Graphic design is at the forefront of branding and advertising, and is responsible for delivering some of the most famous logos and brand designs. Any logo updates, branding, and advertising will have been created by graphic designers. You will see a broad range of graphic design examples in your everyday life, including type, image and form on posters, packaging, books and websites.
Highlighted courses and degrees in graphic design
An undergraduate degree in graphic design will teach you the basics of graphic design, allowing you to explore the creative and business elements. You will study modules such as drawing, printmaking and art history. This mix enables you to develop your knowledge of graphic design practices.
Your degree will likely be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical projects. The practical projects will give you the opportunity to develop your portfolio of work.
It is common to find graphic design is offered as a joint honours degree programme, alongside another course such as fine art. This might mean that the specialisations are limited, but this will depend on where you choose to study. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a final design project, this will give you the chance to further develop your skills and understanding of a favoured area of graphic design.
The accreditation given at the end of your degree in graphic design will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems meaning that the award can differ. Typically, you can expect to be awarded with a Bachelor of the Arts (BA) degree.
Generally, an undergraduate degree in graphic design will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.
On successful completion of your graphic design degree, you can either choose to seek employment in your chosen field, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could come in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a degree in graphic design will depend on where you choose to study, as well as your specific course. Some universities may require you to sit an entrance exam, where others might rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their graphic design programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
It is most common for graphic design graduates to work directly in the fields of arts, design and media. Positions could include art director, animator, graphic designer, spatial designer and photographer, among others. You can find work with creative agencies or design consultancy firms, as well as having the option to do freelance work.
As well as career opportunities within graphic design, you will be able to find work outside of this specific field. The wide range of transferable skills gained during your degree will make you an asset in many areas. You will have developed skills such as time management, written and oral communication, and teamwork, as well as being familiar with various types of computer software.
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