Undergraduate study
Graphic Design Graphic Design

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

UCAS code: W210 BA/GDes

Graphic designers are visual communicators who bring ideas to life. Graphic design at Teesside is a well-established and highly successful area of study and offers you a broad and dynamic experience.

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

2017 entry

  • Typical offer: 112 tariff points and interview


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384019

Contact details


£500 cash available to kick-start your degree – for travel, accommodation or other living expenses

Eligibility criteria apply


Over £270m invested in our town-centre campus for your improved student and learning experience

More about the campus


88% of students would recommend Teesside University to others
(National Student Survey 2016)

Why choose Teesside

Our course structure is flexible and responsive, allowing you to become a multi-skilled graphic designer or to specialise in illustration, graphics for advertising or interaction design. You undertake a general first year and have the opportunity to specialise from Year 2, based on your developing interests and aptitudes. You work in areas such as advertising, branding, illustration, typography, book arts, motion graphics, web design, interactive media, and editorial design for magazines and books. You develop your own distinctive portfolio of work, and the course emphasis is on creative ideas and adventurous solutions, combined with a high level of professional awareness and a dedicated work ethic.

Can't make our open day?

Contact us at arts@tees.ac.uk and we will arrange a one-to-one visit for you, we would love to see you.

In Year 1 you are able to experience the fundamental principles of graphic design. You are introduced to essential graphic languages and processes including drawing, image-making, typography, advertising, interaction, narrative and printmaking.

During Year 2 you develop a distinctive body of work through your selection of project briefs. Here you may begin to specialise if you wish. You further develop your knowledge, strengths, professional and management skills and apply your ideas and processes to more complex creative projects.

Graphic design
The graphic design course offers you a broad range of learning experiences. You choose from a range of project opportunities to build an individual portfolio of work reflecting your developing career aspirations in areas such as advertising, branding, illustration, typography, book arts, motion graphics, web design, interactive media and editorial design for magazines and books.

Digital media, mobile communications and the internet are all evolving as new technologies which redefine how we communicate with the consumer. This route through the graphic design course will appeal if you are interested in applying your ideas and practical skills to marketing, branding and promotional campaigns.

This route through the graphic design course will appeal if you want to develop specialist skills as an illustrator who can work flexibly across different media. Illustrators use their creative skills in both traditional and digital media to produce commissioned work for a variety of contexts, including children’s books, advertising, book arts and editorial illustration.

Designers who specialise in motion graphics and screen-based communication for web and mobile devices are in growing demand. This route through the graphic design course helps you to build the skills to produce solutions which integrate image, text and sound. Your projects enable you to explore narrative, navigation, interactivity and user-centred design.

In Year 3 the emphasis is placed firmly on development of your professional portfolio and future career aspirations. You are able to negotiate your own project themes and there is the opportunity to work on live projects and competition briefs.


Year 1 core modules

Digital Graphic Communication

Turn on and log in – this module introduces you key industry hardware and software. Utilising digital processes and equipment, you’ll develop and apply this knowledge within creative graphic projects producing cross-platform solutions for both print and screen.

Graphic Processes

Hands on, computers off for this module. You are let loose in the experimental studio and beyond to push processes with print, mark-making, drawing, typography, image making, and sequence. The only limit is your imagination... Oh, and no computers allowed of course.

Graphic Projects

The ultimate module of the first year allows you to mix up all the skills and knowledge you have acquired in a project that focuses on your own area of interest such as graphic design, illustration, advertising or interaction. It's time to make your mark.

Professional Contexts

How, why, where and when – what it is like to be a graphic designer, you’ll focus on the practice of being a professional in the exciting area of Graphic Design. Whether it is New York or Newcastle, you will discover where you would like to be, what you would like to do and set yourself goals to help you achieve them.

Understanding Graphic Design

What is a tree without roots? Theory and design go hand in hand as you explore what graphic design is, and how it has developed through its history. Research is key, knowledge is power.


