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If you are passionately creative, visually aware and dedicated to producing excellent Graphic Design, with or without Adobe and Macintosh, you should consider joining our award-winning BA(Hons) course. With a clear focus on Graphic Design we will provide you with the opportunity to generalise, or specialise, in all aspects of our subject to a level that suits your needs. You will be fully prepared for a career in one of the many creative industries that will value you and your skillset upon graduation. 

You’ll be taught by an established teaching team with many years’ experience in all aspects of Graphic Design and education. You’ll have access to robust industry and alumni links, guest lectures, the opportunity to work on live briefs from leading consultancies, the brightest and best student competitions, plus national and international field trips. We will enable you to graduate as a confident Graphic Designer with a creative portfolio that showcases your creativity and skills, empowering you to make a real impact on your chosen career. 

Northumbria University is ranked 10th in Design & Crafts in the UK (Guardian University League Tables 2020).

95% of students said that the course has provided them with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth (National Student Survey, 2018).

 

A Day in the Life of a Graphic Design Student from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

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
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

Graphic Design BA (Hons) / Digital Portfolio Guide

We are interested in what inspires you, who inspires you and how you communicate that enthusiasm through your statement and your work.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 eqiva

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 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

There are no Additional Costs

Fees, Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for information on all fees, scholarships and discounts

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* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

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

GD4007 -

BOOTCAMP 1: Think like a Graphic Designer (Core,40 Credits)

Through a series of short, fast-paced briefs you will be introduced to the intellectual fundamentals and creative processes involved within the practice of Graphic Design.

You will gain an understanding of the essential methods and processes that underpin the subject. The module gives you an introduction to the intellectual and creative philosophy of Graphic Design and fosters an understanding of the cognitive processes of visual problem solving and conceptual thinking required to be a Graphic Designer. This will be accomplished by your introduction to the various methods and approaches that can be employed as part of the design process. It will give you a greater understanding of the fundamentals of Graphic Design, including, amongst other things, the importance of typography, semiotics, layout, image curation, narrative and storytelling. These are all taught as a means of communication and as essential component in the subject of Graphic Design.

More information

GD4008 -

BOOTCAMP 2: Work like a Graphic Designer (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will build on the design thinking, skills and knowledge gained in ‘Bootcamp 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

GD4009 -

THE TOOLKIT: Being Prepared (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will have the opportunity to learn about the expressive and creative potential offered by graphic design technical processes and techniques. These will be further enhanced by induction sessions exploring a variety of Graphic Design technical processes in appropriate workshop environments.

You will be encouraged to recognise how learning through challenging Graphic Design technical processes in this module can underpin novel and experimental approaches to problem-based work throughout the Graphic Design programme.

More information

YB5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Design (Core – for International and EU students only,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

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

GD5012 -

DIFFERENTIATION: What makes you, you! (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the professional working environment and how to place yourself and promote yourself within it.

It will give you the opportunity to undertake the following:

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

This will enable you to develop a professional attitude to commercial viability, enhancing your opportunities for placement and employment.

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 your 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
You will learn how to design a finished portfolio, prepared and presented to a high standard. This process gives the you an opportunity to reflect upon what you have achieved so far on the course, assess their development, gain confidence in presenting your work visually and verbally, building on your strengths and addressing your weaknesses.

Self-promotional piece – You will be asked to consider your aspirations as Graphic Designers, research the professional environment and design a self-promotional piece which will showcase you and your work to an identified and relevant audience in a convincing and compelling way.

More information

GD5013 -

IMPLICATION: Can Graphic Design Saves Lives? (Core,40 Credits)

This module will enable you to focus on the positive social and cultural impacts of Graphic Design practice. The design solutions that practitioners create can help change lives, human behaviours, and culture within societies.

Graphic Designers have been at the forefront of facilitating modern societal change for over a 100-years across the world. In this module, you will build on this legacy by choosing from a set of briefs that cover design manifestos, ethical and sustainable design, designing for the third sector (charities and NGOs), etc. You will use your developing creative skills to impact positively on other people’s lives.

