BA (Hons) Graphic Design is for visually creative people looking to build a rewarding career in graphic design. If you enjoy uncovering, and solving, challenging visual communication problems using aesthetic language, are culturally aware, and have a passion for experimentation across a variety of creative media, this course is for you.
We start you off in the broad spectrum of graphic design and illustration. In your first year, sampling all areas of graphic and illustration practice, using your own studio space as your creative base.
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. Whichever graphic specialism interests you, be it editorial design, branding and identity or campaigns, we give you many opportunities to write your own brief and start realising your ideas. You’ll also work with professional graphic designers and illustrators who will critique your work and help you improve your designs. Workshops, lectures and seminars with other students in the art and design department help you prepare you for life in an agency or studio environment where you will need good presentation and ideas generation skills as you meet and impress clients.
Our competition and live briefs come from a range of sources, and in the past, have included the D&AD, RSA and YCN international student competitions along with industry heavy weights such as Faber Publishers and Saatchi advertising agency. To build your experience, we support work placements for the right students with companies that we have long relationships with. Students have worked for publishers, packagers, agencies and magazines as varied as Wallpaper, Rankin, Quarto Books and Macmillan Books.
More placements, more choices
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
UCAS CODE: W568
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 visiting designers and illustrators also running 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, France, Greece and Germany.
As well as running educational trips to London we also have a first-year trip to a European destination such as Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona, plus a second-year visit to New York in the spring, with visits to agencies, design, film and multi-media companies.
Start building your creative network on campus
You’ll work in a design studio alongside a diverse community of designers and illustrators, 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.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will be a UCAS Tariff score of 80. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
On review of your application, you may be invited for an interview and portfolio review.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
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
- Critical and Historical Studies - Historical and Critical Thinking
- Design Workshops
- Conceptual Communications
- Type and Image
Year 2 Modules
- Critical and Historical Studies - Design Research and Theory
- Editorial Design
- Design Directions: Brand Identity and Experience Design
- Professional Studies
Year 3 Modules
- Critical and Historical Studies - Dissertation
- Integrated Final Major Project
- Professional Practice
How much does it cost
Full Time Home and EU, September 2019: £9,250 per year
Full Time International, September 2019: £12,000 per year
Full Time Home and EU, February 2020: £9,250 per year
Full Time International, February 2020: £12,000 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.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks
Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.
When my tutor took the leap of faith to accept me onto the course, I think he had his fingers crossed that I had the potential to do well. As a mature student, I lacked the graphic skills of my peers, but I had life experience.
The course taught me the graphic design skills I needed but over the three years I ended up learning as much about myself as I did about graphic design. I came to university to complete my education and to strive to do the best I could.
I started with the goal of getting a first, but as the course went on, building my portfolio became my primary focus. I managed to achieve my goal and build a good portfolio of work too.
The course often pushed completely outside of my comfort zone, which allowed me to grow and prepared me for working in a very tough and competitive environment.
Thanks to great tutors and constant hard work I now feel much more confident in approaching new challenges and complicated long-term projects.
Looking back, I see now how the University had a great influence on my practice and helped me to spread my wings.