Course Overview

 



Overview


A quick summary of this course
The graphic and media design industries need designers with innovative and original ideas, who are able to work with a range of processes and formats, and who can respond proactively and professionally to the demands of this vibrant industry.

On this inspiring course you will develop strong creative and technical abilities in graphic and media design with the emphasis on developing your individual ability. Our smaller group sizes mean you can access help from industry-active tutors and technicians – as and when you need it. You will be encouraged to personalise your journey through the course based on your passions and aptitudes, and to develop your own, unique graphic style.

You will develop skills that will enable you to find employment within the exciting world of the creative industries.

These skills include: Editorial design (Design for books, magazine and websites), Graphic Illustration & Graphic Arts, Motion graphics, Packaging design, Branding, Information graphics, UI (user interface design & UX (User Experience design), Book arts, Web design, App design, Animation, Advertising and Design theory.

You will learn these design skills through a project based approach supported by workshops to teach the necessary technical and software skills. Students are continually challenged to examine and contextualise their ideas, research, and design practice against traditional and emerging forms of visual communication and information design.

web-images1.jpg

Graphic Arts pathway:
In recent years there has been a substantial growth in self-employed practitioners of Graphic Arts creating self-initiated artwork for the design industry, retail, fashion and global peer-to peer commerce sites such as Etsy, Threadless and Zazzle.

The Graphic Arts pathway will allow highly creative students to adopt an individual approach to creating experimental and original ‘art’ within the context of visual communication. You’ll be encouraged to consider how traditional and emerging technologies can be harnessed to communicate effectively and given opportunities to discover and develop your voice as a graphic artist. Designed for developing graphic artists the pathway acknowledges the way in which current visual communication disciplines overlap, encouraging you to master a broad range of skills so you can become a versatile, resourceful graduate.

web-images2.jpg

Located in our university-level campus with other creative courses, you’ll find it is easy to cross boundaries, work with degree students in other disciplines and undertake collaborative projects.

You will be able to work on ‘real’ industry projects throughout the course. We have well developed links with media industries in the region, London and nationally and you will be able to gain invaluable professional experience and work placements. Graduates have the opportunity to exhibit at D&AD ‘New Blood’ in London or similar graduate exhibitions.

We welcome mature students onto the course wishing to retrain or up skill as part of a career change.
 
  • The course is delivered by experienced, practicing creative industry professionals whose work includes screen and print based media in a wide variety of contemporary contexts
     
  • You can collaborate on projects with other students including photographers, illustrators, animators and digital film makers
     
  • The course enjoys excellent connections with external employers who provide plenty of opportunities for work and commissions with real and current outcomes within the curriculum
     
  • As a First year student you are provided with your own desk which you can personalise. Second and third year students share a large professional studio space.
     
  • Sustainability and the environment are central to good design and you can explore them in relation to contemporary social and cultural contexts

web-images3.jpg

 

Features

What you will experience

 
  • Lots of tutor and technician contact time and open access to all workshops when you need them.
  • A personalised journey of study which responds to your needs and interests
  • We encourage our students to enter national and international awards and competitions such as the RSA, D&AD and YCN.
  • We go to some great places including New York, Rome, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin.
  • We have our own Pop-up Shop where we design, produce and sell a range of student made graphic art.
  • We support creative student collectives who produce exciting artwork including club visuals and design work for the music industry.
  • We actively support students by providing a diverse set of 'live' or client-led briefs of which many are paid.
 

web-images4.jpg

 

Careers & Progression

Why take this course?​

The majority of our students successfully gain employment in the graphic design and media industries, across a range of specialist areas such as editorial design, web design, advertising, branding and identity. Students have also gone onto study at postgraduate level.

Starting salaries can be around £18,000 a year. Experienced graphic designers can earn between £19,000 and £38,000 a year, and senior graphic designers can earn up to, and over, £50,000 (Figures are intended as a guideline only).

There are almost 200,000 people working in the design industry, of which 51% are in communications, interior and exhibition, 42% are in product and industrial design, and 7% are in stage and set design. There are over 18,000 businesses, of which 94% employ less than 50 people.

web-images5.jpg
 

Facilities


Workshops & Studios
We have excellent IT facilities all running industry standard software on PC and Apple systems including video editing suites, animation suites and medium and large format professional quality printers. We have excellent craft based workshops for traditional image making techniques such as UV screen printing, stencilling, letter press printing and fabric printing. We have two laser cutters including an industrial laser cutter which can cut and etch onto circular shapes such as bottles and etch lines as thin as 0.1mm. And, because our courses are small you will be able to take advantage of easy access to all the workshops as and when you need them.
 

 

Alumni
 

The creative jobs of our graduates
Our students go on to achieve employment success across the creative industries and/or study at postgraduate level.

Some of the employers our graduate students are working for:
  • The Partners design consultancy- London
  • AQQA publishing- London
  • BurgoPak packaging-London
  • Gingernut Creative agency-Birmingham
  • Darke Jones Digital Agency -Birmigham
  • Et Al Design consultants -Oxford
  • BigHelping consultancy-Worcester
  • V8 Media-Herefordshire
  • Design by soap- Herefordshire

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

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Successful portfolio interview
  • 80 UCAS Points New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 (equates to 200 UCAS points previous tariff) For more details on the new tariff system please visit https://www.ucas.com/advisers/guides-and-resources/tariff-2017
  • Mature Students with related experience
  • Applicants whose first language is not English - proof of IELTS overall 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

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.
 

Careers

Our students successfully gain employment across a range of graphic design and media specialisms such as editorial design, advertising, branding and digital design including website and interactive games design. Students may also go on to postgraduate study.

What you will study:

During the first year, you’ll begin to develop an understanding of fundamental aspects of graphic and media design. These include exploring the creative design process and applying design principles in order to effectively communicate in both print and screen based formats.

You are also introduced to creative practice processes which includes modules such as ‘Type, Text & Meaning’, as well as introductions to ‘Interactive Design’, and explorations of ‘Narrative & Sequence’. Throughout the year studio activity is complemented by a supporting Cultural Studies lecture programme. This lecture series will explore and challenge the role of the ‘Media Arts’ within the social, cultural and political framework of the Western world during the Twentieth and Twenty first centuries.
The second year aims to provide specialist skills and knowledge, by exploring the increasingly important role that ‘Image and Identity’ plays within society. In addition to the programme of Cultural and Professional Studies, you’ll begin formulating a Business Plan for development in year three. In the second part of the year, you’re provided with opportunities to explore and challenge our understanding of ‘designing for screen’, and ‘motion graphics’. You’ll also explore design challenges by responding to a number of commissioned live briefs from businesses and external organisations, and you’ll be encouraged to enter national design competitions.
In the final year, the course provides close and continued advice and encouragement from the staff team providing a platform on which you’re able to develop your ideas and specialism further. You’ll work in an increasingly self-directed manner, with a developing emphasis on adaptability, including taking responsibility for your studies and working at a professional level. There is an increased emphasis on research, and critical thinking. A major body of work is produced, which forms the basis of a graduate portfolio – crucial to your progression into additional education or business and enterprise.

You’ll also work towards a dissertation and final Professional-practice Business Plan. This plan is aimed at selected target markets as part of the move towards a professional career. Throughout the course, you’ll explore potential areas for employment by visiting design companies, and meeting professional designers for portfolio consultation.