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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

In a time of emerging automation and artificial intelligence it will be the designers, the thinkers and the problem solvers who will shape the world to come. Being agile, multi-skilled and adaptable will be key to employability in a global and dynamic job market.

BA Graphic Design at UEL combines the study of traditional visual communication with the possibilities of emerging technologies. We provide the forum and facilities (link) in which staff and industry expertise fuse with students' own knowledge, experience and ambition. We explore both practical and theoretical understanding and, from the outset, we encourage students to think experimentally and evolve our field.

This course operates within the Art and Creative Design subject. This allows students to work collaboratively, broadening their knowledge base while forging a creative community. Cluster-wide workshops allow our students to build a unique portfolio of skills essential to the Fourth Industrial Age.

Foundation year 

The extended course with Foundation Year is perfect if you want a degree in Graphic Design, but don't meet the standard entry requirements.  First we prepare you for your degree during the Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree.

What makes this course different

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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, www.uelgraphicdesign.co.uk and www.uelgoingpublic.co.uk

Two women talking

Global reach

Through the University’s Going Global scheme students have travelled far and wide – from Tokyo to Minneapolis to Moscow. Our students have showcased work at the D&AD Impact Awards in New York.

Exhibition

Competitive edge

Our students have competed at an international level at the D&AD Impact awards.

Globe

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.

Three people wearing suits

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.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Graphic designers employ a broad of range of skills to complete projects, including practical, conceptual, theoretical, social and commercial knowledge. We focus on building skills in these areas through direct experience.

You will learn about the key design processes; research, ideation, iteration, production and presentation – and how to apply them to new scenarios. Examples of practical applications of these key processes include:

  • Editorial and print design
  • Typography
  • Web and app design
  • Broader visual communication practices such as studio photography, moving image, 3D prototyping and animation

By developing theoretical and conceptual skills, you will learn to locate your graphic design practice in a wider professional and critical field. You will gain advanced awareness of design histories, context and applications, and you will develop the ability to engage in and understand critical discussions around design.

Studying BA Graphic Design will furnish you with a host of transferable skills - but more importantly you will learn adaptability and develop the necessary competencies to tackle the 4th Industrial Age.

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up to date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change. 

MODULES

  • Core Modules
  • Core Modules
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    Professional Life 1 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will begin to recognise the areas for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self- awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback. Students will additionally develop knowledge of strategies to advance their own physical intelligence through ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches to inform their health and wellbeing.

    Having acquired understanding of the key developmental areas, students will have opportunity to join in-house activities as a trainee, mentored and supervised by students from higher years. In this position they will learn and begin to apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences developed elsewhere in their studies (and from  external activities) as required in the workplace, namely cognitive flexibility, emotional resilience, motivation, ethical decision-making, managing your audience, coordinating with others, negotiation, creativity, active listening, attention, problem solving, research, synthesis and analysis.

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    Practice 1

    The module serves as a rigorous introduction to a creative practice, an overview of fundamental skills that will enable experimentation and application, developing their own working practice. The module aims to provide students with an introduction to practical and critical study, to understand the role of research in creative practice and in supporting the development of creative projects. The approach aims to imbue an experimental and open-minded attitude that enhances levels of production, strengthens adaptability, personal confidence and the ability to creatively solving visual ideas. Through experimental and production of work, students become to understand their work in relation to research and feel empowered. The module allows students to discuss and develop their work with the help of group critiques and views of others in the enhancement of ideas through to creative outcomes.

     

    At the end of the module students will be able to begin to self-manage the development of a creative practice, and to disseminate ideas.

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    Contextual Studies 1

    Contextual Studies in the first term equips students to understand the history of fine art, fine art technology, graphic design, design interaction, illustration, animation, photography and creative writing and its relevance today. The module comprises thematic lectures, seminars, screenings and field trips as well as keystone research and writing skills such as the use of citation, referencing and academic integrity appropriate to undergraduate study. The module content will support development of students’ practical work on the adjoining modules. At the end of the module, students would have developed the skills for analysing and contextualising their own work, and that of their peers.

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    Research into Practice 1

    Students will begin to establish an intellectual framework within which they can begin to understand a relationship between theory and their own practice. Students will begin to contribute critically in the seminars, in relation to contemporary and historical research methodologies. The module is supported by one-to-one tutorials. At the end of the module, students would have developed the skills for analysing and contextualising their own work, to be applied further in second year of their study. The outcome of this module is both a presentation of the student’s practice or research area and a written work.

    The lectures are complemented by tutor led discussion focusing on student work in progress, interrogating the practical work within the context established by the lectures in order to promote deeper understanding and extend creative ambition.

