Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Graphic Design

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Graphic design has played a key part in the application of new tools and technologies which innovate how visual content is created, communicated, and consumed. Today, as digital software, platforms and environments continue to evolve and change and so has the role of design and the designer.

A Graphic Design degree at Salford will provide you with an exciting opportunity to learn about and engage with the professional world of design, and to develop an individual, highly skilled practice that matches your ambitions for life after graduation

In year one you will be introduced to the essential principles of Graphic Design and through live and collaborative projects in year two you will have the opportunity to develop a whole range of practical, conceptual, collaborative, and technical skills. These are fundamental to ensure we to prepare you for a career in the creative industries. In the final year of this Graphic Design degree course you’ll complete a personal project to showcase your individual interests, where you’ll also have the opportunity to explore digital and traditional approaches to design and producing a range of outcomes that could include branding guidelines; prototypes for apps and websites; printed publications; social media materials; illustrations; typefaces; animations; and to build a unique portfolio of work that highlights your approach and abilities as a designer and an innovator.

You will be working with a diverse and experienced course team whose own work includes projects with Disney, Bloomberg, BBC, Guardian News and Microsoft. In addition, our staff team have worked with major international magazine and publishing companies. Working also with well-known figures from the music industry including New Order and The Doves; members of our team have also undertaken important funded projects exploring the role of identity within music.

Studying in our state-of-the-art New Adelphi building and based in Greater Manchester you will benefit from a wide range of research and networking opportunities. You’ll be surrounded by Design Studios, independent galleries, Museums and leading online brands and Social Media creatives. You’ll engage with a mix of industry-related and externally partnered projects undertaking assignments that investigate the social impact and potential of design as a driver of change.

Our students have won awards from prestigious competitions, recent wins include a D&AD (Design &. Art Direction) pencil winner, ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) and two student successes at the YCN (You Can Now) awards. Many of our students have also won bids for incubation start-up grants to create and generate their own businesses via support from the University of Salford business grants scheme. Take a look at some of the work our final year students have produced on this course.

On 14 March, we welcome a range of speakers to discuss collaboration in the world of Graphic Design. You can book a free ticket on Eventbrite for the V23 Exhibition and Conference

Want to learn more about studying on our Graphic Design degree? You can sign-up for an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

You will:

  • Learn about the broad applications of graphic design, with the opportunity to focus and personalise your studies
  • Overcome visual communication challenges using your research skills and ability to develop ideas
  • Learn about both digital and traditional design processes to equip you for a wide range of roles in your career
  • Graduate with a portfolio of work that you can share with potential employers or clients as you progress into your career

students accepted

This is for you if...


You already engage in graphic design but want to learn the skills you need to turn it into a career.


You’re eager to develop your practical and technical design work.


You want a rounded understanding of graphic design that includes digital and traditional methods, as well as an insight into the future of the graphic design sector.

Course details

All about the course

Studying graphic design at university will prepare you for success in an industry that is constantly moving. With digital media taking centre stage in today’s world, there’s never been a better time to study a graphic design degree in the UK.

In your first year, you will develop a broad understanding of the fundamentals of design practice, exploring a wide range of digital and traditional processes. There will be plenty of opportunities to put your learning into action in your own creative work. Our graphic design course is centred around practical projects with a strong ‘learn-by-doing’ approach.

In your second year, you will delve into advanced aspects of design, developing your knowledge further. You will work on projects looking at the role design plays in society and have opportunity to engage in live, externally partnered briefs to develop your awareness of professional practice and build insight into the possibilities of working in the creative industries.

Your final year on our graphic design course will require you to develop your portfolio and work on more self-directed major projects. Your final project will be negotiated with your tutor and you’ll have the freedom to take it in a direction that reflects your interests. It is an excellent opportunity to really show what you can do and put all of your hard work into practice.

You’ll be taught by experienced professionals who regularly contribute to international conferences, exhibitions, books and papers. You’ll cover a wide range of areas including typography, branding, art direction, user-experience (UX), printmaking, illustration and much more.

Find out what you’ll be covering in each module by taking a look at the course breakdown below.

Year one

Form and Content

This module introduces a variety of approaches to developing an applied understanding of the fundamental design principles used within graphic communication design practice. Through a series of practical workshops and projects you will examine process, materials, form, proportion, contrast, balance, space, colour and symbol and their impact and use.

Critical and Professional Contexts 1

The Critical and Contextual Practice module gives you the opportunity to intellectually explore and interrogate your chosen discipline. The module is supported by workshops, lectures and seminars aligned to and in support of the development of studio practice. The module aims to embed writing as a connected and integral part of design process where a series of interlocking, complementary texts and artefacts will be produced to help build deeper understanding of the theories, debates and discourses that surround the discipline of graphic communication design.

