UWTSD Home  -  Study With Us  -  Undergraduate Courses  -  Graphic Design (BA)

Graphic Design (BA)

Apply VIA UCAS - Full Time

By providing a broad and thorough education in graphic design, this course will enable you to understand and contribute to our visual culture in professional, sustainable and meaningful ways. The course focuses on producing graduates who are both technically good designers and socially, and ethically aware. Driven by industry standards and supported by state-of-the-art technologies, we produce award-winning and highly employable graduates.

By preparing you to respond to new opportunities and the continually changing needs of society, and with industry, you will develop the qualities needed for resourcefulness, innovative thinking and personal responsibility as a graphic designer.

Links with business and industry are an essential ingredient of this degree and are maintained and developed through ‘live’ projects, work placements, visiting professionals and educational visits.

Our industry reputation of producing excellent graduates means high employment rates, with graduates working across many creative industries in design studios, publishing houses and freelance. Some examples: Apple, Saatchi & Saatchi, Fitch, Sky Creative, Sky Sports, British Science Museum, Google, Nike and Lego.

View the Swansea College of Art Summer Degree Show.


Graphic Design (BA) 

UCAS Code: W210
Apply via UCAS 

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 courses come under the institution code T80.  

Applicants to part-time courses can apply through the University.

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

Book an Open Day Request Information
Contact Name: Donna Williams

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose 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.
  6. 100% of UWTSD’s Graphic Design students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating — National Student Survey 2022.

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.

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.

In 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 how to combine text and images.

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

Year two is about becoming a professional designer. We pride ourselves that students leave the programme job ready. These 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 from year one.

The briefs are longer, more challenging and require a deeper depth of thinking. 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.

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 regularly scheduled tutorials.

The Independent Project 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 year three is completed, it is pleasing to hear how much students enjoy their research in their Independent Project. Remember that there is plenty of excellent support for our Art students for written and practice-based projects.

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.

Module Topics

Year One – Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA)

The first year is partially concerned with getting the basic skills in place and to bring all students up to speed with knowledge of relevant software.

  • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Design for Publication (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Typography (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Studies 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Studies 2 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Perceiving (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE & BA)

The second year is broadly about the transition into becoming a professional designer.

  • Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Corporate Identity & Creative Branding (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design for User Experience (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Enquiry 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Visual Enquiry 2 (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Three – Level 6 (BA)

Level 6 is partially student-led and the project brief content and formative deadlines  are negotiated. This creates a self-directed responsibility where students create their final portfolio.

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Graduate Portfolio (60 credits; compulsory)
  • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module).

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 includes 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.

Graduate Attributes Framework

This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.

The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

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
  • UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • UAL L3 Applied General Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • UAL L3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication.
  • UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology.
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject
  • 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, please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk. We can consider 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 our students 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, art and design students will likely incur additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining optional study trips, and printing.

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your 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.  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, please 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 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 were 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

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Study Abroad 

Students can also take up the opportunity to study for a semester in Europe, the USA or Canada.


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

Map View