Manchester Metropolitan University

BA (Hons)

Graphic Design

2018 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • Opportunities for work placements throughout the UK.
  • Students’ successes include awards in regional, national and international arenas including D&AD Global Student Awards, ISTD, Young Creative Network, Openad Talent and the Global Spin Awards. 

About the course

At all stages of the course we focus on contemporary and relevant design that embraces imaginative thinking. You have the opportunity to connect with industry, either through visiting speakers, ‘live’ briefs or work  experience.

Recent destinations for work experience have included The Designers Republic, Love Creative, The Chase, True North, Bert Agency, Dinosaur, Wired magazine, Penguin Books, Truth, Code Computer Love, Modern Designers, Hope for Justice, Creative Concern, Topman, Liberty, Havas Lynx, Men’s Health magazine, Design By Day, The Mill, Gyro, Elle magazine, Condé Nast, BBC, ITV, Hinterland (NY), Mike Perry (NY), Eskimo Creative, Instruct Graphics, Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and Vogue magazine.

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

In Year 1 you will be introduced to the studio-based culture of the course through a series of design projects encouraging the development of ideas, experimentation with visual language and acquisition of technical skills. This is supported by a contextual programme that places practical elements into a wider cultural, critical and social context.

Core Units
Unit X

This unit  encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts, tutorial group meetings, and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and will designed to be responsive to creative opportunities. The course encourages students to respond to contemporary media and as such, it is a live unit in which we discuss films, television, comics, games and the news relating to the media in any specific week.

Visual Thinking 1: Image and Idea

This unit offers a practical introduction to graphic design.  It will outline the fundamental concepts, methods and tools that underpin the culture of the programme in order to develop your awareness of their creative potential. It includes two practical studio projects that analyse the key subject building blocks of image and idea. These are supported by a range of induction, seminar and workshop activities that include opportunities for developing research and making verbal presentations.

Visual Thinking 2: Narrative and Typography
A creative unit that explores the tools and basic techniques used in the origination of graphic design. This unit examines fundamental relationships between text, ideas and visual execution. Two practical studio projects analyse key subject areas of narrative and typography. These are supported by a range of induction, seminar and workshop activities that include opportunities for developing research and making verbal presentations.
Likely Optional Units
Contextualising Practice 1
You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.
Contextualising Practice with Language 1
You are allocated to one of four pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. The unit includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits around cultural contexts and professional issues.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study more specific areas of graphic design practice. A programme of workshop projects develops both technical and conceptual skills. Studio content is developed in liaison with industry and offers opportunities for work experience.

Core Units
Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the university and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Visual Communication 1: Disruption

This unit aims to develop your creative visual thinking by exploring notions of the unconventional.  Two practical projects analyse the importance of developing a questioning approach to graphic design work and introduce a graphic vocabulary with which to challenge conventions.  The main projects on this unit are supported by a range of seminar, workshop activities and skills sessions that include opportunities for developing technical skills, engaging in research, typography, making verbal presentations, preparing work for portfolio presentation and working in small groups.

Visual Communication 2: Specification

This unit introduces you to the professional environment of the graphic designer and explores the impact of external factors on graphic design practice. Projects analyse the influence that external considerations have on the development of graphic design ideas and introduces a vocabulary of professional specification. Coursework is based around applying a range of print and digital design solutions within a variety of specified technical, professional, social and ethical constraints. 

Likely Optional Units
Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will study a series of self-directed options designed to develop a professional portfolio that reflects your individual careers aspirations. Your work is supported by a visiting lecture programme that offers a diverse range of perspectives across the whole platform of graphic design practice.

Core Units
Graphic Design Practice

This unit will develop your independent, self-directed study based around graphic design projects that have real-world parallels with the professional designer and/or creative industries.  Studio based projects will extend your professional understanding and will develop your capability for self-directed learning.  Three projects look at ideas of authorship based around a given theme, responding to a live brief and initiating personal work.  A negotiated option within each project will build on your existing skill set and are described using a series of student authored learning agreements. 

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Likely Optional Units
Contextualising Practice 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.
Contextualising Practice with a Language 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Methods of Assessment

Unit end assessment and coursework.

Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www.art.mmu.ac.uk/staff/

Typical entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2017 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2018 academic year. Please check back for further details.

We will interview you as part of your application.

We will ask for a portfolio of your work as part of your application.

UCAS Tariff points/Grades required

112

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design) . A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Your career prospects after the course

Graduates have gone on to be designers in design consultancies and in-house teams for industry and public authorities; magazine and publication designers; art directors and creative teams in advertising agencies; digital media designers and filmmakers for creative online content.

94%

In 2014, over 94% of our graduates went directly into work or further study within 6 months of graduation

DHLE survey 2014, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known

How do I apply for this course?

Applications through UCAS

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Unistats Information

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.

Undergraduate Study