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Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Graphic Design - FdA (Foundation Degree)/BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2019 Duration: 2/3 Years

FdA Graphics course intro

This course has been generated with industry partners and aims to engage you in the development of a rich combination of new and traditional technical and creative skills, preparing you for careers in graphic design and related fields. The campus environment provides an ideal stimulus for the development of your ability, with great scope for cross-media experimentation and fulfilment of live briefs from within the department and from professional studios.

Key features

  • Taught by design industry practitioners
  • Dedicated Mac suite with up-to-date industry software
  • Access to print room, photography studios and 3D craft workshop
  • Generous contact teaching hours
  • Optional third year to gain BA (Hons) degree

See list of all our creative arts degrees >

Validated by University of Brighton until the end of 2019-20. Validation by University of the Arts London (UAL) from September 2020: Please note that FdA Graphic Design is ‘subject to validation’. ‘Validation’ is the process by which UAL and the College develops courses. It is developmental in nature and makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Course requirements

Portfolio and interview.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.

Cross-college entry guide

(including English requirements for international students) -

Click here to see the cross-college entry guide

Year 1 - The first year centres on gaining knowledge of techniques, ideas and the essentials of the creative process, exploring the many facets of the subject, including digital and interactive platforms. You will also gain a broad overview of historical and contemporary issues relating to the context of design.

Year 2 - The second year focuses on the professional environment, market awareness and generating the creative and self-management skills necessary for the workplace. Assignments are initiated through a range of industry links, which stimulate ideas, concepts and design solutions with valid outcomes. These constitute the body of the student portfolio which, alongside employability workshops and web presence, build significant professional profiles. The course concludes with showcase exhibitions.

Year 3 - On completion of the two-year FdA qualification, students have the option of progressing to the one-year BA top-up course in Communication Design (Graphic Design) - go to third year page.

Course aims

  • To develop and apply a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of a graphic designer’s working practices in the design industries
  • To demonstrate an understanding of relevant principles and concepts and make connections which inform own practice and style
  • To develop new skills and competencies relevant to the professional working environment or further study
  • To demonstrate awareness, creativity and innovation in a professional context
  • To conceive ideas for assignments to develop into final pieces ready for production
  • To apply knowledge of how to develop an idea or brief into a body of appropriate creative and innovative work

Modules in Years 1 and 2 include:
Materials and Methods; Advanced Materials and Methods; Creative and Digital Process; Creative and Professional Studies; Creative Research; Minor Project; Professional Practice Briefs 1; Professional Practice Briefs 2; Advanced Creative Research; Major Project

Modules in Year 3
Go to third year page

Video tour of our campus

See students from different courses using the facilities at our creative arts specialist campus

(5-minute video)

Recent student success

Tim Rackham won the Orion Book Jacket Competition with his design for modern classic novel The Reader.

On successful completion of the two-year FdA course, you can either progress to the optional third year BA (Hons) top-up in Communication Design or enter employment.

Potential careers

  • Studio designer (packaging/advertising/publishing/corporate ID and branding)
  • Freelance designer
  • Web designer

Additional course costs

Laptop preferable but not compulsory.

General drawing equipment and sketch books

  • alumni Views Scott Salvage Graphic Design FdA (Foundation Degree)

    “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for everything you have taught me...things that I will never forget and it has been an absolute pleasure to be taught by you!”

  • alumni Views Amy Filler Graphic Design FdA (Foundation Degree)

    “Thank you for accepting me onto the course and the tremendous amount of skills you gave me. Because of this I have been fortunate enough to have a career in graphics.”

  • student Views Aleah Davies Graphic Design FdA (Foundation Degree)

    “The course is interesting and we enjoy what we study. Teaching is good, well explained and delivered.”

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