Graphic Design
BA (Hons)

Industrial Placement
Overseas study available
Based at MediaCityUK
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Graphic Design at Salford

1.

Pathway options for specialist study in Communication, Illustration, or Motion and Interactivity

2.

Consistent record of success in national competitions such as D&AD Student Awards, Roses Student Awards and YCN

3.

Work placement opportunities and strong links with progressive design companies

Course Summary

Be inspired, think creatively, respond to change, be innovative, develop solutions, captivate, articulate, entertain and inspire! This course offers a broad experience of graphic design with the opportunity to specialise from the end of the first year in oneof three pathways: Communication, Illustration or Motion and Interactivity.

You will learn to develop idea-led solutions, embracing the digital while preserving traditional processes of design. Through a range of workshops, seminars and lectures, this course covers a range of specialist skills in areas such as typography, branding, copywriting, printmaking, image making, bookbinding, motion design, multimedia design and app design, to name just a few.

Our graduate employment profile is excellent due to the number of live briefs, networking events, exhibitions and competitions that our students undertake throughout their studies. There are many opportunities to engage with the local creative community within Manchester as well as the wider industry on a national and international level. Our prime location at MediaCityUK also fosters excellent opportunities for you to work collaboratively with students studying animation, computer and video games, journalism and broadcast technologies.

 

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Find out more about a collection of new work by our students inspired by the University of Salford screen print collection.

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Watch our BA (Hons) Graphic Design Showreel

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Class of ’92 partnership – Hotel Football student artwork preview

Course Details

We support students to develop idea led solutions, embracing the digital and at the same time preserving traditional processes such as bookbinding and printmaking. Teaching is informed by research and academic staff contribute to international conferences, exhibitions, books and papers. Student learning is facilitated through a range of workshops, seminars and lectures with additional support from a team of demonstrators.

The curriculum covers a broad range of specialist skills in areas such as creative thinking, typography, branding, copywriting, art direction, print-making, image making, bookbinding, photography, motion design, design for multiple platforms, ambient media, interactive and multimedia design, editing, compositing, 3-D digital, app design, ezine and e-book design, online marketing, guerrilla marketing, viral Marketing and social media.

The graphic design course engages with a number of external activities such as Designers Northern Alliance and Hub Salford. We also have our own course blog (http://www.artdes.salford.ac.uk/our-courses/graphic-design-ba/blogs.html) with updates on activities.

Course Structure

The course provides an integrated structure to facilitate the development of your personal practice and progress from level to level.

Year One

There is a common first year through which we aim to broaden your experience of graphic design, explore new possibilities and test your creative boundaries. Students are supported to develop fundamental skills in research and creative thinking through briefs, which introduce a range of skills and processes within graphic design such as printmaking bookbinding typography as well as software skills. You will be asked to keep a blog throughout the programme and this facilitates the development of communication skills and the ability to articulate ideas, reflect on practice and make decisions on progression to the next level and this is supported by tutors.
         

Year Two

Students build on specialist skills through their chosen pathway in area such as copywriting, typography, branding, narrative development, time and sequence, applying their experience to undertake live and competition briefs. There is a focus on conceptual thinking and core modules support areas of cross over, all students are asked to contextualise their practice and to continue to develop digital skills. There is a focus on industry engagement at this level with networking events and exhibitions.

Year Three

Students continue to refine skills with continued opportunity to engage with industry but also to develop a personal direction and line of enquiry for your work with a negotiated major project and a dissertation. You continue to articulate your practice and direction as a designer making supported decisions about your planned progression on graduation. You will have the opportunity to develop independent working skills to engage in life long learning but also are encouraged to develop experience of collaborative practice.

Year 1

Semester 1

This module is centred around visual exploration, drawing as a research tool and the interpretation and translation of an idea through visual means. A broadened awareness of the concepts, methods and techniques involved in the process of creating imagery, will enable a fuller appreciation of the potential of the visual to communicate
This module presents a broad view of graphic communication and media independence. Contemporary practice will be explored against the notion that the subject is constantly involved in change, hence you are encouraged to investigate and explore the boundaries of commercial, experimental, mixed-media, print and screen-based fields.
You will be encouraged to develop interpersonal skills and to demonstrate an awareness of opportunities provided by the course while gaining an understanding of the relevant working procedures and the professional activities of the creative industries. The module will also provide practice in team work and introduce and explore the nature of research, self awareness and further study.
This module provides an examination of key movements and designers, as well as an exploration of wider cultural influences on design, of the 20th and 21st centuries. The module will consider significant design movements and theories within an historical and cultural framework in order to reflect on contemporary practice.

