Key Information

Full-time

3 years (4 years with Foundation Year)

Typical Offer

View

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

W290

Course Code

GRAGRAUB

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Graphic Design at Lincoln is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2023 (out of 64 ranking institutions).

Key Information

Full-time

3 years (4 years with Foundation Year)

Typical Offer

View

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

UCAS Code

W290

Course Code

GRAGRAUB

Barrie Tullett - Programme Leader

Barrie Tullett - Programme Leader

A graduate of St Martins School of Art and Chelsea School of Art, Barrie Tullett has worked as a freelance designer and illustrator with clients including the Science Museum (his drawings are part of the National Collection) and the London Underground. He is the author of Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology (Laurence King Publishing, 2014).

Academic Staff List

Welcome to BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Graphic Design at Lincoln encourages students to become skilled visual communicators, providing the opportunity to work on projects that require practical skills and creative insight to find innovative solutions.

The degree introduces students to the social relevance of graphic design. It covers a wide range of topics such as typography, advertising, branding, editorial design, artists' books, packaging, interactive design, animation, film, and installation.

By providing the opportunity to work on projects that require practical design skills, as well as creative insights into finding innovative solutions, our students can become adept visual communicators

Our research-active academics, such as Programme Leader Barrie Tullett, practise in the industry and this course has established links to the International Society of Typographic Designers.

Throughout the programme there are opportunities for students to undertake work experience and internships at design agencies. Currently students are given free access to Adobe Creative Cloud and LinkedIn Learning.

You can also find out more about what our staff and students are doing by following the Lincoln School of Design Twitter account at https://twitter.com/Lincoln_GD or by following us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lincoln_gd/.

This programme is also available with an Arts Foundation Year, which can provide an alternative route of entry onto the full degree programme. Find out more at https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/.

How You Study

In the first year, students are encouraged to work in both traditional and digital media while studying the fundamental principles of graphic design. The course introduces the creative methods needed in the industry to answer briefs, solve communication problems, and meet deadlines, alongside a theory course that underpins the social context and history of the subject.

This knowledge is taken further in the second year, where more advanced concepts of graphic design are introduced. The third year provides an opportunity for students to develop their own specialism with a range of projects to choose from, including projects set by industry. The third year culminates in a physical or online end-of-year degree show.

During the three years of the course, students are encouraged to undertake competition briefs or apply to recognised industry award schemes. The course has an impressive track record of success with the YCN Awards, British Book Design & Publication Awards, the RSA Student Design Awards, Adobe Top Talent Awards, and many others. Depending on the award scheme, these offer opportunities for networking, industry recognition, placements and bursaries.

As the course progresses, students will develop a professional portfolio of work through a mixture of studio projects and independent, collaborative, and industry-led briefs.

Studio practice is a key element of this course, and students will have the opportunity to spend a lot of time in creative studio environments. Teaching and learning experiences may include online and studio activities, peer groups, lectures, workshops, seminars, and group tutorials. Students can also benefit from one-to-one tutorials, portfolio reviews, and self-initiated work experience.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.

Find out More

An Introduction to Your Modules


† Some courses may offer optional modules. 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.

