Graphic Design BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Graphic Design BA Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
W210
Start
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Lilian Lindblom
Claire Lewis

Graphic Design is in a very exciting place. New digital technologies and communication systems are continually evolving, visual communication has the ability to touch and shape most aspects of modern life. Graphic design reflects how society and culture is changing and realise this in its approaches and outcomes from mobile apps to interactive posters; global branding to pop up shops.

Why study BA Graphic Design at Middlesex University?

From the design of traditional advertising and branding to digital media, BA Graphic Design combines creativity with technical skill, exploring how to visually communicate messages and ideas effectively and inventively. This degree prepares, educates and inspires the creative designers of the future.

The course has been developed to embrace recent changes in the creative industries including technological advancements. We offer enjoyable challenging projects with wide ranging outcomes and the flexible structure of the course will encourage you to challenge the boundaries of graphic design practice. You will have the freedom to develop your own creative voice guided by an enthusiastic staff team and supported by fantastic facilities.

Throughout the course you focus on communicating ideas and information through exciting problem solving projects in branding, magazine design, typography, information design, advertising and publicity, editorial design, packaging, exhibition design, editorial photography and art direction, moving image and digital media.

You will explore computer design programmes, materials, print processes, conceptual thinking and the use of design to inform, present an argument or persuade, solve visual communication problems to a professional standard, and work on briefs that closely mirror the professional world.

Our students are identified by leading design organisations such as D&AD, RSA and ISTD as among the best graduates nationally, winning numerous awards. Graduates of this course have gone on to work for magazines, design consultants, advertising agencies and media providers all over the world.

Course highlights

  • Our outstanding facilities include photographic studios, state-of-the-art digital printing, studio and lab computers, traditional darkrooms, workshops with technical support and an extensive art and design library
  • You will learn directly from high-profile professionals. Designers who have lectured here include David Carson, Jonathan Barnbrook, Angus Hyland from Pentagram and Sir John Hegarty from BBH
  • We have good staff-to-student ratios and our lecturers are all practising graphic designers and illustrators who teach using project introductions, demonstrations, seminars, group and one-to-one tutorials
  • Excellent industry links; many of our students undertake placements at top design companies in their second year
  • At the end of your degree you will exhibit your work at our Degree Show, showcasing your talent to creative industry employers
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BA Graphic Design?

During the first year, you will be introduced to the diversity of the study area and the breadth of approaches to solving graphic design problems. You will explore research, thinking and communication skills to develop sound working methods, using logical and structured approaches to identify and solve graphic design problems. You will discover the creative and communications potential of typography, and the breadth and diversity of historical and contemporary practice in graphic design. Exploring a variety of different graphic media, you will be encouraged to develop an inventive and experimental response to the use of processes and materials in workshop areas including photography, printmaking, typography, design thinking and digital illustration.

The focus shifts in your second year to problem solving in context and exploring different media. The projects will enable you to investigate the potential of format and structure, analysing complex information to come up with imaginative visual communication solutions. An understanding of specialist subject areas of creative practice is developed through studio and workshop based activities enabling students to develop individual approaches to visual communication with the acquisition of intermediate specialist skills to work effectively in creative workshop areas such as advertising, book art, magazine design, moving image, letterpress, interactive and web design.

For your final year of study you will concentrate on solving visual communication problems to a professional standard and developing an individual portfolio. There are opportunities for students to participate in student award competitions; extend their range of specialist skills in graphic design and visual communication; and pursue creative problem solving projects, self directed projects and graphic authorship utilising production and presentation to a professional level. You will develop an individual graphic design style and a working methodology. Throughout the year your knowledge and skills will be deepened and extended through a choice of briefs in branding, publishing, publicity, advertising, retail, interactive media, internationally recognised creative industry competitions and a self-initiated project.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Introduction to Graphic Design (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to explore research, thinking and communication skills to develop sound working methods, using logical and structured approaches to identifying and solving graphic design problems. It will encourage an experimental and questioning approach to the use of structure, materials, media and process. Fostering critical skills in the creation of your own work and in the discussion and evaluation of the work of others. It aims to introduce the creative and communications potential of typography, the breadth and diversity of historical and contemporary practice in graphic design and the dynamics of team working to enable the development of an open-minded and self-analytical approach to further study in the subject area.

    • Illustration/Graphics: Visual Communication Workshops 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an opportunity to explore a variety of different graphic media and understand the value as methods of visual communication. It aims to encourage an inventive and experimental response to the use of processes and materials in workshop areas including photography, print making, typography, design thinking and digital illustration. The module also aims to offer you the opportunity to learn a range of transferable practical and technical skills in art and design, through material handling, exploration of process, production and presentation.

