Graphic Design and Visual Communication - BA Hons Degree

Course Code: VG1HE13
UCAS Code: W211

Next available course:

Start DateLocationDuration
09/09/2019University Centre3 YearsApply

Course Overview

Building on a long tradition of design education at B&FC, the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Visual Communication programme is one of the most successful courses in the North West. It is a relevant and thriving vocational course and is structured to respond to the ever-changing demands of the creative industries. Graphic Design is constantly diversifying due to the impact of newer technologies and interactive and social media. You will have the opportunity to develop specific traditional craft-based skills and will be encouraged to explore these newly acquired skills within a broad range of new and emerging technologies and media. In the ‘real world’ new ideas are at a premium, they are the life blood of great design, which is why we place experimentation and investigation at the heart of the curriculum and why you will be challenged to push the boundaries of design and investigate the unproven and untried. The programme is influenced by strong industry links and these live and active links will give you the chance to work alongside some of the most influential designers and creative thinkers in the country, developing a range of disciplines and expertise in areas such as branding, packaging design, editorial, interactive design, advertising design, information design, digital and moving image. You will undertake a work placement during Level 5 and to date, previous students have undertaken work placements in New York, Amsterdam, Milan, South Africa, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds. Students have learned from such creative luminaries as Wally Olins at Wolf Olins, Brian Webb at Webb & Webb Design and Milton Glaser at Milton Glaser Inc. Through work placements in Springetts, Smith and Milton, Open Agency, Bisqit, Lush Design, Brand Union and The Chase, the opportunity is there for every student. For some, the work placement can turn into a ‘big break’ and lead directly to future employment. You will also have an opportunity to sign up for inspirational study visits to exhibitions and to explore the fabulously rich artistic heritage in a variety international cities, culminating in a trip to New York at Level 6. Visiting lecturers, guest speakers and former students, many in successful and exciting careers, contribute their time and enthusiasm to the course. As well as providing useful early insights into the world of work, you can draw on a rich source of industry experience. One way to measure the success of the course is by the number and quality of national and international awards our students receive each year. We are always well represented in D&AD, Starpacks, Roses Awards, National Calendar Awards, RSA and more. As an arbiter of real talent, awards are fantastic but they are also a useful indication as to the standards expected of students. They also reflect the calibre of students everywhere so they can compete successfully in the market place after their final degree show.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 96 UCAS points in an appropriate discipline excluding Functional Skills and GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). Applicants who are able to demonstrate relevant work/life skills or knowledge will also be considered on an individual basis. All applicants will be given the opportunity to attend a workshop or send in their work electronically.

Qualification Obtained

BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Visual Communication

Career Options and Progression

Assessment Methods


Most courses are assessed via a combination of coursework and exams – the percentage weighting of each of these is outlined below. Coursework might range from written tasks and assignments to the collation of a portfolio of evidence based around a work placement. Coursework differs from exams in that it is usually non-timed and carried out independently.


Exams are formal, timed written assessments, carried out in a controlled environment and overseen by one or more invigilators. They assess your grasp of the theory and underpinning knowledge related to your chosen career area. The opposite of practicals, they require you to set out your practical understanding within an academic context. Some courses have no exams – the exam/coursework ratio is outlined below.


Practical assessments identify your technical ability to apply theory to hands-on tasks in your chosen career area. They can be timed or non-timed and involve observation of your practical skills and competencies, either in a work-based environment or a dedicated College setting that closely resembles the workplace. Practical work-based assessments are supported and carried out by a trained assessor.

Assessment MethodLevel 4Level 5Level 6

Course Structure

Level 4 Modules

Thinking and MakingVG4MD01620Mandatory
Exploratory Approaches GraphicVG4MD01220Mandatory
Exploring Advertising and BrandingVG4MD01520Mandatory
Experimental Journeys TraditionalVG4MD01320Mandatory
Digital Design Creative SuiteVG4MD01120Mandatory
Narrative Image Graphic DesignVG4MD01420Mandatory

Level 5 Modules

Research into PracticeVG5MD01820Mandatory
Conceptualising for Graphic DesignVG5MD01420Mandatory
Advanced Development and RealisationVG5MD01720Mandatory
Creative Perspectives Interactive MediaVG5MD01520Mandatory
Entrepreneurial Practice Self PromotionVG5MD01320Mandatory
Self Initiated Pathways Graphic DesignVG5MD01620Mandatory

Level 6 Modules

Entrepreneurship EffectivenessVG6MD00920Mandatory
Professional Pathway Web DesignVG6MD01820Optional
Professional Pathway CreativeVG6MD00720Optional (most common)
Professional Pathway Synthesis CreativeVG6MD01040Optional (most common)
Transitional DesignVG6MD00820Mandatory
Independent Research ProjectVG6MD01120Mandatory
Professional Pathway Synthesis WebVG6MD01940Optional

Teaching and Learning Methods

Scheduled Learning

Scheduled time relates to the time you spend in directed study with the guidance and support of our academic tutors. Scheduled learning can take a variety of forms and will vary from one course to the next, but may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstrations, studio or workshop time, fieldwork and external visits.

Independent Study

Higher education courses rely on students undertaking work outside of formal, scheduled sessions and this is generally categorised as independent study. Independent study might include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks and revision.


Many of the degree programmes at B&FC incorporate opportunities for work placements to provide you with the opportunity to link your studies to relevant professional practice in a real work environment. Our programme teams are able to offer support in securing an appropriate work placement where it forms part of your programme, and will work closely with you during the placement to ensure that the opportunity allows you to develop personally, professionally and academically.

Learning MethodLevel 4Level 5Level 6

Industry Placement and Field Trips

Other Costs and Equipment Needed

Expert Tutors

All staff involved in the delivery of higher education courses within the College are approved to teach the subjects and modules they deliver. The approval process ensures that staff delivering a given programme are appropriately qualified and, where appropriate, possess relevant technical and industrial experience and professional practice.

Tuition Fees

Regulation and Accreditation

Terms and Conditions

Programme Handbook

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