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BA (Hons) Graphic Design

The course prepares you to not only inhabit the graphic design profession as we know it today, but also to wonder about, and be ready for, what it might become

Course length
Full-time — 3 years
Start date
Tuition fees
GBP 6900 / year

About the course 

The course focuses on the diversity of contemporary graphic and communication design practice. The emphasis is on the development of an personal approach to the discipline. We place equal emphasis on intellectual and practical knowledge, and encourage the students to engage with both traditional and contemporary media and  processes including: typography, photography, printmaking, film and video, and physical computation; and areas of application like: art direction, environmental design, exhibition design, motion graphics, editorial and self-publishing, user interfaces and user experience, and more.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design program is validated by University of Hertfordshire.

Course outline

The course aims to provide a learning environment that will allow the students to build a conceptual, visual and technical ‘toolbox’ that will enable them to formulate and execute solutions to complex design problems.
We encourage our students to set aside traditional disciplinary divisions, and to engage in an open exploration of the unprecedented range of methodologies, processes, and media that a contemporary designer can operate within.
At the time of graduation students will have developed an individual approach to the field of graphic design, will be confident in their own intellectual and aesthetic decisions, and they will have the skills to promote themselves and their work to potential employers and clients

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the programme, students will typically:  

have a Knowledge and Understanding of: 
- Historical and current developments in the disciplines of graphic design and illustration.
- Cultural, historical and professional contexts
- Visual languages appropriate to the practice of graphic design and illustration in relation to problems, markets and audiences
- Materials, techniques and processes relating to graphic design and illustration 
- A process of project development and design realisation to standards of professional competence

Intellectual Skills - be able to: 
- Exercise, in a creative design process, thorough research, analysis, selection and critical judgement
- Demonstrate a confidence and ability in the generation of ideas and approaches to solving visual communication problems, present arguments fluently and draw conclusions independently
- Demonstrate a willingness to explore visual languages, materials and techniques
- Develop levels of critical analysis and self reflection in response to research and ideas
- Present an appropriate range of solutions to design problems in critical response to set briefs and/or negotiated projects
- Make informed aesthetic, functional and intellectual judgements relative to the appropriate realisation of design ideas
Practical Skills - be able to:
- Produce, design and imagery to a professional standard using a range of materials for various audiences/contexts 
- Demonstrate professional competence in the realisation, presentation and communication of design ideas and concepts in the field of visual communication
- Demonstrate professional competence in drawing and other core mark-making techniques, skills and mediums and be able to use these to convey meaning 
- Demonstrate professional competence in typography, layout, composition, word and image juxtaposition, choice and use of paper, print processes, finishes and formats

Transferable Skills – be able to:
- Research, edit, organise and present information effectively to a range of audiences both traditionally and digitally 
- Demonstrate a high level of personal responsibility and initiative in the management of self learning
- Identify personal strengths and learning through reflection and evaluation.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills through considered use of English Language, both orally and in writing
- Work effectively within a team in a variety of roles
- Respond flexibly to discussions, recommendations and change
- Demonstrate responsibility with regards to time and project management 
- Effectively deploy a range of personal and entrepreneurial skills to meet their career aspirations.

Year 1

Year 1

Year 1 (Level 4)  is about core skills and finding the right pathway for you. The first semester will allow you to explore both graphic design and illustration, before choosing one to specialise in for the rest of the course. Teaching encourages creative thinking, the generation of ideas and problem solving, with hands-on workshops in software, typography and printmaking.

Core modules:

- Visual Communication (45 credits)

- Graphic Design Essentials Part 1 (45 credits)

- C&CS Level 4 Graphic Design and Illustration (30 credits)

Year 2

Year 2

Year 2 (Level 5) focuses on professional projects, emphasising commercial constraints and expectations. It includes high-profile live projects which allow you to develop a real understand of what employers expect. Students also explore areas like digital design, interaction, and motion graphics.

Core modules:

- Graphic Design Essentials Part 2 (45 credits)

- Graphic Design Professional Development (15 credits)

- Graphic Design Live Projects (30 credits)

- C&CS Level 5 Graphic Design and Illustration (30 credits)

Year 3

Year 3

The final year is focused around building a professional portfolio with the chance to enter the best student competitions, as well as developing your own interests. It is intended to provide an experience from which you can emerge as a work-ready creative. The staff team are nationally and internationally recognised designers and illustrators who bring their research and professional interests directly into the student environment.

Core modules:

- Graphic Design Advanced Practice Part 1 (30 credits)

- Graphic Design Advanced Practice Part 2 (60 credits)

- Graphic Design and Illustration L6 Degree Essay (30 credits)

Admissions for the 2019-2020 academic year will be open in spring 2019.

