In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.
Introduction to Visual Communication
You explore how Graphic Design shapes form and content across the spectrum of media, from the printed page to the Internet, and will work to articulate your own personal voice as a designer and artist, while fashioning messages that communicate to various communities and are relevant to contemporary culture.
Design Fundamentals 1: Image, Type, Print
You'll be introduced to how different meanings can be constructed through a variety of type and image constellations. You will also learn how these are applied to and affected by different print mediums and formats.
Design Fundamentals 2: Motion, Narrative, Screen
Introduces narrative, sequence and interactivity as thematic concepts that can be applied to a screen based design outcome. You will be will be asked to consider how visual language, such as words, images, materials, format and structure can support narrative.
Visual Theory: Message, Medium, Meaning
Through the exploration of examples from historical and contemporary practice and analysis of your studio work, a range of topics will be examined. These will include basic concepts in semiotics, the relationship between word and image, the construction of narrative, photographic language, function and expression, culture connotation and myth, subversion and propaganda.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
Social and Cultural Contexts
Encourages you to examine and explore your personal ethics, values and motivation through the production of work for others.
The Editorial Process
Consolidates and develops further your creative, graphic, typographic and technical skills.
Developing Your Practice
Graphic designers today don't just respond to design problems identified by others, but often instigate themselves visual/design/cultural changes. This unit prepares you for this future role.
You'll learn how to manipulate spaces to create identities, multi-sensory experiences, and innovative events/exhibitions in a sustainable and environmentally conscious context.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.
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 project.
We also offer Year 3 as a top-up year through the internal progression arrangement for students from the Barking & Dagenham Foundation Degree course. It's also open to students from other courses and circumstances, as long as you meet the entry requirements. Please contact us for further details.
Critical Research and Practice
This unit involves the research, development, and construction of a self-directed research and design project. This will take into account your knowledge, understanding, skills, experience,and interests that you have gained over the duration of the course. Here, the theoretical and practical are entirely intertwined, and you will be encouraged to develop an experimental approach; employing research to inform practice, and practice to inform your research, so that you develop an original and innovative approach to both.
This unit provides you with a framework within which to research, develop and realise a major selfinitiated project of your own choosing. It enables you to draw up a written project proposal that effectively and succinctly communicates the key elements of your conceptual, technical, aesthetic and theoretical concerns and intentions. It allows you to develop work that demonstrates a high level of maturity through its clarity and focus and the synthesis of previously learned practical and theoretical knowledge and to describe your level of achievement on the course through the quality of the concept, research and analysis, contextualisation and the application of practical and technical skills. The unit culminates in a presentation of work that provides you with the opportunity to collaborate with others to present work in a form appropriate to purpose and context.
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:
With a staff of experienced professional designers, our course enjoys strong links with respected names across the industry.
Calling on our connections, we’re able to attract high-profile guest lecturers, with recent visitors including:
- Bruno Maag (typographer)
- Jonathan Barnbrook (British graphic designer and typographer)
- Hans Reichert of Baseline magazine
- Representatives from companies such as BCMH, Unicorn press and Thomas Matthews.