Visual Communication student drawing on a tablet

Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online)

Get ahead in the vibrant, ever-evolving field of visual communications.

Key details
Location
Online
Course duration
2 years / 3 years
Attendance
Full-time / Part-time
UCAS code
W2OA (full-time)

Course overview

Drawing on Falmouth’s acclaimed Graphic Design, Photography and Illustration courses, this Visual Communication degree will give you the practical skills and critical understanding to become an original practitioner across a range of platforms and sectors. You’ll learn to create impactful visual content with the power to shift mindsets and inspire action.

You’ll learn from practising creatives and gain the latest industry insights through guest lectures and industry briefs, working with tutors and students from across the globe to build your networks and connections.

You will:

  • Learn from a broad range of creatives and industry professionals, including multidisciplinary designers, illustrators, animators and photographers – direct from their studios to yours

  • Define your passions, skills and ambitions to help locate your practice and build a sustainable and dynamic creative career

  • Build essential networking connections with guest lecturers and industry partners

  • Hone your craft and develop your skills to industry standards

  • Develop your complex problem-solving and ideation skills to enable you to experiment, take risks and produce innovative visual solutions to briefs and weekly tasks

  • Underpin your creative practice with a solid understanding of visual communication techniques and contextual awareness

Course details

BA(Hons) Visual Communication (Online) course video

On this accelerated online Visual Communication degree, you’ll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over two years full-time or three years part-time.

You'll have the opportunity to develop skills in graphic design, photography, video, illustration and animation to create innovative visual content for a range of platforms.

You'll graduate from this Visual Communication course with a varied professional portfolio of creative work and a keen sense of entrepreneurship - developed through live briefs and our guest lecture series.

Through practical work and critical investigations, you'll be encouraged to experiment with and disrupt visual practices and processes. Working within an immersive community culture, you'll develop your understanding of audience, explore all areas of the creative process and learn core visual language skills, including type & image, storytelling, craft and production.

As you work on live briefs, you'll be introduced to branding, consumer culture, typography and information hierarchy, the ethics and responsibility of creative practice, design for society and the importance of collaborative practice. You'll also gain an understanding of the history and theories of visual communications.

Modules

Play

This module aims to orientate learning, build organisational skills and develop an understanding of the elemental principles of visual communication through the application of a range of processes, building technical competence and analytical skills.

Industry

This professional practice module introduces you to the creative industries and asks you to begin to identify where your own practice might situate itself.

Relay

Develop industry skills in collaboration and refine your professional communication skills to enable you to work efficiently together to produce outcomes.

Form

This workshop-based practice module develops your specialist craft skills and refines your use of materials, process and techniques.
 

You'll work on a range of projects to challenge your emerging fields. Throughout these projects you'll hone your core skills, reflect critically on your strengths and explore alternative models of practise to help define your design future beyond the Visual Communication course. Undertaking self-selected briefs, technical learning activities and presentations, as well as collaborative exercises and independent research, you'll continue to strengthen and provoke speculative, experimental and industry process models.

Modules

Shape

Develop your ability to shape your ideas, and your outcomes, to find sustainable solutions for the specific needs of your intended audience.

Find

Work collaboratively to develop your use of a range of research methods to underpin the conceptual development of projects and find solutions to complex problems.

Break

This self-directed practice module aims to develop your ability to generate innovative visual communication strategies, underpinned by the development of your critical analytical skills.

Share

Develop collaborative industry-focussed ways of working to generate complex and ambitious creative projects.

Finally, you'll refine the detail and depth of existing projects, or work on new initiatives to cement your final visual communications identity, so you're ready to head into industry or go to further study. You will underpin your final portfolio through undertaking a reflective research project and exploring alternative models of practice to give you the essential skills you need for a successful career in the creative industries.

Modules

Jump

Evolve and refine a specialist body of creative practice and identify a future career pathway in the creative industries. It is the first stage in portfolio development that will build towards your professional identity and practice for when you graduate.

Sprint

This entrepreneurial module aims to situate your practice within industry and prepare you with the business skills you need for a successful career in the creative industries.

