You’ll be introduced to the practices and theories underpinning graphic design, and will develop a critical, rigorous and experimental approach to developing work, using both digital and analogue technical skills.
Through a series of themed projects, task-based workshops and seminars, you’ll further your existing knowledge and understanding of the tools you need to explore the fundamentals of graphic design practice. You’ll further your own independent practice and work with other students or external partners on collaborative projects.
You'll be introduced to graphic visualisation processes, and experiment with materials, locations, and other settings. Projects, which overlap with your theoretical work, are set and critiqued in a manner replicating professional design studio settings,
You will undertake a range of projects, workshops and design tasks which encourage you to explore aspects of design in depth. This will help you map your own path towards your design career and the specialisms you’ll choose in year two.
The second year of the course gives you the opportunity to specialise within chosen aspects of the discipline. You’ll choose two units out of the four on offer below, and undertake a work placement. You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad, if you wish. All units have a combined theoretical and practice-based approach.
This unit is focused on typography, and the principles of language and speech. You’ll gain confidence to handle mass text and letterforms, working across all media platforms, from print to screen and interactive domains.
Image 1 looks at imagery in broadest terms, helping you to visualise ideas by using media appropriate to a specific audience. You will explore the practice of visualising your own and others’ content in a way that is fitting and effective in reaching a range of users and audiences.
You’ll look at devising visualising systems and finding ways to use data in an innovative and productive way, examine the social contexts behind algorithmic processing of data, and gain confidence in the key concepts behind statistical analysis.
Design Futures 1
You'll explore innovative futures of design practice, leading to the creation of viable professional portfolio outcomes within the field of experimental design. You'll be asked to translate abstract issues into tangible design proposals, grounding projects in real-world social, cultural, technological, and economic issues.
For around five weeks you will be able to gain work experience within sector/s of the Graphic Design industry that are of personal interest to you. An in-house alternative experience of equal duration is available for students unable to secure an appropriate industry placement. We help you to prepare for your placement by helping in key areas like written communications, mock interviews, building a professional CV and a design portfolio.
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.
As in Year two, you’ll pick two units from the range of four on offer. This year, however, you’ll also complete the final unit, Critical Design Practice, where you’ll produce your final major design project.
Your platforms will help you create a distinctive and industry-ready typographic portfolio on graduation, and train you in broader skills such as Art Direction, group leadership and idea-generation. You’ll consider how to develop new user interfaces, and new ways of reaching and working with tomorrow’s audiences.
Option 1: Language 2
Language 2 gives you a deep understanding of designing with all components derived from speech, and will equip you with an industry-ready typographic portfolio on graduation. You are encouraged to select this unit with a working knowledge of Adobe InDesign, the handling of mass text, and familiarity with the ideas behind writing systems and the deployment of language, all of which will be of advantage here.
Option 2: Image 2
In this unit you'll on all types of imagery across the spectrum, leading to a portfolio of authorial image-making and the accompanying art direction skills. You are encouraged to select this unit with a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and basic printmaking and photographic competences.
Option 3: Data 2
You'll gain a deeper understanding of data and all its social implications, within the field of information design, to a level where this competence can be expressed in graduate portfolio outcomes. Through this unit you'll explore the practice of presenting information and data in a way that fosters efficient and effective understanding of it, developing complex projects that propose solutions to a range of design problems.
Option 4: Design Futures 2
This unit will explore the innovative futures of design practice, leading to the creation of professional portfolio outcomes and an understanding of the professional contexts within the field of experimental design. This will include working with participatory and human-centred design, design as propaganda, social engagement, new user interfaces, and new ways of reaching and working with audiences. It also embeds employability skills by offering key digital competencies, chances to collaborate between years and course, and the opportunity to address live and external briefs. Design disciplines used will include digital tools, moving image, printmaking, branding, and editorial work.
Critical Design Practice
Taking into account the knowledge, understanding, skills, experience and interests you’ve gained over the duration of the course, and intertwining theory and practice, you’ll research, develop and construct a major self-directed project. You’ll be encouraged to take risks with both the way you think about your subject, and the way you explore your own practice.
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 and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
- International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
Our team of experienced tutors bring with them years of expertise and contacts from a number of companies and industries, allowing students the opportunity to network and learn from some distinguished names, including:
- Eye Magazine
- Baseline Magazine
- Lecture in Progress
- Vaughan Oliver
- Why Not Associates
- Lucienne Roberts
- David Pearson
- The Typo Circle
- The Design Museum.