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    Experimentation and Application 1A

    The module introduces the student to a range of processes and practices, skills and knowledge, through a series of workshops and projects. The module equips the student to discover a range of techniques working within context of their discipline and support their developing practice.

     

    The module focusses on process, developing skills and practical knowledge encouraging students to discover a range of creative ways of working within the context of their discipline as well as extended practice supporting their developing practice. The module is backed up through regular group tutorials.

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    Experimentation and Application 1B

    The module introduces the student to a further range of processes and practices, skills and knowledge, through a series of workshops, projects and electives to extend their practice.

    Technical introductions and workshops enable the student to broaden the scope of their skills and practice, as well as specific workshops pertinent to contemporary processes and methods, including a range of analogue and digital tools.

    These skills and processes are introduced and discussed in relation to the development of a visual language applicable to contemporary fine art, graphic design, illustration, photography and animation practice.

    The module allows students to present their work to audiences, testing their ideas and concepts, receiving feedback feeding forward to their practice and to level 5 of study. Cross-disciplinary exhibitions are encouraged as well as inter-disciplinary discourse.

    The module Practice into Research supports the module, and allows student to contextualise their practice in a form of a presentation of their work.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Life 2 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply several of the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 4 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness/ life briefs and commissions to join in the role of ‘Producer’. In this position they will take on a specific production role, working collaboratively with peers and academic staff on a live project. In doing so they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences learnt elsewhere in their studies (and external development) required in the workplace. In addition to the intelligences developed in the level 4 Mental Wealth Module, students will also focus on service orientation, self-discipline & management, reaction & response time, cognitive & muscle memory, managing stress, critical thinking, Complex problem-solving, research, synthesis & analysis.

    Main topics of study:

    The module will enable students to apply and develop further a variety of skills-based competencies explored at level 4, including self-awareness and regulation; mindfulness; emotional resilience; motivation; ethical decision-making; active listening; self-discipline and management; attention; reaction and response time; cognitive and muscle memory; managing stress; physical resilience; subject knowledge. Students furthermore rehearse and apply these skills in their creative practice modules. Students will also apply and develop new competencies including cognitive flexibility; managing an audience; co-ordinating with others, negotiation; creativity; leadership and entrepreneurship; service orientation; critical thinking; complex problem solving; research synthesis and analysis.

    - Working on client briefs / competitions /commissions to a professional outcome that meet the need of the client/ commissioner / audiences

    - Considering their practice through project work that will have positive social impact on the wider society

    - Attending and engaging in the cluster employability initiative Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the Art and Design Industry. Detour Ahead programme includes a week of inter-disciplinary practitioners talking about their route to professional success. The week also includes professional practice knowledge such as copyright and licencing, freelancing, tax, giving the level 5 students more in depth understanding to apply for their own professional life.

    - Application of creative coding for visual practitioners

    - Performing roles and responsibilities of creative teams including communication, co-ordinating with others, negotiation; creativity; leadership and entrepreneurship; critical thinking; complex problem solving; research synthesis and analysis.

    - Developing and editing creative industries CV and cover letter and the format and tone of this for potential work placements and experience over summer break between level 5 and 6

    - Creation of a digital public profile

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    Practice 2

    The module enables students to expand on the skills and knowledge from level 4, encouraging students to take risks, try new things, not to be afraid of learning through mistakes and failure to develop their practice. This, in turn, will help students to begin to define their individual approach to fine art, fine art technology, graphic design, design interaction, illustration, animation and photography.

    The emphasis of this module will be on research and the development of a body of references that supports practice-based outcomes, supported by Contextual Studies module.

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    Contextual Studies 2

    At Contextual Studies Level 5, students will consolidate and continue to advance the theories and research methodologies introduced at level 4. In addition, students will begin to build a critical thinking and understanding of contemporary art and design production, dissemination and reception within an expanded field. By addressing the historical, political, economic, social, environmental and ethical aspects of art and design, this module aims to equip students with the main discussions concerning these issues, and the space to test their understanding of them in relation to art and design practice (their own, and that of their peers).

     

    The module develops students advanced conceptual skills and analytical abilities, research and writing skills appropriate to the study of art and design at this level, feeding directly into key studio project across the year so that the research methodologies we develop may be tested and deeper connections between practice and theory explored.

     

    The module is further supported making use of the opportunities for the first-hand encounter with visual art and design available in London art galleries, museums and art institutions.

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    Research into Practice 2

    The module continues to build students’ critical thinking and understanding of contemporary art and design production, dissemination and reception within expanded field. The module aims to equip students the space to test their understanding of theories and debates in relation and reference to their own work and practice.

