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Course summary

The BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration course at University Centre Leeds combines practical, academic and industry experience to help you place yourself in this thriving sector. It offers a robust programme that is relevant to current design and illustration-related industries, helping you to progress in your chosen career path. The course is delivered from studio space in the creative quarter of Leeds city centre and offers a supportive environment to explore and develop your skills and understanding in readiness for life following graduation. You will get time with tutors to discuss your work, exploring how your ideas and projects mesh across this course’s suite of modules. You will also build key industry experience for a strong CV and portfolio. The Graphic Design industry has flourished over the past five years due to the growing popularity of digital advertising. Professionals within the sector have been vital to UK businesses developing brands across a variety of mediums, including print, the internet and film (IBIS World, 2021). By the end of 2022, industry revenue is expected to reach £3.4 billion. The industry is also expected to maintain growth over the next five years, with increased advertising activity and demand for digital design services expected to contribute to this growth (IBIS World, 2021). It’s an exciting time to qualify in a professional role and enter a thriving industry. At University Centre Leeds, we aim to provide opportunities that help you develop practical skills relevant to the creative industry. We want our graduates to leave us with the skills that are key to being employable within the creative industries, from both subject-specific skills (problem solving, questioning, expressive, creative and technical), to transferable skills (communication, teamwork, project management). The BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive, practice-led programme that challenges and develops your design and illustration skills. Created to facilitate progression for a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds, it’s an ideal way to prepare for various creative industry contexts. You will put creative discipline at the fore on this course, nurturing a strong and coherent practice that offers opportunity for public-facing outcomes. Experiences will include working with clients, designers, publishers and concept artists. You will also engage in a range of skill-enhancing activities such as selling work, networking and self-promotion, branding, responding to professional briefs, working with the public, exploring academic research, and creating an identity for your professional practice. The course is driven by real industry opportunities and the reality of being a graphic designer or illustrator in the real world. Course content has been developed with local galleries, art organisations and design agencies, as well as freelance graphic designers and illustrators.


You will study 120 credits and modules may include: Compulsory modules: Specialist Graphic Design & Illustration Practice (20 Credits) This module engages you in your creative output, supporting your skills toward a chosen trajectory through industry-related projects. Collaboration Project (20 Credits) Explore the benefits of collaborative practice by developing a professional external project working across specialisms of your choice. Contextualising Graphic Design and Illustration Practice (30 credits) Explore and develop an area of academic research related to your creative practice, culminating in a written dissertation. Professional Portfolio (10 Credits) A module that supports the creation of a number of creative assets for your professional portfolio. Optional modules: Client Brief (40 credits) Produce and present a negotiated project of work for, and to, a client. Major Creative Project (40 credits) Produce and exhibit a body of creative work.

Assessment method

Assessments draw on a range of skills to benefit many approaches to learning. Ideas and research are assessed through presentation as well as written and practical outcomes. Reflection and evaluation are important in self-directed learning and feature in the collaboration module and inform the Professional Portfolio. Creative practice and practical outcomes are the chief component of assessment on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration course. The Major Project or Client Brief Modules and Specialist Graphic Design and Illustration practice require practical bodies of work that demand creative stamina. There is an expectation of presenting the creative work through exhibition opportunities throughout the course and at its culmination. As well as having the chance to present work in an interview scenario to external professionals. Assessment methods may include: Product response to client brief Presentation to client Dissertation Research proposal Portfolio Log Interview Collaborative project Creative project Exhibition

How to apply

This course is not accepting applications from students requiring a Student visa. For more information, please contact the course provider.

Application codes

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Quarry Hill Campus
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

A typical offer is likely to be a pass at Foundation Degree or a merit profile in a relevant HND, together with a number of GCSE grades at C or above, including English. All students are to present a portfolio of artwork and supporting academic text which is disclosed during an interview, or correspondence for distance applicants. International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria. Speakers of other languages need to have an IELTS score of at least 6.0 or a recognised Level 2 English qualification. All students must be able to demonstrate either by qualifications or testing that they have the required literacy skills to complete the course. Offers are made subject to reference.

Unistats information

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Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £8745 Year 1
Northern Ireland £8745 Year 1
Scotland £8745 Year 1
Wales £8745 Year 1

Additional fee information

Fees are charged per academic year. There are additional costs associated with the practical elements of this programme, which may include: Art materials Printing Framing and display of work Optional trips and visits These costs will be led by the nature of the work that you produce, however you will be expected to meet the costs of production of your projects.
Graphic Design and Illustration at University Centre Leeds, Leeds City College - UCAS