Search for courses or information

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Course overview

Start date

September 2017

Subject area

Arts and Digital Industries





On campus

Course summary

As a future talent of the graphic design industry, we’ll prepare you for the exciting new challenges this field offers. You’ll need the ability to work both individually and as part of a team, making large-scale projects happen and bringing big ideas to life.

To land the job you want in graphic design you’ll need to be a strong visual communicator in the delivery of future products, services and ideas. So we want to provide you with all the tools to experiment but also to explore and invent, as you examine where 21st-century design is heading.

Our expert teachers will help you identify where your potential truly lies. At the University of East London, we’re a team. We’ll value your ideas and we’ll give you the confidence to express and realise them.

We’ll prepare you for a rewarding future career in graphic design by looking at the practical skills involved, as well as giving you a firm grounding in academic theory. At the core of all you’ll study and create, there is an uplifting sense of the spirit of design here. Check out our students' showcase booklets 
L'automàtica and G2016.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an ‘extended’ four-year course. You'll begin with a foundation year which prepares you for a successful transition to the BA degree.

We regularly host exhibitions and talks, to find out more about these and our school please visit our school page

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


UCAS points

Less points?

Course options

Degree + Foundation year

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch

Academic excellence

Our course is becoming known for its excellence. Two of our recent students, for instance, have progressed to the Royal College of Art against remarkable international competition. Check out our student blogs, and

Career prospects

Companies rate the quality of our graduates highly. Previous students are employed by a variety of businesses, from design and advertising agencies to typographic design studios, leading architectural practices and moving image production houses.

International exposure

You’ll get the chance to interact with international colleagues. Our students have worked alongside postgraduates from overseas universities. This year they have worked on a live project with students from Iowa State University and a social-design project based in Detroit.

Enquire Visit UEL

Temidayo Kolawole

Graphic Design, BA (Hons), undergraduate

UEL’s Graphic design course is one that embodies the philosophies of past pioneers in the context of today’s graphic design and its advancement. Here it seems we are at the epicentre of creating ideas that will move, influence and shape the world.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 24 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. All applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a portfolio of their work (Please see below for details).


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Foundation in Art and Design grade Pass and 1 subject at A2 Level
Your portfolio should contain between three and five projects that you have undertaken in the areas of drawing, print, graphic art or illustration. It should be between ten and fifteen sheets in length and should not exceed A1 in size.

The portfolio should show evidence of observational drawing, the development of an idea through to a completed illustration, and techniques and processes that you have worked with. We are particularly interested in seeing your sketchbooks / journals to see how you develop your ideas.

At interview you should be prepared to discuss your work, ideas and ambitions. You should also be able to discuss graphic artists, illustrators or animators who influence you.

Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

We will also consider the UEL New Beginnings pre-entry course

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

We believe graphic design is changing, becoming a bridge to connect people, communities, ideas and identities. Corporate design, for instance, must be responsible to people and communities as well as responding to commercial pressures.

So new ways of working are emerging, and we’ll prepare you, as tomorrow’s designers, to engage with others to consider wider problems and issues.

Graphic designers need to be acutely aware of their roles and responsibilities. That’s why our course will prepare you to understand your subject in relation to other disciplines - principally economics, politics, psychology and ethical issues.

You’ll learn practical skills such as typographic design, classification of typefaces and their uses, and layout design. You’ll also explore book design, print production, advertising media, corporate branding and editorial design.

We’re at the cutting edge of developments in web design, motion graphics, design for social media and for communities. So you’ll examine both 2D and 3D working methodologies and media, too.

What you'll study and when

Art & Design Studio (core)
Art & Design Workshop (core)
Contextual Studies (core)
Graphic Design Level 4 (Core)
Typography (core)
Contextual Studies Level 4 (core)
Graphic Design Level 5 (Core)
Going Public Level 5 (Core)
Contextual Studies Level 5 (Core)
Graphic Design Level 6 (Core)
Going Public Level 6 (Core)
Contextual Studies Level 6 (Optional)
Art and Design Dissertation (Optional)

How you'll be assessed

We'll give you feedback throughout all of your practice modules. You'll document and reflect on this feedback and your learning in general in ‘research journals’. We monitor these journals in one-to-one tutorials throughout the learning period before you submit them for marking at the end of the module.

You'll also be given the opportunity to develop assignment tasks. The two main forms of assessment for practice modules are the journal and your portfolio.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification

How you'll learn

We work as a winning team in graphic design. “We’re all smarter because we work together,” as our course leader, Tim Foster, puts it.

You’ll be guided by supportive staff who’ve worked at the highest level of design practice. Lecturer Stephen Barrett has worked in the design industry for the past seven years and now runs his own design practice.

You’ll be able to take advantage of our academic team's excellent connections as you improve your skills by undertaking practical work experience.

Our visiting lecturers have included the award-winning film maker Jonathan Glazer, director of notable works in advertising, music videos and films 'Sexy Beast' (2000), 'Birth' (2004) and the critically acclaimed 'Under the Skin' (2013).

They’ve also featured top graphic designers such as Alex Cowper, Sara De Bondt and Jonathan Barnbrook, the one-time Damien Hirst collaborator, who himself was once taught by our own Tim Foster.

We’ll enable you to rehearse your future by providing you with a range of different experiences, including opportunities to study abroad and academic exchanges with great schools in Europe and America.

In 2014, we launched a fully equipped a design studio for our third-year students. It features iMacs, A3 and A4 scanners, laser printers with Riso printers and wall projectors.

And where better to study and create than in the creative hub of east London, with regular studio and agency visits arranged for you?

Check out our student blogs, and 

Your future career

Our course helps develop graduates who are creative, innovative and going places.

Recently, two of our class of 2013, Charlotte Maeva-Perret and Francesco Tacchini, went on to study further at the Royal College of Art, where they're considered to be among the country’s leading young talents.

While some go on to postgraduate studies, others quickly start to make their names in leading design and advertising agencies, typographic design studios, corporate graphics companies and moving image production houses.

One 2012 graduate, Joe Pleass, has already had one of his co-creations selected for permanent exhibition in the design section of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Called OTOTO, it’s a musical invention kit that allows you to make anything from a drum kit of saucepans to origami that sing when you touch them!

Joe, who’s also managed exhibitions at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, never looked back after going on one of our exchange visits with students in Minnesota.

Such placements, exchange trips and ‘live’ projects with professional designers are all geared to provide you with the experience that will prepare you for a career in graphic design.

Initially, that could be, for instance, as an assistant or freelance designer, an assistant art editor, magazine designer or advertising creative.

You may also be interested in

  • Why study at UEL?

  • Student finance

  • Introduction to Law and Criminology

Related courses

Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London. 

Visit Country Pages