    • Understanding Communication Arts (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This modules aims to encourage you to question how practitioners from Visual Communication Design the Communication Arts (here understood as Photography, Illustration and Graphic Design) both shape, and are shaped by, our material world. You will extend and deepen your understanding of the relationship between your developing practice and the practices that have developed at other times and at other places. With particular reference to the Communication Arts of the modern and postmodern periods, and using resources available in London, we aim to encourage an appreciation of how the design and consumption of Visual Culture is intimately bound up with cultural change. You will be enabled to place the history of communication arts and your own practice within the broader contexts of the histories of art and design, and to understand these in turn in their relation to the histories of society, culture and ideas. You will apply a range of critical approaches in order to understand a range of images, texts and objects.

  • Year 2

    • Graphic Design Practice (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to encourage the development of a distinctive graphic and typographic visual language. You will learn to integrate and enhance the practices of problem solving and typography developed in earlier modules and to further extend a range of skills through a wide variety of project briefs. You will investigate the potential of format and structure using the analysis and presentation of complex information as the basis for imaginative visual communication solutions. You will be encouraged to exploit the potential of materials and the opportunities provided by new media to enhance traditional communication practice. It will encourage a focus on exploring and refining concepts, resolving details and further developing the time management skills needed to meet the deadlines of professional external requirements. You will develop practice skills through a choice of briefs from internationally recognised design competitions, and develop strong presentation and argumentation skills to support proposals.

    • Illustration/Graphics: Visual Communication Workshops 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop an understanding of specialist subject areas of creative practice through studio and workshop based activities. It enables you to develop individual approaches to visual communication and to begin to identify broad areas of interest that could form the basis for further specialist study on the programme. It will encourage the acquisition of intermediate specialist skills to work effectively in creative workshop areas chosen from advertising, magazine design, moving image, letterpress,coding, interactive and web design. The module aims to further develop skills in using creative processes analysing, evaluating visual pieces of work and presentation methods.

    • The Visual Activist (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students of Illustration and Graphic Design with a broad understanding of Critical Theory with a view to arming and empowering you for engagement with the political and social context in which design practice takes place. You will be introduced to concepts from Critical Theory and Cultural Studies as well as to the application of these theories and concepts to practice within your own discipline and the wider cultural sphere. Emphasis will be placed on the engagement of the practitioner with current political and social debates and on an understanding of the role of the designer in shaping opinion and taking a political stance. The module will promote discussion and debate as key elements in the consideration of the context of illustration and design practice and seek to foster your capacity for the discussion of ideas in both spoken and written expression. It will also encourage you to develop an activist voice and to understand the potential of your area of practice in making a contribution to political action and debate and to civil society. It should prompt you to see themselves as citizen designers and illustrators with an active role to play in society and the political process.

  • Year 3

    • Graphic Design: Major Projects and Professional Portfolio Development (90 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide the opportunity to extend your range of specialist skills in graphic design and visual communication and to pursue creative problem solving projects, self directed major projects and graphic authorship utilising production and presentation to a professional level. The module will enable you to develop an individual graphic design style and working methodology to and above the standard required by industry and postgraduate study. It will encourage you to further deepen and extend your knowledge and skills through a choice of briefs in motion media, editorial design, font design, photography, advertising, music packaging,artist book, interactive media and internationally recognised creative industry competitions. This includes a self-initiated project for you to explore the idea of graphic authorship and experimental graphic design. The module aims to enable you to develop your professional practice in graphic design through producing a professional portfolio or collection of work tailored to the area of graphic design, visual communication or new media that you wish to pursue as a career destination or as postgraduate study.

    • Critical and Contextual Research Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enable you to identify and deliver a research project related to your studio practice. The project will involve an analytical engagement with a range of research resources in order to have a greater understanding of an aspect of studio practice through its historical, theoretical and social contexts. The module will consolidate the development of skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, visual analysis and critical argument. You will extend your ability to think creatively about the presentation of conceptual, critical and contextual material in both written and visual form. Students will further consolidate the development of skills required for autonomous learning.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interview and portfolio
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

Our 2017 end of year show took place at the Old Truman Brewery with our students showcasing their final projects.

In 2016, second year students were invited to create contemporary typographical pieces interpreting classic lines from the works of Shakespeare, for a dedicated exhibition at London's Poetry Cafe.

View the galleries below for more examples of our students' work.

How can the BA Graphic Design support your career?

