This is a top-up version of our Graphic Design BA (Hons) degree. A top-up degree is the final year (Level 6) of an undergraduate degree course and is for those who have a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification, or those wishing to study the final year of their degree in London.
This course enables you to investigate, question and challenge the contemporary role of graphic design. You will learn to connect graphic design with wide-ranging social issues and new ideas. You'll also learn how to develop your voice as a graphic designer, helping you towards a successful career in design.
This course will train you to present, test and defend your ideas. You’ll gain the confidence to understand, interpret and talk about ground-breaking and iconic design from the past and present.
You'll have the opportunity to develop specialist and broad-based design skills, to think laterally and to innovate through making, testing, finding and reaching your audience.
You'll learn different creative methods such as drawing and letterpress printing, app design, type fundamentals, user experiences, human-centered design and connected communication platforms. There are many diverse employment options available to graduates of this degree.
This course offers real opportunities to connect with graphic design studios and consultancies, to work across the realms of art direction, digital publishing and editorial design, moving image and sequential narrative, web and innovatory digital practice from app design to social media, brand communications to start-ups and design enterprise.
A high-profile lecture series – the Hothouse Talks – offers you the chance to engage with visionaries in the field of graphic design graphic design and visual communication. You’ll also benefit from live project opportunities and a vibrant studio culture.
You'll be assessed through project work, essays, individual practice and a final portfolio project, including a dissertation. There are no examinations.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have one of the following:
We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications.
We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.
If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year) or the Film, Photography and Media Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).
Your portfolio should be selective but have enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We're interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.
Graphic designers work in a variety of media; please include the whole range of your creative work. If you can't bring some of your work to the portfolio interview, please take photographs and include them.
Finally, be ready to talk about your work and how you see your future as a graphic designer.
If you are coming in person to your interview we strongly suggest bringing a physical portfolio of work.
Things to bring:
If you are submitting an online application, please follow these guidelines.
Things to include:
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 3 modules include:
Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) Level 6 results in an independent dissertation. It builds on two years of undergraduate study that critically engages students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice.
Students undertake an enquiry into a topic of their own choice and, based on this enquiry, develop a sustained critical study in support of their practice, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years. This study demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work in a methodical and organised way to develop a coherent argument. It affords a sophisticated instrument for interrogating, testing and presenting ideas, and encourages the student to deploy and develop a variety of skills to show how well they can conduct and present a critical investigation.
The module rewards criticality and innovation, and provides a platform for ambitious independent work. To this end, it offers individual supervision designed to support the student’s learning. The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical. In terms of format, the dissertation may be envisaged in different ways and can include visual, technical or other non-written material which may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole.
The dissertation may be practice-based and include field work and primary research in its methodology; or it might be academic and theoretical in its outlook and draw predominantly on secondary sources. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.
This final project module enables graphic design students to prepare for independent practice in the workplace or to move onto higher studies. In this module, students will utilise skills and ideas conceived and developed in the parallel 'Project Design and Development' module, fully realising a self-directed final project brief in appropriate form by the end of the module.
Students will exercise and display their conceptual and creative abilities through selecting, analysing and applying knowledge, skills and understanding. They will negotiate and complete a fully researched project in order to properly understand their strengths, interests and position in the field of graphic design and their potential for future professional development.
Students will show that they understand the complex and changing nature of problems in the graphic design industry and can devise and apply realistic strategies for constructing, applying and managing a process designed to offer innovative solutions.
A professional standard of realisation, contextualisation and presentation will be expected, providing the elements for a professional portfolio of practice with which to enter the field of employment or self-employment or further studies.
This module seeks to enable students to:
• devise a fully holistic process to realise the outcomes of a graphic design research and development project;
• achieve outcomes of a professional standard of realisation and presentation;
• contextualise and present outcomes to a professional standard, showing that they have understood and managed complex and ambitious tasks;
• work independently, self-reflectively and with concern for the ethical issues and principles attached to the project showing understanding of their particular strengths, interests and position in the field, and their potential for further development.
Together with their final project realisation module, this module is intended to prepare graphic design, publishing and illustration and animation students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.
Through independent and studio-based knowledge of visual communication fundamentals, skills, elements, processes and principles, students will facilitate, design and develop a series of self-directed studio projects. This will naturally require in-depth research, a well-constructed visual communication process, and the exercise of practical and thinking skills, resulting in a significant body of creative work for public and work related exhibition.
A negotiated and approved proposal will confirm the individual project. Using course and studio narratives, creative exploration and experimentation, students will develop research, concept development, material investigation, digital and analogue proposals, modelling or prototyping and visualisation. The final outcome will be produced in final project realisation.