Year 2 core modules

Advanced Digital Communication

You'll be pixel perfect with this module as you review and develop a range of digital and specialist skills with software for print, screen and web. Future-proof your career as you cut your teeth with industry knowledge.

Advanced Graphic Projects

This is a fantastic opportunity to create and control your own written brief from start to finish – perfect for the control freak in you! From client, audience and user through to palette, kerning and rationale – you do the work.

Professional Development 1

As a design graduate you will need a breadth and depth of understanding of what’s current in your field of design practice. We develop your presentation and technical drawings from the basics to the more complex.

Your personal and professional development in your first year of study focuses on mastering the skills of technical drawing and presentation and combining these traditional skills with the modern techniques used in design practices today.

We recognise that, as a new designer, you need to build upon your talents in design and also progress with the elements that you may find difficult.

During this module you spend time at the drawing board where you master techniques, from drawing measured 2D drawings to 3D planometric drawings and interior perspectives. We aim to have weekly one-to-one discussions and group discussions to help you perfect your skills.

You also develop skills in self-promotion and learn the useful and current techniques in social media, where you can demonstrate reflective practice.

Your final submission will be a portfolio of work completed throughout the year comprising of sketchbooks, 2D and 3D technical drawings.

Professional Development 2

This module enables you to develop a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of professional. You focus on a chosen area of practice and build a research archive that will help you to situate your own interests in the context of your analysis of current and emerging practice, as well as what’s been said and written about the topic. You also continue to reflect on your own learning in this and other modules as part of your personal development planning.

Your learning takes place through independent research, supported by seminar discussion, student presentations and the use of wikis, blogs on the VLE. There will opportunities for study visits.

There are two components of assessment: a research portfolio and a reflective report.

Specialist Graphic Projects

Become the specialist that industry wants, and gain the skills to pay the bills. Are you an illustrator with an interest in book jackets, a typographer who loves an editorial layout, a designer with a passion for branding or any other aspect that suits. Be the master of your own design destiny as you choose from a selection of briefs or possible live projects.


Final-year core modules

Design Writing Research

Be current and critical, as you research and form your own opinions on a topic of personal interest. You’ll compliment your portfolio with a piece of work that demonstrates expertise to prospective clients or employers.

Final Graphic Projects

Now is the time to show off and let everyone see how good you are. In this module you have the chance to create your very own brief that works to your strengths within your specialism. Originate, devise, research, create and produce - it's over to you!

Live Projects and Competitions

Does exactly what it says on the tin! You will be presented with a choice of some of the most prestigious and internationally renowned competitions to participate in – a project with a real client. This is a great opportunity to give your portfolio the x-factor, and continue the award-winning success of our subject area.

Professional Communication

Resourcefulness and initiative are key features of this module. You are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of professional graphic practice as you continue to reflect on your learning and prepare for your future career. Opportunities for both personal and collaborative promotion are facilitated through individual practice and teamwork. There is also a portfolio review.

Briefings, group work and feedback sessions support your learning and the VLE provides opportunities for reflective engagement with peers. There are two assessment components: a career-related portfolio of project work and a written evaluation of your learning across all modules.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

A full range of digital resources and workshop facilities, utilising up-to-date equipment and processes, supports the studio environment. Independent and student-centred learning are encouraged in addition to taught sessions with staff. Theoretical work is delivered through illustrated lectures and seminars where there is opportunity for collective discussion.

How you are assessed

The work produced is the work assessed; there are no examinations and the production of design projects is a key feature. Assessment is undertaken against carefully defined criteria and project-based assignments involve a critique. The critique is a reflective process allowing for both staff and peer group appraisal.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have excellent and varied career opportunities and go on to work in design consultancies, publishing houses, advertising and new media studios along with freelance opportunities and commissioned arts projects. There is also the opportunity for postgraduate study.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 112 tariff points from at least three A levels (or equivalent) – one must be in an appropriate discipline. And we attach considerable importance to your portfolio of work.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

2017 entry

  • Typical offer: 112 tariff points and interview


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384019

Contact details

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