Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

72 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code

W210

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

Graphic design is seen, felt and experienced everywhere. Once focused on objects, graphic design is now increasingly concerned with contexts. Graphic designers inform, confront, persuade, entertain, provoke, challenge, question, direct and engage with the political, social and environmental issues of the world we live in.

The aim of the graphic design programme is to create passionate, creative, resourceful, entrepreneurial and adaptive problem-finders, who are prepared both technically and intellectually to embrace and exploit the opportunities that graphic design offers in the 21st Century.

Being a graphic designer is fun, stimulating and inspiring. Designers are creative problem-finders and solvers. 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.

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, and in the Digital Print Hub you will be able to access (under guidance) high quality printing on many different types of materials, laser-cutting, book-binding, and other printing options, including screen print and Letterpress print in our Printing Studios.

You'll have the chance to work on live projects and competitions which in the past have included a collaborative project with Derby Museum to make new interpretive tools for their archaeology gallery. Students have also been 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. And students from graphic design and illustration were shortlisted for the prestigious Penguin Student Design Awards.

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. This work has helped our students prepare for graduate life, with 93.8% of our students being in graduate level destinations within six months of completing this course (HESA 2016). 

A male in a shirt and glasses sits at a desk with a mac displaying fonts and works on paper with the same graphic font surrounded by pencils and art equipment

Facilities

All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre. 

Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular site shuttle buses.

A female with long brown wavy hair in a hoodie sits drawing in a colourful studio

What you will study

    Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

    Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

    Undergraduate Open Days

    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

    Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

    How you will learn

    Facilities 

    The Graphic Design studio provides you with an excellent environment to be curious, experimental and independently motivated. It is a location for both individual and group tuition, a creative space for the practice of sharing ideas and peer-learning, exercising creative skills, imagination, vision, innovation and ambition. This environment will be used to explore and undertake group work, peer evaluation, critiques and seminars as a means of complementing more individualistic and autonomous work. You will learn the importance of this creative space and utilise it to build networks, be open to new influences, and become part of a creative community, which encourages you to work both independently and cooperatively. 

    You'll also have access to workshops the drawing room, printmaking facilities, and the Digital Design Hub which is located next to the studio offering you experiences of engaging in finishing techniques from laser cutting, bookbinding, and foiling.

    You’ll use high-specification iMacs latest versions of software used by the industry and be able to hire a range of hardware from our Media Loan Hub, including Wacom Cintiq tablets, and HD cameras.

    Teaching Methods

    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. Our students have worked with Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Ernest and Julio Gallo Wineries Europe. They have also responded to competition briefs from D&AD (Designers & Art Directors), Young Creatives Network, Penguin Student Design Awards and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards. 

    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.

    Degree Show

    Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June. It is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

    • An exhibition at Markeaton Street
    • A Fashion and Textiles catwalk (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Film Premiere (usually at QUAD)
    • Theatre Performances (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Music show at a variety of venues

    Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

    Computer illustrations of the periodic table, milk carton designs and an abstract lightbulb image

    Personal academic tutoring

    Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

    Find out more about personal academic tutoring

    Who will teach you

    Rodger Brown

    Rodger Brown
    Programme leader

    As a Programme Leader for MA Fine Art, Rodger Brown teaches across a variety of modules including Reflective Processes in the Visual Arts and Independent Scholarship and Critical Reflection. He is also Programme Leader for Year Zero Art and Design, teaches on the BA (Hons) Fine Art Programme, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points72
    A LevelDDD
    T LevelPass
    BTECMPP
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

    Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

    Additional entry requirements

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)

     Full-timePart-time
    UK

    £9,250 per year

    N/A

    International

    £14,045 per year

    N/A

    Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email askadmissions@derby.ac.uk.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

    Careers

    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. 

    You have the opportunity to further enhance your skills by considering our MA/MDes Design.

    A close up of a mill building with a sign that says Banks Mill Studios

    Banks Mill Studios

    We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre.

    Find out more about support servicesFind out more about support services

    Contact us

    If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

    Contact us Contact us

    Additional information about your studies

    Teaching hours

    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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

    Included in your fees
    • Access to all resources in graphic design studio and related workshop areas (printmaking, digital print)
    • All software used on the course is available on the University computers in the dedicated studio spaces
    • The programme uses Adobe Creative Suite which is installed on all Macs in MS102 and MS012
    • Materials (for drawing and group work related activities) are provided for set coursework tasks
    • Compulsory study visits and participation in University Degree Show
    • A programme of high profile visiting speakers from Industry
    • Additional access to wider University Arts' facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops
    Mandatory costs not included in your fees
    • Printing of design work - print bureau prices range from £0.65 - £55 depending on size and paper quality. However, a minimum expectation would be approx. £25 - £50 for printing these materials
    • Students should purchase a practice folder and an outcomes folder (approx. £50 each)
    • A2/A3 Portfolio (£5 - £50)
    • USB Flash Drive (approx. £10 - £15 depending on brand and storage capacity)
    • A4 Sketchbook (approx. £10 each)
    Optional costs not included in your fees
    • Individual student accounts for the Adobe Creative Cloud run on a subscription. Prices available on the Adobe website
    • External hard drive (approx. £50 - £100 depending on brand and storage capacity)
    • No non curricular trips are currently included. If future events are of specific interest to the Graphic Design then we would publish these as extracurricular, non compulsory trips. UK Based from approx. £10 - £100 depending on event and distance and from Derby; International (European) approx. £250 - £600 depending on event location

    Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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