This is a highly specialised vocational course, which focuses on the real world demands of the graphic design industry. An important element of the course is work-based learning, giving students an underpinning knowledge of professional practice from which to develop the required skills for an increasing technologically demanding yet creative environment.
The course has built up an impressive track record for work-based learning and has an extensive network of contacts. Live commercial briefs and work placements (six weeks) ensure that the training provided equips students with the relevant professional skills and employability.
This year, students studying on the Foundation Degree in Graphic Design at UCS Bury St Edmunds have been provided with a range of valuable enrichment visits to local industry. One defining feature of the Foundation Degree programmes is a strong emphasis on work-based learning. Entry into professional Graphic Design has never been more competitive and so continual exposure to industry is becoming an increasingly important element of undergraduate education. In response, UCS Bury St Edmunds has built a growing variety of vocational experiences into the Graphic Design Foundation Degree course.
On 26th October 2012, second year students were lucky enough to visit Premier Printers - regional specialists in producing quality marketing literature for a range of clients. Forming an essential part of the student’s current studies into typographic practice, the trip provided information on pre-press processes, lithographic printing and the journey a designer’s work takes from computer to completed, printed product.
This was followed in November by a trip to Cambridge University Press; the oldest publishing house in the world. For the students, this was a golden opportunity to gain valuable insight into a publishing company with such a strong and respected heritage. The trip encompassed a tour through the extensive site, visit to the newly installed museum and talk from Press Design Manager Gary White. Overall, the students learned much about the use, design and printing of type through the ages, from the use of traditional presses of the past to the growth of e-books.
As well as providing information on areas of industry, trips of this nature are essential in enhancing the Graphic Design programme. It is an important part of the course ethos to enable students to gain maximum exposure to industry while at the same time enriching their studies with new and interesting experiences.
Visits to industry of this nature also help to prepare students for entering their arranged work-placements at the end of the second year of the programme. The second-year work-placement is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the course as it enables students to gain invaluable, real world experience in a sector of their choice. Students studying on the course have been working in a number of placements across the region and beyond in a range of professional Graphic Design roles. This valuable experience not only adds to their creative skills, but also provides them with essential industry experience sought by prospective employers.
Content and Modules
First year modules include: Digital Studies, Visual Communication, Personal Development, History of Contemporary Graphic Design, Work-based Learning, and Introduction to Typography.
Second year modules include: Applied Ideas, Work-based Learning, Research Skills and Problem-Solving, Typography Practice, and a negotiated project
Assessment will be through a variety of portfolios, design analysis, presentations, written exercises and assignments.
Suitable work placements for full-time students are provided for up to six weeks in negotiation with the student. Part-time students will normally be in appropriate employment in the design sector
This course will prepare students for their chosen career within graphic design. Students can also progress to BA (Hons) Graphic Communication (Progression Year) at Bury St Edmunds or the final year of BA (Hons) Graphic Design at the Ipswich.