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If you are creative, visually aware and dedicated to producing good design then take a look at our award-winning Graphic Design course, one of the few courses in the UK that gives you the opportunity to specialise in Branding, Typography and Editorial Design or Illustration, fully preparing you for a career in a graphic design studio or illustration.

93% of students say that staff are  enthusiastic about what they are teaching (National Student Survey, 2016)

Strong industry links, international field trips, guest lectures, and the opportunity to work on live briefs from some high profile global brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and The Cyrenians enables you to graduate as a confident designer with a strong portfolio, able to make an impact in the world of design.

Northumbria was ranked 16th in the Complete University Guide 2017 for Art and Design

If you are creative, visually aware and dedicated to producing good design then take a look at our award-winning Graphic Design course, one of the few courses in the UK that gives you the opportunity to specialise in Branding, Typography and Editorial Design or Illustration, fully preparing you for a career in a graphic design studio or illustration.

93% of students say that staff are  enthusiastic about what they are teaching (National Student Survey, 2016)

Strong industry links, international field trips, guest lectures, and the opportunity to work on live briefs from some high profile global brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and The Cyrenians enables you to graduate as a confident designer with a strong portfolio, able to make an impact in the world of design.

Northumbria was ranked 16th in the Complete University Guide 2017 for Art and Design

Course Information

UCAS Code
W210

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Northumbria School of Design

Location
Squires Building, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Department / Northumbria School of Design

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Collaborative Projects with Industry

We seek collaborative opportunities for students on all three years of our degree programme, and have an enviable list of recent collaborations with multi-award winning agencies both nationally and locally.

Our innovative team have extensive experience across the visual communications field. From practicing graphic designers working in award-winning design consultancies, to experience in publishing, illustration and animation, they have the relevant experience and industry know-how to equip you with the creative and practical skills needed to make an impact in your chosen profession.

The Graphic Design team have previously worked in other high profile higher education institutions and also on design projects for a range of household names such as Laura Ashley, The Science Museum in London, The National Railway Museum, Jasper Conran, Ideal Standard and Virgin Megastores.

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

You will learn through doing. This hands-on course is designed so that the way you work mirrors the practice of a graphic design studio, instilling in you the discipline of a professional designer from day one. By exploring and experimenting with theory, concept, ideas, and visual research you will become a confident and innovative practitioner.

You will work on ‘live briefs’ based on real-life scenarios, encouraged to use your creative and your problem solving skills to meet your ‘clients’ expectations. Studio-culture practices and workshop activities develop research methodologies and knowledge of industry-standard practice. You will have access to up-to-date equipment and support from dedicated technicians.

You will have the opportunity to work on your own portfolio during the course, graduating with a complete showcase of your abilities.

Staff / Meet the Team

When it comes to making sure you learn from the best, our Graphic Design staff are second to none.

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

You will be immersed in an environment focused on producing good design. Students come from around the world giving this course a diverse feel. Visiting professional graphic designers and illustrators often visit here to deliver guest lectures and workshops, giving examples of best practice and relating what you are studying to the real world. With visits to working design studios and a graphic design conference you will have the perfect opportunity to network with those in industry.

You will showcase your work in a final degree show based at Northumbria and have the chance to participate in the ‘D&AD Newblood’ graduate exhibition in London. Leading industry figures are invited to both shows giving you the chance to make vital contacts and raise your profile.

 

Design Facilities

Virtual Tour

Come and explore our outstanding facilities in this interactive virtual tour.

University Library

At the heart of each Northumbria campus, our libraries provide a range of study space and technology to suit every learning style.

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Research, and the development of concepts from research, is the fundamental core of the course.

You will benefit from research-orientated and research-based teaching, gaining an understanding of the knowledge production process, and relevant methods of enquiry used within graphic design. Staff use their own research to influence the curriculum and to ensure you are learning at the cutting-edge of the subject. Staff research interests include design principles, traditional craft and digital typographic practices, online resourcing, learning and teaching.

You will embed a research based approach into every project, demonstrating your ability for independent critical reflection, and self-directed enquiry. The degree culminates in a final show which showcases your levels of knowledge, understanding and experience.

 

Research / Northumbria School of Design

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

This course is specifically designed to make you as employable as possible. We have strong links with industry not only in the UK but throughout Europe and internationally. Not only is there the opportunity for you to study abroad or undertake a summer placement, you also have the chance to go on field trips to London, Amsterdam and Barcelona to experience the culture of some of Europe’s top design studios. Working on live project briefs from global brands and organisations such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Changing Lives gives you excellent practical experience and a vital head start with your portfolio.