Contextual Studies 1 2023-24DES1001MLevel 42023-24This module is designed to introduce students to relevant concepts, debates, and case studies relating to the nature creativity and the creative process, as the basis for the development of a reflective creative practice. This aims to compliment and underpin the studio work students carry out with the programme-specific team during the rest of their programme of study.CoreDesign Fundamentals 1 2023-24GRA1184MLevel 42023-24This module introduces students to key visual design principles, research, ideation, development, presentation, and the digital tools required to facilitate and demonstrate visual concepts. The work in this module equips students with the technical proficiency required to support independent study, underpinned by user-centred design theories and methodologies.Students are encouraged to explore a range of ideas both individually and collaboratively with outputs via workshops, critiques, and independent study.CoreGraphic Communication 1 2023-24GRA1185MLevel 42023-24This 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. The programme of study will explore a range of creative strategies that consider the relationship between form, structure, content and audience. Students will also be introduced to appropriate graphic design terminology, theories, and principles.CoreVisual Expression 1 2023-24GRA1186MLevel 42023-24This 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 initiate a process of experimentation, speculation, innovation and personal exploration. Key to the module is the initial development of the students own visual voice.CoreContextual Studies 2 2024-25DES2001MLevel 52024-25Building upon issues concerning the development of a reflective creative practice, Contextual Studies 2 introduces students to relevant concepts, debates, and case study examples concerning the professional, economic, and socio-cultural contexts of design within the creative industries. It will also discuss ethical issues as they relate to this professional context of the creative industries and shape the creative motivations of areas such as design activism, ecological orientations, and socially engaged creative practices. These themes and debates will form an overarching discussion of professional design practice.CoreDesign Fundamentals 2 2024-25GRA2188MLevel 52024-25This module extends the technical proficiency, study and investigation of visual communication, with an emphasis on new digital mediums. The module expands on previous skills and theory from level 1, such as working with Interaction, User Interface, and User experience design in order to produce material for digital and print distribution. As such, Design Fundamentals 2 builds on the necessary skills to develop a broad range of artefacts at a higher visual, conceptual standard. Students expand on the range of exciting possibilities for visual communication and are encouraged to explore the visual / aesthetic, functionality, effects and navigation, particular to the individuals creative direction, to create a rich variety of experimental aesthetics and visual experiences.CoreGraphic Communication 2 2024-25GRA2189MLevel 52024-25This module encourages a conceptual approach to graphic design work and problem solving whilst developing the highly professional and technical aspects of study acquired in other areas of the course at level two. Students may 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.CoreVisual Expression 2 2024-25GRA2190MLevel 52024-25In Year 2, this module focuses on the further development of your creative and conceptual skills, (building on the learning begun at Level 1). The creative and conceptual approaches to problem solving you develop in this module are complimentary to, and symbiotically linked to the skills necessary to successfully complete all the briefs in other modules. 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 may therefore, explore the various facets of visual communication with the intention of communicating complex and varied messages to a range of audiences. Embracing the ethos of creative risk taking, speculation and individuality underpins the rationale behind Visual Expression 2.CoreContextual Studies 3 2025-26DES3001MLevel 62025-26Contextual Studies 3 is an independent research study module which takes the form either of a dissertation and/or a number of other options. The module offers students an opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, chosen generally, but not exclusively in relation to the practice and/or context of their programme-specific studies and studio practice.CoreDesign Fundamentals 3 2025-26GRA3178MLevel 62025-26This module focuses on the transition from student to designer, and is aligned with the expectations of the Graphic Design and related industries. The module focuses on reinforcing the process of applied theories, fundamentals and principles particular to Graphic Design practice. Students will be expected to complete specific stand-alone project outcomes, but also those which relate to those for the Visual Expression 3 and Graphic Communication 3 modules. A large part of the Design Fundamental 3 module aims to allow students to prepare themselves for their personal career paths through links to industries, portfolio reviews, talks and workshops with practicing creatives and a psychologist in order to allow students to complete their studies full of confidence and positivity for life after graduation.CoreGraphic Communication 3 2025-26GRA3179MLevel 62025-26This is a module that allows students to determine their own programme of study within their chosen specialism in graphic design. Projects may be chosen from a range of areas within the subject by negotiation with academic staff. At this level Graphic Design students accept full 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.CoreVisual Expression 3 2025-26GRA3180MLevel 62025-26This is a module that allows students to determine their own programme of study within their chosen specialism in graphic design. Projects may be chosen from a range of areas within the subject by negotiation with academic staff. At this level Graphic Design students accept full responsibility for initiating and selecting the content of their study programme, according to their specific interests and career aspirations. The themes studied in the preceding Visual Expression modules are further developed and consolidated at this level. This includes 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.Core

How you are assessed

As this course aims to develop a wide range of practical and intellectual skills, assessment is varied and includes presentations, written projects, individual and group practical work, projects, and portfolios, in addition to academic essays.

There are no formal end-of-year examinations. Throughout the degree, students are assessed through their production of practical and written work.

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.

Methods of Assessment
The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework for example including design project work and presentations; and written assignments. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course-Specific Additional Costs

Standard workshop induction costs are covered by the University, as are some initial printing and material costs. However, depending on the media/materials chosen by the student, there may be additional material and printing costs incurred.

