Graphic Design BA (Hons)

UCA Epsom - Sept 2021

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Epsom

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Course entry options:

September 2021

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

On the Graphic Design course at UCA Epsom, you’ll explore new avenues in design, put your experimental ideas into action and future-proof your career by learning how to use your design skills to reach all corners of society.

Our graduates follow a wide range of careers after graduation, and we’ll help you adopt a hands-on approach to this ever-expanding discipline. With the option to choose from a huge selection of methods and subject areas to study, you’ll be able to carve out your own unique path.

You’ll also be joining an international community with facilities that are second to none, and our highly experienced and well-connected staff will help you along the way. Check out the @ucaepsomgraphics Instagram to see some of our students’ recent highlights, from live briefs to trips and events.

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Course details

  • Year one

    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,

    Platform Rotation
    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.

  • 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.

    Language 1
    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
    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.

    Data 1
    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.

    Work Placement
    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.

  • Year three

    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. 


  • 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 and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - £9,250 
    • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
    • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
    • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.

    Further information
    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.


There are dedicated graphics studios for workshops, group and independent working, as well as computer studios with Macs and PCs loaded with the latest industry-standard design software, including Fontographer. In addition to the campus printmaking studio, there is a specialist graphics print area with letterpress, intaglio and book-binding workshop facilities. Campus photographic studios and digital processing equipment.

Programme Director

What our students say

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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
    • Spin
    • Lucienne Roberts
    • David Pearson
    • The Typo Circle
    • The Design Museum.
  • Careers

    We pride ourselves on nurturing creative, resourceful, rounded and hardworking professional designers. Recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of roles, in areas such as:

    • Editorial design
    • Advertising
    • Web design
    • Publishing
    • Interactive design
    • Branding
    • Information Design.
  • Further study

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


Apply now

UK applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2021:

International & EU applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2021:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2021 entry - get your application in now.
If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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 / BTEC National 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 and EU 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

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. We’d like to see examples of sketchbooks and developmental work, drawing, completed design projects, examples of experimentation with media and different processes, and anything else that demonstrates your interest in the subject. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

More portfolio advice

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