Graphic Communication with Foundation Entry BA (Hons)

This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Course Information


Our BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Foundation degree course is designed for students who want to study Graphic Communication, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications or art portfolio to start the Honours degree programme just yet.

If you want a career as a professional Graphic Designer, then this creative and practical degree is right for you. You will learn about page layout, advertising, marketing, illustration and branding as well as using a wide range of techniques, media and industry standard software. You will also have the opportunity to take your designs from the printed page to websites, 3D graphic design, social media marketing and digital motion graphics. The course has a long history of competition success, and the emphasis in all assignments is on innovation, solving problems creatively, and exploring a range of solutions whilst addressing the needs of industry and the commercial world.

This is a four year Honours degree which aims to equip you for a career in graphic design. We will help you find your unique talents and develop your skills in a friendly and supportive environment. As well as being supported to develop your own style and technique, you will also be introduced to a wide range of new concepts, skills and experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you a better artist and a more employable person.

The Beehive Student Design Company has been set up to provide our students with paid industry work experience. Working for the Beehive, you can produce real commercial graphic design projects and meet employers and clients. The work you produce can be credited against your degree course modules - so you can be rewarded for learning. You will study a range of exciting modules that are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need for a great career in Graphic Design.

What will I study?

In the first year of this programme you will study 3 modules in total. The two practical modules introduce you to a range of creative arts disciplines, approaches and techniques. These modules have been designed to help you develop the skills you’ll need for higher level study of an arts subject. You will also develop an understanding of the requirements of degree level study and it will give you an opportunity to practise studying and taking part in University level assessments. In short, you will firm grounding for the subject you want study at degree level before starting your Honours degree.

The course is professionally focussed with great links to industry. Teaching staff include professional and experienced commercial graphic designers. As well as your core modules, you will also attend guest lectures from a wide range of speakers in industry, go on studio and gallery visits, and have the opportunity to go on trips, including overseas travel. There are many opportunities for work-based learning through our student design company The Beehive, and placements in studios and creative agencies. You will explore a wide range of styles and approaches, ranging from logo design and packaging to advertising and motion graphics. You will learn about the history and context of design and communication to help you make your work richer and better informed. We will work closely with you to develop your portfolio, online presence and employer contacts so that you will have the best possible chance of getting a job when you graduate.

In the first year of the course, you are introduced to a range of media through carefully structured technical workshops, lectures and creative assignments with a focus on experimentation. As you progress through years two and three, you develop your own personal practice with the emphasis placed increasingly on professionalism and a commercial awareness. The course has a strong tradition of competition success and all students in the final year negotiate their assignments from a host of live opportunities and competition briefs. The course has formal agreements with several local design agencies. This means that you will have lessons in professional design studios, have lots of opportunities to work on real industry projects and get prestigious work placements.

Modules include:

In the first year you will study:

  • Preparing for Higher Education
  • Studio Practice 1 (Multidisciplinary)
  • Studio Practice 2 (Personal Project)

You will then move on to study the following modules in the 2nd, 3rd and final years of your course.

  • Contextual Studies
  • Design Process I
  • Illustration
  • Digital Illustration
  • Lens & Time-Based Media
  • Type
  • Ideas & Communication
  • Design Production for Print
  • Critical Studies
  • Design Process II
  • Specialist Project
  • Design Business & Promotion
  • Three Dimensional Graphic Design
  • Identity & Branding
  • Advertising
  • Academic Dissertation
  • Professional Practice
  • Industry Context Projects
  • Final Major Project.

In the third year you will be able to choose one of two optional modules including:

  • Web & Social Media or Motion Graphics.

Motion Graphics, the option module, is accredited by Apple. You will not receive the additional accreditation unless you study this module.

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Graphic Communication. The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the foundation year with A-level (or other level 3 qualifications) gained within 5 years of entry will required to have either a minimum 80 UCAS points from subjects related to their intended target award or a minimum of 120 UCAS points overall.

We welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications for these courses or from mature students whose Level 3 qualifications were gained more than 5 years ago. If this applies to you will be interviewed before your course and offered a place on the basis of your previously gained skills and experience.

Overseas applicants will be admitted according to the above criteria using the UK equivalences of their formal qualification as specified by NARIC. Overseas students will be required to have certified English Language proficiency at IELTS level 5.5, Cambridge English: Advanced, or TOEFL 500. Alternatively, an overall pass in the UETESOL (University Entrance Test in English for Speakers of Other Languages) examination would be accepted.

All applicants for this programme will be required to have GCSE English Language grade C or higher, or a directly equivalent qualification, or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge.

Please note: For 2017 entry the UCAS Tariff is changing and the UCAS points required to enter this programme will be different from 2016. For those joining this programme in September 2017, you will need to have 32 UCAS Tariff points. All other entry criteria (as specified above) remain in place.

If you require more information on the UCAS tariff for 2017 entry please visit:

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 6. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

How will I be assessed?

In your first year your assessment is designed to give you a flavour of how you will be assessed in the later stages of the programme. In the later stages of the programme assessment takes the form of group projects, essays, assignments/briefs, presentations including group presentations, portfolio building, peer assessment, a dissertation and a studio and exhibition assessment at the end of your final year.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

The majority of our graduates go on to relevant employment upon completion of their studies. We work closely with local employers and have an excellent track record of getting our students into their chosen career.

Graduates of the programme are now working in the following careers: Junior Graphic Designer, Freelance Designer, Letterpress Designer, Advertising, Senior Creative, Web Designer and Studio Manager amongst others.

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