You will research your chosen sector and use the skills and knowledge acquired so far, along with your technical skills to design an appropriate, creative and meaningful solution.

More information

GD5014 -

IMPLEMENTATION: what can you accomplish? (Core,40 Credits)

This module builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired so far on the course and gives you the opportunity to consolidate your learning and explore the more specific areas of Graphic Design that interest you.

A number of briefs will be offered which accommodate opportunities to take a more specialist approach, or a more generalist approach to the subject area. This will be your first opportunity to tackle a substantial brief of this nature in a chosen area and will result in a significant project for your portfolio at the end of the year.

This project will also help you to reflect upon your progress so far, the aspects of Graphic Design that you have found most rewarding, most challenging and most enjoyable. This process will help you to set your trajectory through 3rd year, giving a focus to your journey through the course.

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

AT5004 -

Year in International Business (This is made up of 5 modules studied in Newcastle (Semester 1) & Amsterdam (Semester 2) (Optional,120 Credits)

This overarching module descriptor covers the Year in International Business which is made up of 5 modules which students study in Newcastle (semester 1) and Amsterdam (semester 2).

This additional year of studies has been designed to develop students’ business awareness and their soft skills through a semester of study in the UK followed by engagement in studying in Amsterdam and working on real business projects to further enhance and develop this knowledge, skills and attributes.

Semester 1 in the UK comprises three 20-credit modules aimed at students new to business and management, which also equips the students for a semester in Amsterdam, working in teams on a “real-world”, client facing project. Of the modules studies in Semester 1 provide students with the “soft”, “analytical” and “project management” skills necessary to embark on a “real-world” client-centred consultancy project in Semester 2. In Semester 2, students will work move to Amsterdam and study two modules on Northumbria licensed premises. The first module, Group Business Consultancy Project, is a Level 5 40 credit Consultancy Project providing a supported and challenging experience with real business supervised by Northumbria and possibly Dutch academics. The final module complements the development of business knowledge and application through a contextualised consideration of International Business. This will also add to the Business Consultancy experience, thereby guaranteeing a coherent business experience.

The modules are outlined below:

Semester 1
HR9505 Managing People at Work (20 credits)
SM9511 Global Business Environment (20 credits)
AF5022 Financial Decision Making (20 credits)

Semester 2
AT5000 Digital Business (20)
AT5001 Group Business Consultancy Project (40 credits)

In semester 1, students will learn in an environment aligned to that of business students on full time programmes. A mixture of large group and small group sessions will take place. In semester 2, in accordance with the experiential learning pedagogical approach in the Business Clinic operated at Newcastle Business School, the group consultancy work will involve students working in groups, facilitated by academics but also independently and amongst their peers in collaborative project work to provide real business consultancy. Assessment has been developed in accordance with Northumbria’s Assessment for Learning principles including a broad mix of assessment appropriate to the learning outcomes being assessed and with opportunities for formative feedback.

A student who passes all modules will, on successful completion of their undergraduate programme of study, have the title “(Year in International Business UK and Amsterdam)” added to their degree award title. Students who do not pass 120 credits will have those modules that have been completed recorded on their transcript.

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

GD6014 -

REALISATION: Industry Briefs (Core,40 Credits)

You will continue to develop and explore your knowledge and intellectual understanding of the creative process underpinning Graphic Design at an advanced level of study. The module fosters a deep understanding of the cognitive processes and visual problem solving required within the field of Graphic Design. This will be accomplished by your selection from a range of intellectually stimulating and suitably complex professional “live briefs” – projects set by industry partners, professional design educational bodies, or related organisations.

