Birmingham City University - GRAPHIC DESIGN - BA (HONS)

Birmingham City University


BA Graphic Design here at BCU is an exciting, engaging, and stimulating course that will equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to enter the creative industry.

Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will support you on your journey, helping you bring your creative ideas to life. You’ll develop a variety of design approaches and creative problem-solving techniques, giving you the resilience to succeed in your chosen career path.

As designers, we play an important role in society, and we can make meaningful changes to our world. You will be encouraged to develop a critical eye through briefs that challenge you to go beyond the surface, providing sustainable and culturally-conscious solutions to real-world issues.


The University's BA (Hons) Graphic Design course aims to equip students with the practical and intellectual skills necessary to succeed in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. The course offers a range of learning experiences, including creative play, risk-taking, building core skills, understanding design principles, and areas of practice. Students will work on live briefs, gain real-world industry experience, and develop autonomy within their practice.
The course explores various graphic design areas, including branding, packaging, motion design, editorial, typography, UX/UI, art direction, advertising, and emerging technologies like VR/AR and 3D rendering. The course encourages a multi-disciplinary approach, allowing students to adapt to their creative futures and become desirable employers. Collaboration is encouraged, and students can work with students from other disciplines, such as illustration, photography, and digital marketing.
Students will be immersed in a vibrant studio culture and creative community at the City Centre Campus, where they will find traditional and digital print-making facilities, photographic studios, 3D printing, Adobe software training, and large format print facilities. They will also have the opportunity to study abroad or travel to destinations like New York, Berlin, or Paris.
The main focus is employability, with students receiving targeted support with professional skills and an industry-ready portfolio. The course has excellent links to the industry, including live briefs and placements from top design agencies. Previous students have worked on live projects with Turner Duckworth, Superunion, Conran Design, Design Bridge, Man Vs Machine, Studio BLUP, Moonpig, Bulletproof, The Times, and The Pratt Institute (New York).
The course also has excellent external engagement, with visiting lectures given by nationally and internationally recognized practitioners. Students will also engage in workshops, seminars, masterclasses, career advice, portfolio reviews, mentorships, and placements.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements:

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.


  • 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

Students must develop strong networks and identify work placements suitable for their practice. Visits, interviews, and live projects are excellent ways to introduce themselves. Formal placements include Turner Duckworth, Studio Blup, Epoch, One Black Bear, Mother, McCann, and Digital Glue, as well as graphic design opportunities like editorial design, branding, and art direction. Summer placements with high-profile companies like Z3, TDL, and White October are offered as rewards for live project initiatives. Industry partnerships include day briefs, live briefs, competitions, pitches, curriculum development, and awards ceremonies. Live project partnerships include Turner Duckworth, Superunion, Conran Design, Epoch, Design Bridge, Man Vs Machine, Studio BLUP, Bulletproof, The Times, and The Pratt Institute.

Course Details

The first year of study in Graphic Design focuses on developing fundamental skills and a critical framework. The course covers various areas of graphic design, such as composition, line, form, narrative, type, imagery, colour, juxtaposition, and ideation. Students can tailor the course to their specific career aims and explore areas of interest. Core lectures and theory seminars address fundamental visual communication issues. Students can work with other students from across the School by selecting one of five in-house options.
To complete the course, students must successfully complete all CORE modules (100 credits): evaluating and applying principles to practice, gaining opportunities for placement, field study, collaborative, and interdisciplinary work. They will develop their personal direction, communication skills, critical awareness, individual style, and perspective, and formulate approaches to problem-solving.
In the final year, students will be supported in establishing their distinctive work identity, demonstrating a particular view of design propositions, and enhancing communication skills. The final year of the program aims to demonstrate a systematic, extensive, and advanced knowledge of contemporary Graphic Communication. Students will work autonomously or collaboratively on self-generated projects, demonstrating creativity and imagination.

First Year

Core Modules
Introduction to Graphic Design 20 credits
Principles and Practice of Graphic Communication 40 credits
Enterprise of Graphic Design 20 credits
Discourse 20 credits
Optional Modules
Narrative (Space and Place) 20 credits
Narrative (Time and Sequence) 20 credits
Narrative (Sound and Movement) 20 credits
Narrative (Text and Image) 20 credits
Narrative (People and Identity) 20 credits

Second Year

Core Modules
Context of Graphic Design 40 credits
Identifying Direction 40 credits
Live Project 20 credits
Optional Moduels
Work Placement 20 credits
Collaborative Practice 20 credits

Final Year

Advancing Practice 40 credits
Independent Enquiry 20 credits
Major Project 60 credits

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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