchi and Mother amongst many others.

Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides specialist careers information, advice and guidance to all our students from their first year through to final year and beyond graduation, helping them achieve their desired career outcome. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

On graduation, you have the option to continue your study by applying for postgraduate study or setting yourself up as a design consultant, independent practitioner or as part of a studio collective. You could pursue careers, both freelance and in-house, across a wide range of disciplines within the contemporary creative industries or all manner of professional service organisations – from publishing to advertising, education to local government.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

95%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Graduates from this course have gone on to provide graphic design services for a number of well-known companies including: Image+, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Müller Dairy, McDonalds, and Saatchi and Saatchi.

£18K

Our graduates earn an average salary of £18,000 six months after the course (DHLE 2014/15)

What our alumni say

Staff show care and concern for not only well-being but for the immediate and eventual future of their students. This translates to better performance due to one on one tutorship and advice”

Joseph Conway, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, graduated 2015, now junior designer at Rawww
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement.

*Due to a delay in the UK Government's announcement of the Retail Price Index, the University is unable to set its fees for entrants in 2018 at this stage. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.