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Why choose the School of Arts and Creative Industries


Artist, designer and course leader Noel Douglas has 30 years' experience running a design studio. His work has been exhibited in The Design Museum and the V&A Museum, and is in the collections of the V&A Museum, the Museum of London, and British Museum.

Staff team includes designers, illustrators and animators educated at the Royal College of Art and the National Film School.

Expert talks and insights from celebrated agencies, Barnbrook and Studio Dumbar, known respectively for having worked with Rihanna and David Bowie, and curating DEMO Motion Graphics Festival.

About the course

Combining practical design skills with creative problem-solving and reflective insight this inspirational course offers a thorough grounding in contemporary and evolving forms of visual communication across a wide range of platforms from digital to print moving image to illustration.

Our degree course explores all contexts where graphic design is found such as digital content; interface design; web and social media; editorial design; print and publishing; moving image; visual identity; typography; and graphic illustration.

We foster a reflective outward-looking approach to design challenges; for example by exploring the ways digital media has created new possibilities for producing distributing and publishing graphic design work. We also believe design responsibility is essential for a contemporary designer so ethics sustainability and inclusion are fundamental themes running through the course’s context and debate.

Why choose this course?

  • Study in small lively and committed groups in spacious well-equipped studios
  • Enjoy free access to Adobe Creative Cloud software for personal use
  • Gain a solid knowledge of the cultural critical and creative contexts of contemporary practice including how social media has transformed the role of the graphic designer
  • Work on live briefs submit for national competitions and participate in collaborative projects with leading design practitioners
  • Prepare for employment by developing the team-working skills and understanding the professional standards you need to work in the graphic-design field
  • Take the course over four years and benefit from a fee-free year in industry (see below) gaining experience and making contacts for the future
  • If you need a step-up into higher education start with a Foundation Year (see below) which guarantees entry into the degree course on completion

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.

 

Course Leader - Noel Douglas

I’m an internationally recognised Artist and Designer with over 30 years experience teaching and running my own studio. I have worked for a large range of commercial clients and creating my own art work for exhibition.

I work across a range of media and spaces from Street Art, Posters and Graphic Identities to Videos, Augmented Reality and Web based work, both for my own Art and with groups who need my Design skills, most I recently I have worked with the group Grenfell Next of Kin - a group of the bereaved survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire - to develop large scale publicity campaigns for them.

Course Leader - Noel Douglas

I’m an internationally recognised Artist and Designer with over 30 years experience teaching and running my own studio. I have worked for a large range of commercial clients and creating my own art work for exhibition.

I work across a range of media and spaces from Street Art, Posters and Graphic Identities to Videos, Augmented Reality and Web based work, both for my own Art and with groups who need my Design skills, most I recently I have worked with the group Grenfell Next of Kin - a group of the bereaved survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire - to develop large scale publicity campaigns for them.

Course Leader - Noel Douglas

I’m an internationally recognised Artist and Designer with over 30 years experience teaching and running my own studio. I have worked for a large range of commercial clients and creating my own art work for exhibition.

I work across a range of media and spaces from Street Art, Posters and Graphic Identities to Videos, Augmented Reality and Web based work, both for my own Art and with groups who need my Design skills, most I recently I have worked with the group Grenfell Next of Kin - a group of the bereaved survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire - to develop large scale publicity campaigns for them.

What will you study?


Studying our Graphic Design BA (Hons) course will equip you with the in-depth knowledge and skills around communication design, illustration and animation. With a particular focus on visual design, you will have various opportunities to express your creativity in our Communication Design: Exploring Materials and Methods unit. Here, you will get to explore a range of skills, methods and material processes for communication design and subsequently use these technical skills for image making and storytelling. You will then get to practice this knowledge in our Communication Design: Developing Materials and Methods unit by researching, testing and experimenting with creative production methods and material processes for communication design. This is closely linked to our Thinking Through Making unit that will encourage you to take creative risks and develop an aesthetic sense through using various technologies, processes and ideas.

In core areas of art study, you will be introduced to key theories on art and design as well as its effect on culture and society in our Context and Ideas unit. To further deepen your insight on contemporary art and design practices, our unit in Critical and Creative Contexts will allow you to explore issues and critical debates in the field which will be particularly useful for your Final Major Project: Graphic Design. This unit is a brilliant opportunity for you to pursue your creative interests and channel it into a piece of work for public display. Another area of project work involves our Collaborative Enterprise unit where you will work to apply your knowledge and expertise gained throughout this course into a collaborative interdisciplinary project. To help you with the research and analytical skills needed for project work, our unit in Context and Meaning will allow you to critically examine a range of texts on art, design and visual culture while placing this theory and practice into global contexts.

