BA (Hons) Graphic Design

90% of BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Lincoln stated they were satisfied with learning resources, according to the National Student Survey 2018.

The Course

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.

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, and to work with industry mentors. Previous students have undertaken placements with McCann Central and Curious. Currently students are given free access to Adobe Creative Cloud and Autodesk software, and

Find out more about our students' recent competition successes:

In the first year, students are able 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 and to solve communication problems.

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 optional modules to choose from. It culminates in an end-of-year show. Modules can include Visual Expression; Design Communication; and Contextualising Visual Practice.

Contact Hours and Reading for a Degree

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.

Contextualising Visual Practice 1 (Core)
Find out more

Contextualising Visual Practice 1 (Core)

It is a cliché but graphic design is everywhere. A simple combination of text and type, images and/or graphics can be crafted to convey endless messages, from the promotional to political, educational to emotional, the functional and the frivolous. As such, graphic design practice can be difficult to comprehend simply because it is so pervasive and because it encompasses so much. Contextualising Visual Practice 1 aims to raise students’ awareness of the scope and impact of graphic design in our everyday lives, so that they can begin to orientate themselves through the ways in which it can be analysed and understood, principally in relation to its purpose and its effect (functional and aesthetic) but also within its varied social, cultural and historic contexts.

Design Communication 1 (Core)
Find out more

Design Communication 1 (Core)

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 (Core)
Find out more

Visual Expression 1 (Core)

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.

Contextualising Visual Practice 2 (Core)
Find out more

Contextualising Visual Practice 2 (Core)

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 (Core)
Find out more

Design Communication 2 (Core)

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 (Core)
Find out more

Visual Expression 2 (Core)

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.

Contextualising Visual Practice 3 (Core)
Find out more

Contextualising Visual Practice 3 (Core)

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 (Core)
Find out more

Design Communication 3 (Core)

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 (Core)
Find out more

Visual Expression 3 (Core)

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.

† 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.

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, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. 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.

Successful applicants will be invited to a Portfolio Review, where they will have the opportunity to go through their portfolio with a member of the academic team. This will form the basis for a discussion of your current interests in Graphic Design and how you would like to develop your ideas and practice at Lincoln.

Portfolio Review

Successful applicants will be invited to a Portfolio Review, where they will have the opportunity to go through their portfolio with a member of the academic team. This will form the basis for a discussion of your current interests in Graphic Design and how you would like to develop your ideas and practice at Lincoln.

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, (Did you look further than ‘Google’ for example?)
  • 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.
    We don’t need you to mount your work on card or put it in plastic sheets. Neatly collated, clearly labelled, and placed in order is all that we require (as this makes it easier for us to look through your work).
Live Briefs

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


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:

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 for the duration of their studies.

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.

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.


Some courses offer students the opportunity to undertake placements. 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 (where available). Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Tuition Fees

Full-time £9,250 per level* £15,900 per level**
Part-time £77.00 per credit point†  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt


Full-time £9,250 per level £15,900 per level
Part-time £77.00 per credit point†  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

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

* UK/EU: 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.

** International: The fees quoted are for one year of study. For continuing students fees are subject to an increase of 2% each year and rounded to the nearest £100.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

- In exceptional circumstances, students who are required to re-take modules can do so on an 'assessment only' basis. This means that students do not attend timetabled teaching events but are required to take the assessments/examinations associated with the module(s). The 'assessment only' fee is half of the £ per credit point fee for each module.

Exceptionally, tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

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. [] []

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.

Other 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 student’s 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.

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

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

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.

EU and International students whose first language is not English will require English Language IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element, or equivalent

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and will consider applicants who have a mix of qualifications.

We 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.

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:

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

Unconditional Offer Scheme

The University of Lincoln Unconditional Offer Scheme has been created to identify outstanding undergraduate applicants who we think would excel at Lincoln and make a significant contribution to our academic community.

The University of Lincoln takes a holistic contextual view, looking at students in the round, including all the information supplied in their application and any additional relevant assessment required, such as a portfolio, or interview. The qualities required for success are therefore not exclusively academic, and students’ drive, ambition, creativity, and potential are important factors in those considered for the scheme.

Applicants selected for the scheme, who commit to the University of Lincoln as their first choice of university, will receive an unconditional offer. We expect students in receipt of an unconditional offer to continue to apply themselves in their studies, both at school and when they join our academic community here at Lincoln. In previous years students who were selected and joined through the Lincoln unconditional offer scheme have shown very good success rate in their studies.

Please remember that as you may receive a number of offers from the universities which you have applied to, you should take your time to consider all of the offers that you receive and carefully choose the university and course which is right for you. There is no need for you to make a decision ahead of the deadline and we would recommend that you wait to receive all of the responses from your chosen universities so that you can take a well-informed decision.

We expect all our offer holders to continue to apply themselves in their studies, both at school and when they join our academic community here at Lincoln. Your exam results will be important for your own personal satisfaction and also for your future career and life opportunities.

Find out more about the Unconditional Offer Scheme

Learn from Experts

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


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).

Your Future Career

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.

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

Graphic Design alumni resized 2

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 Carr-Hyde, Graphic Design graduate


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.

Students on this course are provided with free access to Adobe Creative Cloud and Autodesk software, and

The Great Central Warehouse Library is home to more than 250,000 journals and 400,000 print and electronic books, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

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.