The programme is a great blend of theory and practice and aims to produce designers capable of confidently solving a breadth of visual design problems. The skills acquired will help prepare you for a range of career opportunities in the design industry.
This qualification is delivered at West Kent College's University Centre in Tonbridge but is awarded and quality assured by the University of Kent. It is at level 5 of the UK qualification framework and is equivalent to the first two years of a degree programme.
Your work will be assessed continuously throughout the course. This occurs via critiquing sessions, presentations and a formal assessment at the end of each module. There are no timed examinations for this programme. Practical workshops, lectures and seminars are a key feature of higher level study and you will be expected to attend and participate in these activities. You will be given ongoing, regular feedback to assist your decision-making and to support the direction of your work. Regular attendance is essential so that a good design dialogue can be maintained as this forms the basis of the design process. This largely occurs through one-to-one meetings. You will keep a record of your research and development as these underpin the journey taken to arrive at the final outcomes.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- The historical evolution of design, visual communication and related media together with the significance of the works of other designers.
- The differing contexts and concepts relating to graphic design and its place within contemporary and emerging visual culture together with basic critical theory and its application within contemporary design practice.
- Visual communication and the use of visual language.
- Research methods and the application of appropriate methodologies to analysis and ideas development.
- Legal and ethical requirements of intellectual property.
- Observation of sound ethical working practices and professional responsibilities relating to the subject and to society.
- Design techniques, processes and materials and their application, including the implications and potential of key developments in current and emerging media and technologies.
- Contemporary and emerging professional practice and the relationship of graphic designers with stakeholders (such as, audiences, clients, communities and consumers).
- Articulate, synthesise and generate knowledge and understanding in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employability and enterprise, preparation for further study , research and personal development.
You gain the following intellectual skills:
- The use of creative methods, systems and techniques to generate, develop and evaluate ideas in response to themes or tasks.
- The use of appropriate techniques and conventions to visually represent a range of objective and subjective information, meanings and messages.
- The articulation of knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills in the contexts of professional practice, further study, research and personal development.
- The undertaking of research using appropriate resources and methods.
- The visual, oral and written presentation of ideas and concepts.
- The analysis and evaluation of the work of themselves and others.
- The demonstration of critical thinking and analysis skills through the presentation of arguments and conclusions.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- The generation of ideas, concepts, proposals and solutions in response to briefs and as self-initiated and collaborative work.
- The use of visual language within graphic design to convey intended meanings and messages.
- The selection and application of appropriate technical and practical materials, applications, skills and environments relating to techniques for design.
- The demonstration of professional practice and presentation skills.
- The application of ethics, resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills in support of their own professional practice.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- Self-development – the ability to manage own roles, responsibilities and ethical applications; to study independently; to manage own time in achieving objectives; to undertake personal and career development; to transfer skills gained to new and changing situations and contexts; to identify personal strengths and needs.
- Collaboration – the ability to relate to and interact effectively with individuals and groups; to work effectively as a team member; to undertake collective endeavour and negotiation; to accurately define and review the work of others; to treat others values, beliefs and opinions with respect.
- Communication – the ability to organise, analyse and evaluate information effectively; to articulate ideas and information effectively in visual, oral and written forms; to present ideas and work to audiences in a range of situations.
- Management – the ability to select and use a variety of information sources; to identify and solve a range of routine and non-routine problems; to work within given time frames and deadlines; to self-identify professional development, entrepreneurial and enterprise opportunities.
- Technology – the ability to research, source, navigate, use, select, receive, evaluate and respond to a variety of information from a variety of sources; to select and use a range of technological equipment and systems; to select and effectively employ appropriate communication and information technologies.
- Creativity – the ability to apply a range of skills and techniques to develop a variety of ideas in the creation of new/modified and potentially innovative products and solutions; to use a range of thought processes to identify and define intellectual and practical tasks; to articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation.
- Flexibility – to develop skills of perseverance, openness, empathy, citizenship and adaptability in the face of emerging design problems, issues and contexts
The programme aims to:
- Widen participation in Higher Education by providing opportunities for students to gain a HND/C in Graphic Design.
- Support and encourage learners to develop their creative, professional and personal approach to the subject through the provision of high quality teaching, guidance and learning within a stimulating and well-resourced environment.
- Offer opportunities to learners, regardless of culture, background, learning difficulties or disability, to develop both academically and creatively within the medium.
- Increase learners’ knowledge of graphic design with regard to historical and contemporary contexts so as to provide an intellectual basis for the understanding of attitudes, issues and debates within contemporary visual culture and emerging contexts.
- Encourage independent learning and the ability to begin to work in an autonomous and professional manner.
- Enable learners to understand graphic design’s place within visual culture and society and facilitate their ability to place their own work in an appropriate context. Produce achievers who have an intellectual understanding of the structures and institutions of design practice and who are equipped with a range of knowledge, skills, techniques and adaptability to carry the practice of graphic design forward in an ethical, professional and social context, and with regard to further study and research.