Process and Application

This module aims to develop an awareness of the contextual factors, which affect contemporary graphic communication design practice through the study of challenging real-world ‘wicked’ problems. Yous will be introduced to working within the constraints inherent in designing for specific purposes and encouraged to give due consideration of their responsibilities as designers to any stakeholders involved. Focus will be placed on the application of previous learning, the development of personal design processes and capabilities regards the generation of ideas and application of creative thinking.

Critical and Professional Contexts 1 (continued)

Further developing the knowledge and skills you acquired in semester one.

Year two

Graphic Design for...

In this module you will research how 21st century designers are expanding their role beyond the aesthetic and commercial and are applying their creative skills contributing to social, ecological and political issues. You will participate in several projects intended to help the development of socially responsible design practices and the broadening of perspective on how and where design can be applied in an ethical manner. These projects may range from devising and communicating inventive proposals to local level, everyday problems, to larger and more complex global issues such as food production, energy consumption, mass education and the protection and improvement of natural ecosystems and resources.

Critical and Professional Contexts 2

This module introduces further knowledge and context and facilitates the academic application and continuing development of the knowledge and skills gained on the course. You will investigate and test your position in relation to creative and cultural communities relevant to your developing practices. The module will also provide practice in working with others and explores the nature of applying research in collaborative situations.

Live Projects

This module will challenge you to utilise graphic communication skills and knowledge in the answering of a live design brief. Through negotiation, you will be encouraged to select and answer a project with externally set requirements. The work produced for this unit should demonstrate a clear understanding of the aims, goals, objectives and needs of stakeholders involved (clients, collaborative partners and target audiences). You will have the opportunity to expand and apply the skills and learning gained in an educational context within a professional setting.

Graphic Design and…

This module will allow you to investigate possibilities for graphic communication design connecting and interacting with other subjects such as sociology, anthropology, politics, science, philosophy, psychology, economics and technology. Through a series of project challenges, workshops and seminars, you will generate and evaluate ideas that help identify your own ambitions and develop specialist technical and practical skills.

Critical and Professional Contexts 2 (continued)

Further developing the knowledge and skills you acquired in semester one.

Creative Collaboration

The module will develop your awareness of the benefits of collaborative practice between different specialisms and the relationship between design and business. Where possible, the module will allow you to work on an engaging project alongside a live client and/or collaborate with other programmes within the school or wider University. 

Year three

Design Practice

This module offers the opportunity to consolidate specialist interests by enabling you to select from a range of projects that allow flexibility of process, media and outcome. These projects will be either course set, industry partnered or from a range of design award schemes.

Critical and Professional Contexts 3

This module requires you, in consultation with programme staff, to formulate, investigate and produce an individual response to a subject area connected to visual culture or key critical, professional subject debates. It will also allow you to consider and articulate a personal agenda and prepare for life after graduation through the development a post degree plan and related portfolio of work.

Negotiated Major Project

The Negotiated Major Project module is designed to allow you to bring together and synthesise your prior learning and experiences on the course through the definition, negotiation and implementation of a self-determined programme of study. You are encouraged to identify a theme, topic, issue or set of issues around which to focus your exploration leading to the development and presentation of a significant body of work.

Critical and Professional Contexts 3 (continued)

Further developing the knowledge and skills you acquired in semester one.

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.

What Will I Be Doing?


Practical studio work


Contextual and written work


As part of this graphic design degree course, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests.
Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.

We use a range of teaching methods including practical workshops, seminars, tutorials, lectures and self-directed study for skills development. Design projects are the main focus of learning and you will have regular opportunity to gain feedback on your work through group tutorials and seminars.

The time you’ll spend working on projects can vary from a single day to a full trimester or even the whole academic year. By working on these projects, you will develop transferrable skills, such as communication, organisation, team working, presenting and project management.

You’ll work on live briefs with our external partners in several of your modules, as well as have the chance to connect with industry professionals on a number of occasions.

Throughout this graphic design course, you’ll record and reflect on your experiences. This will help you to develop an awareness of your understanding of the subject and help you to develop your skills.

You’ll have access to regular group tutorials where you can feedback on progress and discuss what you’ve learned. In these sessions, you’ll explore ideas and concepts through group discussion.

Workshops are sessions in which you’ll be taught and be able to develop your practical and technical skills.


For studio-based modules, you will be assessed on 100% of coursework, which usually involves research and development work including ideas generation, design process, final outcomes and reflective analysis and evaluation.