To diversify your skill set, our Introducing Studio Practice unit will allow you to develop discipline-specific skills and experience such as independent learning, self-confidence, collaborative working and reflection, and apply them in other areas of study. To prepare you for your career in a professional creative role, our unit in Creative Futures will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for a professional creative role. Whether you aspire to become a freelance designer or to pursue further study, this unit will support you in developing a career that suits your ambitions and interests. Furthermore, this unit will encourage you to participate in live projects, competition briefs and other group work while developing your ability to professionally present and market yourself and your portfolio using online media tools. To add to this, our unit in Developing Professional Practice will teach you to incorporate independence and professionalism in the presentation of your work while also developing your confidence to take creative risks.

Context And Ideas

This unit introduces Context and Ideas in Art and Design, exploring visual culture, ideologies and interpretations of historic and contemporary practice. You will consider research methods to help you analyse art and design theory and practice. Lectures and seminars will introduce key ideas in art and design, and their effects on culture and society, allowing you to reflect on how they impact and influence your own studio practice. You will develop your academic study skills.

Communication Design: Exploring Materials And Methods

This unit will introduce you to essential practical and critical skills involved in Communication Design. It will introduce you to new ways of considering materials and methods in the production of your work.

The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity to explore, test and experiment using a range of skills, methods and material processes for Communication Design. You will apply technical skills to support image-making and story-telling. This unit will help you learn practical and critical skills that are fundamental in the development of your studio practice.

Introducing Studio Practice

This unit introduces you to Art and Design study in a higher education environment. It will introduce you to the learning resources available to you and the types of learning in which you will engage. An important aspect of the unit is to lay the foundation for your own personal approach to study.

This will include helping you to develop as an independent learner with the self-confidence to reflect upon personal performance and identify areas for action.

There will be a strong relationship between the learning involved in this unit and its application to other units on the art and design courses.

Over the duration of this unit, you will experience cross discipline learning and development, collaborative working, as well as discipline specific skills and experience.

Thinking Through Making

This unit introduces you to practical working methods in Art and Design - where you will be encouraged to develop a personal understanding of your discipline through testing, experimenting and making.

The unit will enhance your ability to communicate and ‘play’ in a range of formats the capacity to be creative and to develop an aesthetic sensibility through engagement with technology, processes and ideas.

Using a practice-based approach you will be encouraged to take creative risks, allowing you to develop practice that enriches your work, giving you the freedom to explore and discover creative processes that are both discipline and non-discipline specific.

You will learn how to test and translate your ideas using a range of media that articulate and communicate visual ideas and develop an understanding of your practice.

Collaborative Enterprise

This unit allows you to apply your acquired knowledge and expertise in your discipline, to a collaborative interdisciplinary project.  

The work and learning of this unit are seen as an important link between your academic work and the professional world.

You will negotiate your learning with your supervising tutor who will take account of your agreed role within group scenarios. The unit tests your abilities to work both independently and collaboratively in the wider professional community.

Communication Design: Developing Materials And Methods

The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity to research, test, experiment, explore and learn to manage creative risk.

You will establish a focused and effective Communication Design studio practice using creative production methods. You will investigate subject specific skills, methods and material processes for communication design. You will select and develop technical skills and integrate working methods to support problem solving and design thinking.

This unit consolidates and develops practical and critical skills involved in communication design introduced in level 4.

Developing Professional Practice

This unit consolidates your development and understanding of subject specific materials and methods, and encourages you to consider their application to professional practice.

You will take into account commercial, cultural and social contexts in response to projects and visual enquiry, and develop the confidence to take creative risks in your practice.

There is an increasing emphasis on your portfolio and exhibition practice, to further encourage independence and professionalism in the presentation of your work.

Context And Meaning

This unit builds upon knowledge gained at level 4, to place theory and practice into global contexts. You will examine a range of critical texts and practices related to art, design and visual culture.

You will further develop your research and analytical skills, so that you can engage with the contexts and meanings that underpin your own practice, and inform the way you critically evaluate the development of your creative work.