Launch

Develop an innovative final portfolio that demonstrates a high level of professionalism and industry level finish appropriate for your career ambition.

Reach

This module asks you to contextualise your practice and identify future audiences for your work.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online) first-year student work

Work by Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online) first-year students

Resources & support

An online student on their laptop
Is online study for me banner

Is Online Study for Me?

The creative culture at our core is not confined to our Cornwall campuses; with our online degrees, ...

Is Online Study for Me?
Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Online Learning Support

You'll have access to a range of support throughout your studies with us to help you thrive and deve...

Online Learning Support
Graphic Design group of students around table
Graphic Design group of students around table

Online Learning Community

Discover learning support services available to online students. 

Online Learning Community
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Interior Design online 2024

Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

See how you can support a student considering an online degree at Falmouth.  

Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

Resources and Support

  • Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Accessible online audio / visual content
  • A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
  • Access to our Employability Service
  • 24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
  • Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
  • Students' Union community
  • Optional face-to-face events
  • Invitation to attend alumni events

Although online students don't have access to on-campus facilities as part of the course, you can hire equipment and access facilities by paying a charge. Find out more about availability and prices here.

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UG14 Cover: Rosa Dodd Illustration

How you'll learn & be assessed

How online study works

This practice-based Visual Communication degree is underpinned by creative and technical tuition. We offer a truly multidisciplinary syllabus designed to meet the demands of visual communication within the creative industry.

What will my study hours be?

Depending on your choice of full-time or part-time study, you'll spend between 27-50 hours a week developing dynamic creative processes and contextual understanding. You'll be taught in online lectures, webinars, forums and design activities by staff with a wide range of industry experience, while developing your own direction and specialisms.

What does accelerated study mean?

An accelerated degree condenses your degree modules into two years on the full-time route, or three years on the part-time route. This means you'll be working across three study blocks per year, instead of two, including through the summer. Typically, there is a break of around two weeks between submitting your final assignment for each module and the start of the next study block. You will also get breaks on public holidays, for around two weeks at Easter and for around three weeks in December.

The BA(Hons) Visual Communication degree employs a variety of assessment strategies over the course of the year. These include the submission of portfolios of practical work, presentations, verbal reports and a major practice project.

Your summative (final) assessments occur at the end of each module, usually at the end of the study block. You may also have interim formative assessments part way through a module as well. These assessments help ensure that you remain on track with your work.

You will receive continuous written and/or verbal feedback on all your work throughout the year. At the end of the module you will receive detailed feedback in written form.

You'll be able to check in with your online tutor to discuss your progress and ask any questions you have about your course. 

Find out more about learning online

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Finding purpose and direction through online study


Be inspired by Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online) student Alan as he shares his creative work and tells us how studying online has opened up new doors for him. 

Watch the video

Staff

Our staff team is made up of experienced academics and subject experts. We pride ourselves on our global community of innovative graphic design, illustration, and photography professionals at the forefront of creative production. This connectivity provides essential networking opportunities for our students and graduates and helps inform and shape our future-focussed curriculum.

Sarah Langford

Course Leader, Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online)

Multidisciplinary Graphic Artist and Course Leader for BA(Hons) Visual Communication (Online) Sarah ...

Sarah Langford

Alexandra Lethbridge

Module Leader, Visual Communication BA(Hons) (Online)

Alexandra Lethbridge is a conceptual artist working with photography and installation. Her practice ...

Alexandra Lethbridge

Lily Hayes

Online Tutor, Visual Communication BA(Hons) (online)

A multi-disciplinary designer and musician, Lily's work centres around the relationships between typ...

Lily Hayes

Grace Lister

Online Tutor, Visual Communication BA (Hons) (online)

Grace Lister is a multidisciplinary designer and educator. Grace works as creative producer and desi...

Grace Lister

Claire Scully

Online Tutor, Visual Communication BA(Hons) (online)

Claire Scully is a multi-disciplinary professional Illustrator, author and educator specialising in ...

Claire Scully
Headshot of Eliza Hatch

Eliza Hatch

Online Tutor, Visual Communication BA(Hons) (online)

Eliza is a photographer, facilitator, speaker and gender rights activist. After graduating from The ...