The Critical and Professional Contexts modules offer a theoretical and cultural underpinning to your design practice. Assessments for these modules will take the form of written projects, presentations and visual work


All our Art and Design courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.


This Graphic Design course is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of design and creativity on campus.

When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our art and design facilities. These include:

Studio space – dedicated areas for each course, giving you room to think and create.

MarkerSpace workshop - create digital rapid prototypes using 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters and more.

Photography studios - industry standard photographic studios, which you can use in conjunction with darkrooms and digital printing facilities.

Workshops – from print to textiles, wood to metal, our range of workshops allow you to take your ideas from page to reality and work in a variety of media.

Mac suites - equipped with the industry-standard software you’ll need during your studies and in the world of work.

Explore our Art and Design facilities at New Adelphi, or take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.



Are you looking to learn more about the background of our Art and Design tutors and technical demonstrators or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Art and Design faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


After graduating, you will be well-equipped to go into a number of areas of graphic design, including branding, design for print, editorial design, illustration, web design, and many more. In addition, you will gain the skills you need to move into related careers within the ever-evolving creative industries in marketing, project management, social media and account handling. You may choose to work for an established business or secure your own work as a freelance professional.

Students from our graphic design undergraduate degree have gone on to work both nationally and internationally at companies such as Absolute, Aire Global, Allotment Productions, The BBC, BGN Agency, Cafeteria, Code Computer Love, Cube3, Dept, Dootrix, Factory Create, Havas Lynx, magneticNorth, Mighty Giant, Monterossa, Refinery, Social Chain, The Hut Group (THG) and Umlaut.

You can read Summer-May Henry’s – an experienced professional and graduate from this course – story about which projects she’s worked on since graduating. 


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through  our Postgraduate programmes  on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal. 

A taste of what you could become

A Graphic designer

An Illustrator

An App designer

An Animator

And more...

Career Links

We offer many opportunities to engage with industry and this graphic design degree has close links with a range of design companies and industry networks both locally and nationally.

Industry experience is also integrated into your modules, with live briefs and other opportunities such as print fairs and exhibitions at internationally acclaimed venues within the north-west and beyond.

Live projects include Decode Recode as part of the official Opening of the University Building at MediaCityUK, this ran for 24 hours across 24 countries, as 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, where students worked alongside BBC media trainers teaching digital media skills to produce content for the BBC Big Screens.

While not an assessed part of the course or module work, students are supported and encouraged to search for and undertake live briefs, freelance work or industry placement during the course, usually during the summer vacation period between years two and three.

Students have undertaken work experience at a broad range of companies including Code, Design by Day, Hallmark, Havas Lynx, True North, Lazerian, Like A River, Doodledo and Unconvention.

The programme also hosts talks from leading design professionals who are invited to share their individual experiences and work. Recent speakers have included practitioners such as Sarah Boris, Jane Bowyer, DR ME, Malcolm Garrett, IDEO, Craig Oldham, Represent, and Textbook Studio.


What you need to know


To gain a place on this Graphic Design bachelor’s degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

Within your Graphic Design degree personal statement (up to 500 words), we’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of art and design and visual communication; whether that’s graphic design and illustration, for example?
  • how have you been involved and what did you do?
  • Are you a creative thinker and how do you develop ideas into designs?
  • do you have any knowledge in the creative industries or graphic design sector; are there any projects that inspire you?
  • why do you want to work in the graphic design sector?
  • and why the University of Salford and this graphic design degree is the right choice for your future goals.

As part of your application, we will need to see a portfolio of work to provide opportunity for you to share your creative practice with us. Any offers will be conditional upon our subject team having the opportunity to review your portfolio, and we look forward to viewing your work. For some applicants, you may also be asked to take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.

Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.

Want to find out more about our Graphic Design degree? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Art and Design courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

104-112 points 

A level

104-112 points 

T level


BTEC National Diploma

DMM arts and design or design and technology

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Distinction = 112 UCAS points - if you have a Pass (80 points) or Merit (96 points), you must have additional qualifications to a total of 112 points.

Foundation Degree

Applicants may be considered for entry into year three

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 112 points (relevant subject) 

Scottish Highers

112 points including Art & Design/Design & Technology

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points including Art & Design/Design & Technology

International Baccalaureate

31 points including Art and Design/Design and Technology

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 73% overall (relevant subject)

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course. Or if you have finished high school in your country but don’t have the qualifications to gain entry to this course, you can take our International Foundation Year as a pathway to this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £17,040.00per year

Additional costs

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

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID W211 BA/GR

Institution S03