This award-winning course has gained success in many Graphic Design awards, with 82  ‘Design and Art Director’s Awards’ (D&AD) in 22 years, including 36 of the highest award possible, a ‘yellow pencil’.

 

Student Life

A great social scene can be found at the heart of our campuses, featuring award-winning bars and a huge range of clubs and societies to join you'll be sure to meet people who share your enthusiasms.

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

The ability to specialise in Branding, Typography and Editorial Design or Illustration enables you to graduate from the course a confident designer with a strong focus. You will have substantial experience of working to brief, a strong portfolio, and be fully prepared for a career in a design studio, or illustration. You will have the skills to enter a wide variety of careers in the field including branding, publishing, digital media, in-house or freelance design, illustration, image-making, typography and editorial design.

We have an enviable reputation for producing graduates who go on to become leaders in their field in the UK and beyond. Many of our alumni are now working with high profile design consultancies including Apple, Browns, Wolff Olins, Landor, The Chase, Elmwood, Design Bridge, Fraser Muggeridge and Hallmark.

Book an Open Day / Experience Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Graphic Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Course in brief

Who would this Course suit?

If you are looking for a degree that not only gives you key design skills but is focused on making you as employable as possible, then this could be the one for you. You will get hand-on practical experience, working in a graphic design studio environment, and culminating in a graduate exhibition show in Newcastle and London.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

A portfolio of creative design work available for consideration at interview.

This portfolio containing examples of your work is to help us understand your creative experience and potential ability to undertake a degree in Design. It should evidence your interests in your creative specialism to date. It may include past and current school or college work, personal projects, work in progress and other work that you feel demonstrates your creative potential.

GCSE Requirements:

A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent.  If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a minimum grade 4.

UCAS Tariff Points:

128-136 UCAS Tariff points including one or more of the following:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level:

From at least 2 GCE/VCE A Levels

Edexcel/BTEC National Extended Diploma:

Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design/Art Design and Media
The Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design/Art Design and Media is also accepted in combination with other qualifications

Scottish Highers:

BBBBC - BBBBB at Higher level, BCC - BBB at Advanced Higher 

Irish Highers:

ABBBB  - AABBB

IB Diploma:
128-136 UCAS Tariff points including minimum score of 4 in at least three subjects at Higher level

Access to HE Diploma:
Award of full Access to HE Diploma including 27 credits at Distinction and 18 at Merit

Qualification combinations:

The University welcomes applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types - for example A level and a BTEC qualification in combination, and if you are made an offer you will be asked to achieve UCAS Tariff points from all of the qualifications you are studying at level 3.  Should the course you wish to study have a subject specific requirement then you must also meet this requirement, usually from GCE A level or eqivalent

Plus one of the following:

  • International/English Language Requirements:

    Applicants from the EU:

    Applicants from the EU are welcome to apply and if the qualification you are studying is not listed here then please contact the Admissions Team for advice or see our EU Applicants pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/european-union/eu-applications/

    International Qualifications:

    If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

    English Language Requirements:

    International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

UK/EU Fee in Year 1**: £9,250

International Fee in Year 1: £15,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Throughout your course you may wish to purchase general materials including; Layout pads, Rotring Fine-liner pens, inks, brushes, Staedtler erasers, gouache/acrylic paint, Scalpel knives, drawing pads and charcoal etc. You will need to purchase a Black A2 Portfolio to present your work in, the cost of which is approx £30. There are a number of optional field trips that you may wish to participate in; the cost of these can range from £200-£500. You may also wish to purchase a laptop and external hard drive; these can range in price up to approximately £2,000. You may also wish to purchase Adobe Software Creative Suite, an approximate cost would be £195 in the first year and £300 per year thereafter.

FUNDING INFORMATION

Click here for UK and EU undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU undergraduate tuition fee information**.

Click here for International undergraduate tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.

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Modules Overview

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AH4010 -

Cultural History for Graphic Designers (Core, 20 Credits)

This level 4 module examines historical influences on graphic design within a global context and is designed to develop your knowledge of graphic design history, expanding your visual vocabulary as a designer, enabling you to take inspiration from the design of the past and locate your practice within the wider context of graphic design. You will first be introduced to historical questions concerning the development of graphic design. Topics include the historical development of visual messages, mark-making, alphabets and manuscripts; technological advances in print and type and the development of a new profession of Graphic Design. You will then explore graphic design through a survey of historical styles in relation to social and artistic context. The seminar sessions will allow you to research and discuss case studies relating to the lecture programme and develop skills enabling critical analysis of typography and images. You will develop skills of Visual Analysis, looking closely at images and putting your observations into words, and develop skills for writing academically about visual topics.

