Course Overview



The graphic and media industries need designers with innovative and original ideas, who are able to work with a range of processes and formats, and who understand, and are able to respond to the exciting demands of the professional industry.

This one-year ‘top-up’ degree aims to bridge the gap between being a design student and becoming a successful professional designer. We achieve this by providing a series of software master classes and design technique workshops focused on your individual needs as a top-up student. You will master existing skills while also learning new skills such as app design or paper mechanics, to compliment your portfolio. Our smaller group sizes mean you can access help from industry-active tutors and technicians – as and when you need it.

We will support you to develop a strong portfolio of design work in an encouraging and creative design environment. You will negotiate project briefs with teaching staff in order to challenge and improve your design skills, as well as responding to a number of ‘live’ project briefs from industry and national competitions such as D&AD, YCN & RSA.






You may concentrate on one area of the design industries such as design for screen or print-based media, or are equally able to produce work in response to a range of design situations.

As the year progresses we prepare you for opportunities in industry by helping you to represent yourself professionally across  multiple formats these include print (portfolio and introductory media), screen (social media, web, apps). You’ll receive, careers advice and interview practice with industry professionals as well as an HCA graduate exhibition and opportunities to exhibit in national student shows.

We welcome mature students who wish to upgrade specialist skills.

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Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed. Click here for more details.






Progression and Careers
Throughout the course, students explore potential employment areas by visiting design companies, and meeting professional designers for portfolio consultation. This involves visiting some prestigious design agencies based in London such as JKR Global, Landor, Its Nice That & Accept & Proceed.

 



At the last graduation ceremony, 80% of students on this course gained a 2:1 or above. These students have successfully gained employment across a number of specialist design areas within the design and media industries, both in the UK and abroad. There is also the option to become a freelance designer, or further progress in education or onto teaching.  Other students may want to consider further study at Postgraduate level.



The employers below are just some of the companies who employ our graduates, provide work experience and lecture on the course

Entry Requirements

  • Successful completion of a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at registry@hca.ac.uk and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).

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What you will study:

Final Major Project
This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop a new portfolio of work that best demonstrates your skills and abilities. You will negotiate projects with staff in response to a number of ‘themes’ and receive a wide range of workshops to help you enrich your work, covering both digital and traditional skills.

External brief
You’ll work directly with clients in order to respond to a variety of ‘live’ projects. These connections with real businesses can often help you to find paid freelance work whilst still in study. This unit also provides an opportunity to enter a number of national student competitions such as D&AD, YCN & RSA.

Cultural and Professional Studies
During the year, you will research a negotiated ‘cultural’ or ‘professional’ theme, which will then be developed into a final major essay. Our level of one-to-one support for academic writing is excellent. As well as a designated essay tutor, you will also receive help from our learning support teams who will guide you through the process of writing an extended essay.

Preparation for Industry
This last module prepares you for opportunities in industry by helping you to represent yourself professionally across multiple formats including print (portfolio and introductory media), screen (social media, web, apps). You’ll receive, careers advice and interview practice with industry professionals as well as an HCA graduate show exhibition and opportunities to exhibit in national student shows.