To enrol on the course, applicants have to present a portfolio of their work and evidence of their English language competence. A grade 6.0 or higher on the IELTS scale is acceptable and the CAE and FCE qualifications are considered. If the applicant cannot produce a certificate, their English is tested together with prospective students who are applying for the Foundation Art & Design Course. However, the applicant must provide the IELTS certificate later on, by particular deadline. 

Enrollment is based on the results of a portfolio assessment and an interview with one of the tutors. The applicant's knowledge and skills reflected in their work should be comparable to the knowledge and skills students acquire at Foundation level. Interviews and portfolio assessments are usually scheduled in the 3 days followed by the language test.

Transfer to Year 2 will be possible only if a student attended a higher education institution which uses a credit-based system. For these purposes, the number of previously received credits is compared with the number of credits which is necessary for transfer to the relevant stage of a British undergraduate course.

Period of study

Full-time — 3 years

Tuition fees

Full-time: GBP 6,650 / year *

Students as a rule pay their tuition fees once a semester, that is, twice a year, but at their request can choose to pay on a monthly basis.

You will be expected to meet additional costs which may arise as a result of materials, art supplies and consumables you may need for your projects, as well as printing and copying services and other types of services and consumables. Their list and the amount of costs depends upon the requirements of your course and the nature of your projects. Additionally during your time at BHSAD you may be recommended to visit museums, art galleries and other venues as part of your learning and there may be a cost for such visits which you should also budget for.

Below is the list of materials and supplies which BHSAD students use most frequently and which are likely to be among those you may need:

A3 or A4 hardback sketchbook, A2 or A3 portfolio case with ringbound plastic sleeves, HB pencils and rubber, UHU glue, Pritt stick, PVA glue, small lined notepads, spray mount, masking tape, sellotape, double sided tape, invisible scotch tape, scalpel with replaceable blades, basic set of acrylic paints, coloured pencils, basic set of drawing pencils, highlighter, assorted brushes, writing pen, fine line drawing pens, small plastic ruler etc.

Please note that this list is indicative and given for your reference only. Full list will depend upon your project and the range of materials and techniques which you may wish to adopt.

* This proposal does not constitute an offer, the prices are subject to change. Cost of services and conditions of their provision will be specified in the contract.

Required documents

- Online application form
- Copy of previous education certificates and academic qualifications. The following documents can be submitted: high school diploma, college degree diploma, higher education or BA diploma
- 2 photos 3х4 cm
- Copy of your passport
- Personal statement

Entry examinations
Applicants who apply for Year 1 of British higher education courses, need to sit the following:

- English exam
- Portfolio assessment
- Entry interview

During the admission exams, the admissions staff will arrange a convenient date and time for demonstration of portfolio and interview, after that, the matriculant will be allowed to pass the English test.

English test is not required for students from English-speaking countries or if an IELTS or equivalent certificate is produced.

For international students we can organise skype entry interviews. In such cases the portfolio can be sent via email. 

Required level of English
IELTS band 6.0 (or equivalent certificate). Along with the IELTS results, the following certificates are also accepted:

- CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) grade C or above;
- FCE (First Certificate in English) grade A.

If a prospective student does not have an IELTS certificate of the required level but successfully passed BHSAD English test as part of BHSAD entrance exams, he/she needs to obtain an IELTS certificate before the start of the first semester on Year 1.
required Portfolio
The range of work in your portfolio should cover a broad spectrum of media, materials and approaches. Projects may be submitted in different disciplines including but not limited to graphics, drawing, painting, textile, photography, decorative art, design, web-design, animation. First of all, the admission committee would like to see how you can generate and develop your ideas; that is why, besides finished projects, the portfolio should also include notebooks with sketches, sketchbooks, written works (articles, essays, if any). Please try to present examples of the best and most recent projects which reflect your creative abilities.

Your portfolio needs to be printed (А3 format or larger). Animation and CG works should be presented on CDs or memory sticks. It advisable to show photographs of large works which otherwise would be difficult to transport.

Interview Procedure

Prospective students will be asked questions regarding their education and professional background in order to make a final decision about admission on to the course.

Please be ready to tell the interview panel about yourself, your design experience and projects in your portfolio. You may be asked about the history of creation of a particular work and the context of its creation. The panel may ask you about well-known designers to learn about the influence of creative activities of other designers and artists on you, the reason why you follow them and the main incentive for your development in terms of your occupation.
Application deadline
Application deadlines will be announced in spring 2020.

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