More information

GD4001 -

Design Thinking, Discourse and Skills (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn some of the basic skills, practices and theories that underpin principles of Graphic Design. Through the practical application of experiential learning you will develop skills in design thinking that will enable you to analyse design problems, generate ideas and synthesis solutions. You will learn to conduct research, generate ideas and concepts, select optimum approaches, tools and techniques, and develop your own approach to realizing your designs.

More information

GD4002 -

Introduction to Visual Language and Communication (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn some of the basic principles that underpin visual communication, visual language, image crafting, semiotics and conceptual thinking. Through the practical application of experiential learning you will develop skills in conducting primary and secondary research, generating ideas and concepts, selecting optimum approaches, tools and techniques, and developing your own approach to realizing your designs.

More information

GD4003 -

Experimental Processes for Graphic Design (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn about the expressive and creative potential offered by traditional, contemporary and emerging media, processes and techniques, such as freehand drawing, digital media, and printmaking. You will be encouraged to recognise how learning through experimentation in this module can underpin novel and experimental approaches to problem-based work being done in other modules that run concurrently with this one.

More information

GD4004 -

Narrative and Identity (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will introduced to how story, narrative and identity are used in graphic design in order to communicate with an audience. You will learn how to use communication strategies to reach audiences and how to bring graphic, typographic and pictorial elements together in the development of a campaign.

You will also have the opportunity to explore and develop personal approaches that will lead to consolidation of interests as well as specialization of design skills and techniques.

More information

GD4005 -

Graphic Design Practice and Personal Development (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will build on the design thinking, skills and knowledge gained in semester one by engaging with approaches to identifying design problems and by further developing your ability to respond to them creatively. You will develop the verbal and visual communication skills needed to present your work and collaborate effectively through presentations and group work. You will also continue developing the appropriate research skills for both practical design work and continuing academic study.

More information

YB5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Design (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5007 -

Design Study Abroad (60 credit) (Optional, 60 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 60 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

More information

AH5010 -

Cultural Theory for Graphic Designers (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will be introduced to key themes and issues in Graphic Design. Through a dedicated lecture programme, you will examine the ways in which Graphic Design constantly changes, to both reflect and inform its wider cultural, social, economic and theoretical context. Supporting seminars explore the meanings, values and ethics of graphic design through the analysis of case studies of current practice in areas relevant to the students' individual programme pathways: Branding, Typography and Image-Making. In doing so it enhances your understanding of the theoretical questions which were introduced at level 4, and delivers key learning outcomes of: broadening and deepening students' appreciation of issues, concepts and theories in graphic design; enabling you to identify and evaluate relevant information within both delivered content and independent study; facilitating your development of independent study skills; and developing appropriate skills of academic presentation and the communication of ideas. Through developing analytical, critical, and theoretical skills, this module will enhance your studio practice and help prepare you for the extended individual research project at level 6.

More information

GD5001 -

Brand Synthesis & Realisation in Graphic Design (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will be introduced to the guiding principles of Branding in Graphic Design and explore how these can aid an organisation with external and internal image and message projection. The module will give you an authentic experience, mirroring industry practice and intellectual processes.

The module will include visits to/from professional companies and/or individuals to introduce you to the experience of the professional working environment and hear from and engage with practitioners first hand.

There will be introductions to the intellectual principles of we call brand filters, these include:
• visual drivers
• brand values
• mission statements, manifesto’s, straplines and creative writing
• brandscapes,
• brand lens
• USP
• Brand Truth
As well as practical theories for the creative expression of brand development, including:
• counterform and letterform
• ground figure theory
• Creating logotypes
• Linguistics/idioms and wit

You will also practically explore and demonstrate how these tools can aid the creative and intellectual processes of the Graphic Designer working in the specialism of branding.

More information

GD5002 -

Collaboration & Professional Engagement in Graphic Design (Brand) (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module introduces the students to the professional working environment, collaborative working and forming partnerships with industry and/or client organisations, with a focus on the importance of considering social issues.

