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Graphic Design Foundation Degree (Level 5) — Part-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.

The beginning of the course 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.

Over time you will cover 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
  • Advanced studio practice
  • 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

Apply online to start in 2023/24.

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: Tuesday 26th September 2023

The tuition fee is per year.

Various bursaries are available for some Higher Education courses.

Tuition fee: £4,500

Course code: C037789 / Q037814


Foundation Degree in Graphic Design FdA


3 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

Your work will be assessed on a continuous basis through weekly progress reviews, tutorials and assessment periods which take place three times a year.


There is a wide range of career opportunities within the industry, or you could continue your studies to the final stages of a related honours degree or on to our BA (Hons) Art and Design Top-up Degree.

We have links with local, national and international companies who look for graduates to join their organisations. Students participate in the annual New Designers exhibition in London, where they are frequently singled out for the quality of their work. This is the ideal opportunity to showcase your work to talent scouts from the industry.

Additional information

This course is validated by Nottingham Trent University.

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