Eliza Hatch

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Careers

As a Visual Communication graduate, you could have a career as:

  • A graphic designer, photographer, animator or illustrator

  • A multidisciplinary creative

  • A filmmaker, director or content producer

  • A communications strategist or brand manager

  • An art director or advertising creative

How to apply

Apply 

You have the option to apply via Clearing or directly with us, depending on your education and experience. Find out more about ways to apply. 

Ready to join us? Find out what course routes are available here.

 

Course route Course start Apply now
Full-time

September 2023

Apply via Clearing

Part-time September 2023 Apply now
     

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an online interview to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you've specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.

Applying with UCAS points

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

Applying without UCAS points

We'll welcome your application if you have formal or 'certified' learning (such as training courses not run by universities or colleges) and learning from work experience or self-study. This is called Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), and should have been gained within the last five years, and be equivalent to the learning outcomes of our minimum entry qualifications. Find out more about APL.

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

Applications for these courses remain open whilst there are spaces available. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

The academic start date is 18 September 2023.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£10,400 per year 2 years accelerated full-time
£6,935 per year 3 years accelerated part-time
Annual tuition fee Student
£10,400 per year 2 years accelerated full-time
£6,935 per year 3 years accelerated part-time

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

What funding can I get?

Funding for online study is different to on-campus study. You'll find information about both tuition fees and how you can fund your online study on this page.

Explore funding options
Two female Falmouth University students sat at a table with open books

Typical course costs

You will need to purchase a laptop/desktop computer. It is an essential piece of equipment that you will need right from the start of the course. Our students use both PCs and Macs.

When considering your purchase of a laptop, the most important things to look out for is the CPU/RAM/graphics card, as we use software that needs a large amount of power. We recommend one with as fast a processor as you can afford (8GB of RAM minimum) and a reasonably sized screen (13" minimum, 15" is optimum), plus the following absolute bare minimum computer specifications:

Windows:

  • Windows 10
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram 
  • Graphics Card (nVidia 1080 minimum, not Intel Iris integrated graphics) with at least 2GB 
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum 
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons

Apple Macbook Pro:

  • Mac OS 10.15 or newer
  • At least an i7 processor
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram 
  • Graphics Card
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum 
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this)
  • Mouse with a scroll wheel and two buttons
  • A dongle to plug things into the laptop is also required for all modern apple laptops

In general, it is cheaper and more cost effective to buy a Windows Laptop. A good spec Windows machine can be sourced from places such as Dell or PC World. Windows laptops do tend to be heavy for carrying about though. A good rule of thumb is if your laptop is capable of running a modern 3D computer game then it should generally be suitable for the kind of graphical work you will doing.

Anything in the MacBook Pro range will be suitable for your work and light to carry around. A USB dongle is a wise purchase with an Apple laptop as you can then plug in mice, keyboards, usb sticks, digital projectors etc. Avoid the MacBook and MacBook Air as they are small and underpowered for the work you will be doing.

Recurring annual costs

£100-£200 - Studio kit (outlined in your Welcome Letter)

Recurring annual costs

£100-£200 - recommended reading throughout your course including books and publications.

Face-to-face events (optional)

£100-£400 - As an online student you will be given the opportunity to attend up to two events per academic year to meet your classmates and tutors in person. Dates and location of the events will vary.  

Study trips (optional)

£100-£400 - for optional study trips which will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Other digital equipment/software:

  • 16 -32 GB memory stick so you can back up your work regularly (approx. £10-20)
  • Wireless or Bluetooth mouse (approx. £15)

Adobe Creative Cloud

You will need access to Adobe Creative Cloud. You may be eligible for discounted licenses through Adobe's education pricing and Falmouth University seeks to provide further discounts when possible. If any discounts are available, we will communicate these to you.

For more information please visit Adobe Creative Cloud.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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Virtual Open Days & events

Head to our Open Days & events page to see upcoming virtual Open Days and online events covering everything from student funding to application advice.

Find an event
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