    Students will draw connections between theoretical approaches and students’ own practice in a form of a written piece of work/ document.

    At the end of the module, students will produce a 200-word critical rationale in preparation for student’s choice of a level 6 research into practice route.

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    Advanced Experimentation and Applications

    The module builds on the technical processes introduced through workshops and technical demonstrations at Level 4, focussing on developing students’ advanced technical skills and locating students’ work in relevant professional and creative contexts. The module equips students to experiment with and make appropriate use of materials, processes, and technologies, showing understanding of quality standards and attention to detail.

    The module delivery includes advanced workshops / masterclasses by tutors who are working in the industry /industry connections/ visits to industry or e.g. professional production companies.

    The module supports development of work in other level 5 modules.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Life 3 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 5 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have the opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness / life briefs and commissions to join in the role of ‘Manager’. In this position they will oversee the successful operation of the enterprise, coach and mentor students new to the programme and lead those working in ‘producer’ roles. Working collaboratively with peers and academic staff, they will ensure the effective delivery of a live project by managing people and physical resources. In doing so they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences learnt elsewhere in their studies (and from external activities ) required in the workplace.

    Students will have the opportunity to enter external facing industry / live briefs such as D&AD New Blood Awards, AOP Student Awards, Sony student competition, Lensculture, Life Framer etc. in order to leverage their raise and improve their employment prospects.

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    Practice 3

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers.

    The module does this by introducing choice. We ask students to reflect their idea of what their own practice might be, filling gaps of knowledge or extending their skill set. It’s about them setting the terms and direction of travel, exploring in an extensive and critical way.

    The work in this module will be developed through extensive research and practical testing of ideas and processes, informed by critical, contextual, historical, conceptual, economic, social and ethical research.

    Self-critique and responsiveness to the views of others is important part of the module in the development of students’ ideas and proposal.

    At the end of the module students will have proposed and refined their own agenda for term 2 negotiated body of work to be presented at the degree showcase at the end of the academic year.

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    Independent Major Project Part A

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers. Students produce an independent negotiated project, that enables them to work towards their own agenda and own it. The module allows students to develop and apply advanced creative processes to a professional outcome showcased at a public exhibition of the work at the University. This readies them for their next objective; employment or post graduate study.

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    Independent Major Project Part B

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers. During part B of the Independent Major Project, students finalise the production of the independent negotiated project, culminating in a presentation at the degree showcase.

    The module allows students to develop and apply advanced production methods to a professional outcome showcased at a public exhibition of the work at the University. Each student will contribute towards planning, production and curation of the Degree Showcase. This readies them for their next objective; employment or post graduate study.

    Optional Modules
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    Research into Practice 3 – Graphic Design, Illustration and Animation

    The modules in level 6 are designed to be inclusive to students’ discipline, and respond to differentiated assessments needs. The graphic design, illustration and animation Research into Practice route is a group research project, responding to the working practices and visual culture of designers, illustrators and animators.

    The Graphic Design, Illustration and animation Research into Practice module is a project that aims to test all of the research methods and critical thinking skills students have acquired from level 4 and 5, and contribute them to a group research project that is informed by a shared subject (which is negotiated annually). As well as demonstrating through writing and discussion a level analysis of visual and theoretical subjects appropriate to a students’ final year of study, the aim of this module is to augment academic practice (research, writing, discussion, presentations) with material research based on studio practice (experimentation, skill development, iterative design and illustrative processes and techniques).

    As individuals, students will present their response to the shared research subject together with a supporting document that captures the key research, analysis and argumentation that links theory to their own design, animation or illustration practice. Students will also produce a final outcome based on this presentation, which is public-facing and utilises appropriate media. Each student’s response will depend on their position as a graphic designer/illustrator/ animator who is aware of key design, illustration and animation concepts and who understands their responsibilities in a contemporary society.

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    Research into Practice 3 – Extended Research Project

    The modules in level 6 are designed to be inclusive to students’ discipline, and respond to differentiated assessments needs. The Extended Research project route is aimed as a specific route to those fine art, fine art technology, Illustration, graphic design, design interaction, animation and photography students whose professional practice aims are not covered in e.g. the Global Photography (documentary in nature) and Contemporary Practice in Fine Art (assessed by an exhibition).

    The Extended Research Project route allows students to contextualise their practice through the study of an area of art and design or of a subject that provides potential content for their practical work.