Semester 2

This module aims to develop an awareness of the contextual factors, which affect graphic design practice. You are encouraged to give due consideration of your responsibility to both client and audience within studio based project(s). You are introduced to the constraints inherent in designing for client, audience and marketplace alike.
This module introduces the Graphic Design pathways in Communication, Illustration and Motion Graphics and Interactive Design. Through themed collaborative project work and introductory workshops you produce work which explores the differences and commonalities between the specialist pathways. By the end of the module you select your pathway for years 2 and 3 with tutorial guidance.
Further developing the knowledge and skills you acquired in semester 1.
Further developing the knowledge and skills you acquired in semester 1.

Year 2

Semester 1 (Depending on which pathway you choose)

This intensive module will introduce a wider range of distinct professional practices and challenge you to explore, experiment, re-evaluate and redefine the connections and tensions that occur when dealing with the relationship between image and text.
This module explores the scope of contemporary narrative illustration and conceptual image making, by creative experimentation and utilisation of technical skills and media applications. You will gain valuable insight into the working practices of the illustrator. Preconceptions will be challenged as will be the very notion of illustration alongside a broad view of the effect and appropriateness of media demands, potential and translation.
This module requires you to develop creative and innovative ways of effectively communicating with and engaging with the audience and users. You are encouraged to develop original solutions, through practice and reflection, taking risks and resolving visual communication problems to find appropriate solutions using an experimental approach to technology.
This module is designed to encourage you to draw together your growing experience of design with a developing awareness of the wider international context of contemporary graphic design practice. Through a series of case studies, research and primary contact, you are enabled to establish an appreciation of international clients and practices.
This module is designed to encourage you to draw together your growing experience of illustration with a developing awareness of the wider international context of contemporary illustration practice. Through a series of case studies, research and primary contact, you are enabled to establish an appreciation of international clients and practices.
This module is designed to encourage you to draw together your growing experience of motion graphics and interactive design with a developing awareness of the wider international context of graphic design practice. Through a series of case studies, research and primary contact, you gain an appreciation of international clients and practices.
This module introduces further professional knowledge and context allowing the you to apply and develop your knowledge and skills while gaining an understanding of the relevant working procedures, functions and the professional activities of the creative industries.
This module asks you to find your position in debates around key ideas in design and visual culture. Building on your knowledge of the ideologies and aesthetics of the 20th and 21st centuries, you will engage in dialogue in order to critique design and the visual within an historical and cultural framework.

Semester 2

The module requires you to work in teams to produce an outcome which reflects the creative potential of web based design in relation to the criteria and challenges presented by 'live' industry related briefs. You must show an understanding of sophisticated computing technology for the web in conjunction with aesthetic judgements involved in the design process.
This module is designed to analyse the complex and multifunctional role of images within current practice, through personal research, concept development and media handling. It will also enhance the principles of team working in relation to either personal or live industry related briefs.
This module is designed to analyse the complex and multifunctional role of media within current graphic design practice, through personal research, concept development and media handling. It will also enhance the principles of team working in relation to either personal or live industry related briefs.
This module encourages a liaison between you and industry in the form of a professional placement which allows you to apply and develop your knowledge and skills gained on the course while gaining an understanding of the relevant working procedures of industry and the professional activities of graphic designers within the field of motion and interactivity.
Further developing the skills and knowledge you learned in year 2, semester 1.
Further developing the skills and knowledge you learned in year 2, semester 1.

Year 3

Semester 1 (Depending on which pathway you have chosen)

