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About the course

Are you hoping to work and study at the point where art meets communication? Explore a range of techniques, develop your own personal style and build a varied professional portfolio here at Solent.

Graphic design at Solent University encourages students to explore a range of professional techniques and develop their own unique visual style. Students 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.

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 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 Young Creative Network (YCN) Awards.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

Past students have had the chance to work on live creative briefs and exhibit work to professional design organisations. Solent’s dedicated art and design studios include a range of digital and traditional facilities.

What does this course lead to?

Recent graduates have worked as a design intern, designer, graphic designer, junior designer/artworker, junior sales designer, graphic design assistant, and many have worked freelance.

Course graduates have found roles at companies including Adjust Your Set, Imagine Publishing, David Newman Design, Tweaq Media, Gary Frost, Manchester City Football Club, House of Fisher, Esquire, Halldale Group and The Graphic Design House.

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.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry W215
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2018/19 costs were:

Year one:
Compulsory: photographic paper, binding, tools, materials and study trip costs: £600
Optional: study trip costs: £200 

Year two:
Compulsory: photographic paper, binding, tools, materials and study trip costs: £600
Optional: study trip costs: £200

Year three:
Compulsory: printing, binding, mounting, competition entry, equipment, hand tools and research travel costs: £800
Optional: study trip costs: £200

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • UK applicants are required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio and may be interviewed via telephone or video call.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


of students feel good advice was available when they needed to make study choices on their course

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Introduction to Design Process
  • Design Exploration
  • Introduction to Typography
  • Image Design
  • Digital Typography
  • Reading Graphic Design and Visual Culture

Year two

Core units
  • Graphic Structure
  • Commercial Practice
  • App for Mobile Device Design
  • New Media Design


  • Solution Process
  • Independent Project Book
  • Independent Project Print
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives (Design)

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units
  • Professional Context
  • Final Major Project
  • Visual Communication Industry Research Project


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures


Assessment by coursework


Practical exams

Meet the course team

Brent Meheux academic profile Brent Meheux Course Leader View profile
Chris Venables academic profile Chris Venables Senior Lecturer View profile
Steve Lannin academic profile Steve Lannin Senior Lecturer View profile
Benjamin Lower academic profile Benjamin Lower Technician Instructor View profile

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.


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 modern IT suites, including Adobe Creative suite, specialist photographic studios and darkrooms, and a fully equipped workshop for metal- and wood-working, including a Hobart laser cutter/engraver.

We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.



Our in-house design agency, Solent Creatives, provide students with the chance to pitch for paid work with commercial clients – past Solent Creative clients include Bear Grylls, Southampton Airport and Southampton City Council.

Your future

The course enables you to find work across a wide variety of disciplines, and gives you an opportunity to build the professional portfolio that will help you get a position in the visual communication industry.

Job prospects are wide and varied, ranging from publishing or corporate business to television, advertising and marketing.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Design consultancy
  • Publishing industry
  • Advertising - agency side
  • Multidisciplinary design
  • Web design
  • Television
  • Film and multimedia
  • Freelance practice.


of students go on to work and/or study six months after finishing the course


of students feel they have been able to contact staff when they needed to
  • Winning the coveted ‘Design and Art Directors award’ was a real confidence booster in my third year and it has made a real difference to my exit graphic design portfolio.

    Ben Tyler, graduate now freelance designer

  • The Graphic Design course is very diverse. It allows you to increase and refine your skills as a graphic designer, whether it be through freelance or through clients. The lecturers are insightful and helpful and help us to create our graphic style for industry work

    Conal Magee

  • The tutors’ non-prescriptive approach meant that no specific visual style was promoted, allowing students to develop their own voice.

    James Nelson, graduate now graphic designer at Research Studios

  • Choosing the graphic design course at Solent was certainly one of the best decisions I've ever made.

    Oli Pendry, Graduate

  • We learnt to take direction and criticism, and to stand up for our ideas. You need those skills.

    Ros Horner, graduate now senior designer at SapientNitro

Industry links

The course has a long history of producing award-winning students and graduates, and you’ll gain industry experience on live briefs from advertising and design organisations such as D&AD, the RSA and YCN. The course team will encourage you to enter industry competitions, and you’ll have access to guest speakers such as illustrator Holly Wales, Matt Curtis from the Sunday Times Magazine and Hamish Muir, editor of Octavo and co-founder of Outcast Editions and MuirMcNeil.

Our in-house design agency, Solent Creatives, also provides unique opportunities to pitch for commercial clients – recent examples include logo and web design work for Bear Grylls.


You’ll carry out a work placement between the second and third years of the course, with support from the University and calling on Solent’s professional ties to the industry.

Graduate stories

Joe's story

Joe Pilbeam - Co-owner at Filthy

What has been happening since you graduated?
My friend Steve and I started our own design studio, Filthy, in September 2004, four months after graduation. We had no idea what we were doing, but having moved to Brighton we managed to pick up some small design jobs for clubs and bars. Through the clubs, we started getting work for local DJ’s and record labels. This led to us working for some of the major record labels and getting design jobs in London and overseas. Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to work on a huge variety of projects in different sectors, and it has happened very organically — albeit with lots of late nights/weekends in the studio!

How did university prepare you for your career?
I was lucky enough to work on a live project (The Road) for my final major project. It gave me to confidence and naivety to start a design studio straight out of university.

What is a typical working week for you?
Half my working week is spent on design projects. The other half is working on new business, meeting potential or existing clients, promoting the studio through social media, doing the weekly admin and accounts — just about everything you can think of when running a small design studio!

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?
Work hard, but learn to enjoy yourself when doing so. If you have a genuine passion for design, it will be apparent for all to see within your work.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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