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Graphic Design and Illustration BDes (Hons)

Ulster University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Design (with Honours) - BDes (Hon)

  • Location


  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 Years

Course summary

Graphic Design and Illustration is about the creative and diverse use of words, pictures, language, ideas and problem solving. Our approach to Graphic Design and Illustration explores areas such as advertising art direction, branding, illustration, typography, photography, in print, digital and video form. Thinking and ideas are central to producing good work. We value research, the design process and professionalism. Our analytical approach enables you to engage with exciting design challenges, react to a rapidly changing industry and to develop as sensitive and intelligent designers.

Like most university courses the learning process in Graphic Design and Illustration happens through modules. These modules have been designed to take the studnet through a journey of acquiring new skills , exploring the subject area and developing the individuals creativity. They are individually assessed and accumulated as you progress.

Year 1 is spent developing awareness of the subject. Subjects like typography are often new and take some time to become familiar with. You will carry out projects that help develop your skills with words and images while deepening your understanding of how this can be used to communicate in a wider society. You will work in a dynamic studio environment and learn via lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Year 2 is about increasing your skills and knowledge and applying them in a range of ways including illustration, branding, photography, advertising and motion graphics. Projects will include live competition briefs and projects throughout the course.

Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) orDiploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI)

On successful completion of Year 2 studies, students have the opportunity to take the optional module Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or (DPPI). This year of study provides an opportunity for students to gain first hand practical experience within a professional environment such as an advertising agency or brand consultancy prior to their final year of study. This module links the education experience to the real life situation of practice in the creative industries. It provides students with a range of experiences and skills relative to their practice, future career and professional development.

Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS).

On completion of Year 2, students have the opportunity to take the other optional module Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS). This optional module provides an opportunity for students to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland, developing an international perspective and an appreciation of cultural sensitivities which are desirable qualities in any graduate. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year 3 is when students are encouraged to become increasingly independent in their working methods and in their choice of project. Students are encouraged to take part in major national/international student competitions such as Design and Art Direction (D&AD), the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and Young Creative Network (YCN).

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Chain Reaction In-House Studio
  • Digital Platform Company
  • Emma Kenny Limited
  • Freelance
  • Hannah McKeown Photography
  • Genesis Advertising
  • Conor McClure Design & Illustration

Application deadline

15 January 2020

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 14,060per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

Choose a qualification

A level : BCC - BBB

Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.


University information

Ulster University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland

Renowned for its warm welcome, Ulster recruits international students from over 100 countries across the globe and has over 200,000 alumni worldwide.
Since 2012, Ulster University has been home to the Confucius Institute in Northern Ireland, winning the accolade of Confucius Institute of the Year in 2016.
With a dedicated staff member on each campus, the International Student Experience team are well placed to provide pastoral support to students from arrival.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    26th out of 86 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    132 59%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    66 66%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.89 78%



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