Our Graphic Design degree has an excellent reputation within the design industry and has very strong links with art and design employers. Many of our students undertake placements at top design companies in their second year and our industry partners support us with live projects and give visiting lectures. Hundreds of art and design agencies, organisations and other employers also attend our final year degree show each year.

Graduating from this course opens up a wide range of exciting career opportunities. Recent graduates work for magazine publishers, design consultants, advertising agencies and media providers all over the world, including the BBC, Stylist, The Sunday Times Magazine, Eye, Nickelodeon, Pentagram, Interbrand, Imagination, 20/20, JKR, Ogilvy & Mather and Leo Burnett.

Our graduates have the suite of skills and knowledge and creativity to be able to work in a variety roles in communication design which include:

Art Direction

Art Direction

Account Management

Animation

Book Design

Brand Consultancy

Corporate Design

Design Management

Digital Design

Experience Design

Font Design

Games and App Design

Editorial Design

Environmental Graphics Design

Exhibition Design

Graphic Design

Film

Illustration

Information Design

Interaction Design

Mac Operator

Magazine Design

Motion Design

Packaging Design

Photography

Production Design

Project Management

Retail Design

Strategic Design

Studio Management

Typographic Design

UI/UX Design

Visualiser

Wayfinding Design

Web Design

 

What support is available?

Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Our amazing facilities include dedicated graphic design studios which will help you to learn to work in a professional design environment. The wide range of facilities, some of which are detailed below will enable you to develop and produce creative design solutions to a very high standard.

Print rooms

You will be able to explore the medium of print in a wide range of formats, including screenprint, intaglio, etching, engraving, stone litho, dye lab and textile printing. The open-access workshops have printing tables, etching presses, aquatint cabinets and lino and litho preparation areas where you can produce your work. The workshops also include a letterpress typographic area, with a wide range of traditional wooden and lead moveable type.

3D workshops

The extensive suite of 3D workshops houses an incredible range of facilities and machinery, 5 Dimensional milling machines and CAM-CAD lathes in the CAM lab, Mig, Tig and Arc Welding equipment, large CNC Router, computer controlled lathes and saw tables, laser cutters, perspex oven and vacuum-forming machines. Students and staff can work with wood, metal and plastics and the latest technologies, including laser cutters and computer-controlled 3D printers.

Photography facilities

We have a broad range of studios and facilities for photography, including four professional studios. The studios include a large-scale infinity cove for portrait, full figure or group photography with extensive overhead lighting track and colourama systems for flexible professional lighting options and easy change of background colour and effects.

Our state-of-the-art digital editing and printing facility features high-end Apple Mac workstations and scanners. The workstations are networked to an extensive range of professional-level photographic printers equipped with the latest software, so that you will have a broad range of printing options available to you. You will also be supported by expert technical staff, trained to help you get the most out of your design and photography work.

Alongside digital darkrooms, we also have analogue black and white and full colour darkrooms. With a wide range of high-end enlargers at various formats using traditional high quality wet process methods, this area has bespoke print developing areas, a large format colour print process

Lilian Lindblom
Programme Leader

Lilian graduated from the Royal College of Art where she worked for many years as a designer / teaching assistant. Partner of Smith & Lindblom Design specialising in branding, editorial and publicity design.

Claire Lewis
Programme Leader

Claire has a particular interest in typography and letterpress. She graduated from Staffordshire University and completed her postgraduate studies at the London College of Communication. She is currently combining teaching with professional practice.

Andrew Gossett
Lecturer in Typography and Graphic Design

Andrew created sonicFonts (sound reactive typography) using Quartz Composer for his MA in Design for Interactive Media. He founded the Astonish Me Press, co-founded design practice StudioGossett and Omnific Studios. He has designed and produced books for artists and galleries around the world.

Amanda Sleet
Lecturer in Graphic Design

Amanda studied at the Royal College and the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. Designer working across disciplines to innovate through design, science and technology, to capture insight into human centred problems.

Andrew Robey
Lecturer in Graphic Design

Editorial Illustration and academic book jacket design for Routlege and Methuen. Spitting Image Productions – Puppet making animatronics and art direction / international franchise development, corporate video and advertising. Optical Illustrations – Director / Artificial eye design and production services for film, print and television.

Janet Ameer
Lecturer in Graphic Design

Janet worked for several leading London design groups and as creative director of Revolution. She is currently working independently as Ameer Design Limited specialising in identities, literature and design for print.

Andy Vella
Lecturer in Graphic Design

Andy is a professional award winning designer, photographer and artist producing book jackets, corporate identities and conceptual album covers. He is working with major players in the magazine, publishing and music industries.

