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Undergraduate study
Graphic Design and Illustration Graphic Design and Illustration Graphic Design and Illustration

Graphic Design and Illustration BA (Hons)

Learn to bring your ideas to life as a confident and responsive visual communicator by studying this innovative and industry-focused graphic design and illustration degree course.

 

W210 BA/GDI

Course routes:

 

Course overview

Accredited Foundation year Work placement

Graphic design

Find out more about studying graphic design at Teesside University.

About this course

The course is a combination of graphic design and illustration, offering you a broad and dynamic experience. Build a professional and innovative portfolio as a graphic designer and illustrator with skills across advertising, branding, typography, editorial and book design, interactive media, motion graphics and digital content. Learn to develop your design research skills and ideas-led solutions, working with the foremost analogue and digital industry facilities while being taught by award-winning and research-active practising artists and designers.

What’s more, you can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

What you learn

While studying this graphic design and illustration degree at Teesside University, you work to live briefs on real projects and enter competitions in this industry-focused programme to prepare you for a range of professional careers in the design field and across the creative industries, including artistic and technical roles in media agencies and publishers. From becoming a freelance designer or illustrator to working for an international company, your learning adventure unites the independent and commercial, specialisms and teamwork, deadlines and networking, traditional and digital design skills.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

You study at our School of Arts & Creative Industries, led by Teesside University and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), an international contemporary museum and gallery. You gain a full artistic experience, learning in a social space that inspires dynamic ideas, fuels collaboration and allows you to build local, national and international networks with industry professionals for your future graphic design and illustration career.

Top three reasons to study graphic design and illustration at Teesside University

1. Benefit from our professional design studio environment and excellent facilities.
2. Our many successful 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.
3. Work closely with our award-winning and research-active practising artists and designers.

Teesside is ranked joint 17th out of 73 institutions for Design & Crafts in the Guardian University Guide 2021. (121 institutions participated.)

Download pdf Order prospectus

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Drawing and Printmaking

You explore and expand your approaches to visual investigation and representation through drawing, image and printmaking. You create visual language through observation, response, emotive expression and visual enquiry, experimenting with ideas generation and establishing new ways of looking and thinking.

Graphic Processes

You are introduced to fundamental digital creative skills including digital image making and manipulation, composition, research, and creative thinking. You undertake a project where you learn about the importance of generating ideas.

Graphic Projects

You explore innovative ways of addressing creative problems through studio-based project work. You undertake a project, applying your knowledge and skills in an area of interest such as graphic design, illustration, advertising, branding, or sequence/interaction.

MIMA History of Art, Design & Architecture

You are introduced to key art, design, architectural and cultural histories that are central to studying a creative subject. You explore a range of contexts and influences including art historical, ecological, critical theory, industrial, technological change, social and political movements, examining the changing face of art and design and informing your future research.

Sequential Design and Illustration

You gain experience of sequence as a fundamental aspect of your creative practice. You undertake a project, exploring both analogue and digital processes in the production of a piece of sequential design or illustration, with consideration given to the pace and timing of sequences and the relationship between moving and still images.

Type and Image

Type and image is the language of visual communicators. You explore their relationship, providing you with the knowledge to create visual compositions that have impact and meaning. You are introduced to the fundamentals of typography and the principles of composition.

 

Year 2 core modules

Advanced Graphic Projects

You undertake an in-depth creative project in a specialist area of graphic design or illustration, relevant to your future professional practice. You explore themes that can be developed for a specified audience or in a wider cultural context. Live projects or competitions are considered as potential opportunities.

Career Context

Develop your understanding of building a career in the creative industries through key skills in creative leadership, collaborative entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Format and Application

You develop your knowledge of visual communication principles and processes, and advance your practical skills using industry-standard software to produce work for print and screen.

Global Future Contexts

Further investigate a range of contemporary social, environmental, technological and ethical issues to inform all types of art and design practice. You broaden your understanding of creativity as a practice-based form of contemporary social discourse and explore a variety of issues through the development, production and presentation of potential future scenarios.