Creative Futures

At level 6, you will be preparing yourself for a professional creative role. This unit provides an environment in which you will prepare for a professional life after your degree, helping you to develop creative futures that focus your ambition and interests. This may include preparation for: becoming a freelance artist, designer or maker; working independently, in a co-operative, agency or enterprise; teaching or pursuing further study.

The unit will encourage you to participate in live projects, competition briefs or collaborative teamwork.

As part of professional practice, you will further develop your ability to present yourself and your professional portfolio.  You will learn how to create relevant marketing and self-promotional material and engage with online media to promote your professional identity, concepts and products.

Critical And Creative Contexts

This unit offers you the opportunity to deepen your insight of contemporary art and design practices, issues and critical debates. Programmes of tutorial support and self-determined study will help you to develop a context, in which you can place your emerging practical work and underpin your major project with a critical and contextual rationale.

The unit will support you in developing and implementing research strategies in the context of your Final Major Project – your investigations and growing knowledge will further inform your final project.

Final Major Project: Graphic Design

This unit will give you the opportunity to pursue your personal creative interests and artistic concerns in the production of a body of work for public display.

The unit allows you to demonstrate your acquired skills and abilities through individual research and practice. The production of a self-initiated research-based project will enhance your personal development as a designer.

You will explore the relationship between practice and theory in relation to communication design and your Final Major Project.

English Language Foundation

This unit focuses on your ability to understand and use the English language accurately when you read, speak, listen and write. We will concentrate on the English you need for undergraduate level study in your chosen subject area, covering grammar, subject area vocabulary and the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

A key element of the unit is the grammar of the language, and particularly the verb tense system in English, because your ability to use the verb tense system accurately will be extremely important when you come to write essays and reports. This unit will focus in particular on the grammar of the language.

We will also focus on reading, listening and speaking skills in the context of your chosen subject area. Beginning with short texts, we will practise each skill and practise it again, so that gradually you will see, hear and feel that your command of the language is improving. 

A recurring focus of the unit will be your acquisition of 'learner autonomy'. This means your ability to acquire the language yourself, without needing a teacher's help. This is important because from next year you will not have an English teacher to help you. So we will consider and practise strategies to help you gain confidence in your own ability to increase your knowledge of and ability to use the language, including for instance guessing meaning of difficult words, deciding which words are important in a text, recognising differences between formal and informal language, and other strategies, so that as the first semester continues, you begin to feel more confident in your use and experience with the English Language.

Academic Skills Foundation

When you begin your undergraduate level studies, you will be expected to have knowledge of and ability to use a large range of 'study skills'. You will also be expected to have some knowledge of the subject area you will  be studying. This unit deals with both of these aspects of your preparation for undergraduate level study. 

All of the academic skills are practised in English, so you will use your developing acquisition of the language from the partner unit 'English Language Foundation' to practise and gain mastery of these skills. You will also use your language and study skills as you learn the foundation of your subject area, putting the skills into practice as you learn.

Developing English Language Skills

This unit builds on the progress you made during its partner semester 1 unit 'English Language Foundation' and increasing your level from that which you had achieved by the end of semester 1. 

We will recycle the tense system in English and other elements of the grammar system, but you will  now learn how to use other aspects of the grammar, including the passive voice, as well as linking words and phrases and devices which enable you to write longer sentences but retain grammatical accuracy. 

You will notice that we gradually introduce more specialist language that you need in preparation for your degree and we will expect you to use and develop the skills that you gained in the previous units so that you are able to work more independently.

Academic Skills Development

This unit builds on the skills learnt and practised in its partner semester 1 unit 'Foundation Academic Skills'. We will add more skills to the list, including summarizing and synthesising, argumentation, critical thinking and referencing and citation skills, as well as several others and practise and test them in the same way as with the semester 1 unit.

We will also investigate the research skill and you will learn how to prepare a research proposal and conduct a literature review, and how to plan a research project, learning about the research tools available and how they can be used to conduct research in your chosen field. 

You will continue to broaden your knowledge of key current issues and theory in your chosen subject area, and apply the critical thinking and argumentation skills you acquire in this unit to argue for and against propositions you have studied in the form of in both essays and presentations and in seminar situations, ensuring that you are ready to step up to your chosen undergraduate course with a base level of subject area knowledge from which to continue your academic development as you progress to level 4 study.

Professional Practice Year (Art And Design)

The aim of this unit is to provide the opportunity to undertake career-related experience which will allow you to understand and undertake responsibilities in the workplace at an appropriate level and use the opportunity to assess your readiness to undertake a career in your chosen field.