More information

GD6015 -

SUMMATION Final Major Project (Core,60 Credits)

This final module will be the culmination of your undergraduate studies and will give you the opportunity to showcase your abilities within your chosen area of Graphic Design.
The module provides you with the opportunity to plan, develop and produce a significant body of work over a whole semester. The module allows you to consolidate and utilise the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained throughout the course and provides you with a unique opportunity to create a highly developed, intellectually stimulating and fully resolved body of work that will be an important part of your portfolio and will help you ascertain your creative direction as you work towards your future career, or further study.
You will need to use your skills in organisation, management and communication alongside the technical, creative and conceptual skills you have gained throughout the course. Projects need to be resolved to the high conceptual and technical standards demanded by the profession.

Briefs can be from a range of sources including competition set briefs, industry set briefs, staff set briefs or self-initiated briefs which allow you to explore and develop your skills in a particular area of Graphic Design. All briefs proposed must reflect 600hrs of study and be approved by staff prior to the start of the project.

More information

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

GD4007 -

BOOTCAMP 1: Think like a Graphic Designer (Core,40 Credits)

Through a series of short, fast-paced briefs you will be introduced to the intellectual fundamentals and creative processes involved within the practice of Graphic Design.

You will gain an understanding of the essential methods and processes that underpin the subject. The module gives you an introduction to the intellectual and creative philosophy of Graphic Design and fosters an understanding of the cognitive processes of visual problem solving and conceptual thinking required to be a Graphic Designer. This will be accomplished by your introduction to the various methods and approaches that can be employed as part of the design process. It will give you a greater understanding of the fundamentals of Graphic Design, including, amongst other things, the importance of typography, semiotics, layout, image curation, narrative and storytelling. These are all taught as a means of communication and as essential component in the subject of Graphic Design.

More information

GD4008 -

BOOTCAMP 2: Work like a Graphic Designer (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will build on the design thinking, skills and knowledge gained in ‘Bootcamp 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

GD4009 -

THE TOOLKIT: Being Prepared (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will have the opportunity to learn about the expressive and creative potential offered by graphic design technical processes and techniques. These will be further enhanced by induction sessions exploring a variety of Graphic Design technical processes in appropriate workshop environments.

You will be encouraged to recognise how learning through challenging Graphic Design technical processes in this module can underpin novel and experimental approaches to problem-based work throughout the Graphic Design programme.

More information

YB5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Design (Core – for International and EU students only,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

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

GD5012 -

DIFFERENTIATION: What makes you, you! (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the professional working environment and how to place yourself and promote yourself within it.

It will give you the opportunity to undertake the following:

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

This will enable you to develop a professional attitude to commercial viability, enhancing your opportunities for placement and employment.

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 your 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
You will learn how to design a finished portfolio, prepared and presented to a high standard. This process gives the you an opportunity to reflect upon what you have achieved so far on the course, assess their development, gain confidence in presenting your work visually and verbally, building on your strengths and addressing your weaknesses.

Self-promotional piece – You will be asked to consider your aspirations as Graphic Designers, research the professional environment and design a self-promotional piece which will showcase you and your work to an identified and relevant audience in a convincing and compelling way.

More information

GD5013 -

IMPLICATION: Can Graphic Design Saves Lives? (Core,40 Credits)

This module will enable you to focus on the positive social and cultural impacts of Graphic Design practice. The design solutions that practitioners create can help change lives, human behaviours, and culture within societies.

Graphic Designers have been at the forefront of facilitating modern societal change for over a 100-years across the world. In this module, you will build on this legacy by choosing from a set of briefs that cover design manifestos, ethical and sustainable design, designing for the third sector (charities and NGOs), etc. You will use your developing creative skills to impact positively on other people’s lives.

You will research your chosen sector and use the skills and knowledge acquired so far, along with your technical skills to design an appropriate, creative and meaningful solution.

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GD5014 -

IMPLEMENTATION: what can you accomplish? (Core,40 Credits)

This module builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired so far on the course and gives you the opportunity to consolidate your learning and explore the more specific areas of Graphic Design that interest you.

A number of briefs will be offered which accommodate opportunities to take a more specialist approach, or a more generalist approach to the subject area. This will be your first opportunity to tackle a substantial brief of this nature in a chosen area and will result in a significant project for your portfolio at the end of the year.