    Students will develop skills in negotiating and making use of research resources, formulate a research proposal and plan a research strategy. They will be expected to demonstrate an ability to synthesise and analyse ideas and apply them constructively to understanding their chosen subject while, at the same time, developing knowledge which will contextualise and support their own practice. They will also gain skills in writing and presentation. The outcome will be a written project, which articulates the findings of their inquiry. Key here is that the students develops a study of an area of art and design or of a subject that provides content for their practical work.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

Your learning will involve a blend of activities, from research through practice to reflection. The course is divided into modules, with each module being composed of a set of projects or briefs. These briefs can be compiled over time to produce a growing record of experience and budding expertise.

The course begins at pace by introducing a wide range of key ideas and their practical applications. This gradually gives way to longer, more in-depth and self-determined projects that encompass many processes and conceptual stages. Along the way, you will develop your work via regular feedback sessions, seminars, tutorials and critiques, or 'crits'.

UEL has extensive maker facilities. Within Architecture and Visual Arts (AVA) there are dedicated spaces for production. These include a fully equipped Risograph printing studio, analogue and digital darkrooms, an immersive green screen studio and a variety of traditional printing. There are also wood, ceramic and metal workshops to further develop your practice. Digital Fabrication facilities include 3D printing, laser cutting and CAD milling.

As a student you will be able to loan equipment including photographic kit, projectors and VR headsets. 

Further ways you will learn:

  • Cluster-wide electives: workshops (such as printmaking, textiles, bookbinding, coding, etc) ensure students take full advantage of UEL's extensive facilities and highly-skilled staff team
  • Remote learning: off-campus access to a Virtual Learning Environment
  • Industry expertise: specialist lectures and visits to/from industry figures, as well as participation in live briefs and competitions
  • Culture in London: regular engagement with many of the 250 art institutions and archives that offer ever-changing inspiration for set briefs and self-directed study
  • Portfolio development: we help our students build strong portfolios and professional outlooks that match their ambition and personalities, and prepare them for industry

Guided independent study
We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning. 

Academic support
Students are supported with any academic or subject-related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. 
If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, maths or IT, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes we offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help our students achieve their potential. You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses. Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs).

Workload
Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 3: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.


The size of classes can vary depending on the nature of the course, module and activity. This can range from large groups in a lecture theatre setting, to smaller groups taking part in seminars and collaborative work. You will receive your personalised timetable at the beginning of the academic year dependent on your course.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

Each module has a duration of 12 weeks (one term) and always concludes with an assessment point. We provide feedback throughout these 12-week periods with a specific 'Tracking Week' dedicated to this process midway through each term.

For Practical modules your submission will consist of a Learning Journal (the presentation of your development and experience) and Portfolio (the presentation of your practical output). For Theoretical modules you may be asked to produce a piece of academic writing of a given length and a live presentation.

Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Jonathan Clark

Senior Lecturer Graphic Design | Level 5 Module Leader.

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Emma Daniel McGuire

Emma Daniel McGuire is a Programmer Leader for Art and Design at the School of Arts and Creative Industries.

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Dan Duran

Dan is a Film Maker and Design Thinker. His practice covers a wide area of interest from visual communication to film production.

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Ed Gill

Ed Gill is an illustrator, designer, filmmaker, artist and educator.

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Andrew Osman

Andrew Osman is a graphic designer and Senior Lecturer in BA Graphic Design, specialising in vector drawing, layout, typography and typeface design.

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Bryony Quinn

Bryony Quinn is a writer, editor and Contextual Studies Module Leader and Lecturer on BA Graphic Design.

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What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

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.

Temidayo Kolawole

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

In 2018 the UK's creative sector broke the £100 billion mark. Within this economy there are a great variety of roles that utilise the skillsets we develop.

Our alumni may work in-house for a large company, in a specialist design studio, run their own business or be self-employed across a variety of industries. Spending three years tracking multiple projects, solving the logistics of production and negotiating within teams of creatives will prepare you for work beyond the subject area. The University's e-Factor competition offers students resources to develop their own business and the Career Coaching team are always on hand to help students fine tune their CVs and interview techniques.

The course maintains a strong network of alumni and we regularly invite former students to return as guest speakers and lecturers.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Below are some examples of different career trajectories.

  • Chris Steel graduated from the course in 2014. They now work as a Focus Puller (1st Assistant Camera) in film and video. One of their career highs so far has been working on tour and album visuals for Kylie Minogue.
  • Kemar Reid (grad. 2014) works as a graphic designer for the iconic London radio station NTS. He recently featured in a video campaign for The Face/Converse, explaining his creative practice and inspiration.
  • Charlotte-Maëva Perret (grad. 2013) went on to gain an MA at the Royal College of Art. She works in design, fine art, fashion and academia, including teaching with us at UEL.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.