Graphic Communication

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2018

Our Graphic Communication degree at our Farnham campus is far from your average graphic design course – you’ll be a designer by the end of your first year and, after three years, we’ll consider you a design expert in your specialist field. 

Through a unique mix of creative discovery and business development, you’ll specialise in your area of interest while also building a strong entrepreneurial skill set. You’ll be perfectly equipped to achieve outstanding success in a highly competitive industry. 

At the start of the course we’ll introduce you to the vast array of avenues within graphic communication – from branding, typography and advertising, to print media, digital publishing and graphic design. 

With our academic staff offering their expert support, you’ll explore all areas of the discipline to understand where your strengths lie and decide which vocation you would like to pursue. 

We’ll also give you ample opportunity to put your learning into practice with challenging live projects, competitions, and extra-curricular industry placements. 

Recent students have designed window displays for Benetton’s flagship stores, worked with Sky on the creation of a new television channel, undertaken live projects for Bestival in conjunction with JDO Raw, and have also had the opportunity to take part in competitions held by D&AD and YCA. 

You’ll be encouraged to collaborate, socialise and share ideas within our unique community of creative students, as well as utilise the industry knowledge of our experienced design professionals and tutors. 

Our graduates go on to achieve high profile roles with leading names such as Burberry, Harper Collins, River Island, and Sonic, working in areas of graphic communication such as branding, typography, editorial design, graphic design, freelance design, and brand strategy. 

This course has changed title for 2019 entry, to find out more information please see the BA (Hons) Graphic Design at UCA Farnham course page.

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2018

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS code:

W217

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

F

Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, you'll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore the areas of specialist activity that exist under the broad definition of 'graphics'. With tutor guidance and tuition, you'll also investigate the design process itself, ensuring that creative outcomes are reached through a combination of experimentation and formula. The aim is to produce outcomes that have real purpose and that clearly communicate messages and meaning. 

    Guiding Principles and Ways of Working
    This unit will focus on the investigation, testing and application of the guiding principles and processes associated with graphic communication. It has three main focal points: typography, creative methodology (the craft of graphic image construction) and the overarching principles of visual communication.

    Principles in Practice I
    We'll encourage exploration and graphical experimentation with the emphasis firmly placed upon communication. You'll focus on the practical employment of graphic principles as a means of relaying information across a variety of outcomes and media types and formats, i.e. digital and print, mainstream publishing and small press, etc.

    Principles in Practice 2
    You'll have the opportunity to further develop the application of principles within a broad range of graphic communication outcomes with increasing depth of enquiry and knowledge of contemporary visual communication methods and processes.

    Visual Communications: Context and Theory
    Through a series of illustrated lectures that introduce a number of key historical and contemporary contextual frameworks for visual culture and communication practices, encouraging you to begin to identify changing relationships between visual culture, communication and wider social and cultural concerns.

  • Year 2

    The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working. This will include (but won't be limited to) information design, publishing and narrative, branding, typography and print media, and digital technologies. Research into the overlap and relationships between these specialist areas will be encouraged, to seek out ways of working that reflect the needs of industry whilst simultaneously exploring the outer reaches of graphic communication.

    Specialist Ways of Working
    We'll encourage you to reflect on your achievements so far whilst looking forwards into the second half of the course and beyond, taking control of your design direction and giving your work a real purpose and focus.

    Publishing and Narrative
    This unit examines the use of story telling within our society and culture as a means of communicating to audiences or consumers. You'll explore the message you wish to communicate and to whom you wish to tell your story - this will determine how you speak to your audience. From this point onwards, you'll consider issues of communication methodology, layout, media and design.

    Graphic Communication in the Professional Context
    We'll introduce you to the working world of the professional designer and creative practitioner; its primary aim is to help you prepare for your work experience and to give you the opportunity to research the world of current graphic communication practice in a range of related industries and areas.

    Contextual and Theoretical Perspectives
    We'll help you to position your own practice by recourse to a range of theories, contextual frameworks and critical evaluations, introducing you to a variety of research methods to facilitate independent study towards coherent, self-reflective argument in written form.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

  • Year 3

    The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation. 

    External Context
    The design industry has a number of national and international awards created specifically for students including D&AD, the International Society of Typographic Designers and YCN. This unit will offer you the opportunity to work on one of these industry-led student competitions.

    Final Major Project
    This will give you the opportunity to demonstrate the fluency of your design and communication skills, and to examine a subject or theme in depth through a self-determined and challenging assignment. Your final major project will benefit from your increased understanding of theoretical issues - how these inform and contextualise your practical work, your research skills and your creative/strategic design abilities.

    Option1: Dissertation
    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

    Option 2: Combined Dissertation / Critical Reflection
    Two periods of sustained, individually negotiated research on subjects which are likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your chosen areas of practice, towards the provision of structured argument.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:

Facilities

This course has dedicated graphics studios which offer spaces for group tutorials and personal working. There are campus digital media suites with Macs and PCs with latest programmes for film editing as well as general design work. Open access printmaking studios with screen printing as well as letterpress facilities, 3D printers and book binding facilities. There is also a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

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Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    Interaction with the industry is fundamental to our degree. We engage with industry through studio visits, work placements, 'live' projects and tasks either set by or co-authored by industry practitioners, as well as international competitions and collaborations. Students regularly win D&AD student awards, such as the Yellow Pencil for Best Packaging Design in 2011.

    Our connections include: 

    • Barnbrook
    • Boeing
    • Channel 4
    • Dalton Maag
    • Design Bridge
    • Design Museum
    • The Designers Republic
    • Fabrica
    • Fitch
    • FutureBrand
    • Holmes & Marchant
    • Landor Associates
    • Naked
    • MetaDesign
    • Mother
    • Preloaded
    • SEA
    • Sky (television)
    • The Stool Pigeon
    • VCCP.
  • Careers

    Graduates from the course have achieved high-profile roles with many leading companies, including:

    • Apple
    • Bloom
    • Bulletproof
    • Cartlidge Levene
    • Curious
    • Cyprus University of Technology
    • Design Studio
    • Elmwood Singapore
    • ForPeople
    • GIRRBACH Sü.warendekor GmbH / Germany
    • Harrods
    • Hasbro
    • Lego
    • LessRain
    • Lidl Stiftung
    • Navy Blue
    • Pearlfisher
    • Pentagram
    • Pocket App
    • Preloaded
    • Something Big
    • Springetts
    • Waitrose
    • Yahoo! Hong Kong
    • Zak Agency.

    Our recent graduates have been appointed in areas such as branding, typography, editorial design, graphic design, freelance design, consultancy and brand strategy.

  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

     

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades - in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements


Your portfolio

A portfolio is needed to secure a place on this course. Ideally, this should include sketchbooks, design development journals, drawings and other work demonstrative of media and methods, completed graphic design projects, links to blogs, online design journals and creative activity.

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