Available in Clearing

Visual Communication at UCA

Our BA (Hons) Visual Communication degree, taught at UCA Canterbury, combines the best of graphic design, illustration, animation, photography, and moving image to help you develop a broad range of vital skills for the career of your choice within communication media. 

This course is all about helping you to think about the bigger picture when communicating any message – you may wish to illustrate a book, for example, but you will also need to consider the accompanying website, social media account, and advertising campaign. Developing a deep understanding of all forms of visual communication will enable you to appreciate the various roles each discipline can take within any given project. 

During your studies, you’ll be able to specialise in various areas of visual communication — the first of which you’ll choose in your second term — with tutorial guidance and advice.

Our expert staff will be there along the way to ensure you can create with confidence, but you’ll be the master of your own destiny, growing in confidence and preparing fully for life after graduation.

 

Course entry options

Select from the following options to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W215
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
Duration
3 years full-time
Entry requirements

112 UCAS points
International equivalent qualifications

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W21F
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

32 UCAS points

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W21H
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

12 years of schooling (with good grades)

 

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W219
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

112 UCAS points
International equivalent qualifications

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W21G
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
5 years full-time
Entry requirements

32 UCAS points

Close
Institution code
C93
Campus
UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
5 years full-time
Entry requirements

12 years of schooling (with good grades)

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch
This is your introduction to the Campus and to the Course. As well as to the contexts and forms relevant for Visual Communication, you’ll be asked to make an impactful and meaningful collaborative project.

What is Visual Communication?
This introductory unit encourages you to develop a visually experimental and explorative approach. We cover research methodology, practical and critical communication skills and introductions to image-making tools and appropriate software programmes.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 1
The unit provides an opportunity for students to explore what is meant by equality, diversity, and inclusion and the implications of these concepts for creative practice. You’ll learn how our social identities (such as, gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) contribute to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in creative spaces.

Defining your practice
Through your first phase of studies, you’ll investigate and explore the potential of a range of specific themes and approaches to contemporary Visual Communication practices and craft skills.

Opportunity
This is your opportunity to explore, through field visits, external settings for visual communication in national and international locations, including visits to galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, festivals, screenings, conferences and more.

Practice-based fundamentals
You’ll learn how different meanings can be constructed through a variety of image-making constellations specific to your sphere of practice in this unit, as well as how these methods are applied to different mediums and formats.

Preparing for professional practice: part 1
In this unit, you’ll focus on professional Visual Communication working environments and consider the role that you, as a practicing designer and communicator, may play within such spaces.

Individual reflection and progression
We’ll give you the opportunity to reflect on your first year of work, create a portfolio, and from this confirm your sphere of practice going forward.

Launch
You’ll be a part of an impactful and meaningful collaborative project that explores globally significant issues - this is your introduction to an externally set brief.

Visual storytelling
We’ll challenge you to develop your own personal voice to communicate ideas and make meaningful content for specific audiences. The ideas you develop through this unit will encourage the concise communication of complex ideas using traditional and emerging media.

The conscious practitioner
This unit aims to promote progressive values and attitudes to diversity and inclusion in creative practice, exploring global perspectives and influences and drawing upon interactions with various identities, cultures, politics, and histories. You’ll explore how beliefs, values and attitudes drive behaviour and practices.

Interdisciplinary electives
Collaborate, experiment and realise creative responses to briefs within an area of inter-disciplinary activity of your choice, across campus and through other courses. This gives you the opportunity to meaningfully engage with diverse activities and forms of teaching that enhance your chosen sphere of focus.

Opportunity
This is your opportunity to explore, through field visits, external settings for visual communication in national and international locations, including visits to galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, festivals, screenings, conferences and more.

Spatial practices
You will learn how to manipulate spaces to create identities, multi-sensory experiences, and innovative events/exhibitions in a sustainable and environmentally conscious context. You will also be encouraged to explore notions of virtual space.

Preparing for professional practice, part 2
Through a broad range of presentations, seminars and lectures you will be supported to develop research, analysis and a deep understanding of your own practice in the context of current industry needs. This will also aid you in seeking your placement opportunity.

Placement
For this unit you have two choices – to undertake a four-week, self-initiated work placement that is relevant to your potential career direction and contributes to the fulfilment of the course aims and objectives, or to complete an Industry Case Study that focuses on an area of the industry that you have an interest in, through primary and secondary research.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
This is your opportunity to share ideas that you will have developed over the summer about your critical research project, receive feedback from tutors and peers and finetune it before you start actively working on it as part of your last year at university.

Critical Research and Practice
This unit involves the research, development, and construction of a self-directed research project that informs, guides, motivates and drives subsequent professional and creative work in year 3. This project requires you to consolidate and articulate your knowledge, understanding, skills, and experience, alongside the interests that you have developed over the duration of the course.

Professional Practices
This unit helps you to explore contemporary and future definitions of creative practice leading to a professional career in the varied fields of Visual Communication (or related creative disciplines).

Opportunity
This is your opportunity to explore, through field visits, external settings for visual communication in national and international locations. As well as to the contexts and forms relevant for Visual Communication.

Self-Directed Final Major Project
This unit provides you with a framework within which to research, develop and realise a major self-initiated project of your own choosing. It enables you to develop 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.

This course is designed to offer you (if eligible) the opportunity to study part of your degree aboard at a UCA partner university, while still earning credits towards your UCA degree.

For more information please visit the Study Abroad section

Across the entire duration of this course, you’ll be maintain and evolve a Progression Portfolio. Through this you’ll learn how to curate and build a document of all of your research and developmental/experimental work across each unit of the course. This portfolio will allow you to reflect, review, update and present your unit outcomes in one place to demonstrate your knowledge/understanding, technical and professional skills as a Visual Communication practitioner.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Explore our gradshows

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase
Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
  • BA course: £9,250

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course: £9,250 (see fee discount information)

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £16,950
  • BA course: £17,500

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £3,390. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Please note: The fees listed on this webpage are correct for the stated academic year only, for details of previous years please see the full fee schedules.

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Facilities

Visual Communication facilities include dedicated studios with space for both personal and group working; digital media suites with Macs running industry design software including Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro and Autodesk Maya. We have photography studios and processing and printing darkrooms for black and white film-based photography and printmaking studios with access to lithography, screen-printing, etching and relief printing.

View 360 virtual tour

Studios, UCA Canterbury

Graphic print studios, UCA Canterbury

Digital Media suite, UCA Canterbury

Studios, UCA Canterbury

What’s it like being a student at UCA?

That’s a big question. Get some answers from people who are studying right here, right now.

Chat to a student

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 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 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 9-4/A*-C 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.  

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 32 UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 32 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C 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. 

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


*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.

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The entry requirements for these courses will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application. View more portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

These courses don't require a portfolio. 

 


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

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

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

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:

Course statistics