Students on this course have the opportunity to take part in field trip and international study visits. The University covers the costs of mandatory field trips, but optional study visits are at the students own expense. Previous destinations have included New York and Berlin. Students are responsible for covering their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs while undertaking work experience or internships.

Entry Requirements 2023-24

United Kingdom


A Level: BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels or equivalent qualifications).

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points.

A combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTEC, EPQ, etc.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry. We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Arts Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/

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 admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

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.

Competitions

Students are encouraged to enter a range of competitions, for which the course has an enviable track record of success. Previous students have won the RSA Student Design Awards, graduated as members of the International Society of Typographic Designers, won D&AD yellow pencils, had projects reach the semi-finals of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, and been commended for the YCN Student Awards. Find out more about our students' recent competition successes: https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/lsd/studentawards/

Final Year Showcase

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.

Visiting Lecturers

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

Adobe Creative Cloud

Students are currently provided with free access to Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk software, and Lynda.com for the duration of their studies.

Optional Study Trips

Students can choose to participate in optional study visits. Recent destinations include New York. These trips are funded by the students attending.

Specialist Facilities

Through instilling in our design students a thoughtful and critical approach to the way they think about design and apply their creative skills, we aim to prepare them to be leaders in the creative industries.

The University of Lincoln has a comprehensive range of facilities designed to provide a supportive environment for creative practitioners. Students have regular access to workshops, labs, studios, and industry-standard equipment, as well as highly knowledgeable technicians. This environment can help students to develop their knowledge and skills, and complements our purpose-built design studios.

Explore Our Facilities

Student Design Awards

Lincoln School of Design students have a long history of winning and being shortlisted for international and national student design competitions, and the last few years have been no exception.

Find out More

Student Award winners with their certificates

Placements

All students are encouraged to seek optional placements in design agencies during their time at University. This gives them the chance to gain hands-on experience and to establish contacts within the graphic design industry.

Students are responsible for covering their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs while undertaking placements.

Portfolios

Applicants will be invited to submit a digital portfolio of work. The portfolio should contain a range of art and design work that reflects your creativity, ability to apply analytical and creative thought processes and demonstrates your exploration of a variety of media and techniques. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate their interest and involvement in a broad spectrum of art and design.

We are looking for the following in a portfolio; sketchbooks and preparatory work showing evidence of your creative ideas and development through:

- Primary and secondary research
- Evidence of you developing ideas visually and exploring alternative solutions by sketching, drawing, and trying different kinds of materials
- Intelligent analytical annotation, we would like you to comment on why you did something not simply describe what you have done.

Portfolio Tips

  • Label your work and order it in a logical way
  • Feel free to include anything that isn’t quite finished or is work in progress – if you feel it shows your creative style and interests.
  • 15-20 samples of work in your submission would be ideal.
  • Please title your work with your full name and UCAS number
Headshot of graduate Samantha Carr-Hyde

"My degree made me stand out from the crowd and enabled me to secure my job. I had the necessary experience and knowledge of the design industry because of the work I produced during my degree."

Samantha Hicks, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate and currently Senior Designer at Ruddocks

Career Opportunities

Graduates who pursue careers as graphic designers can 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, Interbrand, and Johnson Banks. Some set up their own independent studios or work as freelance graphic designers.

Visit Us in Person

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Visiting us in person is important and will help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

Book Your Place

Prioritising Face-to-Face Teaching

At the University of Lincoln, we strive to ensure our students’ experience is engaging, supportive, and academically challenging. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have adapted to Government guidance to keep our students, staff, and community safe. All remaining Covid-19 legal restrictions in England were lifted in February 2022 under the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid-19, and we have embraced a safe return to in-person teaching on campus. Where appropriate, face-to-face teaching is enhanced by the use of digital tools and technology and may be complemented by online opportunities where these support learning outcomes.

We are fully prepared to adapt our plans if changes in Government guidance make this necessary, and we will endeavour to keep current and prospective students informed. For more information about how we are working to keep our community safe, please visit our coronavirus web pages.

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.