Go back to the top of the page
BA (Hons) Design for Publishing

BA (Hons) Design for Publishing

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: W2AD
Course length: 3 years

Our Creative Skillset accredited BA (Hons) Design for Publishing degree course will give you the skills to create compelling, effective and beautifully-designed print and digital products using the tools of typography, image and surface design, underpinned by thorough research.

Stefan Sagmeister visits NUA 

Recent graduates of our Design for Publishing degree have found employment in many leading art and design studios working in graphic design, editorial design, production and printing, creative direction, interface design, advertising and copywriting.

Your design for publishing skills

Working in large, open plan design studios, you’ll learn advanced techniques to produce professional print and bound documents such as books, journals and magazines, as well as digital publications.

Your creativity will be informed by the content you’re working with, but your natural urge to experiment and innovate, coupled with your developing skills and insight, will motivate you to explore and exploit the possibilities inherent in each brief.

Your design for publishing future

Our undergraduate Design for Publishing course enjoys a strong profile within industry because of the high reputation of its graduates and a long history of student success in national and international design competitions. These include winners of the Society of Publication Designers Student Design competitions, the B.W. Honeycutt Award and the British Book Design Production Awards.

You’ll find industry expertise is woven into the degree, with some of the most influential professional designers – David Pearson (Type as Image), Rick Banks (Face37) and Hannah Little (Little, Brown Book Group) – informing course content, contributing to the TALK lecture series and setting practical live briefs.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Magazine Designer
  • Book Jacket Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Newspaper Designer
  • Publishing Designer
  • Digital Publisher
  • Creative Director
  • Interface Designer
  • Copywriter
  • Printmaker/Printer

You’ll get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Accredited by:

Creative Skillset Accredited Course

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Have your preconceptions challenged by projects that inspire you towards creative and bold new ideas
  • Develop key technical skills in various design-related digital media such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Develop skills in typography, printing, layout, photography, research skills, idea generation, visual narrative and story-telling
  • Develop skills in designing solutions to present complex data and information through editorial design and infographics
  • Explore print, paper, material, format and hand-craft/making skills.
  • Year 2
  • Focus on typographic detail, layout, and structure, readability, simplification of complex information and its effective communication
  • Explore editorial design, type for screen and digital environments, book binding, folding and experimental formats, specialist print finishing, newspaper design, book cover design, exhibition and spatial design, sound and motion design, art direction, visual journalism, user interface design, large-scale design, experimental image making, complex data visualisation, typeface design, type as image and creative writing
  • Understand storytelling through text and image
  • Explore working in a team and developing a creative role through course and university-wide collaborative projects.
  • Year 3
  • Enhance your creative thinking and problem solving to demonstrate mastery of typographic principles, experimental image use, art direction, dynamic use of composition and narrative based storytelling
  • Consolidate your understanding of print, digital design as well as exhibition, immersive/experience design and large-scale graphics
  • Create a professional portfolio of work - in multiple formats including physical and online - directed by your specific discipline interests
  • Respond to competition briefs and other professionally-focused projects
  • Complete a Research Report that provides broad contextualisation to your practice.
#Disrupt
Convention

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma
Merit

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Design For Publishing degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Design For Publishing at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Drawings, painting or illustrations that demonstrate your image making skills, including life drawings, images drawn from observing people and landscapes or from your imagination
  • Models or sculptural works in any medium
  • Experiments in various print making processes
  • Typography
  • Editorial work
  • Collages, montages and mixed media
  • Web design
  • Sound design
  • Film or animation work
  • Photography
  • Work created using Adobe Creative Suite or other appropriate design software package
  • Package design
  • Visual identity
  • Advertising
  • Brand extension – how your idea works across a range of media
  • Suggestions for context (i.e. where you see this work being used)

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.       

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact student.finance@nua.ac.uk

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status

Course

Fee

UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)

£9,250

International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)

£13,700

Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email student.finance@nua.ac.uk

Scholarships

Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.

Bursaries

NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.

Students

photo of alum Matthew Longley sitting on a white chair and smiling at camera with hands crossed in lap and short brown hair wearing a loose blue and white checked buttoned shirt with several computers on benches in background

Matthew Longley

"I love working on live briefs, they offer a great change of pace but more importantly they contextualise my practice. The briefs are thought provoking and often require a change of style or way of thinking"

BA (Hons) Design for Publishing

photo of alum Alice Bridle smiling and looking away from camera with long brown hair and an open long sleeved top

Alice Bridle

"My skills have developed so much since Year One — it’s challenging but I like that tutors encourage us to push our ideas further."

BA (Hons) Design for Publishing

portrait photo of alum Thomas Lynes standing and smiling at camera with short hair and a loose checked shirt

Thomas Lynes

"The lecture programme at NUA has been outstanding. I’ve listened to the likes of Michael C Place, Sean Perkins and Tony Brook, arguably some of the most influential designers within the industry."

BA (Hons) Design for Publishing

Lecturers

  • Mette Ambeck

  • Emma Bailey

  • Bryony Birkbeck

  • Christopher Challinor

  • Martin Devenney

  • Maria Fletcher

  • Maria Fletcher

  • Mike Harrington

  • Neil Hedger

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Darren Leader

  • Professor Laura Jordan Bambach (Visiting Lecturer)

    D&AD
  • Sean Perkins and guests (Visiting Lecturer)

    North
  • David Pearson (Visiting Lecturer)

    David Pearson Design

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

Tweet: @NorwichUniArts

Instagram: norwichuniarts

Facebook: Visit our page

What is KIS?