Graphic Design BA(Hons)
Launch your career in design and the wider creative economy by becoming an adept visual communicator.
On this Graphic Design degree, you’ll explore process, narrative, typography, branding and collaboration as you learn how to respond to project briefs. You'll learn to solve problems with focused and original thinking, communicating visually across print and digital platforms.
Expert graphic design tutors and professional networks will help you to rigorously build and define your design voice in preparation for the industry or postgraduate study.
- Have the chance to enter creative competitions and visit London studios, such as brand design studios Turner Duckworth and Wiedemann Lampe and global independent design consultancy Pentagram – one of the world’s largest independent design consultancies
- Enjoy optional travel to cities abroad to gain global perspectives on the subject
- Work on graphic design briefs created with, and supported by, industry practitioners to build your own network
- Have the chance to enter creative competitions such as D&AD, ISTD and the Creative Conscience Awards
- Create an industry-standard portfolio in your final year as a catalyst for your career
On this Graphic Design degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Graphic Design BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year and/or a placement year.
With design process and problem-solving at its heart, this Graphic Design degree explores how creative and meaningful ideas can be made. You'll study the historical, social and cultural issues connecting theory and practice, and gain real-world skills from live briefs and workshops with leading graphic designers.
By taking on practical and critical work, you'll explore and experiment with new processes and practices in graphic design. Working together in our immersive studio culture, we'll study things like generating ideas, the history of design, and the latest industry innovations.
This module introduces a key component of a graphic designer's education: a practical understanding of 'design process'. You will initially explore 'process' as a linear set of guidelines or 'signposts' along a creative journey, directing you towards the next key step. You'll consider the importance of each 'signpost', understanding how it helps to externalise and develop your thinking. As part of the design process, you'll embrace key skills such as drawing and mark-making, research, lateral thinking and creative breadth, and how managing time effectively can enable a more reflective and productive learning style. Through presentations, workshops and studio briefs, you'll be encouraged to wrestle with the underlying principles that govern, shape and motivate the creative process of idea generation and development.
A Word in your Eye
Through a series of practical and theoretical assignments, you'll be introduced to the fundamental principles of visual language and the powerful role it plays in communication design, understanding the notion that all materials and artefacts carry meaning and value within the context of communication.
You will experiment with the basic elements of design, practice and process in order to understand and evaluate their function in the exploration of ideas and the delivery of messages.
During this module, you'll experiment with 'graphic' interpretations of a personally authored piece of content, informed by play, research and idea development within and beyond graphic design. These interdisciplinary themes and principles will encourage you to explore more diverse and experimental approaches to storytelling (including montage theory, juxtaposition, and narrative arcs) and to move beyond the conventions of the subject. You'll consider how a sequenced combination of text, image and compositional structure within any given narrative can determine the engagement with, and comprehension of, a predetermined story or message. Presentations and workshops, together with studio briefs, will be supported by learning teams and individual tutorials.
Difference & Identity
Graphic design cannot live in a vacuum. Although many visual techniques and craft skills can be rehearsed within an academic enquiry, ultimately graphic design provides a service in a predominantly commercial world, where its success is evaluated against defined needs and expectations. Whether these needs are to stimulate the desire to buy, communicate life-changing messages or political ideologies, send us the right way, distinguish one thing from another, or just help us to know more, we (as individuals) are not always the primary recipients of these messages. This module explores the relationships between the stakeholders in a communication process, promoting discourse around the notion of 'others' and 'difference'.
Focusing on real-world, industry-facing projects, we'll encourage you to challenge convention and produce daring, original work. We'll study areas like information hierarchy, ethics and design for society, while continuing to build your core skills in graphic design. You'll also go on study trips – usually to London or Amsterdam – to learn from designer-led workshops and visit studios like Pentagram, GBH, Fitch, Mother and Trapped in Suburbia.
This module focuses on brand creation and contemporary communication strategies within our consumer society. It will develop theoretical discourses around the motivational triggers to purchase and consume (desire versus need), relationships between persuasion and empowerment, tensions between consumption and sustainability, personal identity and belonging, and local and global contexts within a consumer society. You'll rehearse and develop your understanding of the design process through studio-based assignments that will push and challenge conventional boundaries within the discipline and place the emphasis upon 'the big idea'. This drives the communication strategy through multiple media platforms, from print, three dimensions, audio, time-based and digital arenas.
Typography lies at the very heart of the practice of graphic design and is fundamentally concerned with the mechanical expression of the written word. Our society depends heavily on written forms of communication and this module considers the nature of typographic hierarchy, the conditions that govern its application and the principles of organising editorial information. You'll be presented with a range of project briefs that utilise both manual and digital exercises, taking a 'hands-on' response to various typographic challenges. This module also explores personal authorship of content and visual expression, from writing through to typography and image making (photographic and/or illustrative). Lectures and seminars will provide the context for the work, and projects will be discussed with a personal tutor within regular small-group tutorials that facilitate shared learning and a platform for critical debate.