It will also give the students the opportunity to undertake the following:

CV preparation
Students will complete an assignment and attend supporting seminars which are designed to equip them with the ability to identify employers, create CVs and appropriate modes of communication, and participate in interviews.

This will enable them to develop a professional attitude to commercial viability, enhancing the student’s opportunities for employment.

Studio visits
Visits to graphic design studios will provide students with first hand experience of the professional context in which their academic studies can be applied. This will enable students to see their academic studies in the context of a related professional placement.

Attend lectures by professional practice speakers
Visiting speakers from related industries will help create a critical awareness of the design related industries, an understanding of responsible design and/or professional practice, as well as developing the student's awareness of employment opportunities within the design profession.

Speakers will also reinforce the various opportunities that professional studios offer to graduates as well as an awareness of the professional and ethical responsibilities of the designer/illustrator.

Portfolio preparation
Students will complete a finished portfolio, prepared and presented to a high standard. This process gives the students an opportunity to reflect upon what they have achieved during the year, how to present their work visually and verbally, giving them an opportunity to confidently participate in interviews in order to acquire a professional placement

Placement preparation - the module will equip the students with the necessary tools and skills to apply for placements and work experience opportunities.

More information

GD5003 -

Brand Articulation in Graphic Design (Optional, 40 Credits)

This module will allow you to engage with the tactile environment that utilises branding to communicate a message. The module sets out to establish ground rules opportunities and considerations in developing a consistent Brand message along multifaceted routes and touch-points. These areas are tested, explored and consolidated by way of a blend of lectures, workshops, seminar group discussions and tutorials.

You will explore key strategies of branding, such as;
• Touch-points
• Brand perception
• Point-of-sale
• Brand extension
• Ambient media
• Audience engagement
• Brand campaigns

as well as developing skills in visualising complex design solutions including;
• 3D prototyping
• 2D prototyping (digital)
• Using the laser-cutter
• Form and ergonomics

More information

GD5004 -

Interpretation and Contextualisation (Optional, 40 Credits)

This module introduces you to editorial illustration in response to given texts and to a combination of type and image through the interpretation of a given theme. This may be historical, political, commemorative, or theatrical. It is designed to facilitate individual development and encourage research, experimentation, project development and creative conceptual responses. You will learn how to consider images in the context of the prose or article and you will be encouraged to develop individual interpretations of the subject matter which will be original in content and contextualised to the subjects and ideas expressed in the texts.

More information

GD5005 -

Experimental Process & Professional Practice (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module aims to promote experimental approaches to process and enable stronger understanding of design and professional practice in the areas of illustration and Photography within Graphic Design.

Practical workshops will encourage experimental Image making by improving your drawing and observational skills, mark making and introduce you to a range of printmaking and photographic processes.

Students will be encouraged to challenge their definitions of drawing, illustration and photography through hands on workshops developing creative vocabulary, with emphasis on risk taking and exploration of process.
This will be linked to a programme of study that develops student awareness of the professional working process and practice of Illustrators and Photographers through a series of lectures and practical projects.

Students will learn about the importance of building a personal portfolio of work and using self promotion methods within the freelance environment and how to introduce themselves to industry.

More information

GD5006 -

Narrative and Social Commentary (Optional, 40 Credits)

This module aims to develop your understanding of sequential and narrative illustration whilst building on social and political awareness and application. It will reinforce and extend previously introduced visual skills, principles and practices. You will have an introduction of the practical and conceptual approaches to visual research, strategies for content development, evaluation methods and project management skills will underpin a practical investigation of visual narrative and sequential imagery.

You will be encouraged to research narrative structures, which use multiple and sequential imagery, within contemporary visual media, including film, digital media, graphic design, illustration and photography. The module will develop and expand creative practice through a project, which demands conceptual thinking, experimental working processes and which, demonstrates a clear understanding of social commentary.

This module encourages you to look critically at the role of storytelling within the practice of illustration. In particular the relationship between narrative, and sequential thinking. The module allows you to further develop your individual practice.
Teaching will be an amalgamation of contextualised lectures, practical workshops, group seminar critiques and individual guidance.

More information

GD5007 -

Letterpress & Digital Typography: Practice & Concepts (Optional, 40 Credits)

This module enables you to build on Level 4 knowledge to develop your sensitivity towards a balanced application of text, layout, grid structure and composition. You will be encouraged to challenge your ideas and existing understanding of graphic design through applied typography in a series of letterpress workshops and associated practical tasks to develop your own personal typographic language. Typographic terminology, anatomy, history and culture will be explored to deepen your subject knowledge and understanding.

