The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

A degree in Graphic Design

graphic design colour swatch

If you have a flair for design or a passion for the arts and multi-media, then you may want to consider a Graphic Design degree. Over the years, Graphic Design has gained a very strong reputation for developing highly creative employable students. This is a great opportunity to discover more about the ever changing design and multimedia industry.



This is a flexible and diverse course for those who wish to follow a career in the creative and cultural industries and who wish to gain a broad understanding of the fields of art, media and design. The global, national and major creative industries are growing and converging at a rapid rate.

This is a unique course, and offers the scope and flexibility for you to prepare for a general or management career in the creative industries or to develop as an inter-disciplinary artist with a broad skills base. You will benefit from accessing a wide range of theoretical and practical options across the fine art, design, product marketing and media disciplines.



If you hold relevant practical or personal experience, are enthusiastic, committed and can show how you will benefit from higher education you will not have problems getting an offer from any institution.

If you are applying to undergraduate degrees, A-levels (in the UK or equivalent for other education systems) and a satisfactory IELTS or TOEFL score as proof of language competency are important requirements.

A relevant bachelor’s degree related to graphic design with satisfactory marks is a ‘must’ for applications at graduate level. Relevant experience in the area and a comprehensive and creative portfolio with your work will be definitive for your application.


Course content

Some of the basic skills taught in a Graphic Design degree are Digital art, Creative multimedia, Digital Communications, Project management, Art, Media and Design theories,  Professional Practice (Networking and building a good client base), among other topics.

All the taught content leads to a commercially relevant brief, which then forms part of your portfolio and gives you the best possible chance of securing a position in the graphic design industry.

The design process includes lateral thinking, creating rough visuals, brain storming, considering design principles, colour and typography. The production process is also covered during the course and includes pre-press, printing methods and post-production stages.

At the end of this course you will have a complete printed portfolio ready for presentation in your interviews and a digital portfolio for promoting yourself.

Depending on your skills and performance throughout the course, you final portfolio package can give you the confidence to apply for graphic design roles immediately after graduation or post-study courses if you want to carry on training.


Careers and future prospects

Successful completion of this course offers improved creative and administrative career opportunities in the multi-disciplinary field of art, media and design within the contemporary cultural and creative industries, or as professionals in public service commerce or voluntary sectors.

The course is also excellent preparation procedure for further research, work experience as well as continuing your education for a higher degree.

Read Graphic Design our Career Focus article.



Further reading...

Read about the graphic design programme at the UK's Graphic Design Institute, from the perspective of one of the course leaders.


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