A joint award of the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex
The information contained within this programme specification is correct as at January 2010
UCAS Course Code / UCS Course Code: W212 BA/GDI
For guidance see the UCAS web site at www.ucas.com or contact Admissions on
01473 234741 or e-mail admissionsucs.ac.uk
Level of Award
Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) Level 6
Graphic designers communicate a wide range of messages utilising a diverse range of skills and media. This degree course has a strong professional approach, delivered in a supportive environment where students are set challenging projects to help develop creative individuality. At the same time the course involves and encourages direct professional links through visits, workshops, graduate scholarships and other opportunities while equipping students with the broad technical skills required by the industry.
Lectures and demonstrations set the scene for practical activities and multi-disciplinary project work undertaken both individually and/or in groups. Seminars and discussions are underpinned by individual tutorials, regular visits and presentations by professional practitioners and external agencies.
Typically, for a Full Time student study spans a 3 year period. For a Part Time student, this period would naturally be extended, subject to the number of modules undertake in one academic year.
Applicants are normally expected to have two years experience of post-16 Further Education sector and to have studied at least two subjects to A-level, National Diploma or Pre-Degree Foundation course. For September 2010, 200 UCAS Tariff points are required for admission to the degree in Graphic Design and pathways. Mature applicants without these qualifications are encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate the ability to study at degree level. All applicants are required to attend an interview and present a portfolio of work which demonstrates their appropriateness and state of readiness to embark on a degree experience within this subject.
To provide a flexible, stimulating and challenging learning experience that accommodates the diverse vocational and Academic backgrounds, and prepares students for their future careers.
To maintain and nurture a commitment to the intellectual and personal developments of the individual students as a basis for a lifetime of experience and learning.
To provide an educational framework that promotes the development of broad professional Graphic Design awareness and ability, with transferable personal skills.
To promote the cultural and vocational relevance of the course and enable links with practitioners professional organisations, the creative industries and the community in general.
To assist and encourage the student in the development of a mature and self motivated attitude in creating and producing original solutions with a diverse and explorative range of methods.
These course aims are broken down into sets of related skills, which are known as learning outcomes.
A. Knowledge and Understanding
By the end of the course you should be able to:
Have developed appropriate self-confidence and direction in their work.
Articulate and synthesis knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the context of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment.
The ability to form a coherent personal working philosophy and value system based on an understanding of the social, economic, technological and historical determinants of their work and that of others.
B. Mental or Cognitive Skills
By the end of the course you should be able to:
Source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources.
Adopt a substantive critical and analytical approach to research material in relation to forming a discussion within the context of historical and/or contemporary theory and debate.
Explore and apply critical perspectives that inform the design process.
C. Subject Specific and Practical Skills
By the end of the course you should be able to:
Select, use and apply traditional and digital media appropriately within set assignments and tasks.
Study independently, set goals, manage your own workloads and meet deadlines.
Generate a diverse range of ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activities.
D. Key Skills
Key Skills, also known as graduate key skills, transferable skills or general skills, comprise communication, information technology, problem solving, numeracy, working with others and improving own learning.
By the end of the first year students should be able to demonstrate:
By the end of the second year students should be able to demonstrate:
By the end of the third year students should be able to demonstrate:
Ideas Generation. 20 Credits
Digital Studies. 20 Credits
Type As Image. 20 Credits
Graphic Media. 20 Credits
Contemporary Debates & Practices in Design. 40 Credits
Interactive Screen Design. 20 Credits
Applied Ideas. 20 Credits
Graphic Identity. 20 Credits
Advanced Design Practice. 20 Credits
Critical & Creative Approaches to Design and Negotiated Projects. 40 Credits
Work Based Learning. (Optional). 20 Credits
Portfolio Development. 40 Credits
Collaborative Projects. 40 Credits
Dissertation & Critical Review. 40 Credits
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
This is the predominant mode of learning on the course. Working from an initial briefing augmented by strategies shown below, students (individually or in groups) develop design proposals and make presentations of finished work using a range of media and methods. This process partly simulates professional modes of working.
