Graphic Design

Graphic Design BA (Hons)

On this degree, you will develop your skills in Graphic Design through both digital and traditional print media. You will work on live projects with real deadlines, and our great links with industry mean that you could be working on placements with top agencies around the country.

You will be taught in a friendly and competitive studio atmosphere, developing your problem solving and creative skills at the same time. We are also well known for our success in national and international student competitions.


dotted line

National Student Survey 2018

Design Studies at UCLan - ranked top in the North West for Overall student Satisfaction, 2nd in the North West for teaching on the course and 3rd in the North West for Overall Academic Support.

dotted line

The Graphic Design BA(Hons) degree course at UCLan, Preston is one of the most established and successful courses of its kind in the country. For more than 40 years our Graphic Design course has consistently stood for excellence in design and is recognised for its relevance to industry and employability.

Each year our students are successful in winning prestigious awards for national and international competitions such as D&AD, Roses, Little Chip, RSA and YCN to name a few.

This programme of study is focused on generating creative ideas for a range of challenging briefs. In the first two years, you will be taught how to develop your visual language skills in problem solving, through creative thinking and exploring the use of type and image.

In your first year you will learn about idea generation and develop a strong creative and competitive dynamic as you learn and develop and learn with others on this course. 

You will generate ideas for a wide range of graphic design applications covering both digital and print platforms. These include typography, branding, advertising, packaging and editorial. All final year graphic design students exhibit their work in an end of year Degree Show, which is open to the public in June each year.


People know what you get from a UCLan student. And as a UCLan student you know what you get from going out into the world - an almost unparalleled network of ex-students who are in high places at some of the best agencies in the business. You get someone who does something for a reason, with an idea and intent behind the work. 

Matt Johnson



You will have access to facilities within the department including digital print workshops, traditional printmaking workshops and wood and metal workshops. This will allow you much greater flexibility and opportunity when creating and developing work.


The course has an enviable list of industry contacts. Many of our graduates go on to secure creative roles in leading graphic design and creative agencies, both nationally and internationally, and many have gone on to set up and run their own independent agencies. From Apple to Saatchi & Saatchi, Pentagram to The Partners, this course has produced some of this country’s top designers.


This course offers you an optional 48 week placement in the industry. Using the optional placement year extends the development of a professional approach and the successes after graduation. Many of our students spend a year working in top agencies across London and the North West.


BBC team delivers workshop sessions in UCLan’s seventh Conference Week
Design students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been learning the tricks of the trade from a panel of experts at an annual conference week.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years. Four years with optional 48 week placement

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU). Sandwich year out £1,000 (UK/EU)

  • View 2018/19 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 - 112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction - Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 106 - 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

All applicants are invited to attend a Selection Day when they will be interviewed with a portfolio. You will be notified of your date for your Selection Day by our Admissions Office who will also update UCAS Track with details of your application.

Further information on our Selection Day and portfolio interviews.

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Creative Thinking
  • Introduction to Graphic Communication
  • Communication Craft Skills
  • Historical Contextual Studies

Year 2

  • Applied Graphic Design
  • Graphic Communication in Context
  • Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Contextual Studies

Year 3

  • Graphic Design Set Project
  • Graphic Design External Project
  • Graphic Design Self-Initiated Project
  • Contextual Studies – Futures

Apply through UCAS before 15 January Apply through UCAS before 15 January

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

We believe that creativity can be nurtured through shared experience. By creating a friendly, competitive studio atmosphere and leaving the 'classroom' behind, you will be able to flourish in an environment designed to support and encourage.

We have an ongoing programme of visiting speakers who add a further dimension to the course and its content. This will keep you informed about current issues and development within the industry.

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to challenge existing methods of generating ideas and problem solving by setting briefs that stimulate creative thinking and encourage risk taking. Each brief sets out a specific design problem and will be taught through lectures, group seminars, practical demonstrations, one-to-one tutorials and critiques, followed by guided self-study.

Industry Links

With its strong links with industry, the course offers you many placement opportunities, including the possibility of spending a year working in top agencies across London and the North West.

Once a year we hold a Conference Week with various national and international guest speakers from all areas of Graphic Design, Advertising and Illustration.

D&AD - Design & Art Direction

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Art, Design and Fashion
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.