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Graphic Design

Our Graphic Design degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD prepares students for dynamic and diverse futures in the ever-widening world of visual communication.

Graphic Design might take the form of magazines, newspapers or books, packaging, posters, information graphics, logos and corporate identities or signage systems. It may transmit its message via web design, motion graphics or user interface design.

Armed with words and images, skills and imagination, our graduates are equipped and capable of making meaningful visual interventions and contributions in the creative landscapes that they enter.

The course is delivered by a passionate staff team, nurturing students in a supportive, friendly learning environment, with a professional, industry-reflective work ethic. Your personal aspirations are very important to us and we will strive to empower you with a graduate portfolio bursting with the creative confidence you need to make a smooth transition into the working world of design.

PATHWAY OPTIONS & HOW TO APPLY

Pathway Options

BA 
UCAS Code: W210
Apply via UCAS 

MDes
UCAS Code: 52J6
Apply via UCAS

(The MDes gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year modules focus on the application and transfer of design thinking to real world engagement with an in depth project linked with an in-depth project on Graphic Design).

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.


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Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. We have an outstanding employment record with Our Graphic Design students attaining some of the most exciting national and international careers on offer, year after year. This ranges from starting a design company on the beach in Byron Bay, Australia, to Apple design in New York.  
  2. Links with business and industry are an essential ingredient of the programme and are maintained and developed through ‘live’ projects, work placements, visiting professionals and educational visits.
  3. Student numbers are comparatively small – we aim to recruit 35-40 students per year, large enough groups to generate energy, but small enough not to preclude individual tuition and personal attention.
  4. We have fantastic facilities ranging from state-of-the-art technologies in our digital Mac suites, to traditional craft workshops in letterpress, risograph and printmaking. 
  5. Opportunities to exhibit alongside the UK’s top graduates in New Designers, London and gain great exposure to industry employers. Our course continues to win awards at this showcase event with 100% student satisfaction from the 2018 National student survey.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The programme provides you with a broad education in Graphic Design and, with an inbuilt degree of flexibility, it enables you to pursue individual interests whether in the fields of corporate graphics and brand identity, publishing, general design for print, packaging or interactive screen-based design.

Driven by industry standards and supported by state-of–the-art technologies, we produce highly employable graduates. Links with business and industry are an essential ingredient of the programme and are maintained and developed through ‘live’ projects, work placements, visiting professionals and educational visits.

We are looking for applicants to the programme who are passionate about Graphic Design, who can talk enthusiastically about contemporary design issues.

We are looking for applicants with an open mind and an insatiable curiosity about the world we live in.

At the interview, we want to see a portfolio of work, which demonstrates commitment, a willingness to explore and experiment with a broad range of work. We are interested in everything, not just Graphic Design.

Modules

Year One

Learning takes place through practical, studio-based projects. We consider typography as the cornerstone of Graphic Design practice; in the first year you are introduced to typography in its broadest sense, drawing and designing letterforms, learning how type functions and how text is manipulated as well as combining text and images.

We understand the importance of new technologies and the design training is backed up by intensive workshops on the computers, using industry-standard applications. We assume no prior knowledge of computers and you are eased into the technology through design assignments.

Valuable as they are, you cannot allow computers to define you as a designer, so Visual Studies modules are there to promote visual awareness and creative thinking. 

Level 4 (Year One) Modules

  • Graphic Communication
  • The Art of Typography
  • Creative Typography & Application
  • Visual Studies 1 & 2
  • Design for Publication
  • Ways of Thinking
  • Ways of Perceiving

Year Two

Year two is about becoming a professional designer. We pride ourselves that students leave the programme ‘job ready’. The diverse practical modules are driven by industry standards and students learn about producing design to professional standards in both print and digital media. We make no secret that year two is a step up both creatively and intellectually.

The briefs are longer and more challenging. You are also expected to participate far more in the learning process, using your own investigations and interests to push the programme in the direction you want to take.

Level 5 (Year Two) Modules

  • Sustainability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate Identity & Creative Branding
  • Design for User Experience
  • Other People's Shoes - Design for Social Wellbeing
  • Visual Enquiry 1 & 2
  • Creative Research
  • Research Practices

Year Three

In the third year you will spend the greater part of your time on practical work, building a strong and diverse portfolio. The projects are a combination of personal self-generated challenges and external commissioned ‘live’ briefs. Motion Graphics is also a popular and fun module for the final year. We also encourage participation in international and national design competitions. Your development is supported by regular scheduled tutorials both one-to-one and in groups.

