Graphic Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019, 2020

Our BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at UCA Farnham introduces you to the exciting avenues within graphic design with a business focus –  from branding, typography and UI/UX design to print media and digital publishing.

You’ll put your learning into practice with challenging live projects, competitions, and extra-curricular industry placements. By the time you become a Graphic Design graduate, you’ll be a design expert in your specialist field with impressive industry experience.

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

Graduates from this course have achieved high-profile roles with leading names such as Apple, Design Studio, Bulletproof, Harrods, Lego and Saatchi & Saatchi, working in a vast array of graphic design roles within the sector in areas such as branding, type design, editorial design, UI/UX design, retail design, app design and brand strategy.  

Recent Graphic Design 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.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

Start month:


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Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 15 June, 2019

All campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, you’ll focus on the investigation, testing and application of the guiding principles and processes associated with graphic design, learning the fundamentals of design and associated Adobe programmes. 

    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.

    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
    This unit is presented through a series of illustrated lectures that introduce a number of key historical and contemporary contextual frameworks for visual culture and communication practices You'll be encouraged to begin to identify changing relationships between visual culture, communication and wider social and cultural concerns.

  • Year 2

    Units in the second year will give you the vital background knowledge and critical thinking skills to apply what you learn to the real world and the opportunity for work experience over the summer break.

    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.

    We will encourage you to research the overlap and relationships between these specialist areas, 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. The primary aim of this unit 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

    In your final year, you’ll begin to develop your practice and you’ll produce your final major project, bringing together your career aspirations and practical work.

    You’ll also have the opportunity to submit your work to prestigious awards, such as Design & Art Direction, the most prestigious award in design, and exhibit at the Farnham Graduation Show.

    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.

    Option 1: 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

    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students - £14,800 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    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.



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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What our students say

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 - 2019 entry

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I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

How to apply - 2020 entry

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I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2019 entry via UCAS - 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.

More information:

Go to 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
  • 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

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. 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. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

More portfolio advice

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