Pedro Pina
Lecturer in Graphic Design

An award winning designer who has worked at distinguished design studios such as Andrew Howard, R2design, Ahab Editions and Whynotassociates, Pedro now runs his own practice, P.G. Howlin'.

  • Victoria Talbot

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    During her studies at Middlesex University, Victoria won the following awards: Middlesex University Achievement Scholarship; Middlesex University Chancellor's Academic Scholarship; Precedent Communications Scholarship; RSA Design Directions Award; D&AD Student Awards; YCN Book 08-09 Graduate Showcase; Wallpaper* Graduate Directory 2009. Upon graduating Victoria secured a job at her chosen design company, The Church of London, a creative agency specialising in communication through innovative design and creative content where she is now Art Director.

    I came to Middlesex with a great enthusiasm and passion for graphic design. I was encouraged and supported, with a wide range of disciplines and briefs to respond to, which helped me find my own direction. It was fantastic to have so many hands-on creative opportunities from the outset with photography, letterpress, printmaking and 3D design. By the time I reached my third year I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do when I left.

    I had an opportunity to complete an internship as a part of the course, and exhibited at a Free Range exhibition in central London, which as a new graduate was great exposure. I found the tutors to all be supportive and inspiring people to work with, and the general feeling on the course to be friendly, collaborative and highly motivated.

  • Holly Alderson

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    Holly graduated from Middlesex University having already kicked off her career as a digital designer at a prestigious design agency.

    M & C Saatchi Mobile came to the University during my second year and I took the opportunity to speak to them. I showed them my portfolio to get some feedback, and then found out they had an internship available, which I was ultimately chosen for. In February, I received an email telling me a position for Junior Designer had come up and was offered the job after the second interview.

    I love the facilities at Middlesex. You have the studio space where you can work and see other people’s projects, and you can get inspired by your classmates. Then, you go to the library and mix with other students, such as fashion students, and you can really get inspiration from others’ work too.

  • Henrik Dønnestad

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    My years of studying at Middlesex not only allowed me to find myself and my creative way, but also enhanced and bettered everything I do. Each tutor really understood who I was and helped me accordingly, they gave me advice that drove to knock each project out of the park beyond my own expectations. With their help I really found my direction and for that I’m truly glad. Each brief was a new challenge, helped my learning and tested out new skills. Never had I imagined all these things I would learn beyond graphic design. I had never felt more inspired, motivated and confident before my time at Middlesex University.

    After I graduated from Middlesex University with a first class honours degree and a diverse and strong portfolio, I returned home to Norway where I got hired at the leading newspaper Agderposten Medier as the team’s designer. I have also opened my own online shop where I sell my art and continue to freelance under my brand SPACE BOY.

  • Sebastian Koseda

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    Whilst studying at Middlesex, I found that the professional experience of the tutors truly shone through. Their experience ranges from conceptual development to practical programme knowledge in both digital and print design. I graduated with a diverse but commercially viable portfolio that design studios really respect. The department also has great connections to the industry, which gives you the opportunity to get hands on work experience that looks great on your CV. I did internships for several companies including The Sunday Times and the multi award winning studio Stranger and Stranger.

    With various awards under my belt and a first class degree I was hired within the first month of graduating by my current studio FEED, where I love working. I will be starting my Masters course in September at the Royal College of Art.

  • Michael Harper

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    Upon graduation, Michael was highly praised in the design press for his project BeatCity.

    My experience at Middlesex University has been great. I've graduated with first class honours and I couldn't be happier. I'm the first one out of my immediate family to go to university. The tutors have been a major help throughout. BeatCity was my final major project where we had to select an area that we were personally interested in. I chose branding as this area allows you to explore lots of different areas of design. Having internships throughout the course and straight after graduating has been amazing. I would definitely recommend Middlesex for graphic design.

  • Lia Satzinger

    Graphic Design BA graduate

    Lia was named in the UK's Top 35 Creative Graduates 2010.

    After Middlesex University, I moved back to Vienna, where I started off working as a freelancer for an advertising agency and moved on to be a graphic designer for Ogilvy & Mather. Two projects from my college portfolio were developed on a larger scale for our clients and I won The Golden Venus for some wine labels I had designed.

    My years at Middlesex helped me so much in my creative thinking and also enabled me to build up a portfolio that has been very successful. Each tutor really took their time to work on projects with me, the facilities were more than great and in general the course was open, with a certain freedom to break from classical graphic design and find your own path, for which I am very grateful.

Other courses

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Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W220

Animation BA Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W615

Foundation Year in Visual Arts

Start: October 2018

Duration: 1 year full-time, + 3 years full-time

Code: See How to apply tab

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