Interaction and Environment

Exploring how creative works can be situated in differing environments, and providing opportunities to inform, agitate, navigate, and enrich people’s lives, is at the heart of this module. You develop an understanding of how design and illustration is being used, and could be used in, innovative ways in commercial, social and public indoor and outdoor settings. Your project allows you to research, develop and apply innovative conceptual solutions of your own in an interactive design project.

Storytelling

You explore the use of ‘narrative’ as a key element within creative practice.

You gain an understanding of how found or individually-generated narratives can be utilised imaginatively within design and illustrative practice to engage an audience. Thoughtful reflection on storytelling conventions enables you to enrich and extend the range of creative expression.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Clients and Competitions

You undertake one or more competition projects or fulfil a live project brief, producing graphic or illustrative work that will influence the direction of your portfolio and be meaningful to prospective employers and/or clients.

Major Research Project: Graphic Design

You devise and undertake a major creative project that helps to consolidate and celebrate your individual strengths and skills. You initiate and/or select an appropriate negotiated brief, increasing your ability to manage a complex major project through all its stages, informed by an awareness of the relevant contexts and the needs of clients/users.

Professional Communication

Strategy, creativity, and initiative are key features of this module. You are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of professional creative practice as you continue to reflect on your learning and prepare for your future career. You create and develop visual material, considering print and digital/screen, that can be used in a variety of contexts for the purposes of self-promotion and/or exhibition.

Professional Practice

You bring your project ideas to fruition, considering your own area of interest in the creative industries. It’s key that you have an understanding of the strategic value of your project choice on your chosen career, and consequently the honing or development of skills required. You are encouraged to demonstrate a high-level of professional competence in the development and realisation of your project.

 

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 and illustration 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. You receive written feedback to help you reflect and prepare for future modules.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
96-112 points, including a creative subject, from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications. Consideration is also given to students without formal qualifications but with evidence of practical design and illustration experience at an appropriate level. Applicants are invited to share a portfolio where applicable to show creative skills in graphic design and illustration.

Applicants are invited join us on campus for an applicant day, enabling you to see our graphic design and illustration facilities, meet staff and students and learn more about studying at Teesside University.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements.

Helping you meet the entry requirements
We may be able to help you meet the requirements for admission by offering you the opportunity to study one or more Summer University modules, some of which can be studied by distance learning.

Alternative degree with integrated foundation year
If you are unable to achieve the minimum admission requirements for Year 1 entry you could, subject to eligibility, join one of our degree courses with an integrated foundation year.

Direct entry to later years
If you have previously studied at higher education level (for example, a foundation degree, HNC, HND or one or more years at degree level at another institution) you may request direct entry to Year 2 or year 3 of this degree.

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio/written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

To support professional practice experience, you get involved with competitions from professional bodies such as Design and Art Direction (D&AD), You Can Now, Royal Society of Arts and International Society of Typographic Designers. You also have the opportunity to exhibit work externally.

D&AD connects to a community of creative professionals, providing essential industry and educational insight. Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. The D&AD Professional Awards are recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best from around the world.

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.

Examples of destinations include Barker Advertising in New York, Caterpillar Books, Elmwood Design, Gardner Richardson, Great Fridays, JWT, KPMG, McCann Erickson, Pearl Fisher, Penguin Books, Radley Yeldar and Publicis Sapient.

Work placement

A work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser

 
 

Professional accreditation

Association of Illustrators This degree is accredited by the Association of Illustrators, offering you benefits including interactive talks and an increased understanding of contracts and licensing, helping you to forge a successful career. As a Teesside University student, you are eligible for discounted membership to the Association of Illustration. Find out more about the Association of Illustrators.

Other course routes

Foundation year

Study this course with a foundation year if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration (with Foundation Year)

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements

Full-time

Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W210 BA/GDI
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 

Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Ella Miller student profile

    Find out about Ella’s experience as a graphic design and illustration student at Teesside University in this self-drawn student profile.

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    Hear from our students on what it’s like to study graphic design at Teesside University

    BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration

    Animation by student Antony Hamill

     
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    Jennifer Crewdson

    Jennifer CrewdsonBA (Hons) Graphic Design

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Get in touch

UK students

Email: saci-admissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 738801


Online chat

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


More international contacts

 

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