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

All courses run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning, and follow current UK government safety advice. Applicants and students will be notified directly if any changes need to be made.

You will be inspired to create innovative answers to branding, packaging and promotional design questions facing businesses on NUA’s internationally-renowned Graphic Design degree.

Our BA (Hons) course has a global reputation for producing graduates who are creative thinkers with accomplished technical skills and a strong grasp of the latest technology.

The course benefits from close links to some of the leading names in the design industry.

You’ll follow a proven path that has led to NUA graduates securing roles at some of the UK’s leading design studios, branding and advertising agencies.

Design ideas that work

Our course has a strong emphasis on commercial work and you’ll be challenged to generate high quality creative solutions, including:

  • Visual identities
  • Packaging
  • Websites
  • 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 develop a thorough understanding of each client, their challenges and target market.

Future-thinking about Graphic Design

You’ll be taught by passionate and experienced tutors who have worked in some of the best design agencies in the UK.

And their reputation for nurturing talent, coupled with our strong reputation in industry, means that leading design groups and agencies seek actively to recruit graduates from the course, including:

  • Carter Wong
  • Turner Duckworth
  • Brandhouse
  • Design Bridge
  • Pearlfisher
  • Lewis Moberly
  • BrandOpus
  • JKR
  • Ziggurat
  • Bloom 

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

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.
Visit the Degree Show website #Disrupt

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB. 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

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 27 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, 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 application 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).

We also accept some alternative English qualifications. Learn more about our English entry requirements.

You can email us on if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree portfolio guidance

Your portfolio should be relevant to this course, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of innovative design.

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)

Further portfolio advice and tips

Get more advice on presentation formats, layouts and when to submit your portfolio in the application process.

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK or ‘International/EU’, 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 fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact

UK 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.

2021/22 Tuition Fees for new entrants

Citizen status




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


International (including EU)

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


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

International students

Find out more about 2021 fees for international students and the scholarships and support available.

Financial support for UK students

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

Tuition Fee Loan for undergraduate study – 2021/22

Tuition fee loans are available for UK 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 £26,575 per year

Maintenance Loan for undergraduate study – 2021/22

Student Maintenance Loans are available from Student Finance England for UK 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 £9,203 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,747 may be available if you live with your parents.

Different figures may apply if you are currently based in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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 us:


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


For new entrants whose household income is assessed as £25,000 or less, the university will offer a contribution towards the costs of studying at NUA (such as equipment, materials and other course-related costs). Find out more about bursaries at NUA

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.

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 

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 24 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.

Photo of a young brunette woman, wearing a cream cardigan, standing in the graphics studio, looking into camera

Olivia Knights

"I love that I am being taught to have ideas and think in an entirely creative way. Design can influence the future, encourage sustainability and social change."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

BA Graphic Design student Leona sits in graphics studio at Norwich University of the Arts

Leona Heung

"Being in a design studio is a great experience. You’re working on different aspects of the same project, so everything must be consistent and you also get to learn from each other."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Lauren Meiszner, graphic design student at Norwich University of the Arts stands outside at NUA

Lauren Meiszner

"Having an actual client critique and give feedback was a very valuable experience, it prepares you for when you step into the industry, giving you confidence to meet a client's requirements."

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

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


  • Mette Ambeck

  • Emma Bailey

  • Bryony Birkbeck

  • Christopher Challinor

  • Martin Devenney

  • Maria Fletcher

  • Helen Furness

  • Mike Harrington

  • Neil Hedger

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Simon Loxley

  • Professor Laura Jordan Bambach (Visiting Lecturer)

  • Sean Perkins and guests (Visiting Lecturer)

  • David Pearson (Visiting Lecturer)

    David Pearson Design
  • Jordan Blyth

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 give us a call.


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