The module aims to encourage experimentation through craft-based typography by improving students’ technical, observational and conceptual skills.

The module develops and expands creative practice in order to broaden your abilities to answer contemporary typographic problems through the use of traditional and digital physical typographic tools and materials.

This module strengthens your understanding of the range of components in information design and makes explicit the connection between analogue typographic practice, knowledge and skills in the digital domain.

More information

GD5008 -

Professional Practice & Personal Development (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will develop and implement an appropriate personal self-promotion strategy to assist you into the work environment of professional graphic design practice.

You will identify your personal aspirations, career paths to employability and, relevant organisations within the creative industries.

Develop appropriate techniques to create a professional CV, covering letter, physical and digital portfolio in preparation for work-place application and interview.

Grow and strengthen your ability to produce an appropriate and focused body of self-promotion work.

More information

GD5009 -

Typography For Editorial Design - Processes & Evaluation (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will undertake a project focused primarily on editorial design specifically building on knowledge acquired in GD0500. The Module encourages you to further develop your typographic skills, copywriting experience and specialist knowledge in the subject area, specifically: concepts, narrative, multi-page text and image layouts, grid structure and composition, when applied to editorial design. You will be encouraged to refine your typographic practice while further developing your written and communication skills in Graphic Design, including Illustration, where appropriate in answer to the set brief.

In addition to demonstrating advanced typographic competencies in Graphic Design, you will be working from a project brief which is specifically written by staff reflecting their research specialisms. This will encourage you to investigate broadly and think deeply about your chosen direction while working towards a solution and typographic interpretation that demonstrates high levels of creative thinking and copywriting. You will utilise aesthetic judgment to select the most appropriate solutions that will be realised using a high degree of craft skill.

The module encourages students to experiment with typography, copywriting and illustration through increasingly sophisticated technical, observational and critical evaluation of the concept and ideation process.

More information

YB5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Design (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5005 -

Design Work Placement Year (Optional, 120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5006 -

Design Study Abroad Year (Optional, 120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AH6006 -

Design Dissertation (Core, 20 Credits)

The 20 credit Design Dissertation at level 6 is the culmination of your development as an independent and critical learner through research writing and thinking about a topic that you devise yourself in consultation with your tutors. You will build upon the Design Dissertation Proposal you wrote in level 5 through research and writing a 6,000 word essay on a subject related to your design specialism or any other aspect of visual culture in the broad sense that you wish to explore. The Design Dissertation is an opportunity for you to demonstrate not only your knowledge of a particular design subject in which you are interested or relates directly to your practice, but also your skills in writing, researching and organising material, working independently and using enhanced analytical and interpretative skills in presenting an argued case in written form: all skills which will benefit you in your professional life.

More information

GD6001 -

Experiential and Collaborative Branding in Graphic Design (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will explore and develop an advanced knowledge and intellectual understanding of Branding for environmental and experiential applications, exploring customer journey, touch points and way-finding. You will further develop team-working skills, through on-going negotiation, coordination, task management and collaboration.

This module will also include intellectually stimulating and complex professional ‘live briefs’ - projects set by industry professionals, professional bodies,
or related organisations.

The module will include visits to/from professional companies/organisations and/or individuals to introduce you to the experience of the professional working environment and hear from and engage with practitioners first hand.

More information

GD6002 -

Final Major Project in Graphic Design (Branding) (Optional, 40 Credits)

The module will be a culmination of all the creative and intellectual strategies you have developed on the pathway so far and should encourage a greater level of autonomous study, cumulative knowledge progression and an advanced intellectual understanding of Branding.

To allow you to develop an intellectually stimulating and complex project.
This can be either the development of an industry set brief or a self initiated one that allows you to explore a particular interest in the area of Graphic Design (Branding). All briefs proposed must reflect 400hrs of study and be approved by pathway staff prior to the start of the project.

More information

GD6003 -

Collaborative Branding in Graphic Design (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module will enable you to explore, develop and demonstrate an advanced knowledge of Branding processes. It will give you the opportunity to engage with intellectually stimulating and complex professional ‘live briefs’ - projects set by industry professionals, professional bodies, or related organisations. These briefs will cover a range of areas within Graphic Design, and Branding specifically, giving you the opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills you have developed.