The written dissertation further supports your practice and the year culminates in a group exhibition, which is your platform to introduce yourself to the wider world. By the time students arrive at year three, it is pleasing to hear how much students enjoy their dissertation. Remember that there is plenty of excellent support for our Art students.

There are also opportunities to show your work at one of the major student graduate shows in London, from which our students consistently find employment opportunities.

Level 6 (Year Three) Modules

  • Graduate Portfolio
  • Marketing & Self Promotion
  • Advanced Creative Enquiry
  • Dissertation

Year Four (MDes only)

Students progressing onto the Integrated Master’s will be encouraged to expand upon their creative thinking. As with the MA Contemporary Dialogues – Visual Communication pathway, you will get the opportunity to blend your area of study with influences and experiences from other creative disciplines. This interaction between dialogues will help to expand your knowledge and broaden your creative practice that will in turn, be reflected in your major project work.

You will also build upon your personal design style that you will have nurtured in the first three years of the programme.

Intensifying your own personal design-flavour and readying yourself for the creative industries landscape.

Level 7 (Year Four) Modules

  • The Thought Experiment
  • Advanced Critical Thinking
  • Advanced Professional Practice – Visual Communication
  • Major Project – Visual Communication 
Assessment

Assessment is carried out through coursework. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module with summative assessment taking place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include amongst others;

Informal Tutorials, Formal tutorials, Group Critiques, One to one meetings, Exhibitions and Presentations. All these assessments are supported by staff and students are guided through each learning process.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

One of the wonderful aspects of Graphic Design is the fact that the skills are transferable to other professions. Design can offer many opportunities.

Here is a list of what are student are now doing. 

  • Graphic Designers
  • Art Directors
  • Motion Graphic Designers
  • Print Managers
  • Festival Designers
  • Football League Designers
  • Travel Design
  • Hotel Design
  • Web Designers
  • User Interface Design
  • Toy Design
  • Even a Design Tailor!

Companies where students are working:

  • Apple
  • Saatchi and Saatchi
  • Fitch
  • Sky Creative
  • Sky Sports
  • British Science Museum
  • Google
  • Nike
  • Lego
  • Conran Design
  • Tigerprint
  • Oxford University Press
  • Manchester United Football
  • Aston Villa Football
  • Barclays Bank
  • Waters
  • SapentNitro
  • Stag and Hare Design
  • Blue Stag Studio
  • Engima Design Solutions
  • Dirty Little Serfis
  • W12 Studios
  • Dr Organic
  • Icon
  • Swansea City Football
  • Ontrac Agency
Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.

Student Quotes

Mathew Boyle, Lego Denmark

“I have no doubt in my mind, that studying at Swansea helped me achieve my full potential as a Graphic Designer. The theory taught broadened my understanding of design. The work pushed my creativity in new, interesting ways, while the lecturers were both encouraging and insightful, going above and beyond to help when needed. If you’re considering a career in Graphic Design, I can recommend nowhere better.”

James Webb, Designer at Adidas, Nuremberg Germany

"I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for choosing to study at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. I know this because, originating from the city, I decided to broaden my horizon and transfer to another university after completing my first year in Graphic Design. Whilst there I became aware that the level of education wasn't as high as Swansea, and undoubtedly decided to come back.
Swansea College of Art UWTSD, helped me develop my the skill set, adapt and explore different fields of design, and in turn helped me reach my full potential."

Gareth Winter, British Sky Broadcasting & Sky News

“I owe my entire career to Swansea College of Art UWTSD, they offer the ideal creative environment to thrive in. Support and guidance from my tutors was bespoke to my needs, they treat each person as an individual.”

Christie Doyle-John-Google 

“The staff genuinely care about their students, and encourage them to identify their strengths and individuality as a designer. I would highly recommend the university to potential students and would like to thank them for giving me the platform to achieve a career that I truly enjoy. I am just about to start a role with Google, and have recently worked with rehab studio and House of Fraser. One of my career highlights so far is working on Vodafone TV which has won a Red Dot TV award.”

for more see our Case Studies Page

Bursary/ Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Erasmus 
During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here