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Graphic Design Foundation Degree (Level 5) — Full-time

Course outline

This course will encourage you to explore your creativity, take risks, build your confidence, and prepare to reach your potential within the industry. You’ll be able to explore career options in all fields of graphic design: including branding, illustration and advertising.

This course has visual communication at its core. You’ll be encouraged to solve creative problems using both traditional design methods and computer technology that allows for experimentation, exploration and creativity.

Year 1 lays the groundwork for the innovative exploration of ideas that have strong historical and contextual foundations within graphic design. You’ll explore the core values of the design process through a range of disciplines.

Year 2 offers design problems with more limits attached, resulting in more realistic outcomes. There is more emphasis on a critical awareness of project work, as well as an expectation of increased professional practice.

You’ll propose and execute your own brief through a final major project for the annual end of year show. Guest speakers are a regular feature of the course; discussing the industry, delivering live briefs, and supporting work experience. Visitors have included True Story, Tomato Collective, Tom Muller, Studio Output, Wigwag, Touch Design and the New Fat.

Core modules include:

  • Ideas generation and exploration
  • Visual studies
  • Historical and contemporary studies
  • Specialist studio practice
  • Critical studies
  • Professional practice
  • Final major project resolution

You can view the full Course Specification here.

You can view the fantastic creative works of our students on our Creative Showcase website below.

View showcase

How to apply for this course

Entry onto this course is via UCAS.

  • Institution code: N30
  • UCAS code: W201

Want to find out more first?

Would you like more information? Email our HE team.

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Location Date Fees / reductions
111 Canal Street

Start: Monday 25th September 2023

The tuition fee is per year.

Various bursaries are available for some Higher Education courses.

Tuition fee: £8,250

Course code: C000367 / Q002119


Foundation Degree in Graphic Design FdA


2 years

Level Level 5
Entry requirements

You will need a minimum of 48 UCAS points from:

  • At least two A Levels at A2
  • BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Access to HE Diploma

Other combinations of qualifications and experience will also be considered, as will Level 3 qualifications not currently listed on the UCAS tariff. For creative courses you would usually need a qualification in a relevant subject area.

We would expect students to be working at (or to demonstrate competency at) Level 2 or above in English/literacy and maths/numeracy.

You’ll need to submit a digital portfolio with examples of research, development and written work.

You’ll be invited in to visit the College and discuss the course in more detail with the course leader after a successful application and submission process.

Experienced mature applicants with relevant professional experience and/or qualifications are welcome to apply.

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is continuous throughout the course. Work is organised into practical and written projects. These are then graded and fed back to students with written and verbal feedback. The course culminates in a final exhibition. There are no exams.


You could progress onto our BA (Hons) Art and Design Top-up Degree) or BA (Hons) Creative and Digital Futures Top-up Degree.

Alternatively, you could progress to the second or third year of the BA (Hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, our validating institution.

This qualification will also open up a wide range of careers within the creative arts industries such as freelance illustrator/artist or community artist.

Additional information

This course is validated by Nottingham Trent University.

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