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Graphic Design (BA)

The Graphic Design programme at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD has an established record of providing vocationally-oriented, innovative and industry-focused experiences.

The prime aim of this programme is to provide a broad but thorough education in graphic design, which enables graduates to understand and contribute to our visual culture in professional, sustainable and meaningful ways.

Our focus is upon producing graduates who are both technically good designers but are also socially, and ethically aware with comprehensive knowledge, practical skills and innovative approaches to sustainable graphic design.

The programme aims to produce highly employable graduates, working in the creative industries, whether this is working in private practice, a design studio, a publishing house, a local authority, in education, a museum, a charity or one of the newer digital industries.

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PATHWAY OPTIONS AND HOW TO APPLY

Graphic Design (BA) 

UCAS Code: W210
Apply via UCAS 

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 courses come under the institution code T80.  

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


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Contact Name: Donna Williams

Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose this course?

  • Driven by industry standards and supported by state-of–the-art technologies, we produce award-winning and highly employable graduates.

  • Past students are working across many creative industries finding relevant, desirable positions.

  • Links with business and industry are an essential ingredient of the programme.

  • On completion of the programme, each graduate will leave with a personal and unique portfolio of work of a professional standard.

  • Annually, we collaborate with the London Exhibitions of New Designers and New Blood. This opportunity is not part of our degree requirement, but it does offer an extra incentive and bonus for selected students.

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.

What you will learn

Course Overview

Links with business and industry are an essential ingredient of the programme and are maintained and developed through ‘live’ projects, work placements, visiting professionals and educational visits.

We aim to support and inspire groups that are large enough to generate lots of collective energy, but small enough not to preclude individual tuition and personal attention.

The teaching and learning style are project-led and this is supported by skills-based workshops to help students enhance both their technical ability and creative enquiry.

Our students have choices in how they want to progress their practice, whether via ‘traditional’ means, digital means or increasingly, both.

The course requires a robust and rigorous commitment, as it encourages students to think independently and question the world around them and their role as a visual communicator.

On completion of the programme, each graduate will leave with a personal and unique portfolio of work of a professional standard. Graduates are able to progress to Masters programmes.

Module Topics

Year One – Level 4

The first year is partially concerned with getting the basic skills in place and to bring all students up to speed with knowledge of relevant software.

  • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Design for Publication (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Typography (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Studies 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Studies 2 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Perceiving (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Two – Level 5

The second year is broadly about the transition into becoming a professional designer.

  • Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Corporate Identity & Creative Branding (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design for User Experience (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Enquiry 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Enquiry 2 (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Three – Level 6

Level 6 is partially student-led and the project brief content and formative deadlines  are negotiated. This creates a self-directed responsibility where students create their final portfolio.

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Graduate Portfolio (60 credits; compulsory)
  • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module).
Assessment

At the beginning of each module, we issue the ‘Assessment Specification’, which clearly describes in each assessment criteria what is required.

Weekly feedback sessions keep students focussed on the requirements, without hindering the freedom to work with expanding ideas.

Technical tuition is typically delivered via a demonstration lecture and then staff help each student individually as they progress though a challenge.

All modules have formative and summative feedback, both written and verbal. When the summative written feedback is released, students can book-in for ‘one to one’ tutorial to discuss their feedback further.

There are no written exams for this course.

Graduate Attributes Framework

This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.

The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

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
  • UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • UAL L3 Applied General Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • UAL L3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication.
  • UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology.
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject
  • 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, please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk. We can consider applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

With an outstanding employment record for Graphic Design (DHLE 2018, 96.8%),  we continue to be a course which is industry-focused and provides transferable skills and excellent employment prospects for our graduates.

Past students are working across many creative industries finding relevant, desirable positions. For example, students are sought out for employment by:

  • Apple
  • Aston Villa FC
  • Barclays Bank
  • Blue Stag Studio
  • Dirty Little Serifs
  • Dr Organic
  • Enigma Creative Solutions
  • Fitch
  • Glazier Design London
  • Haymarket Media Group
  • Icon
  • LEGO
  • Liverpool FC
  • Manchester United FC
  • Matter of Form Design Agency
  • com
  • Nike
  • Oxford University Press
  • Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness
  • SapientNitro
  • Sky Creative
  • Stag & Hare
  • The Conran Shop (Design)
  • Tigerprint
  • Tinnopolis
  • Universal Music
  • W12 Studios
  • Waters Creative.

As past graduates move to become Senior Designers, they come to us first when looking to fill posts for Junior Designers.

We continue to receive positive emails and feedback from graduates on what they learnt during their time with us, and how it has positively supported their careers.

In our Design Week Festival events, we hear stories from previous graduates who return to give lectures and presentations about why they made the decision to come to Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, and share success stories about how they benefited from being on the Graphic Design course and being in this University.

This valued feedback informs our current students about comparisons with other courses and creates an understanding of the value and experience that our degree programmes offer.

Additional Costs

All additional costs detailed in this section are indicative. It is recognised, for example, that the precise costs associated with a field trip could vary from year to year.

Mandatory

  •  Adobe Suite student rate: £120 a year, but currently free in cluster from UWTSD. 

Necessarily Incurred

  • A3 Portfolio: £20,
  • Collection of tools — scalpel, metal rule, plastic sleeves, hard drive, memory stick, pens, pencils, markers: £70.
  • MacBook: £1500
  • Printing costs: £200
  • Sketchbooks: £40.

Optional

  •  Student Trips: £200 to £500.
Student Quotes

Mathew Boyle, Lego Denmark

“I have no doubt in my mind, that studying at Swansea helped me achieve my full potential as a Graphic Designer. The theory taught broadened my understanding of design. The work pushed my creativity in new, interesting ways, while the lecturers were both encouraging and insightful, going above and beyond to help when needed. If you’re considering a career in Graphic Design, I can recommend nowhere better.”


James Webb, Designer at Adidas, Nuremberg Germany

"I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for choosing to study at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. I know this because originating from the city, I decided to broaden my horizon and transfer to another university after completing my first year in Graphic Design. Whilst there I became aware that the level of education wasn't as high as Swansea, and undoubtedly decided to come back.
Swansea College of Art UWTSD, helped me develop my skill set, adapt and explore different fields of design, and in turn, helped me reach my full potential."


Gareth Winter, British Sky Broadcasting & Sky News

“I owe my entire career to Swansea College of Art UWTSD, they offer the ideal creative environment to thrive in. Support and guidance from my tutors were bespoke to my needs, they treat each person as an individual.”


Christie Doyle-John-Google 

“The staff genuinely care about their students and encourage them to identify their strengths and individuality as a designer. I would highly recommend the university to potential students and would like to thank them for giving me the platform to achieve a career that I truly enjoy. I am just about to start a role with Google and have recently worked with rehab studio and House of Fraser. One of my career highlights so far is working on Vodafone TV which has won a Red Dot TV award.”

for more see our Case Studies Page

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Study Abroad 

Students can also take up the opportunity to study for a semester in Europe, the USA or Canada.

Accommodation

In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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