Being a graphic designer is fun, stimulating and inspiring. Designers are creative problem solvers, and because every problem is different, every day is different. You will be challenged to think differently, even professional designers are constantly developing their skills. There are always new trends, new technologies, new ideas, and new sources of inspiration – a creative mind never stops learning. It is more than just a job – it's a way of life.
Course Leader: Tim Shore
T: 01332 593187 (course leader)
01332 591167 (admissions)
01332 591698 (international)
01332 593302 (general)
UCAS code: W211
Start date: September
Course length: Three years full time
Campus: Markeaton Street site, Derby Campus
College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education
If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.
The course is studio based, practical, hands-on and creative. It offers you many different ways to make graphic design work as you explore the different contexts and formats in which graphic design is experienced. It allows you to decide what kind of designer you want to be. It will test and challenge you to expand your understanding and knowledge of what graphic design is, what it can do and what it is for.
You will be introduced to typography and layout, drawing as observation and problem solving, identity and branding, packaging and point of purchase, exhibition design, publication and printing, and digital moving image. The course has a great resource base for you to use. Typically our students work on Apple Macs in computer labs, screen print and Letterpress print in our Printing Studios and build prototypes in the wood and metal workshops.
Last year our first year students worked with London based design collective ‘Le Gun’ on a two-day drawing event which transformed the Markeaton Design studio into an immersive world of drawn fantastical creatures that covered every wall on site. Our second year students worked on live projects and competitions including working with Derby Museum to make interpretive tools to engage new museum audiences. Second year students won awards at this year’s Young Creative Network (YCN) Student Design Awards in London and a summer internship at international design consultancy Johnson Banks. Third year students were briefed by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) at Markeaton Street, for the RSA Student Design Awards. The RSA student briefs tackle social engagement and allow students to explore graphic design solutions for real world issues.
We understand how important it is to have the professional skills that you need to make the transition from University to employment. So we have a professional practice module in the second year that is all about researching the industry, meeting designers and studios, building design networks, identifying your strengths and promoting yourself as a graphic designer.
Two new exciting developments for this year are our big new design studio which is shared with animation and illustration students and the School’s brand new Digital Print Resource which is located right alongside the studio. In the Digital Print resource you will be able to access (under guidance) high quality printing on many different types of materials, laser-cutting, book-binding, and many other printing options.
At the end of the course the third year students show their work at the Big Show at the Markeaton Street campus and we also take a selection of work to the London graduate design shows. Last year we had stands at New Blood, the D&AD national showcase event for new graduate work in London, and New Designers.
Each year is made up of 120 credits delivered in double (40 credit) and single (20 credit) modules. To successfully complete the course you need to complete 360 credits.
The focus of the first year is on understanding the fundamentals of your subject and developing key skills.
You'll study modules such as:
The second year is about reviewing and analysing your responses to the subject and starting to identify your strengths and interests. You will be encouraged to experiment with, and test your graphic design solutions and to experience another subject discipline (in the option modules)
You'll study modules such as:
The third year is a synthesis (a drawing together) of everything you have learned on the course.
You'll study modules such as:
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
|September 2017 typical entry requirements|
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including English
|Interview / Audition|
Yes - please see below
Yes - please see below
Selection is based on a portfolio interview, after which you may be required to complete a Foundation Diploma or Year Zero before progressing to the degree course
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per module
£11,750 per year
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
The fees for students starting this course in September 2017 will be available soon.
Teaching is delivered mainly through studio-based and experiential learning using project briefs. This is supported with tutorials, lectures, seminars, visiting speakers and visits to galleries and exhibitions.
You'll work with both local and national project partners on live project briefs and national competitions. This year our students have worked with Derby Museum and Art Gallery, John Smedley and POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International). They have also responded to competition briefs from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards, Johnson Banks, Young Creatives Network and Penguin Books.
As you develop your studio based project work you will also build a Personal Development Plan that provides a road-map for continuous reflection on your studies, progress and future career planning. The Professional Practice module at Stage Two of the course allows you to research areas of the design sector and meet employers.
Assessment is based on coursework, relevant to each module. This may include portfolios of artwork, exhibitions, sketchbooks, research and background material, essays, reports and presentations.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
As a graduate you could work in a design studio, freelance, art direction, editorial design, typography, branding, advertising, corporate identity, interactive media, signage, design consultancy or online design.
In her second year Kate Fenton (Stage Three, Graphic Design) won the national POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International) with her innovative ‘bake-off’ display for Play-Doh. Off the back of the award she was offered a work placement with Storm DFX, a Derbyshire company specialising in design solutions for global brands.
"I've enjoyed every stage of my degree so far. But, presenting my designs in front of a panel from the creative industry as part of a module has been a learning curve and a confidence boost." - Kate Fenton
Trudy McVeigh, founder and managing director of Storm DFX, said: “As a result of winning that award we approached Kate and offered her the chance to put her talent to good use by coming here and gaining some hands on experience with some top brands.” Trudy went on to say that: “She made an excellent impression and everyone here would love to have Kate back. She’s a great example of what the University of Derby can produce.”
In a news article for Derby Telegraph Kate said: “I really enjoyed coming here (Storm DFX). I was working with brands like Nivea, Dove, Rennie and TRESemme and picking up new skills that you don’t learn at University. I’d love to come back after I’ve finished my degree.”
And she did! Kate is now a junior designer at Storm DFX.
Find out if studying at Derby is right for you at one of our Open Days: