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This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Graphic Communication with Foundation Entry BA (Hons)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: FW21
Code: IA3070A16Z
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time
Duration: Full time: 4 academic years
Part time: N academic years
Start Dates: september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

Our BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Foundation Entry 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.

Visit the Graphic Communication BA (Hons) website for more information on this course.

What will I study?

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.

At Level 3 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.

At Level 4, 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 Level 5 and Level 6, 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.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 3 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Preparing for Higher Education
  • Studio Practice I (Multidisciplinary)
  • Studio Practice II (Personal Project)

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Contextual Studies
  • Design Process I
  • Illustration
  • Digital Illustration
  • Lens & Time-Based Media
  • Type
  • Ideas & Communication
  • Design Production for Print

Level 5 Modules (there are 7 mandatory modules and 1 optional modules from a choice of 2 as indicated by *) include:

  • Critical Studies
  • Design Process II
  • Specialist Project
  • Design Business & Promotion
  • Three Dimensional Graphic Design
  • Identity & Branding
  • Advertising
  • Web and Social Media*
  • Motion Graphics*

Level 6 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Academic Dissertation
  • Professional Practice
  • Industry Context Projects
  • Final Major Project.

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Entry Requirements

You’ll need 32 UCAS points to join this programme (formerly 80 UCAS points) or 48 UCAS tariff points (formerly 120 UCAS points) from non art and design related subjects.  

All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

All applicants must attend a successful interview during which you should present portfolio of work indicating an awareness of what constitutes art and design theory and practice, competence in basic skills such as drawing or computing, and display an enthusiasm for the subject.  If requested in advance the Interview could be undertaken as an online interview eg skype.  Once we have received your application the Admissions team will be in contact with how to request the online interview.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

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.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal 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. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could 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.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research 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.

Supplementary Information

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.

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