This module marks an important transitional stage, as you move from tutor-set assignments and managed project outcomes, to more independent goal setting and personal exploration of future directions.
At this stage, you will begin to reflect more critically on your future prospects, with optional work placement opportunities (maximum of 3 weeks outside term time), providing off-campus learning experiences.
The practice-based, self-negotiated assignments will be orientated by the assertion that design and designers can be agents for positive change within our society. You'll be encouraged to identify potential opportunities for graphic design within this context, develop new insights into existing problems and challenge the communication conventions.
In this module, we'll explore collaboration as a central part of contemporary graphic design practice. A critical component of the module will be learning activities such as designer-led briefs, live projects in collaboration with external partners, and workshops that will provide provocative interventions into creative thinking.
You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year.
You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team.
Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying.
How you’ll study during your placement year
You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks.
You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation.
Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth.
The final year of your Graphic Design degree focuses on intense project work, a dissertation and professional practice workshops. As well as building your core skills, you'll take a critical look at your strengths and explore various directions for your future career. Towards the end of the year, you'll exhibit at D&AD New Blood and at our own exclusive show.
Through a range of design challenges that explore alternative models of practice, you will be encouraged to reflect upon your strengths, motivations and personal design future. This module will emphasise the importance of analysis, innovation, collaboration and idea generation within the process of creative problem solving. Working on projects that challenge your creative potential, you'll begin to develop a portfolio of work that articulates your personal strengths and locates your practice within a wide range of professional contexts.
Projects will be negotiated with a tutor within strategy sessions that facilitate teamwork as well as a platform for critical debate.
The dissertation is a self-initiated written assignment of 6000 words on a subject relevant to your programme of study and personal interests. This module affirms the critical role of writing within the work of a graphic designer.
At this stage in your Graphic Design degree, you'll develop a final body of work and a strategy for the transition to industry or further academic or career interests. Emphasis will be placed on challenging conventions, with a focus on strong ideas that are critically engaged and beautifully made.
You can either develop larger projects from the previous module or work on new ones that help you position yourself and your work, as your interests become focused and your identity is honed. This work culminates in the final degree show and other industry focused events. Projects from earlier years can be incorporated into final portfolios as part of the 'Transitions element', which will also include promotional initiatives and strategies to project your future self and support ambition.
Learning is supported through team tutorials and individual 'bookable' sessions.
Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?
If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.
What you'll study in your Foundation year
If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.
You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.
You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.
You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.
You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.
You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.
After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.
If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme.
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.
From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details:
How you'll learn
You'll attend group tutorials, seminars, workshops, peer critiques and regular individual tutorials – giving you the chance to present work and hear feedback in our new, dedicated studio space. This is based on approaches and learning from industry, so you develop career-orientated skills from day one.
At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.
How you'll be assessed
100% of your assessment will be coursework.
- Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
- A variety of design briefs
- There’s an ongoing policy of review and feedback every week with staff and other students, while formal assessment is twice yearly
- In year three, you’ll write a dissertation and exhibit your work for assessment as part of a final-year show
Stories from our community
Explore student projects, graduate successes, staff news and industry insights
Image credit: Ava Rylands, Graphic Design BA(Hons) student
Final-year Graphic Design students present their portfolios to industry professionals
24 May 2023
Project and portfolio review sessions support students' next steps into industry.
Image courtesy of Jenna Hinton and Emily Smith
Landscape art project aims to boost wellbeing and creative curiosity
09 March 2023
A Cornish ‘sand art’ master has coached a group of Falmouth University students through a projec...
Design for Good Summer School: From Falmouth with Love
29 June 2022
The Design for Good Summer School gave sixteen final year BA Graphic Design students the opportunity...
Why I chose to study Graphic Design
08 March 2022
What I enjoy about Graphic Design at Falmouth is the celebration of creativity. Students are encoura...
No Time To Design: in conversation with Tom Brooks
28 October 2021
The Falmouth graduate has designed the logo for the latest instalment of the James Bond series. T...
Creative Community initiative connects students with industry
18 August 2021
Final-year BA(Hons) Graphic Design students meet 120 leading designers and have over 500 industry me...
Students publish Cornish skating magazine, 48to1
12 April 2021
Graphic Design student Amber Rees and Press & Editorial Photography student Oscar Dryden have po...
Graphic Design: Professional Practice Week
12 January 2021
Second year Graphic Design students were given a unique insight into the design industry as twelve l...
Emerging Talent Celebrated at Global Awards
14 July 2020
Falmouth University Graphic Design, Advertising and Illustration undergraduates and postgraduates ar...
Students Storm The South West Digital Design Awards
09 July 2020
Graphic design students from Falmouth have scored a hat trick of wins at the South West Digital Desi...
