Advertising and Brand Design

Our Advertising and Brand Design degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD is focussed on providing our graduates with the very best opportunity to land their dream job in the creative industries.

Our students study to become creative communication practitioners which, in an ever-changing media landscape, means learning how to communicate through numerous digital, social media, traditional and non-traditional channels, to reach specific target audiences.

The challenge is exciting and requires boundless innovation so we encourage originality and risk-taking. We also emphasise a future-facing sustainable and ethical approach to advertising and branding, because tomorrow is just as important to us as today.

Many of our students have gone on to work with globally recognised brands like DHL, Qatar Airways, Playstation, Asics, Snickers, Lego, Virgin, Under Armour, British Skin Foundation, Remington, Pizza Hut and Thorpe Park.

We pride ourselves on our small class sizes and are part of the longest established art school in Wales. This means we can offer you considerable contact time with your lecturers and the use of our extensive facilities to help you realise your long-term creative ambitions.

PATHWAY OPTIONS & HOW TO APPLY

Pathway Options

BA Advertising and Brand Design
UCAS Code:  W221
Apply via UCAS 

MDes Advertising and Brand Design
UCAS Code: S2J5 
Apply via UCAS

The MDes gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year modules focus on the application and transfer of conceptual design thinking to real world engagement with an in depth project. It aims to educate creative individuals to meet the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole.

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.


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Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Small class sizes in an inclusive, diverse and supportive creative environment
  2. Extensive contact time and access to course lecturers
  3. A contemporary and innovative approach to help you create the advertising campaigns and brands of the future
  4. Our students have won four international D&AD New Blood awards in the last five years
  5. Excellent quality academic support and pastoral care

What you will learn

Course Overview

The philosophy of the BA(Hons) and MDes Advertising and Brand Design course is to provide a progressive, forward-thinking, ideas-based, safe learning environment where our students can excel, and become experts in solving the communication problems of the future.

This means conceiving and producing integrated advertising campaigns, effective brand identities, web films, TV commercials, print campaigns, experiential brand communications, social media campaigns, online advertising campaigns, guerrilla advertising, ambient advertising, direct mail, website design, radio advertising, and practically anything else our students can imagine!

Studying Advertising and Brand Design at Swansea College of Art gives you the advantage of learning in small class sizes where you will benefit from extensive contact with course lecturers. Being Wales longest established art school we are also fully equipped with both traditional and state-of-the-art facilities that will allow your creative ideas the opportunity to grow and thrive.

You will be taught by industry experienced practitioners, have the benefit of working on live projects, and have contact with industry experts. Many of our alumni have gone on to work for highly prestigious agencies and brands such as Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Saatchi and Saatchi, TBWA, 180 Kingsday, Tesco, Dyson and Brand Attic.

We also organise optional trips every year for students studying within the School of Graphic and Digital Arts and have have recently visited cities as diverse as New York and Budapest.

The course prides itself on nurturing our students’ creative talents to the highest standards and has celebrated this by winning an amazing four international D&AD New Blood awards in the last five years.

On this course you will learn how to become a creative practitioner equipped for the advertising and branding industry of the future. You will learn the transferable skills that will help you establish successful careers in the creative industries in roles such as art director, copywriter, digital designer, graphic designer, social media manager, marketing executive, account manager, events manager and public relations.
 
In order for you to learn these skills, the teaching is innovative, proactive, fun and challenging. A diverse range of tasks are set to help you develop your divergent and convergent creative skills.
 
Instruction is multifaceted, and takes the form of lectures, workshops, team projects, live briefs, presentations, research safaris and educational visits both in the UK and abroad.

Modules

Level 4 Modules (year 1)

  • Typography (ABD)
  • Copywriting
  • Advertising Environment 
  • Graphic Communication (ABD) 
  • Visual Studies 1
  • Visual Studies 2
  • Ways of Thinking
  • Ways of Perceiving

In year one we help you develop the foundations of your creative, technical and analytical skills. Typography, Copywriting, Graphic Communication and Advertising Environment are workshops and lectures that will help you to take those first steps into developing your own distinctive creative approach. Visual and Technical Studies classes include workshops in Adobe Creative Suite design programmes.

We also include marketing and advertising strategies to ensure your ideas are not only exceptional but effective as well.

Modules in Contextual Practices will help you to understand art and design theory, and help you develop your own creative work in a broader historical and philosophical context.

Level 5 Modules (year 2)

  • Brand Experience
  • Digital Advertising
  • Integrated Advertising
  • Sustainability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Visual Enquiry 1
  • Visual Enquiry 2
  • Creative Research
  • Research Practices

In year two you will continue to develop your understanding of design theory in the Contextual Practices modules. The Brand Experience Module will allow you to explore branding in terms of design and communication strategy. This will help you to realise your concepts in tangible form. Digital and Social Media advertising and marketing are introduced, and new technologies are explored through Visual Enquiry.

In Sustainability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship you will be able to experience setting up a business venture of your choice in a team with other disciplines. You will also explore sustainable and ethical practice as part of the design process. Integrated Advertising gives you the opportunity to explore non-traditional advertising platforms as part of a 360-degree campaign approach.

Visual and Technical Studies support and underpin all of this to help you develop your creativity through audio and visual experimentation. It is in year two that we bring in more clients and professionals to set the challenges and keep you up to date with current industry trends.

Level 6 Modules (year 3)

  • Graduate Portfolio
  • Advanced Creative Enquiry
  • Marketing & Self Promotion
  • Dissertation

In year three you will embark on self-directed projects which will culminate in your final end-of-year degree show. This is your optimum opportunity to explore and develop your creative skills. You get to showcase your areas of interest and display your unique approach to problem-solving and content creation.

