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BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: W213
Course length: 3 years

Our Creative Skillset accredited BA (Hons) Graphic Communication degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge to solve complex graphic communication problems, work across a broad range of mediums, and anticipate and shape future emerging trends and needs.

Stefan Sagmeister visits NUA

With very strong links to leading industry practitioners, our undergraduate graphic communication course embraces new and emerging technologies as potential tools to solve complex visual communication challenges.

Many of our students go on to produce award-winning work. Recent graduates have found full-time employment in leading design studios working in branding, advertising, digital, motion and cross-platform advertising.

Your graphic communication skills

Your love of finding original and exciting ways to communicate complex ideas and concepts through design and visual languages will underpin your studies. From posters and journals to apps and websites, the way people receive and consume information changes constantly as new technologies emerge. Your curiosity will feed and shape your work as you push boundaries and challenge received wisdom.

Our large open plan studio environment is ideal for collaborative and individual project work and you’ll be encouraged to solve real-world problems with great ideas. You are as likely to be designing an app or website, making a film or piece of motion typography as you are to be designing a printed poster or journal.

Your graphic communication future

As you evolve your craft you’ll get to meet leading practitioners from the creative industries and work on commercial briefs, preparing you for a successful career as you compile a portfolio of work that reflects your specific design interests.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Graphic Designer
  • Digital Designer
  • Website Designer
  • App Designer
  • Branding Designer
  • Advertising Creative
  • Promotions Designer
  • Brand Strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Printmaker/Printer
  • Filmmaker/Animator

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
  • Develop skills in typography, printing, layout, photography, design research, idea generation, visual narrative and storytelling
  • Learn technical skills in various design-related digital media such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Explore print, paper, material, format and hand-craft/making skills
  • Develop your ability to design solutions for presenting complex data and information through editorial design and infographics.
  • Year 2
  • Focus on branding and identity, advertising and promotion, digital/screen design, app design, film and animation, corporate communications, infographics, design within the environment and large-scale graphics (super graphics), exhibition design and experience design
  • Explore printed and digital formats, including books, journals and magazines, brochures and reports, as well as websites, apps, user interface design and user experience design
  • Collaborate with others in a competitive presentation and/or pitch environment, and across courses with other NUA students.
  • Year 3
  • Create a professional portfolio of work
  • Explore new territories for graphic design, including new and traditional media
  • Advance your core skills in 2D and 3D design, specifically in typography, layout, image usage and editing, print/physical and screen based digital technologies
  • Take part in projects, including 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) Graphic Communication degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Graphic Communication 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 Tsu-Ann Wong sitting on a blue bench and smiling while looking away from camera with long black hair and long blue and white vertically striped shirt with a short glass wall in the background

Tsu-Ann Wong

"Having access to technical workshops and speaking with the courses’ guest lecturers has made me realise that there are so many different ways to approach a project. It’s important not to restrict yourself – exploration helps me realise the best way to communicate ideas."

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

portrait photo of alum Ross Hawkin smiling away from camera wearing backwards cap and loose tight knit jumper

Ross Hawkin

"In Year Three you are heavily involved in self-promotion and have direct contact with industry — this sets the bar for you to network with creatives and make contacts yourself."

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

portrait photo of alum Laura Carmona smiling at camera with long hair wearing green and blue tartan print shirt

Laura Carmona

"Over the three years you have the chance to learn so many new creative skills, not only in design software, but in film editing and photography."

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

Lecturers

  • Mette Ambeck

  • Emma Bailey

  • Bryony Birkbeck

  • Christopher Challinor

  • Martin Devenney

  • Maria Fletcher

  • Helen Furness

  • Mike Harrington

  • Neil Hedger

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Darren Leader

  • Professor Laura Jordan Bambach (Visiting Lecturer)

    D&AD
  • Sean Perkins and guests

    North
  • David Pearson

    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

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