The module will ensure that students critique and reflect upon their own work and position in the creative sector. The module emphasises self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional trends, expectations and constraints.
This module seeks to enable students to;
select or devise and conduct a comprehensive visual communication project resulting in a significant body of work displaying the synthesis of conceptual and technical skills within the final presentation;
demonstrate ability to determine the relevant and required research and construct a research and development process suitable for successful completion of the project;
affirm their creative identity as they enter the professional field and indicate a sense of future direction and position including in the context of principles and ethics;
evidence self-management of the project in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation.
Graphic design, illustration, publishing and animation are complex fields, encompassing a range of ways of working and patterns of professional engagement. Succeeding within these professional practices requires specific skills in pitching, presentation methods, management, innovation and communication. This module helps you to develop your experience of the professional workplace and the legal and ethical frameworks surrounding them through participation in live competition or exhibition and/ or work placement.
The module looks at formal models for concept innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills, alongside developing individual responsibility as a practitioner and critical self-reflection. Through professional submission, pitching and presentation to potential employers, participation in real-world competition briefs or exhibition opportunities, students will develop and test their design approaches and professional strategies for differentiation and self-promotion within a highly competitive field.
The module sets out to prepare students for entry to the workplace or higher study through experience of professional portfolio development and related group and self-promotional activities. It helps students to assess not only their position within the design industry but also to define their individual creative strengths, presenting their work to a high professional standard. Through practice, students will establish a sound process for research, design development and production. A series of lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, will prompt the investigation, analysis and practice of the forms, properties and qualities of a wide range of professional practice fundamentals, for example, digital portfolios, branding, event design and management, costing, copyright laws and offline and online content creation.
Within the module, students will experience work-related learning through live exhibition, competition and/or simulated consultancy and/ or work placement. They will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and will be encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills developed throughout. These skills are desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, acting as a consultant, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal, team working. Activities undertaken within this module will help to prepare for the launch of an individual design practice during the final degree show and subsequent career.
The module seeks to enable students to:
• research, analyse, and adapt their practice for sector-specific professional conventions in relation to real-world employment, exhibition or competitive situations;
• develop professional entrepreneurial processes for the generation, development, testing and pitching of concepts in response to specified clients and audiences;
• plan and manage self-promotion activities and exhibition, client or employer project pitching from inception to delivery, within commercial timeframes and develop strategies to maximise chances of success;
• employ professional standards in the manipulation of appropriate media for the communication and presentation of your design identity and specific concepts;
• review competitor practices in relation to employment preparation or freelance self-promotion and build enterprise strategies for consultancy practice.
The following feedback is from the National Student Survey (NSS):
"Intellectually stimulating. I have learned new techniques and my understanding of the subject has broadened. I have made some really good connections."
"Tutors are the highlight of the University. You can see the passion they have for art and design, as well as having the passion to teach us."
"The new studio idea is really successful and my studio leader is absolutely amazing."
"Excellent tutors and lecturers. A good range of facilities available, all of which are well supervised by helpful technicians and tutors."
"My printmaking teachers were awesome, they helped me gain enough confidence with my work."
The teaching team includes professional print, photography, web, animation and graphic design specialists alongside illustrators and artists who together create a stimulating teaching and learning environment that allows you to identify and succeed in your chosen career path.
London Met graphic design graduates have gone on to be award-winning students who have excelled in leading design competitions run by organisations such as Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and the Design Museum.
The employment success of our graduates is excellent, with many starting successful careers as graphic designers, taking on leading roles within creative industries or continuing on to postgraduate degrees in the UK and abroad.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
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Apply to us for September 2019
Applying for a full-time undergraduate degree starting this September is quick and easy – simply call our Clearing hotline on or complete our online Clearing application form.
If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.
Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.
The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.
If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.
Please select when you would like to start:
30th August 2019
Cass Visual Communications Graduate Roseanna Ware presents solo exhibition exploring ‘selfie culture’
Latest yearbook celebrates student work and achievements in 2018-19 academic year.
Students from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design showcase their talent with a season of summer events.
Congratulations to our 2017/18 Academic Excellence Award winners. We are proud of your achievements and wish you all the best for the future.
Cass lecturer launches latest book with sold out performative talk event at Tate Modern
The Cass students contribute to programme at Wellcome Collection exploring interconnections of art, activism, performance, politics, health and print.
September 6-30 2018
Cass lecturer Clare Qualmann's walking and art project takes her to New York for exhibition.
Latest yearbook celebrates student work and achievements in 2017-18 academic year.
Susanna Edwards has been asked to use her expertise to visualise what Southampton will be like in 2117.
School celebrates it's coming together with series of exhibition and events attended by hundreds.
Graphic design studio, Regular Practice, will be collaborating with Cass Visual Communications as research partners.