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

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Institution code: N39
Course 3 Year UCAS code: W210
Course 4 Year UCAS code: W216
Course length: 3 or 4 year options

With an international reputation for producing graduates that stand out for their creative thinking and technical skills, our BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree is one of only six graphics courses accredited by Creative Skillset.

Stefan Sagmeister visits NUA

Benefitting from close links with industry in a city that’s home to a thriving culture of design innovation, recent graduates of our undergraduate graphic design course have found full-time employment in leading design studios, working in branding, advertising, editorial and packaging design, marketing strategy and cross-platform advertising.

Your graphic design skills

A strong emphasis on commerciality throughout the degree will see you generating ideas and high-quality products for visual identity packages such as product packaging, websites and cross-platform advertising campaigns.

Briefs are designed to inspire you to generate original, innovative and – crucially – effective design solutions. You’ll learn how to question a brief using research techniques that will help you understand the client, their target market and the influences affecting both.

Your graphic design future

You’ll be taught by passionate and experienced tutors who have worked in some of the best design agencies in the UK. Their dedication to helping you bring your projects to life will give you the confidence and knowledge to follow your passions and choose a path that fits with your academic and career goals.

Their reputation for nurturing talent, coupled with our strong reputation in industry, means that leading design groups and agencies including Carter Wong, Turner Duckworth, Brandhouse, Design Bridge, Pearlfisher, Lewis Moberly, BrandOpus, JKR, Ziggurat and Bloom actively seek to recruit graduates from this course.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Graphic Designer
  • Packaging Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Branding Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Brand Strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Marketing Creative
  • Photographer
  • Website/App Designer
  • 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
  • Develop skills in typography, printing, layout, photography, design research, idea generation, visual narrative and story telling
  • 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
  • Work on visual identity, packaging design, advertising and promotion, design for digital platforms and editorial design
  • Work on projects set by external bodies such as industry employers, live clients and competition briefs
  • Pitch your work to leading industry professionals
  • Collaborate with second year students from another course at NUA on interdisciplinary projects.
  • Year 3
  • Construct a professional portfolio of work
  • Undertake projects including competition briefs and other professionally-focused projects
  • Enhance creative thinking, idea generation and problem solving; alongside core skills in typography, image use and production
  • 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.4

BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Graphic Design 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.

Four year degree

Our innovative four year degrees are exactly the same as our three year degrees but include an extra year of study at the beginning – Year 0.

Year 0 is all about developing the skills and knowledge you need to successfully complete your degree course. Building on your experience from A Level or equivalent courses, the Year 0 curriculum allows extra time to develop the practical, technical and creative skills that are critical to successfully completing an undergraduate degree at NUA.

While studying Year 0 BA (Hons) Graphic Design you’ll gain fundamental design skills centred around typography, publishing, packaging and building a brand. You will first encounter four intense week-long projects, each focused on a key area of design, before progressing to explore graphic sequences and thematic design.

There are weekly critiques on progress and you will be expected to engage fully with the iterative process. There will also be an opportunity to negotiate your own brief. Regular workshops will enable you to continually build on your digital skills using industry standard software.

You’ll be taught by Graphics tutors throughout and you’ll have the opportunity to join first, second and third year students for guest lectures.

Typical UK offers and entry requirements for Year 0 entry

GCE A/AS Levels
2 A-level qualifications at grades CC or higher, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. 

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

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

UAL Extended Diploma
An overall Pass

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
An overall Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 
Pass

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 28 point

Students

photo of alum Craig Riseborough standing and looking away from camera with short dark brown hair and wearing a checkered red and black shirt with a white wall background

Craig Riseborough

"I’ve developed an ‘ideas driven’ way of thinking which means my concepts are so much more creative. I’ve learnt the value of observation and the importance of understanding design history- which allows me to approach any brief with confidence."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

portrait photo of alum Helen Mak smiling at camera with hands at sides wearing loose floral top in graphic design studio

Helen Mak

"Having the opportunity to organise work placements allows students to be as prepared as possible for working in the graphics industry."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

portrait photo of alum Joshua Miller smiling at camera with hands in pockets and short dark hair wearing a shirt with rolled sleeves

Joshua Miller

"You get to know tutors really well. The studio culture is so strong. Everyone is there to support you when you need help."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Lecturers

  • Mette Ambeck

  • Emma Bailey

  • Bryony Birkbeck

  • Christopher Challinor

  • Martin Devenney

  • Maria Fletcher

  • Helen Furness

  • Mike Harrington

  • Neil Hedger

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Darren Leader

  • Simon Loxley

  • 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?