Negotiation is key, not only with staff but also with your very own clients, but we also expect you to take the lead by being original and relevant. These Personal and External (client driven) projects form a large part of your third year. At this level of study, many of our students take up internships.

We also expect students to enter the annual D&AD New Blood student competition. Students get to choose a brief for a major brand and enter this international competition. We have an excellent track record in this competition and our successful students have received great industry accolade for their achievements.

In the third year, you also get to introduce innovation and risk-taking into your conceptual thinking with the Advanced Creative Enquiry module. During the first semester, you will also develop and submit a dissertation of your choice, written with the supervision and support of a course lecturer.

Level 7 Modules (year 4 - MDes only)

  • The Thought Experiment
  • Advanced Critical Thinking Advanced Professional Practice (option A)
  • Advanced Professional Practice (option B)
  • Principal Project

The fourth year is designed to further develop and enhance individual practice and to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises and/or collaborative working within the advertising and brand design industries.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module before the end of the semester. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which includes amongst others;

Informal Tutorials 

These tutorials are held on a regular basis and across all levels of study. In Year 1 each student sees and discusses his / her work with a member of staff, likewise in Year 2. Third and fourth-year students tend to work more independently but benefit from weekly timetabled tutorials. We ensure that every student in Year 3 has a tutorial with at least one member of academic staff each week.  We pride ourselves on the fact that students can see staff as regularly as they may require, so there is the opportunity to organise additional tutorials as and when needed.

VIVA’s

These take place three times in your third year of study, with at least two members of staff. During these sessions, you will be required to present your practical and conceptual development, future intentions and the possible outcomes you may be considering or working towards. It provides an opportunity to highlight both weaknesses and strengths, and to monitor progress. Written feedback is provided afterwards to help you recognise areas for improvement and potential areas for further investigation.

Group critiques

These are held on a regular basis, across all levels during the lecture sessions. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner, in addition to receiving valuable input from staff. The sessions help build confidence in establishing your own ‘creative voice’.

Informal & Formal presentations

The nature of presentations varies according to level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced in the first semester in order to help students gain confidence in talking about their work to their peers and staff. It is also usually part of the assessment process at the end of each project. Year 2 students are expected to give more formal presentations as part of each module. In Year 3 a formal presentation and Q&A session is part of the final assessment of your Graduate Portfolio work.

Exhibiting work

At the end of the third year of study, every student is required to participate in a public-facing exhibition of their work. This takes place at a location in Swansea and is organised by the year group. The course also selects students to exhibit at D&AD New Blood in Shoreditch, London every year. This provides a national and global showcase for students at the event is visited by, and supported by, some of the most reputable agencies in the UK and further afield. There are also further opportunities throughout the course for year groups to exhibit project work through bespoke exhibitions.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Staff
Course Tutor(s):
Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

After studying this course the graduate opportunities are exciting and diverse. Students can look forward to highly creative careers as:

  • Agency Creatives
  • Art Directors
  • Copywriters
  • Digital Designers
  • Social Media Content Creators
  • Social Media Managers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Events Managers
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing Managers

As well as learning about the advertising and brand design business, you will also pick up a variety of transferrable skills that will give you a competitive advantage in whatever career path you choose to follow, such as:

  • Creative writing
  • Adobe CC software
  • Time management
  • Planning skills
  • Research skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Interview skills
  • Persuasion
  • Sales

Our alumni are working for some of the most reputable communication agencies and brands in the UK and abroad such as:

  • Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
  • Saatchi & Saatchi
  • MBA
  • RAPP
  • Dyson
  • TBWA Manchester
  • 180 Kingsday
  • The Creative Engagement Group
  • ASOS
  • F&F Clothing (Tesco)
  • The Financial Times
  • Brand Attic
  • Veeqo

Some students have also persued postgraduate courses in marketing and teaching.

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase. 

Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover things like transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.

Student Quotes

Dal Almeida and Mike Hughes

"The course was a lot of fun. We met colleagues there, that went onto become lifelong friends. It gave us the tools we needed to get our foot on the career ladder. Advertising is a competitive field. You may be pitching against other teams for briefs or other agencies for clients. The Advertising and Brand Design course at Swansea College of Art introduced us to that, with stiff competition amongst students on live briefs."

Dave Griffiths

"The course was a natural place to create and learn, whilst not being exclusive to certain people, everyone was welcome. The facilities were great, I managed to use the photography studio and worked with other students to execute my ideas which is a nice way to work. I can’t thank some of the staff enough for understanding my vision for certain projects, accepting my processes, and pushing me to get the best degree I could."

Sophie Edwards

"It wasn’t just career skills that I picked up at the university. I learnt how to work collaboratively as a team. I learnt that you can work hard but still have fun doing so, and I made some amazing friends that I still see today."

Ross Weaver

"This course was very different from any previous education I’ve been through. I found constant excitement in that it really is up to you to dictate how you grow and progress. It’s about creating problems and solving them, learning new skills that unlock new opportunities and building a path to a career that suits you. The tutors were vital in my process and guiding me in the right direction with their extensive knowledge of this field."

Hannah Barnes

"There is no doubt that studying on the Advertising and Brand Design course gave me far more confidence in my work and taught me the importance of taking risks. I had lots of advice, but more importantly real support, from my tutors and this gave me the creative freedom to explore the things that interested me."

Amy Jones

"After graduating last summer I became self-employed and worked as a freelance graphic designer alongside my part-time job. I used the skills I gained at university to market my work and services online through my website and social media presence. I have now just started a full-time position with an agency in Swansea."

Bursary/ Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea college of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Erasmus 
During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here