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.
This Key Information document gives you a summary of the core characteristics of the BA (Hons) Graphic & Media Design degree at HCA.
This course will equip you with key skills for exciting creative industry careers including:
- editorial design
- packaging design
- graphic arts
- information graphics
- interactive design
- graphic illustration
- web design
- app design
- motion graphics
- book arts
Alongside these industry-oriented skills, you will be given the opportunity to explore and develop self-directed work as a graphic artist.
We take an immersive, project-based approach to learning. This is supported by regular workshops teaching vital technical and software skills. Throughout the course, you’ll work on a wide range of external projects, developing your professional practice. In the past, students have worked on live projects for Landor, a global branding consultancy based in London, and with renowned designer, Professor Phil Cleaver on a cookbook design project with his design agency ‘Etal.’ Our students have also raised awareness on environmental issues through t-shirt designs for The Marine Conservation Society, and produced exciting Motion Graphic pieces for Hay Festival.
Being part of a dedicated creative community at HCA means it is easy to cross boundaries, access an exciting range of workshops, and collaborate with students across other disciplines. Recently, students on this course have collaborated with HCA Textile Design, Photography and Illustration students on a range of innovative creative projects.
All students take Critical Studies, to gain fascinating insights into the subject you love. You will explore your specialism and the work of those you admire. We will help you to see your own practice in context with your peers and predecessors; leading to, not only a greater understanding the rich and varied practice of Graphic and Media Design, but who you are as a designer.
Graduates may also have the opportunity to exhibit at D&AD ‘New Blood’ in London or similar graduate exhibitions.
- Learn from experienced, practising professionals whose work includes a wide variety of contemporary screen and print media.
- Fantastic access to teaching staff, workshops, and equipment.
- Collaborate with: photography, illustration, animation, and film making students.
- Work on diverse ‘real’ industry projects throughout the course.
- Explore your own passions, with the option of a graphic arts pathway.
- Develop your unique graphic voice, free from the constraints of a house style.
We have excellent connections with external employers, who provide many opportunities for commissioned work with live outcomes. Project partners have included SuperDry clothing, MASH Cinema and Hay Festival, amongst many others. HCA students have won awards in national design competitions such as D&AD & YCN. Our well-developed links with media industries in the region, London, and nationally, offer you invaluable professional experience, the chance of fantastic work placements, and a stimulating external speaker programme. In the past, final year students have also exhibited at high profile graduate showcase exhibitions in London.
You will have access to a fantastic range of workshops and design 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 also have excellent craft based workshops for traditional image making techniques such as UV screen printing, stencilling, letterpress printing and fabric printing. We have two laser cutters including an industrial laser cutter which can cut and etch onto curved shapes such as bottles and etch lines as thin as 0.1mm. Best of all, because our courses are small, you will benefit from great access to all the workshops as and when you need them.
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.
- Minimum age 18.
- Successful portfolio interview.
- Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
- 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
- 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) is required.
- Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.
NB for Top-Up students different entry requirements apply – please see our Top-Ups application page for more information.
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