BA (Hons) Graphic Design

We welcome applications from international and EU students

About the course


Our multi-award winning Graphic Design and Illustration course provides a strong work-related learning experience, with students starting to specialise in either one of the two pathways during their first year. For more information on the Illustration pathway click here.

Our aim is to nurture highly employable, ideas-driven people that could work in a wide variety of creative industries. The focus is on giving our students the skills to develop industry-focused portfolios but which will also benefit you throughout your career.

The first year is about core skills and finding the right pathway for you. The first semester will allow you to explore both graphic design and illustration, before choosing one to specialise in for the rest of the course. Teaching encourages creative thinking, the generation of ideas and problem solving, with hands-on workshops in software, typography and printmaking.

The second year focuses on professional projects, emphasising commercial constraints and expectations. It includes high-profile live projects which allow you to develop a real understand of what employers expect. We also explore areas like user experience, interaction, and motion graphics.

The final year is focused around building a professional portfolio with the chance to enter the best student competitions, as well as developing your own interests. It is intended to provide an experience from which you can emerge as a work-ready creative. The staff team are nationally and internationally recognised designers and illustrators who bring their research and professional interests directly into the student environment.

If you've already completed an Undergraduate degree, why not take a look at our Postgraduate degrees and specialise in MA Graphic Design or MA Illustration?

Graphic Design Gallery

Why choose this course?

We have an enviable record of success. In recent years our students have won nearly 80 awards in all of the most prestigious national and international design competitions. These include: the coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil; two further Yellow Pencil nominations; numerous Best In Year awards with D&AD; two Best In Show awards at D&AD New Blood; Student Designer of the Year at New Designers; the Graphic Design award at New Designers for two years running; numerous ISTD awards; countless YCN awards; and various runners-up/finalists’ places in various illustration competitions such at the Penguin Random House Design awards.

Clever, original ideas are vital for a successful career working at the top end of the profession and our course is committed to teaching students how to generate brilliant concepts. We foster a fun yet demanding atmosphere that encourages our students to think independently, question the world around them and be opinionated.

Our proximity to London (25 minutes on the train) is a core part of our success. It allows us to easily bring in high-quality visiting tutors, guest speakers and live-projects with top firms. It means we have great industry connections and study trips to museums and companies are a regular part of the curriculum.

Key staff

Nick Lovegrove
Programme Leader for Graphic Design & Illustration
Find out more about Nick Lovegrove

Rich Mitchell
Lecturer in Graphic Design
Find out more about Rich Mitchell

Sebastian Chaloner
Lecturer in Graphic Design

Professional Accreditations

Ranked 10th in the country in the design and crafts section of the Guardian's 2017 University League Tables.


Recent graduates are working at some of the most highly regarded design businesses in the UK, as well as some high profile agencies abroad. Encouragement is given to the development of versatility, leading to a wide range of career opportunities in design and illustration in the fields of branding, packaging, advertising, publishing, interaction design as well as freelance design and illustration. We always try to keep in touch with our graduates and maintain our extensive alumni network.

Teaching methods

Teaching consists largely of project based work supported by appropriate 'skills' based workshops. Students tackle a huge variety of briefs ranging in complexity and time scales. Some projects will take many weeks to complete whilst others will be solved within a matter of hours. There's also a huge variety to the pattern of learning experiences with some projects being team based and others are worked on individually. We encourage a competitive, demanding yet light-hearted atmosphere.

We pride ourselves on providing a lot of direct contact between staff and students. Tutorials and seminars include one-on-one, small group, medium sized groups for workshops and large groups for lectures. Active participation is expected at our lively and fun end of project crits where students are asked to explain and defend their work with keen interaction from their colleagues.

Work Placement

Work placements are actively encouraged and we have a unique 'professional practice' module that prepares students to effectively apply for placements as well as full-time employment. Course tutors have numerous high-profile links with industry and we often place students within these prominent businesses, as well as drawing on others within London and our local region.

Students can either conduct placements as part of a taught module, or during non-taught weeks, or by taking the Sandwich Year option. This allows students to undertake a year’s worth of professional experience between Levels 5 and 6 either in the UK or abroad. Our students have recently completed year-long placements with The Body Shop, Disney, Hewlett Packard as well as many smaller design studios.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad through the University's study abroad programme.
Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities


Level 4

Core Modules

  • C&CS L4 Graphic Design and Illustration - 30 Credits
  • Visual Communication - 45 Credits
  • Graphic Design Essentials Pt 1 - 45 Credits


Level 5

Core Modules

  • C&CS L5 Graphic Design and Illustration - 30 Credits
  • Graphic Design Essentials Pt 2 - 45 Credits
  • Graphic Design Professional Development - 15 Credits
  • Live Projects - 30 Credits


  • Professional Work Experience 15: Design - 15 Credits

Level 6

Core Modules

  • Year Abroad - 0 Credits
  • Graphic Design Advanced Practice Pt 1 - 30 Credits
  • Graphic Design Advanced Practice Pt 2 - 60 Credits
  • Graphic Design and Illustration L6 Degree Essay - 30 Credits


  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts) - 0 Credits

Fees & funding

Fees 2018

UK/EU Students

Full time
  • £9250 for the 2018/2019 academic year

International Students

Full time
  • £11950 for the 2018/2019 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

Entry requirements...

  • 96 UCAS points
  • GCSE Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above (English Language grade C and Mathematics Grade D at GCSE or above if taken prior to 2015).
  • A levels/BTECs to include an art related subject.
  • IB - 96 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above to include Visual Arts at SL or HL  (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).  
  • Subject to portfolio interview.
  • All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
  • If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
  • For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
17/09/201826/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
17/09/201822/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
17/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


Start DateEnd DateLink
26/09/201926/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
29/09/201922/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)