For this module you select from a range of vocational design projects or undertake a national design award scheme. All projects on offer will require high levels of research and analysis. Of particular importance is a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary and professional constraints of concept, design and production.
For this module you select from a range of illustration projects or undertake a national design award scheme. All projects on offer will require high levels of research and analysis. The projects will develop particular aspects of the subject (editorial illustration, book jackets, illustration for design and publishing etc). Of particular importance is a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary and professional constraints of concept, design and production.
For this module you select from a given range of vocational graphic design projects or undertake a national design award scheme. All projects on offer will require high levels of research and analysis. Of particular importance is a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary and professional constraints of concept, design and production.
This module builds on the previous module and provides you with the opportunity to further develop specialist interest within the broad remit of the graphic design industry. Particular importance is placed on the understanding of diversity in professional practice, concept development, design and production of work all measured against realistic constraints of time, budget and project management.
This module provides you with the opportunity to further develop specialist interest within the broad remit of the illustration industry. Particular importance is placed on the understanding of diversity in professional practice, concept development, design and production of images all measured against realistic constraints of time, budget and project management.
This module builds on the previous module and provides you with the opportunity to further develop specialist interest within the broad remit of the digital media and graphic design industry. Particular importance is placed on the understanding of diversity in professional practice, concept development, design and production of work all measured against realistic constraints of time, budget and project management.
This module enables you to articulate a personal agenda, build your portfolios, focus on self promotion and contextualise your work in relation to current key critical and professional debates.
Negotiated Theory provides an opportunity for you to engage in a detailed examination of an aspect of visual culture of interest to you. You are encouraged to explore connections between your proposed study and your studio practice in a connected but distinct programme, thereby underpinning and strengthening your own practice and providing an intensification of understanding.

Semester 2

Negotiated Studies as the final major project is designed to allow you to synthesise your experiences on the course through the definition, negotiation and implementation of a self-directed programme of investigation, research and development leading to the presentation of a major project.
Further developing the skills and knowledge you learned in year 3, semester 1.
Further developing the skills and knowledge you learned in year 3, semester 1.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Pass = 165 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 280pts)
UCAS tariff points 260-300 points, including an art and design subject
GCE A level 260-300 points, including an A2 in an art and design or technology subject at grade C minimum
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Applicants may be considered for entry into year 2
Foundation Degree Applicants may be considered for entry into year 3.
Scottish Highers 260-300 points including an art and design subject
Irish Leaving Certificate 260-300 points including an art and design subject
International Baccalaureate 28 points including an Art and Design subject

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Applicant profile

Applicants should be passionate about design, and be keen to develop skills in all areas from the design process through to the development of the final piece. We would like to see evidence of good research skills, creative thinking and experimentation with a range of media and ideas as well as the application of problem solving skills and evidence of critical judgement. All students are interviewed with portfolios and we initially ask to see an online portfolio. It is essential to bring sketchbook work as well as final solutions to the interview.

Teaching

We employ a range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, seminars, self-directed study and practical workshops for skill development. Design projects provide the main method of learning and students receive regular feedback on their work through seminars and group tutorials. The programme has large studio spaces and this means that students benefit from a studio culture, facilitating further support from peers, tutors and demonstrators. Project delivery ranges from one-day briefs to longer projects lasting weeks. Students are given opportunities to develop transferable skills through enhancement opportunities including team working, presentation skills, communication and organisational skills.

Live briefs are integrated into modules and there are many opportunities to engage with industry through networking events and exhibitions. Students are all required to keep a blog and this is supported through tutorials, so that students articulate their creative route through the programme, setting targets and reflecting on progress. In this way students contextualise their practice but also develop skills that facilitate an ability to work in an independent way, encouraging collaborative practice and engagement with the creative community. Opportunity to specialise from level 5 allows students to build on and work to their strengths within a chosen area of graphic design.  

There are weekly group tutorials to feedback on progress and lectures to disseminate ideas and concepts as well as seminars to develop discussion around key themes and workshops to develop specialist skills. A wide variety of assessment methods are used and studio-based design modules may require the assessment of visual, verbal and written work, including sketchbook and design process whereas theoretical modules will require a written submission.

Assessment

For Design modules you will be assessed on 100% coursework, which usually comprises of sketchbook, blog with reflective analysis, research, design process and final outcomes.

Contextual Studies offers s a theoretical and cultural underpinning to your design practice and submissions at years 1 and 2 are in the form of essays as well as group presentations.

The weighting between practical and written work across the course is approximately:
•    Practical studio work 60%
•    Contextual and written work (including reflective blogs) 40%

Employability

Graduates work in many areas of graphic design, including design for print, corporate identity, editorial design, illustration, interactive design including app design, ezine and e-book design, online marketing and web design, as well as motion graphics. Students also move into careers in marketing, branding, social media, account handling and the creative industries.

Graduates wanting to pursue further research can progress to our Master’s programme in Art and Design with pathways in Communication Design and Creative Technology.

