Graphic Communication

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Graphic Communication
School
Bath School of Art and Design
Campus
Sion Hill
Course length
Three years full-time
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W200
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades BCC with a grade B in Art & Design or Graphics or related subjects preferred.

View typical offers for more information.

This broad, practice based course encourages hands-on, ideas based, socially engaged design.

  • Well established course with an excellent reputation and employment record.
  • Emphasis on understanding and challenging design conventions.
  • Carefully structured modules taught by supportive, experienced staff.

Graphic Communication at Bath Spa University covers typography and image making, including illustration across print, screen and interactive media. You’ll be taught by a team of full­ time and visiting tutors, who are design specialists and graphic communication practitioners. Highly regarded national and international designers and illustrators are invited to share their experience through our course­ specific lecture series.

Our workshop facilities in specialist craft areas, such as letterpress, photography, screen­printing, etching and lithography are excellent, and complement our digital resources. Studio modules are supported by professional practice and critical and historical studies modules.

“The determination and passion that the students have at Bath Spa University is inspiring, it is such a rewarding and positive environment to study within.”

Jordan Wright, Graphic Communications student

What you'll learn

Overview

We teach you the critical, technical and aesthetic skills necessary to become a professional graphic communicator: designer, typographer, illustrator, or image­maker. You’ll discover the varied and complex nature of design practice.

You’ll graduate as a strategic thinker, innovator and maker, having produced creative and challenging outcomes across a range of media or within your chosen specialist area.

Course structure

Year 1
You’ll study carefully structured studio modules examining the core aspects of graphic communication, typography and image. You’ll learn to conceptualise, produce and critique type and images. Attending specialist workshops will help you develop practical skills.

Workshops include: drawing, screen­printing, letterpress, etching and lithography, photography (analogue and digital), motion graphics, and animation (analogue and digital). You’ll gain an awareness of the industry through a Professional Contexts module, and a contextual framework through a Historical and Critical Studies module.

Year 2
You’ll explore interactive media in the context of type and image. You can choose to focus on graphic design, illustration or interactive media, or keep an interdisciplinary approach. A Professional Context module will help you consider and develop your professional identity as a practitioner and your Historical and Critical Studies module will prepare you for your dissertation.

Year 3
You’ll produce of a series of portfolio projects. Live briefs provide experience of dealing with clients and real production problems and solutions. Portfolio clinics conducted by professional designers help you consider and prepare your portfolio before graduation, and career workshops help you get ready for career networking, opportunity finding or further advanced study.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed in two ways, firstly during your studio modules there’ll be critiques, advice and commentary from your tutor or peers about your work (formative assessment). Secondly after you present your research and you final design outcomes you’ll receive from your tutor written feedback with a mark (summative feedback).

How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including: directed technical workshops; lectures; small group seminars; and, most frequently, through the practice of making in specialist tutor led studio sessions. Working in studio sized groups with a dedicated specialist tutor, you’ll develop typography, image making and illustration skills. By responding to set design problems and participating in the frequent studio critiques with tutors and peers, you’ll develop strong critical and reflective abilities.

Self directed learning is facilitated through materials on Minerva – Bath Spa University’s Virtual Learning Environment – and other web based resources. You’ll also have access to our specialist art and design library.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You can choose to apply to study abroad on a placement for one semester during your second year at a European university as part of the Erasmus program. Our course is linked with Universities in Lucerne and Leipzig. We have students study at Non-European exchange programmes Japan, Australia and the USA. We also have links in China.

Field trips

We offer an international study trip to first and second year students. Past destinations have included: New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, Cuba, Iceland, Amsterdam, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Morocco, and Beijing. You’ll have a chance to meet and talk with internationally acclaimed designers, illustrators, design writers and curators in their studios.

There are also visits to museums and galleries. Additionally each year will have a nationally based study day trip, typically to London, to review key exhibitions.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We have good industry links. These include a final year personal portfolio review session, where you’ll benefit from real industry advice on your portfolio and presentation techniques from established practicing designers and illustrators.

Careers

Our graduates become graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, animators, interactive media designers. They work across the full range of creative media industry including advertising, motion graphics, photography, and digital and print publishing.

Competitions and awards

We encourage our students to participate in design competitions and our third year students must develop one competition brief as part of a final year portfolio. Past students have had success with D&AD New blood as well as other national competitions.

Each year final year students can be nominated for sponsored awards: The Ripe Prize for Graphic Communication Project of the Year; and The Emtone Prize for Outstanding Graphic Communication Student of the Year.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The course is based at theBath School of Art and Design campus at Sion Hill in well equipped studios dedicated to the Graphic Communication course. These are located close to the specialised Art and Design Library and other technical and digital workshop facilities.

Resources

You’ll have access to a range of resources, designed to ease work flow and facilitate creative and experimental practice. This includes access to both traditional analogue to cutting edge digital technology. Our studios feature new Mac computers, connected to digital printing including b/w and colour. Large format colour printing is available in the adjacent technical workshop.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published 2019
Year 3 Published 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published 2019
Year 2 Published 2020
Year 3 Published 2021

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published 2019
Year 3 Published 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published 2019
Year 2 Published 2020
Year 3 Published 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who demonstrate curiosity and determination combined with a clear interest in graphic communication. We look for evidence of these qualities in your portfolio and when we interview you.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level -  Grades BCC including Grade B in Art & Design or Graphics or related subjects preferred.
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit. Merit (MMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points will be required in addition to a HL Art subject at grade 6 and evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.

We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in addition to the above qualifications. Applicants will be considered without this.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

 

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to bring a portfolio of creative work to interview at our Sion Hill campus. More details will be supplied by email to those invited.

 

You’ll need to take us through your work; talk about specific projects, the problems you’ve encountered and how you went about solving them. We’re particularly interested to see your process of designing and illustrating as much as the final finished projects – research sketchbooks, prototypes, drawings (including life drawings) are important. We understand not all candidates will have had the same curriculum or access to the same resources so we anticipate variation in portfolio content.

Get ahead

A strong portfolio is a great asset in interview, it is also important to show engagement in the visual and design arts above and beyond your current course. Research contemporary designers and artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, writers, collect graphic design printed matter that interests you, go to exhibitions and consider how you can impact the world of graphic communication.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Stuart Henley
Email: s.henley@bathspa.ac.uk