• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2019 and February 2020

Course Overview

The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto the undergraduate degree in Graphic Design. The Design and Visual Communications module starts you off, and introduces you to a broad spectrum of basic graphic design and illustration skills relevant and necessary for successful further study.

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.

NSS_2018_design_studiesDesign badge

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.


Graphics Student Gallery

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.

Course Details

UCAS CODE: W564

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?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Course Modules

Module Map

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:

Foundation Year Modules

  • Preparing for Success: Knowledge and Creativity
  • Preparing for Success: Self-development and Responsibility
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • Photography, Design and Visual Communication

Year 1 Modules

  • Design Workshops
  • Conceptual Communications
  • Type and Image
  • Critical and Historical Studies–Historical and Critical Thinking

Year 2 Modules

  • Editorial Design
  • Design Directions: Brand Identity and Experience Design
  • Professional Studies
  • Critical and Historical Studies–Design Research and Theory

Year 3 Modules

  • Integrated Final Major Project
  • Professional Practice
  • Contextual and Historical Studies–Dissertation

Fees

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.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023
advice@bucks.ac.uk

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

Student Testimonials

Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.

Image of Nyki Shine

Nyki Shine

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.

Image of James Washington

James Washington

I felt that the course offered a lot of creative flexibility for me to define my own unique path as a creative, and build a skill set that's now completely unique to me. Employers think this is great! As I can always offer an interesting insight or angle into any project we work on.

A main part of this diverse learning experience comes from the wonderful tutors. Each and every single one of them has a whole load of industry experience behind them and they offer many lessons about real life working. 

Last, but certainly not least, the free societies & sports teams at Bucks New Uni really make it such a great experience. You make new friends, discover new skills and get some great nights out through joining a society.

Employability

What are my career prospects

We have a good employment rate with many of our graduates going into work or further education after the course. As you develop 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:

  • Neil Coxhill, Director of Motion at Amazon Media Group
  • Jennie Brodie works on the design team at the Natural History Museum.
  • Craig Ward is a typographer and design writer based in New York. A recent commission for Craig was the design of the 2018 England World Cup kit custom typeface.
  • 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.

Awards

RSA Young Creative Network awards

See here all our awards.

Industry partners

Puma logo Faber and Faber logo

See here all our industry partners.


The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.