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BA (Hons)
Graphic Design

Start your career as a graphic designer with us. On this course, you'll have a studio space and access to our large range of workshop facilities. We focus on the whole spectrum of possible roles within today’s design industry and equip you with a unique blend of digital and traditional skills.

Qualification: BA (Hons)

UCAS code: W568

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: September

Is this course for me?

Being a graphic designer opens many doors. If you know that your future lies within Graphic Design, this course is perfect. With modules tailored to honing your skills as a professional designer, you’ll learn to manage your own projects, work on live briefs, and adapt well to a creative environment.

We start you off in the broad spectrum of Graphic Arts. In your first year, you can sample all areas of graphics, using your own studio space as your creative base. You can also choose to change course, opting for Graphic Arts, Graphic Design or Illustration. The choice is yours.

More to design than using computer software
Our design studio has a stunning range of equipment for you to realise your ideas. We don’t restrict you to using computer software, even though we have everything from the Adobe Creative Suite programs to plotter cutters and photo studios. You can craft beautiful design solutions using our silkscreen, letterpress, and litho equipment, as well as our laser cutting and 3D printing technology. We make sure you get as hands-on with our equipment as possible. And our staff are always around to help you get set up.

Work in a professional environment on campus
Our course gives you many opportunities to explore the diverse world of graphic design. Which ever graphic specialism interests you, be it magazine design, music identity or campaigns, we give you the freedom to write your own brief and start realising your ideas. Every week, you’ll work with a professional graphic designer who will critique your work and help you improve your designs. Workshops with other students help prepare you for life in an agency where you will need presentation and ideas generation skills as you meet clients.

Our live briefs come from a range of companies, such as Faber Publishers and Saatchi advertising agency. To build your experience, we support work placement with companies that we have long relationships with. Recent students have worked for publishers, packagers, agencies and magazines as varied as Wallpaper, Rankin, Quarto Books and Macmillan Books.

Our Graphic Design students benefit from an amazing design studio and team of enthusiastic design tutors. And with London only a short train ride away, you’re never too far from inspiration. We have many visiting designers from the capital running blocks of workshop-based sessions in fields as diverse as editorial design, infographics, typography and ethical design.

Enjoy graphics abroad as well as on our campus
Our second year students have the opportunity to study on Erasmus, a European exchange programme. You may be able to study design in creative institutes in countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany.

We also have a New York trip in the spring with a line-up of 20 or more visits to agencies, design, film and multi-media companies, and a study tour to a European design capital such as Paris or Barcelona.

Start building your creative network on campus
You’ll work in a design studio alongside a diverse community of designers, each working on their own projects, just as a professional graphic design studio would function. You’ll study in a close-knit Graphic Design tutor group where everyone’s input is recognised and valued. Not only will you make friends for life, you’ll also make important connections that will last through your career, and you’ll form a network, just like you’d find in any design group.

Year One

  • Ideas
  • Specialism
  • Skills
  • VMC Getting Connected

Year Two

  • Graphic Studies
  • Graphic Design Competitions
  • Autonomous Graphic Project
  • VMC Making Choices

Year Three

  • Competition Briefs
  • Final Major Projects
  • VMC New Model Dissertation

What are the entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 80-96. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

This course is included in our unconditional offer policy.  

If your application is successful you will be invited for an interview and portfolio review.

View some advice on preparing for your interview from course leader Mark Hudson here.

Your portfolio

Your portfolio is a collection of work that represents your creative potential and demonstrates your ability and interest in your chosen subject. The requirement to produce a portfolio of work is the linking factor between all art and design courses. The quality of your portfolio is an important factor in the offer of a place on a course. Useful advice When preparing your portfolio, think of your audience, your strengths, and what you are trying to express to the interviewer. Bear in mind that when you come in for an interview and a portfolio review, the interviewer will be new to you and your work so ensure that everything is clear and easy to view. Show your work off in the best possible way and avoid any means that complicates or obscures it.

What should be included?

Your portfolio should include the strongest examples of your creative work; follow your instincts but also seek advice from your teachers. Portfolios can vary from student to student but typically a portfolio should contain work from a variety of media. Quality is better than quantity so only include 20 or 30 pieces that you consider best shows off your diversity. If you have created 3D pieces of work, photographs of these can also be included. Try also drawing the same subject matter in a variety of ways, such as by changing scale, composition and media.

How should your portfolio be presented?

Try to make your portfolio as clear and as organised as possible. If the work does not explain itself, include a label which details the title of the piece. It could also be useful to include a date when the work was completed. It is advisable to present the work in related groups, rather than in chronological order, as this will show how your idea developed. Supporting material and sketchbooks You should bring along your sketchpads and notebooks. These will allow the interviewer to get a glimpse into how you think creatively and discover how you have developed your ideas. We don't expect these to be neat, tidy or organised. We also don't expect these to contain finished ideas.

It is advantageous to support your portfolio with any written work, such as relevant essays. We also like to see documentation of journeys, visits and activities outside your main studies, which may have inspired you.

The portfolio review

It is likely that the interviewer will look at your portfolio with you so be sure that you are able to discuss each piece of work: why you chose that topic, what you were trying to achieve, and the process you went through to achieve the final product. We are happy to view a digital portfolio, but please notify us in advance.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Fees for September 2017 to August 2018 entry

Full-time Home and EU: £9,250 per year
Full-time International: £10,500 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details, visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Further information
Find out more about our fees and funding.
Find out more about our fees for international students.

Questions about fees?
Contact our Student Centre on:
01494 603 020

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

How do I apply?

For application details please visit

What are my career prospects?

We have a high employment rate with 85 per cent of our graduates going into work or further education after the course. As we teach you a wide range of skills and abilities ready for your career, you’ll be able to specialise in a multitude of different areas. We have graduates in typography, illustration, web design, advertising, publishing and some have started their own companies in the industry.

We’re really proud of our graduates, whose profiles tell their own story:

  • Jennie Brodie works on the design team at the Natural History Museum.
  • Craig Ward is a typographer and design writer based in New York
  • Callum Green is a digital designer at ItsNiceThatWorks.

How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.

We run work placements for our students, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills in a work background. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Specialising in graphics at Bucks gave me a fantastic insight into the design industry I am now part of. The course pushed me to focus and specialise in my strengths as a designer and work on my weaknesses, preparing me for my present career.

Ellie Gay