BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

If you are interested in how people read and understand images and text, and want to help them in almost every aspect of their lives, the Graphic Communication degree at the University of South Wales is for you. You’ll develop skills that are essential for creative communication, including printed media, advertising, corporate branding, publicity, editorial, and information and interactive web design. The emphasis is on practical studio-based work, reinforced by lectures and seminars.

There are live projects each year, working directly with design companies and industrial clients to enhance your portfolio and employability. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter industry competitions and follow in the footsteps of our award-winning students such as Samantha Withers, winner of Starpack, and Kirsty Alexander, who came third in the Puffin Book Prize. Follow USW Graphic Communication on Twitter.

UCAS Code Study Mode
2017
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W212 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
WF13 Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
2018
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
WF13 Sandwich 4 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

In your first year, you will get a solid grounding in the elements of graphic communication. You can develop and push your creative ideas using traditional media and new technologies. You will explore type, brands, life drawing, and computer graphics using industry-standard software.

In year two, you can focus on specific areas of graphic communication such as print or interactive media, and explore design theory to support your practical work. To ensure you are ready for the workplace, we will introduce you to aspects of professional practice and development.

Your final year is an exciting one as it is your chance to shine. There are plenty of live briefs and competitions that culminate in a major project and the annual design show. For this, you will have the challenge of creating your own brief to showcase the skills and creativity you have developed.

Year One

  • Graphic Communication projects
  • Visual Studies
  • Design in Context
  • Computers Graphic Applications

Year Two

  • Graphic Communication Projects 2
  • Graphic Communication Projects 3
  • Graphic Design in Context
  • Professional Design and Practice
  • Creative Industry Collaborative Project
  • Work Experience

Year Three

  • Graphic Communication Final Project
  • Critical Research
  • Design Management
  • Design Competition

Teaching

All our design courses offer a simulating, creative environment, with dedicated studios, industry standard Macintosh software and experienced staff. You will be taught by our experienced tutor-designers.

The emphasis is hands-on studio-based work, reinforced by lectures, seminars and studio workshops.

Assessment

Your work is assessed entirely through the submission of coursework, with the majority (80%) through a practical portfolio of work. The remaining elements integrate practice and theory through written and other forms. You will be encouraged to discuss your work critically with staff, leading designers and other students, through individual and group critiques in a supportive studio environment.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

Interview: An interview and portfolio are required for this course. Your portfolio should demonstrate strong artistic and design abilities. Your portfolio should be a carefully constructed selection of your work, preferably produced during your most recent course of study, and can include any personal work or projects that you feel are relevant to the course. All work should be well organised and presented.You should be prepared to discuss your work at interview as well as any designers, animators and/or artists who have influenced you.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £250
Materials, per year
Field Trips £160
Field trip to Europe
Other: Printing & Exhibition Costs * £150 - £300
£150 (Year 1 & 2), £300 (Year 3)

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

With our experienced tutor-designers, our aim is to help you become a creative, skilled, well-rounded and knowledgeable individual, who is capable of developing and advancing in industry.

Our graduates work at the highest level in the design industry and consultancies throughout the UK and overseas, with some choosing to set up their own consultancies. This has provided us with a wealth of hands-on work experience and even job opportunities for graduates.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.