How will you be assessed?


A range of appropriate assessments will enable you to grow in confidence and demonstrate your acquisition of knowledge and skills. The formative and summative assessment methods used across the course include:

Coursework to include examples of Graphic Design visual communication possibly 3-D work or installation research portfolios notebooks research assignments essays contextual writing.

  • Assessments based on individual and group presentations.
  • Portfolio reviews are a key means of assessing but they are also important for collating work for a professional portfolio. This instils the right attitudes towards professional work whereby you can use your portfolio to promote yourself in professional contexts.
  • Essays and reports feature in developing writing skills helping you to express ideas in a - variety of ways and styles and to develop academic writing skills that are of particular benefit in producing the final year contextual rationale for your major project.
  • A midpoint Formal Formative Assessment to review all work in progress

Key Skills are embedded in the teaching and learning of the course and will be taken into account in all assessments. The assessments will develop incrementally across the course and allow you to gain skills confidence and knowledge receive feedback and develop thus allowing you to implement this knowledge and feedback into subsequent assessments. At the end of the course completion of the assessments will demonstrate your ability to analyse current design practice in relation to Graphic Design and communicate this in both written and visual formats as well as demonstrate a range of transferable skills relevant to your professional employability.

Careers


Employability skills are integrated into the course and provide you with an awareness of the real-world context of the creative industries in general and graphic design in particular. You will be helped to develop a strategy for obtaining appropriate employment at the end of your course.

Professional practice is also embedded into learning with a work-related unit that will especially help you to become more focused on managing your career. You will be helped with the preparation of a professional portfolio including a CV and taught the social-media skills needed to promote yourself in a social-mediated art and design world.

Typical graduate destinations for Graphic Design students include various roles within the design and creative industries: graphic design; digital and interactive design; advertising; editorial and book publishing; animation; television and video; public or community arts participation; museum and exhibition work; arts education; freelance creative practice; and teaching.

You may also like to progress to further study at Master's level in a related field for example graphic design; visual communication; and web digital media or motion graphics.

Entry Requirements

96 UCAS tariff points including 80 from at least 3 A-levels or equivalent

Entry Requirements

96 UCAS tariff points including 80 from at least 3 A-levels or equivalent

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Fees for this course

UK 2024/25

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs. See www.gov.uk/student-finance

Merit Scholarship

We offer a Merit Scholarship to UK students, worth £2,400* over three academic years, which is awarded to those who can demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, through scoring 120 UCAS tariff points or more.

Bedfordshire Bursary

If you aren’t eligible for the Merit Scholarship, this Bursary is there to help UK students with aspects of student living such as course costs. The Bursary will give you £1,000* over three academic years, or £1,300* if you are taking your course over four academic years (including those with a Foundation Year).

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding please email admission@beds.ac.uk

International

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the academic year 2024/25 is £15,500 per year.

There are range of Scholarships available to help support you through your studies with us.

A full list of scholarships can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

Fees for this course

UK 2024/25

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs. See www.gov.uk/student-finance

Merit Scholarship

We offer a Merit Scholarship to UK students, worth £2,400* over three academic years, which is awarded to those who can demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, through scoring 120 UCAS tariff points or more.

Bedfordshire Bursary

If you aren’t eligible for the Merit Scholarship, this Bursary is there to help UK students with aspects of student living such as course costs. The Bursary will give you £1,000* over three academic years, or £1,300* if you are taking your course over four academic years (including those with a Foundation Year).

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding please email admission@beds.ac.uk

International

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the academic year 2024/25 is £15,500 per year.

There are range of Scholarships available to help support you through your studies with us.

A full list of scholarships can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

Fees for this course

UK 2024/25

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs. See www.gov.uk/student-finance

Merit Scholarship

We offer a Merit Scholarship to UK students, worth £2,400* over three academic years, which is awarded to those who can demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, through scoring 120 UCAS tariff points or more.

Bedfordshire Bursary

If you aren’t eligible for the Merit Scholarship, this Bursary is there to help UK students with aspects of student living such as course costs. The Bursary will give you £1,000* over three academic years, or £1,300* if you are taking your course over four academic years (including those with a Foundation Year).

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding please email admission@beds.ac.uk

International

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the academic year 2024/25 is £15,500 per year.

There are range of Scholarships available to help support you through your studies with us.

A full list of scholarships can be found here.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

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