Unsupervised research and development work by the student, allowing time to test and reflect upon formal learning experiences, time to practice lengthy technical processes and assemble evidence for assessment while developing the student’s capacity for autonomy and self-direction.
Lectures and demonstrations:
The formal delivery of information to groups of students, often accompanied by activities and exercises to give practice in or demonstrate the material involved.
Seminar and tutorial groups:
Small group discussion around a specified topic, often requiring preparation by students.
Individual tutorials and guidance:
One-to-one discussion of the student’s progress and issues surrounding particular projects or plans.
The presentation and collective discussion of work submitted for assessment. A means by which students learn from others’ efforts as well as their own, giving the lecturer added insight into the origins of the work and serving to affirm the assessment criteria to be applied.
Assessments serve two main purposes:
To ascertain whether and to what standard the learning outcomes have been fulfilled, and thus for what classification of degree the student is eligible (if any)
To provide useful feedback to guide the student in future studies, career progression, and other situations
All assessments are administered and ratified to conform to the relevant issues of the University regulations pertaining to degree studies and assessment practice in higher education across the University.
The assessment criteria used across all modules are:
Creativity including originality, problem-solving, innovation and aesthetic judgment
Technical skill, including competence in techniques, the application of technical knowledge, and safe and healthy practice
Comprehension, including analytical skill, understanding of theory and principle, and self-critical evaluation
Presentation, including clarity and accuracy of verbal/written expression, and the Communication visualisation of design proposals
Research, including the finding and application of information and visual sources
Develop effective evaluation and development of ideas
Commitment, including initiative, team working, contribution to group learning activities
Contribution self-including study planning, time management, record-keeping, and tutorial management attendance
Benchmarks / Professional Standards / Competency Frameworks
The design of this course has been guided by the QAA Benchmarks for Art & Design
The teaching is divided into two semesters, semester one runs from September to January and semester two from February to June. A full-time student is expected to take two 20 credit modules each semester, and one 40 credit module over the academic year, making five modules at Level 4 and 5. At Level 6, Full Time students are expected to complete three 40 credit modules over the academic year. A part-time student will take one or two modules each semester.
Students can expect to have to attend for four to five hours per module for the twelve weeks of the semester and to spend at least an equivalent amount of time per week in independent study. Students will be provided with detailed timetables when they join the course.
The course is delivered at UCS, Ipswich, across the entire campus. Predominantly this delivery takes place in R Block, Campus North.
Placements / Work Based Learning / Work Experience
At Level 5 there is an opportunity to negotiate an optional Work-Based Learning module where students can undertake a relevant work placement. This helps to develop the skills future employers will be looking for.
For both full and part-time students there is often considerable flexibility in the choice of topics that can be investigated within modules. Therefore, the student’s own work interests, current or aspirational, can be developed within the course. The dissertation is also an opportunity to pursue an area that the student feels is important to their future.
Tutorial and Study Support
Students have an entitlement to four 20-minute individual pastoral tutorials over the academic year. All students have a named tutor who acts in an academic capacity, providing advice on academic progress, option choices, and assessment requirements, as well as forming links with University Campus Suffolk’s other student support services. The personal tutor is supported in tracking progress and action planning by clear student assessment profiles.
There are effective arrangements for study skills support workshops, and for the support of students with disabilities. The special needs of individual students are identified during the application process. Appropriate guidance and referrals are provided by the personal tutor.
Opportunities on Completion of the Course
Graduates have gained employment as Graphic Designers, junior Graphic Designers and freelance Designers. Further study at Masters and ultimately Doctorate level is also possible.
Student progression is good and the course has had some success in tracking the progression of its graduates over the last few years. On graduation from the course, students have typically progressed to professional employment in the following fields: Designer for Printers, Design manager’s, Junior Designers in both regional and metropolitan agencies, Magazine Designers, Web based Designers, Television Graphic Designers, Packaging Designer, Auction house Designer, Art/ Design teachers within all sectors of education, Regional and London based book Designers. Further to this students have also been employed in non-design employment such as the Police force, Travel industry, Hotel, Leisure and Retail.
Should you require this programme specification in an alternative format, please contact us on 01473 338833.
University Campus Suffolk reserves the right to amend the information in this programme specification as and when required.