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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BA (Hons)Graphic Design

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Starting in2024
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UCAS code: GD03
Institution code: S30
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study graphic design with a foundation year

Carve out your career in design across print and digital platforms. Solent gives you freedom to explore your craft in dedicated design studios.

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    of students feel staff are good at explaining things (NSS 2023)
  • 0%
    of students feel they've the chance to explore ideas and concepts in depth (NSS 2023)
  • Top0
    in the UK for teaching for design studies (NSS 2023)
  • If you’re looking to study our graphic design degree, but don’t have the relevant qualifications or experience, the foundation year will help you develop the core skills and knowledge to progress.
  • Enter industry competitions to gain exposure for your creative work. Past students have found success at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards, the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Awards, and the Creative Conscience Awards.
  • Access to high-end printing and design facilities, including two Vandercook letterpresses, three screen print beds and three Intaglio/etching presses for calligraphy and etching work.
  • Pitch for paid work with commercial clients through our in-house agency, Solent Creatives.
  • You will build a professional portfolio to evidence your experience.
  • We are a well-established university in the art and design field, with links back to 1855, and we offer a traditional art school for the 21st century.
  • Recent graduates are now working for prestigious companies including KPMG, Aviva, Ordnance Survey, Gotta Be! Marketing, Wake Media, Red Funnel Group, Hendy Group, and NTT Data Europe.
Video transcript, with a description of visuals available.

Course overview

The foundation course begins with a five-week group project. This enables students to mix with like-minded peers and helps them to settle in quickly. The one-year foundation provides all the creative, technical and study skills needed to prepare for the degree. Upon completion, you will be able to progress onto the three year BA (Hons) Graphic Design Degree here at Solent.

Graphic design at Solent University encourages you to explore a range of professional techniques and develop your own unique visual style. Throughout the course you will create visual products for a range of printed and digital mediums, and explore academic theories and visual culture in the context of contemporary graphic design.

Your professional development is supported by a wide range of high-end printing and design facilities. These include two Vandercook letterpresses, three screen print beds and three Intaglio/etching presses for calligraphy and etching work. Students also have access to photographic studios and darkrooms; a fully equipped workshop for metal and wood-working, and Apple Macs with the latest Adobe Creative Suite software.

The course’s teaching team come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, and many are still active in the industry. The team’s close links with practising professionals have enabled past students to take part in a variety of work-based opportunities, live briefs and placements.

Graphic design students are also encouraged to submit their best work to design competitions, securing valuable exposure. Past students have found success at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards, the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Awards, and the Creative Conscience Awards. Recent successes include two final year students - Alfie Agostinelli and Oscar Trangmar - who won a coveted pencil at the 2023 D&AD New Blood advertising and design awards.

This course is also available as a one-year top-up, please contact our admissions team for further information.

This course is part of the South Coast Institute of Technology (IoT), a partnership of colleges, universities and industry-leading employers to create new career opportunities in the technology sector. IoT courses like this one are precisely tailored to the needs of employers in the maritime, engineering and digital industries – industries which are hungry for talented new engineers, technologists, technicians and creatives like you.


Virtual tour image showing exhibits from the graphic design and illustration degree show
Graphic design and illustration 2023 degree show virtual tour

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: admissions@solent.ac.ukCall: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: admissions.international@solent.ac.ukCall: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

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Student work

Our creative degrees allow our students to develop a critical eye for design with a knowledge of different design approaches and problem solving techniques. Take a look at some of the great work they produce.

Course features

  • Foundation year available

    If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Top-up option

    If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year

  • Study abroad

    You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course

Who is this course for?

This graphic design programme is ideally suited to students from a fine art, design or illustration background who want to improve their communication skills while developing a professional portfolio.

What does this course lead to?

ecent graduates work in a variety of areas including graphic design, illustration, multimedia design, web/UX design and motion graphics and are working for companies such as:

  • Wake Media
  • Stagestruck LTD
  • Aviva
  • KPMG
  • Gotta Be! Marketing
  • Photon Energy
  • Mitchell and Stones
  • Red Funnel Group
  • NTT Data Europe
  • Twinkl Educational Publishing
  • Aurum Solutions
  • Silverback
  • Capital Hair and Beauty
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Dulema Studio
  • SCAS Education
  • Indigo Graphics
  • Hendy Group
  • Octopus Energy
  • Select Car Leasing

Solent stories

Hear from Solent alumni about where their careers have taken them and how studying at Solent prepared them for their future.

Read more stories
The facilities are fantastic! The photography studio is so professional with all the equipment you could need.

Headshot of Sophie Boyes

Sophie Boyes

Creative Designer

Meet the team

The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

Specialist facilities you will have access to include two Vandercook letterpresses, three screen print beds and three Intaglio/etching presses for collagraphy and etching work. You’ll also have access to specialist photographic studios and darkrooms, and a fully equipped workshop for metal- and wood-working, including a Hobart laser cutter/engraver.

Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.

    International opportunities

    Broaden your horizons by adding an international dimension to your CV – essential to achieving success in today’s fast-changing, global environment.

    Studying, working or volunteering in another country could be the experience of a lifetime. Enhance your degree by developing important global skills such as knowledge of other countries, language skills, intercultural awareness, adaptability and confidence.

    For more information, please email international.mobility@solent.ac.uk.

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