This project will also help you to reflect upon your progress so far, the aspects of Graphic Design that you have found most rewarding, most challenging and most enjoyable. This process will help you to set your trajectory through 3rd year, giving a focus to your journey through the course.

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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.

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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.

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AT5004 -

Year in International Business (This is made up of 5 modules studied in Newcastle (Semester 1) & Amsterdam (Semester 2) (Optional,120 Credits)

This overarching module descriptor covers the Year in International Business which is made up of 5 modules which students study in Newcastle (semester 1) and Amsterdam (semester 2).

This additional year of studies has been designed to develop students’ business awareness and their soft skills through a semester of study in the UK followed by engagement in studying in Amsterdam and working on real business projects to further enhance and develop this knowledge, skills and attributes.

Semester 1 in the UK comprises three 20-credit modules aimed at students new to business and management, which also equips the students for a semester in Amsterdam, working in teams on a “real-world”, client facing project. Of the modules studies in Semester 1 provide students with the “soft”, “analytical” and “project management” skills necessary to embark on a “real-world” client-centred consultancy project in Semester 2. In Semester 2, students will work move to Amsterdam and study two modules on Northumbria licensed premises. The first module, Group Business Consultancy Project, is a Level 5 40 credit Consultancy Project providing a supported and challenging experience with real business supervised by Northumbria and possibly Dutch academics. The final module complements the development of business knowledge and application through a contextualised consideration of International Business. This will also add to the Business Consultancy experience, thereby guaranteeing a coherent business experience.

The modules are outlined below:

Semester 1
HR9505 Managing People at Work (20 credits)
SM9511 Global Business Environment (20 credits)
AF5022 Financial Decision Making (20 credits)

Semester 2
AT5000 Digital Business (20)
AT5001 Group Business Consultancy Project (40 credits)

In semester 1, students will learn in an environment aligned to that of business students on full time programmes. A mixture of large group and small group sessions will take place. In semester 2, in accordance with the experiential learning pedagogical approach in the Business Clinic operated at Newcastle Business School, the group consultancy work will involve students working in groups, facilitated by academics but also independently and amongst their peers in collaborative project work to provide real business consultancy. Assessment has been developed in accordance with Northumbria’s Assessment for Learning principles including a broad mix of assessment appropriate to the learning outcomes being assessed and with opportunities for formative feedback.

A student who passes all modules will, on successful completion of their undergraduate programme of study, have the title “(Year in International Business UK and Amsterdam)” added to their degree award title. Students who do not pass 120 credits will have those modules that have been completed recorded on their transcript.

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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.

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GD6014 -

REALISATION: Industry Briefs (Core,40 Credits)

You will continue to develop and explore your knowledge and intellectual understanding of the creative process underpinning Graphic Design at an advanced level of study. The module fosters a deep understanding of the cognitive processes and visual problem solving required within the field of Graphic Design. This will be accomplished by your selection from a range of intellectually stimulating and suitably complex professional “live briefs” – projects set by industry partners, professional design educational bodies, or related organisations.

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GD6015 -

SUMMATION Final Major Project (Core,60 Credits)

This final module will be the culmination of your undergraduate studies and will give you the opportunity to showcase your abilities within your chosen area of Graphic Design.
The module provides you with the opportunity to plan, develop and produce a significant body of work over a whole semester. The module allows you to consolidate and utilise the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained throughout the course and provides you with a unique opportunity to create a highly developed, intellectually stimulating and fully resolved body of work that will be an important part of your portfolio and will help you ascertain your creative direction as you work towards your future career, or further study.
You will need to use your skills in organisation, management and communication alongside the technical, creative and conceptual skills you have gained throughout the course. Projects need to be resolved to the high conceptual and technical standards demanded by the profession.

Briefs can be from a range of sources including competition set briefs, industry set briefs, staff set briefs or self-initiated briefs which allow you to explore and develop your skills in a particular area of Graphic Design. All briefs proposed must reflect 600hrs of study and be approved by staff prior to the start of the project.

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To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

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