BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Graphic Design is a hands-on, ideas-driven studio-based course where you will learn a variety of approaches to visual communication. Distinctive creative personalities are nurtured and the unconventional is actively encouraged. 

After developing your creative visual language in Year 1, you will be able to apply your skills to a range of personal and industry-related projects in Year 2. Your final year will see you develop a professional portfolio that reflects your personal interests and individual career aspirations.

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

Find out more about this course, staff and facilities and view student work at www.art.mmu.ac.uk/graphicdesign

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

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.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2018 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2019 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.

Course details

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.

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.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

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.
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.

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

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.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

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. 

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.

Option 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.

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.

Read more about this year of study

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.

Option Units

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.
Contextualising Practice 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

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 of 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
Assessment

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

£900

Average printing costs per year. In 3rd year there could be an additional amount of £100, approximately, towards printing for the Degree Show. Core materials include an A3 portfolio the contents of a pencil case, scalpel ruler. £200 to £400 per year.

Placement Costs

Students can choose in second or third year to go on a study trip. These are optional and usually taken during self to directed time so no studio sessions are missed. £300 to £700 in both second and third year.

Funding

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

W210

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

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Office for Students is the principal regulator for the University. For further information about their role please visit the Office for Students website. You can find out more about our courses including our approach to timetabling, course structures and assessment and feedback on our website.

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