Course Overview

The top-up degree has been designed for students who have successfully completed an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject and now wish to convert their existing qualification into a full BA honours qualification. This flexible way of studying allows students from other institutions the opportunity to join our existing 3rd year BA (Hons) students for the final year. It also provides a natural progression route for students completing one of our own foundation degrees.

You will be expected to apply your image-making skills to a series of externally generated projects and tasks. These will include local and national project briefs, alongside selected competitions and personally generated tasks with a wide range of outcomes and deadlines. Engagement with these opportunities will support your experience and mirror the external world of the professional practitioner. Subsequently, you will design and undertake your own personal negotiated project(s), that will complete a body of specialised work forming a portfolio/website that will attract potential clients, purchasers and collaborators.


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

Generally, students who successfully complete the course progress to become professional practitioners within the field of Visual Communication in a wide range of related roles, contributing to raising the quality and standard of contemporary work within this area of the Creative Industries. Graduates have also successfully established themselves within community arts, teaching and residencies.


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 and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).

What you will study:

The structure includes an aspect of orientation whereby the Top-Up students will undertake a series of short micro projects in order to acclimatise and adjust to the expectation and pace of final year study, before taking a place alongside the main cohort. Induction and top-up workshops will be included in traditional and digital print with our resident technicians. External visitors to the course will provide professional guidance and master classes to supplement these activities. Study trips and an opportunity to join in the annual excursion overseas will also enrich the experience.