Course Information

BA (Hons)

3 Years School of Architecture and Design Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BBC (or equivalent qualifications) W290

#1 Graphic Design is one of the University’s Design courses ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction, according to the National Student Survey 2016.


The BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree encourages students to become skilled visual communicators and provides the opportunity to work on project briefs that require practical skills and creative insight to find innovative solutions using a variety of media.

This programme aims to introduce students to the social context of graphic design. It covers a wide range of topics such as typography, advertising, branding, editorial, artists’ books, packaging, interactive design, animation, film and installation.

Our research-active academics practise in the industry and have active links to professional bodies and networks. This course has established links to the International Society of Typographic Designers. There are opportunities to undertake work experience and internships at design agencies.

How You Study

In the first year, students have the opportunity to work in both traditional and digital media, while learning about the fundamental principles of graphic design. The course introduces the creative methods needed in the industry to answer briefs and solve communication problems.

In the second year, more advanced concepts of graphic design are introduced.

The final year culminates in an end-of-year show and provides an opportunity for students to develop their own specialism.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of a degree. When engaging in a full-time degree students should, at the very least, expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time (including independent study) in addition to potentially undertaking assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Study

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

Interviews & Applicant Days

Applicants are invited for an interview and will have the opportunity to show your portfolio of work to a member of teaching staff.

Applicants should be able to rationalise the work in their portfolio, clearly express their ideas and opinions, and demonstrate their interest and involvement in graphic design. Enthusiasm and a lively approach are welcomed.

What We Look For In Your Application

Work that shows an application of design within a communication context is preferred. Your portfolio should contain a range of design work that reflects your ability to apply analytical and creative thought processes to solve a communication problem. It should also demonstrate engagement with a variety of media and production techniques.


Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of Architecture and Design Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC, including grade B from an A Level art, design or media studies related subject.

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall, with 5 at Higher Level from an art, design or media studies related subject.

BTEC Extended Diploma in an art, design or media related subject: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma in an art, design or media related subject: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

All applicants will also be required to have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English Language.

Applicants will need to complete a successful interview.

Mature students with extensive relevant work experience and a portfolio of work will be selected on individual merit. All relevant work experience should be noted on the application form.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Level 1

Contextualising Visual Practice 1

The module offers an introduction to design history and the study of visual culture and communication. Skills in research, analysis, debate, interpretation and critique can be developed and exercised though progressive stages of study designed to move students through from empirical to historically and theoretically informed analysis and interpretation.

Design Communication 1

This module is concerned with introducing students to the fundamental and underlying principles of graphic communication design practice along with the skills and processes that support it. Through a broad programme of study students will have the opportunity to develop a range of thinking and working strategies relevant to the practice of contemporary graphic design.

Visual Expression 1

This module aims to introduce students to visual expression and personal creative development through the means of appropriate media and processes as they relate to the broad nature of communication design and graphic design practice. The learning experience is intended to start the process of experimentation, speculation, innovation and personal exploration. Key to the module is the initial development of a visual voice.

Level 2

Contextualising Visual Practice 2

This module will consist of themes of study in design history and theory selected to provide students with the opportunity to gain an enhanced level of understanding, analysis and evaluation, and a range of topics suited to stimulate further independent research. The themes will be presented in sufficient depth to allow engagement with concepts, critical texts, and related disciplines where necessary, as well as a range of substantive materials.

Design Communication 2

This module encourages a conceptual approach to graphic design work and problem solving whilst retaining the highly professional and technical aspects of study acquired in other areas of the course. Students will have the opportunity to gain experience of solving client-related communication problems, meeting client expectations, and presenting creative and original solutions and findings through design projects that reference ethical and social issues.

Visual Expression 2

This module builds upon the aims and themes of Visual Expression 1 but is also compatible with study experiences of a similar nature students may have undertaken elsewhere.

The module operates on the notion that the students’ creative personal development and individual visual voice is developed through familiarity with a broad range of media and creative practices. Students will therefore have the opportunity to explore the various facets of visual communication with the intention of communicating complex and varied messages to a range of audiences.

Level 3

Contextualising Visual Practice 3

Contextualising Visual Practice 3 is an independent study module which takes the form of a dissertation and offers students an opportunity to explore in some depth a topic of their own choice which reflects their main area of study.

This is undertaken via tutor supported self-directed study and research. The module aims therefore, to broaden the scope of the student’s degree programme by allowing them to identify and pursue relevant academic and creative interests.

Design Communication 3

This module aims to prepare students for the realities of professional life or further study at postgraduate level. It encourages a thoughtful and innovative response to visual communication problems which reflects the intellectual rigour, creativity, knowledge and practical skills appropriate to graphic design practice at this higher level of first degree study.

Students are required to accept significant responsibility for initiating and identifying their individual professional goals within the subject, which may then inform the content of their programme of study. Students who wish to progress to postgraduate study within the University are actively encouraged to display extended intellectual rigour, challenge accepted conventions and develop a thoroughly investigative and highly critical approach in the pursuit of creative solutions to communication issues.

