If you have a flair for design and want to improve your creative talent, Graphic Arts will give you the opportunity to develop those abilities. Graphic Arts brings together many elements of the graphics industries into one course including typography, illustration, branding, advertising, film, publishing or photography. You’ll enjoy working with our community of enthusiastic and friendly students, in our huge design studio. Students rate our course highly, hitting a 88 per cent score for satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016.
A portal into many different areas of design
With so many design options to choose from, we understand that you may not know which to study. We’ve designed this course so you can try everything. If you find that you really enjoy illustration or graphic design for example, you can specialise in those areas during your second and third years.
Work in a professional environment on campus
Our course gives you many opportunities to explore the diverse world of graphics. As you move into the higher levels of the course, you’ll have the freedom to write and present your own briefs, and start realising your ideas. Every week, you’ll work with a tutor who will critique your work and help you improve your designs. Presentations with other students help prepare you for working in an agency where you may have to present your ideas to a client.
Our live briefs come from a range of companies, such as Puma and Williams Murray Hamm. To build your experience, we encourage work placements with companies we have long relationships with. We’ve had students working for publishers, agencies and magazines such as Wallpaper, Dragon Rouge, Rankin, Quarto Books, Metropolis and Holmes & Marchant.
UCAS CODE: W210
Graphic Arts is just one of the courses that give students the skills to work as a graphic designer. We also have two other design courses that run alongside Graphic Arts – Graphic Design and Illustration. In your first year all the students learn together before specialising in Graphic Arts or taking one of the other options.
Enjoy graphics abroad
Our second year students get the chance to study on Erasmus, a European exchange programme. You’ll have the opportunity to study design in creative institutes in countries such as Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany.
We also have a New York trip in the spring with visits to agencies, design, film and multi-media companies, and a trip to a European design capital such as Paris or Barcelona.
Be inspired by our team of lecturers and professional designers
Our teaching team consists of seasoned professionals who still work in their specialist disciplines. With London only a short train ride away, we also have many visiting designers from the capital running blocks of workshop-based sessions in fields as diverse as bookbinding, branding, typography and ethical design.
Expert facilities for all your design needs
You’ll work in a design studio alongside a diverse community of designers, each working on their own briefs. You’ll have access to a wide range of equipment. At Bucks, we have some of the best printing equipment in the area – such as silkscreen, letterpress and litho printing, as well as 3D printing and laser cutting technology.
On campus, you’ll study in a creative community. You’ll study in a close knit tutor group where you’ll know everyone. Not only will you make friends for life, you’ll also make important industry connections that will last through your career. Bucks students form a network, just like you’ll find in any design company.
Teaching and Learning
Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning.
Structured learning activities include lectures, seminars, tutorials and other time-tabled sessions. The amount of time set aside for each activity (‘contact hours’) is set out in individual module descriptors and so will vary depending on the modules you take. When you are not attending structured learning and teaching activities you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, using the library, preparing for seminars, and completing coursework assignments.
The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.
Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.
Year 1: 49 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||586 hours|
|Independent learning:||614 hours|
Year 2: 38 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||454 hours|
|Independent learning:||746 hours|
Year 3: 31 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||371 hours|
|Independent learning:||829 hours|
You will be given opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. This may take the form of practice or ‘formative’ assessments for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any marks you receive do not count towards your overall module mark. There is at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment towards the end of each module. The marks from summative assessments do count towards your overall module mark.
Assessment methods vary, but your programme specification will provide more information on the specific methods used on this course. You can find out more about the assessment methods used across the University in the assessment guide on the Academic Advice pages.
Balance of assessment
The balance of assessment will vary depending on any option modules you choose.
|95 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||5 percent practical|
|90 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||10 percent practical|
|100 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||0 percent practical|
You will receive feedback on all assessed coursework and practical assignments and we aim to provide this within three weeks. Feedback on examinations is also available on request.
Assessment feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader.
What are the course 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 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.
Additional subject specific requirements, BA (Hons) Graphic Arts
Your portfolio will need to show off your ideas and your working processes as well as your art-working skills. Whether your presentation is electronic or paper-based, you should include at least as much rough work (ideas, research, visual testing, experimental graphic language, and thumbnail sketches) as final pieces. A digital presentation is best made as a PDF file with between 20-30 pages.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.
Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.
Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
The modules available on this course are as follows:
Year 1 Modules
- VMC Getting Connected
Year 2 Modules
- VMC Making Choices
- Professional Studies
Year 3 Modules
- Visual and Material Culture New Model Dissertation
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.
Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.
For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow
Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.
Graphics at Bucks New University has taught me to be a much better independent learner; the experience on the course has pushed me to look deeply at my own analytical skills.
I found the essay writing portion of the course to be particularly helpful, as a student with learning difficulties the University supported my needs very well.
The creative coursework portion of the course teaches deep thinking and is very ideas based, my time at Bucks has taught me to explore the contextual research of my projects widely before moving forward.
The course provides lots of knowledge into the area of graphic arts. The first year takes you through a range of disciplines and really helps to outline where your interests and strengths are in the field.
The contact time with tutors is incredible, even outside of planned tutorial times. This brings the students together and makes the course feel more like a community. The studio space in the university campus is a great hub for the course. Students are allowed to make the area their own and are each allowed their own desk space.
The course's connections with people in the industry are strong, with many guest speakers coming in to show their work and provide workshops.