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Undergraduate study
Graphic Design with Marketing (with Foundation Year)

Graphic Design with Marketing (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

Graphic design creative skills with marketing theory and practice combine to create multiple career options through this innovative and industry-focused graphic design and marketing degree course.



Course routes:

  • International students: due to the high volume of applications already received, we will start to consider applications for this course from February 2022.

Course overview

Work placement

MIMA School of Art & Design

See what it’s like to study at MIMA School of Art & Design, part of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

About the course

Build your career as a graphic designer with marketing expertise or in marketing with design know how, by learning a combination of skills across graphic design, illustration, visual communication, branding and marketing. Learn to develop your creative graphic design, visual selling and communication skills with an understanding of the marketing functions essential to a range of careers across the creative and design industries. You work in a studio environment with the foremost industry analogue and digital industry facilities.

What you learn

You work to live briefs, competitions and on real projects in this industry-focused programme to prepare you for a range of careers in design: artistic and technical roles, media agencies and publishing, and opportunities across the creative industries. From becoming a freelancer marketing professional or graphic designer, to working for an international company, your learning adventure unites the independent and commercial, specialisms and teamwork, deadlines and networking, traditional and digital design and marketing skills.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

You study at MIMA School of Art & Design, an art school 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 marketing career.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top three reasons to study graphic design with marketing at Teesside University

1. The course is a combination of graphic design and marketing, offering you a multi-skilled experience.
2. Benefit from our professional design studio environment and excellent facilities.
3. 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.

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

Foundation year core modules

Contextual Studies

You are introduced to the contexts of creative and design history, investigating problem solving and themes to inform your current studio practice. You research and learn to analyse ideas about past British and international styles, design and theory. This develops your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design, and the relationship between design, society and the environment. You develop skills in research, analysis, communication and critical thinking, and produce and present interpretations of historical material.

Portfolio Project

Building on your skills in the design process, you develop a project portfolio directed towards your favoured design discipline, demonstrating your creative ideas, development and final concepts. You are encouraged to take a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work. You focus on experimental exploration, as well as challenging your ability to motivate and organise yourself to manage a design project and work to a deadline. This project culminates with a short presentation of your completed design work.

Research and Analysis

You are introduced to the creative design process and methods of researching and recording inspirational ideas which you can then develop for your own project work. You gather inspiration, stimuli and precedent ideas from a multitude of sources and sketchbooks – these are key in developing and experimenting your design, helping you curate ideas and document your design activity.

Specialism Project

You take part in a range of specialist studio activities. You investigate, experiment and explore pathways in fashion, textiles, graphics, interiors and product design. You study creative processes and develop independent project skills to help identify the specialist subject which best suits your interests and abilities.

Thinking Through Drawing

You are introduced to a range of fundamental drawing approaches for a variety of purposes. Practical workshops include measured drawing, scale, composition and perspective as well as creatively using colour, materials and expressive mark making. These experiences increase your observational skills that help you visualise and realise ideas for potential design projects.

Thinking Through Making

You further develop and deepen your knowledge gained from the induction programmes, enhancing your skills in model construction, prototyping, printmaking, and production analysis. You gain greater insight into the complexities of model construction and printmaking by working in detail with various materials, developing techniques and creative skills. This module is project-based – you transfer your knowledge from lectures to hands-on demonstrations in a workshop environment. You primarily learn through producing models and prints from drawings.


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.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

You explore the fundamental principles of digital marketing, gaining an understanding of digital tools, their uses and applications in a professional marketing environment.

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.

Marketing Insights

You develop an understanding of marketing and its implications for organisations. You consider the main principles of marketing and the impact on a dynamic and competitive environment.

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.

Brand Management

You consider and explore key branding concepts within various sectors with a view to investigating the principles for effective brand marketing and brand development.

Digital Marketing in Practice

This module describes and evaluates the ways in which an organisation can deliver the online customer experience, and the importance of the online presence to develop and support branding and customer service objectives. The stages, including analysis of customer needs, design of the website structure and layout and creating the site will be covered. The module examines the development of supporting technologies for digital marketing and examines digital channels and their suitability for inclusion for effective integrated on and offline marketing programmes and campaigns. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), customer acquisition and retention, display advertising, advergaming, mobile marketing, email marketing, viral marketing, online PR, affiliate marketing, social media, video and e-tailing are all explored in detail. The module will also consider ways in which digital channel performance can be monitored, evaluated and improved.

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.

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.


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

You can use a full range of digital resources and workshop facilities with up-to-date equipment and processes, supporting the studio environment. We encourage independent and student-centred learning in addition to taught sessions. We deliver theoretical work through illustrated lectures and seminars with opportunities for collective discussion.

How you are assessed

The work produced is the work assessed – there are no exams. A key feature is producing design projects. You are assessed against carefully defined criteria while 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 0 entry
32-88 points, including a creative subject, from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications or equivalent. Consideration will also be given to students without formal qualifications but with evidence of practical art and design experience at an appropriate level. Students are invited to bring portfolios along on applicant days to show creative skills in art and design.

Eligible applicants are normally invited for interview. The interview helps us determine your potential to succeed and to set appropriate entry conditions matched to your personal circumstances and the demands of the course. The interview also enables you to see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students, and to learn more about studying at Teesside University.

If you are unable to attend an interview at the University, we can organise a virtual interview over the phone or online. If you have a portfolio of work to submit in support of your application, this can be sent to us electronically.

English language and maths requirement
Normally GCSE English language and maths at grade C, or 4 under the new grading system. Other equivalent qualifications may be considered.

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.

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through a portfolio or 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

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



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.

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 careers service help support you when 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 gain 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.

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


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


Other course routes

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


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: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W217 BA/GDwMFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

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Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


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