Visual Expression 3

This is a module that allows projects to be chosen from a range of areas within the subject by negotiation with the academic staff. At this level Graphic Design students have the opportunity to take responsibility for initiating and selecting the content of their study programme, according to their specific interests and career aspirations.

The themes studied in preceding Visual Expression modules are further developed at this level. This would include aspects of personal creative development, the further development of a visual voice along with the exploration and exploitation of a broad range of traditional and digital media. The aim is to provide the student with an opportunity to be innovative and where appropriate include authorial content in their work.

The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Live Briefs

Students have the opportunity to engage with both live project briefs set by external clients and also national and international competition briefs.

Visiting Lecturers

Professional design specialists enhance the curriculum through a visiting lecturer programme.


Students on this course will receive a licence for Adobe Creative Cloud free of charge


Although not a set part of the curriculum, all students are encouraged to seek placements in design agencies during their time with us. These placements have the potential to lead to further opportunities within the Graphic Design industry.

We also make every effort to get our students work seen by potential employers; final year students produce a website in conjunction with their final year show. This aims to showcase their individual talents.

Placement Year

When students are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, they will be required to cover their own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

Currently, 96% of Lincoln Graphic Design graduates are employed or in further study within six months of finishing this course, according to the latest (2013/14) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

Graduates who pursue careers as graphic designers work across both print and digital platforms. Recent graduates have worked for agencies including True North, Iris, Jaywing, Landor, Design Bridge, Coley Porter Bell, Brass, Raw, Elmwood, Jack Renwick Studio, as well as setting up their own independent studios or working as freelance graphic designers.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. []

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Other Costs

Additional costs on this course will be dependant on the projects undertaken by the student. Where possible the course will aim to supply materials and equipment but students are encouraged to discuss project ideas with tutors to ascertain any costs that may be incurred prior to undertaking work.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) Creative Advertising degree at Lincoln focuses on generating engaging and innovative communications. Shaped by collaborations with advertising agencies, this course aims to consider creative solutions for the challenges of global marketing. It explores the relationship between conceptual thinking, copywriting and design with the aim of helping students to develop an understanding of the integrated nature of effective advertising.
Design for Exhibition and Museums focuses on the design of narrative environments for commercial exhibitions, events, retail spaces, visitor attractions and museums. The programme specialises in ‘storytelling’, whether for a brand, a collection or an idea.
The BA (Hons) Fine Art degree focuses on the artist as a socially responsive, publicly-aware practitioner operating within physical, intellectual and digital networks and referencing local, national and global artistic platforms.
The BSc (Hons) Games Computing degree at Lincoln aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary for a technical career within the creative games and entertainment industry, including mobile, social media and console game development.
The MComp is a four-year degree programme which enhances and extends the equivalent BSc (Hons) programme. It provides the opportunity to study a range of modules at Master’s level and to complete a substantive project in an area of specific personal interest. Studying at Master’s level enables you to both deepen and broaden your knowledge and understanding. This can provide you with a stronger CV and may give you a distinct edge in the job market.
With established links to the Association of Illustrators, the BA (Hons) Illustration degree aims to enable students to develop their own unique visual signature style and encourages them to prepare for the competitive world of professional illustration.
The BA (Hons) Interactive Design degree at Lincoln is a broad-based design course providing opportunities to work on inspiring briefs to develop the innovative thinking, artistic creativity, flexibility and technical ability needed to succeed in the digital design industry.
The BA (Hons) Product Design degree at the University of Lincoln has been developed with people’s needs at the fore, concentrating on the generation, delivery and communication of ideas that challenge conventional thinking and open up new markets.

Tuition Fees

Full-time £9,250 per level £14,500 per level
Part-time £77.09 per credit point  
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

The University undergraduate tuition fee may increase year on year in line with government policy. This will enable us to continue to provide the best possible educational facilities and student experience.

In 2017/18, fees for all new and continuing undergraduate UK and EU students will be £9,250.

In 2018/19, fees may increase in line with Government Policy. We will update this information when fees for 2018/19 are finalised.

Please note that not all courses are available as a part-time option.

For more information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [] []


Student Work

  • Connect with us

    Graphic Design Blog @Lincoln_GD

    Success Stories


    Congratulations to Level 3 students Richard (Patch) Patrick and Kristian Sear and Level 2 student Josh Ost, who have all successfully gained membership to the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD). This annual award scheme gives students the opportunity to explore and develop typography as an inherent part of the design process. All three students submitted work for the Design Museum rebrand project.

    ISTD Awards

    Learn more about the School of Architecture and Design, our courses and what we do.


    We’re incredibly proud to say five of our year 3 students were short listed for the Shine Awards this year. Shine is a graduate scheme run by Coley Porter Bell (CPB), an amazing and high profile branding agency in London. The brief was to design a presentation pack for the Chivas 18 whiskey brand. Each student had to present to a judging panel consisting of CPB team members, their client from Chivas and one of our own, lecturer Dave Pettitt. It was a close ran thing but Liam ran out the winner! Suzie also received a commendation for her work.

    Shine Awards 2015

    Katherine West, Hannah Tomlinson, Liam Richardson, Suzie Armstrong and Summer Onley before the event at CPB  in London.

    The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions. []