Students Explore Place and Identity
07 July 2020
In March 2020, NowHere was about to commence in London; Graphic Design students would enjoy a series...
Student Wins Prestigious Design Award
03 July 2020
Graphic Design student, Rachel Davies has won a Royal Society of Art (RSA) Student Design Award and ...
Hand Sanitiser Animation Shortlisted
06 May 2020
3rd year Graphic Design student Lydia Otway is shortlisted for her entry to the Fountain of Hygiene:...
Four BAFTA Nominations for Alumnus
04 March 2020
Alumnus Rex Crowle is up for four awards at this year's British Academy Games Awards.Knights and Bik...
Graduate Enlists Falmouth Talent to Bring Research to Life
19 September 2019
Music, Theatre & Entertainment Management graduate Ellie Ripley has been working with fellow Fal...
Student Shortlisted for Design Award
24 July 2019
Graphic Design student Danielle White has had her work recognised at the South West Design + Digital...
Double Accolade for Graphic Designer
23 July 2019
Graphic Design student Ian Walden recently received two prizes for his work. Ian, who graduated l...
Falmouth Most Successful Uni at D&AD
18 July 2019
Falmouth is celebrating a bumper year at the D&AD New Blood Awards, where the number of prizes a...
Award Win for Graphic Design Student
24 June 2019
Graphic Design student Bethany Rush has won the adult fiction category as this year's Penguin R...
Students Sweep D&AD New Blood Awards
05 June 2019
Only the very best creative students are awarded coveted Pencil awards at D&AD New Blood, so wit...
Our award-winning graphic designers, associate lecturers, technicians and other staff members specialise in traditional and digital fields. As well as frequently contributing to books and publications, they’re often invited to judge professional design awards.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.
Head of Graphic Design
Bryan leads the subject of Graphic Design at Falmouth and is responsible for the undergraduate degre...
Dr Robyn Cook
MA Communication Design: Senior Lecturer & Course Leader
My research is focused on (inter alia) critical pedagogy, epistemology, & ethics in design &...
Senior Lecturer, Television
Matthew is a socially-minded Senior Lecturer who applies innovative and inclusive teaching methods f...
Andy's career began as a musician; composing and performing material with Detritus, and recording th...
Senior Lecturer, Graphic Design
Ashley is a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design within the School of Communication at Falmouth Univers...
Senior Lecturer / Course Co-ordinator (Stage 1)
Nicola is one half of MOTH, which is a research project, that investigates the skills and contributi...
Senior Lecturer, Graphic Design
Dion has been a senior lecturer at Falmouth University on the BA(Hons) Graphic Design course since 2...
Kate is a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design within the School of Communication at Falmouth Universit...
Maria Christoforidou is an artist, writer and researcher. Maria was born in Zambia, grew up in Greec...
Lecturer, Graphic Design BA(Hons)
Chelsea is a Lecturer in Graphic Design at Falmouth University within the School of Communication. C...
- Large, open-plan, dedicated design studios.
- Design lab featuring traditional and digital production equipment.
- Photography and audio space supporting stills, moving image and sound.
- Mac desktop and laptop computers with professional software.
- Extensive library facilities including thousands of books, DVDs, magazines and journals.
Art & Design Facilities
Primarily located at the Falmouth Campus in a subtropical garden, our studios and workshop facilitie...
We facilitate a range of printmaking techniques and encourage both traditional and non-traditional p...
Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...
Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...
Our graphic design graduates have worked as:
- Digital Designer at AKQA
- Brand Designer at Superunion
- Packaging Designer at Williams Murray Hamm
- Graphic Designer at Apple
- Digital Innovation Designer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty
How to apply
Apply via UCAS
Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).
Applying as an international student?
International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.
|Course route||UCAS code|
|Graphic Design BA(Hons) three year degree||W214|
|Graphic Design BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year||FY08|
|Graphic Design BA(Hons) with placement year||PY48|
Application advice & interview informationGo to Toolkit
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition 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.
|Course route||Entry requirements|
|BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with placement year||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year||80 – 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.
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
UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)
Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.
International fee payers
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
What we're looking for
We want someone who:
- Can tell the visual story of their work.
- Thinks about the context of their work and the relevance it would have to a specific target audience.
- Can show the journey of their projects, the depth of your creative enquiry, and the quality of their ideas.
- Can investigate the questions of their project work, or explore the facts and information behind their ideas.
- Shows critical thinking and the ability to contextualise.
- Can provide a rationale for their intended project direction.
- Demonstrates emerging potential in visual and verbal articulation.
Fees, costs & funding
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,460 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,460 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|£1,850 per placement year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
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
Typical course costs
- £540 - Recurring annual costs
- £800 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
- Optional study visits for the course duration - Approx £100-£1200 (depending on location)
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway
- £250 for materials
- A laptop/desktop computer
- Adobe Creative Suite
In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.
For information about funding available, please visit our student funding pages.
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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