Graduates work locally, nationally as well as internationally at companies such as Love Creative, Vault 49 New York, Typo com, Raw, Great Fridays, Mainframe, Code, Office, TBWA, GQ, Harpers & Queen, Showstudio, Skaggs Advertising in New York, Sha-La-La workshop, Hong Kong and Zietgiest in Germany.Graduates work for the creative industries, as well as freelance, and others pursue careers in teaching.

Alumni Profile

Antony Conboy

Graphic design graduate Antony Conboy (2009) designed and made an App for in his final year called “Lookinglass”, available on iTunes. Within a year of graduating Antony was working for Wired on their App and this won Magazine App of the year http://digitalmagazineawards.com/. Antony then went on to freelance as a video editor at “Made Within”, as an art director at the Natural History Museum and as digital application director at The Ride Magazine. He is currently working as Senior Digital Application Designer at for Vogue Magazine, which has attracted the following awards:

  • Digital Magazine Award WINNER 2011 - Magazine of the year
  • Digital Magazine Award WINNER 2011 - Fashion magazine of the year
  • Digital Magazine Award WINNER 2011 - Technology magazine of the year
  • Digital Magazine Award FINALIST 2011 - Designer of the Year

David Ryan Robinson

Graduated in 2011 after studying on the Illustration pathway. He was already picking up commissions in his final year, notably his artwork for the Allie Moss album “Late Bloomer”. The Guardian also commissioned Ryan to draw Manchester types for their Manchester Festival supplement inspired by his series of prints of the creative spaces of Salford developed while at the university for the “Information Exchange” at Hub for Chapel Street Open studios. Ryan currently runs his illustration practice whilst working as a designer at Cartoon Network (Turner Enterprises).

Clients include the Guardian, the Times, Cartoon Network [adult swim], EDF Energy, Becks Beer, BBC, TBA Magazine, Sports Relief, Allie Moss, The Cornerhouse, Afflecks Palace, Islington Mill.

Matt Frodsham

Graphic Design Graduate Matt Frodsham’s work has been featured in a number of subject specialist periodicals and websites such as Motionographer and with Sparkle in Computer Arts Projects. He has undertaken a number of placements including Seveer Media, a three-month placement at Man vs Machine in London. Matt has now secured a job with Zietgiest in Germany. He was awarded 'Best Digital' at the Designers Northern Alliance event in Manchester and his Cartoon Network YCN award brief was chosen as one of 3 commended winners.

Read Matt Frodsham's blog

Links with Industry

We offer many opportunities to engage with industry and the programme has close links with a range of design companies and industry networks locally and nationally.

Industry experience is also integrated into module delivery with live briefs and other opportunities such as zine fairs and exhibitions at internationally acclaimed venues such as the Cornerhouse in Manchester and Bluecoats Gallery in Liverpool.

Live projects include Decode Recode as part of the official Opening of the University Building at MediaCityUK, this ran for 24 hours project with 24 countries, a live media Jam. Students designed branding, marketing and exhibition design for a networking event, DNA Carnival at Islington Mill, Salford. Other live briefs include Magma store promotion, album cover and merchandising for Ali Moss Late Bloomer (BT Ad) and ‘Sharing the Making’, a group that interacts with artisans in Peru to connect them with companies in the UK to offer fair trade. Another project was with BBC21CC, students worked alongside BBC media trainers teaching digital media skills to produce content for the BBC Big Screens.

Students are encouraged to undertake live briefs work placement, usually at the end of level 5 (year 2) and to enter competitions for which we have a number of winners each year!

Students gain work experience at a broad range of companies including Code, Design by Day, Creative Lynx, Hallmark, Every Last Pixel, True North, Dr Me, Like A River, Creative Lynx, Doodledo and Unconvention.

The Graphic Design programme delivers a popular professional speakers’ programme of leading design professionals, from a broad range of disciplines, to present their individual philosophies and portfolios. Speakers include Si Scott, Peter Saville, Pete Fowler, John Burgerman and Trevor Johnson. Their presentations can take the form of studio-based workshops as well as lecture sessions

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9,000
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

Students should expect to pay approximately £40 for studio levy, £100 for materials and £20 for study visits per year. Costs are approximated based on the current academic year.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

 

Facilities

The graphic design course has large studios and is able to offer students a supportive studio culture so that you can benefit from the creative community. There are two large computer suites and a smaller edit suite on site complete with appropriate industry standard software, in addition, there is a photography studio with facilities supporting both digital and traditional wet room, students can book into the print room which has newly equip water based printing presses as well as offering the full range of traditional print processes as well as a 3D Workshop.