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GD6004 -

Collaborative Illustration (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will learn to explore the illustrators role as collaborator within a graphic design context.
It covers both the challenges of team work in either pairs or collectives towards a common creative solution while also engaging you as individuals in the collaborative contexts posed by professional briefs.


You will build on conceptual, narrative and social commentary skills at an advanced level and apply these to execute highly crafted original images in an appropriate context. An advanced level of research and development will be undertaken in response to concepts, and visual interpretations of themes and texts to initiate innovative and experimental solutions.

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GD6005 -

Self Initiated Final Project (Optional, 40 Credits)

For ‘Self-initiated Final Project’ you will create an investigation into a topic or a professional area of interest to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of the discipline of illustration and/or photography within Graphic Design
You will articulate and formulate your own self-identified brief to pursue based on your research interests and career path focus.

The final work should aspire to deliver a compelling and highly innovative outcome to a chosen target audience, supported by a significant body of in depth visual research amounting to 400hrs of study
Students are encouraged to think independently and critically while creating their own time management strategies.

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GD6006 -

Contemporary Application for Illustration (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module focuses you on contemporary creative practice in professional contexts, with scope for diverse applications. You will respond to selected national and/or international competition briefs, and/or other appropriate thematic contexts related to current commissioning practice. This bridges the gap between education and professional Illustration, photography, graphic design and other related communications industries. It encourages you to make innovative visual responses to a wide range of options at an advanced level of study, giving you further opportunity to progress the building of your individual portfolio. Your creative solutions will reflect current professional disciplines, and will display a strong understanding of problem solving for contextualised work, and your awareness of changing technology, contemporary trends and cross-cultural influences.

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GD6007 -

Final Major Project for Typography & Editorial Design (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will build on and consolidate the learning, practical and conceptual skills acquired on the Graphic Design course to date. You will further develop ideation through a tried and tested exploratory process. You will self-evaluate and demonstrate professional readiness through problem-solving within the context of enhanced typographic practice for graphic design.

You will demonstrate a significant level of understanding and interpretation of written text through the use of previously mastered typographic techniques and materials in order to communicate its meaning and aesthetic values.

This module will enable you to skilfully use and select from the full range of available technologies, tools, and materials associated with the subject of typographic practice for Graphic Design.

You will demonstrate an explicit and holistic understanding of typographic theory and practice, techniques, processes and materials connecting the analogue and digital domain.

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GD6008 -

Professional Associations for Typography (Optional, 40 Credits)

You will attempt to acquire professional accreditation of the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) by undertaking one of a range of professional “live” briefs, set by either ISTD themselves or industry partners affiliated to their aims and goals, designed to test and recognise advanced student typographic competencies in Graphic Design project work.

You will clearly strive to demonstrate typographic excellence during this Module. Selecting from a range of intellectually stimulating, creatively challenging and expansive project briefs that have been are written to encourage students to investigate broadly and think deeply about their chosen direction, while working towards a solution and typographic interpretation demonstrating advanced skill as a marker for success and professional recognition in the global ISTD Assessment Scheme.

You will utilise aesthetic judgment to select and creatively write copy for the most appropriate solutions that will be realised using a professional degree of craft skill.

The Module requires you to demonstrate advanced skills in typography, in addition to excellent written and visual content creation for Graphic Design, using sophisticated technical, observational and critical evaluation of the concept and ideation process.

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GD6009 -

Collaborative Publishing (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will undertake a collaborative project developed to promote an understanding of the intricacies of team-working for a concept-driven, intellectually stimulating, complex limited-edition publication/artefact. You will refine your written material through advanced, research-led, copywriting skills. You will build on previously acquired typographic skills and specialist knowledge in your subject area, specifically: concepts, narrative, art direction, multi-page text and image layouts, grid structure and composition, when applied to advanced publication design. You will be encouraged to refine your typographic practice while further developing communication skills in Graphic Design, including Illustration, where appropriate to the brief.

In addition to demonstrating advanced typographic competencies in Graphic Design and proficient copy-writing skills, you will be working from a project brief specifically written by staff to reflect their professional and research specialisms. This will encourage you to investigate broadly and think deeply about your chosen direction while working towards a professionally designed creative solution that demonstrates advanced levels of creative thinking and copy-writing. You will utilise aesthetic judgment to select the most appropriate solutions that will be realised using a high degree of craft skill.

The Module requires you to demonstrate high levels of mastery with typography and Graphic Design through sophisticated technical, observational and critical evaluation of the concept and ideation process.

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YB5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Design (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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