School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography

Develop innovative ideas and concepts in response to design briefs, and creatively solve design problems using words and typography. With employers placing great emphasis on graduates having typographic knowledge, you’ll stand out in the job market. Good graphic communication relies on the important relationship between type and imagery... Or maybe type can be the image?

You’ll develop your knowledge and develop yourself by taking advantage of a learning environment that includes open plan studios with a 360 degree view of Plymouth, a city at the heart of art and culture in the South West. You’ll also get yourself prepared for your dream career: our graduates finding creative fulfilment working for companies such as Future Publishing, Pearlfisher and The Times.

Key features

  • Draw on support from experienced, committed tutors who are passionate about design.
  • We have excellent KIS results – 100 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things; 100 per cent of students agreed staff made the subject interesting; 94 per cent of students agreed they have received sufficient advice and support; 100 per cent of students were satisfied overall and 85 per cent of students were in work/study six months after finishing (Unistats).
  • In your final year you can choose a specialism to match your interests and career goals with options that relate directly to the design industry. Choose from identity and branding, editorial and publishing and Information design.
  • Fly high and join some of our alumni and current students who have won national and international competitions.
  • Engage with live briefs for organisations, giving your creativity real-world impact.
  • Explore our range of resources including printmaking workshops, photographic studios and Apple Mac workstations complete with the latest graphic manipulation software.
  • Develop your knowledge and develop yourself by taking advantage of a learning environment that includes open plan studios with a 360 degree view of Plymouth, a city at the heart of art and culture in the South West.
  • Prepare yourself for your dream career: our graduates finding creative fulfilment working for companies such as Future Publishing, Pearlfisher and The Times.
  • Have direct contact with prestigious visiting speakers such as Jonathon Barnbrook, Michael Johnson and Angus Hyland.
  • Get feedback on your work from practicing graphic designers during our ‘Industrial Liaison Day’.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • We'll introduce you to the foundations of good communication design and basic design principles, as well as typography and its relationship with imagery. Set briefs will help you engage with conceptual thinking and experimentation, we encourage risk-taking. Take advantage of access to industry-relevant software as well as our letterpress and printmaking studios.
    Core modules
    • GCOM411 Type as Image

      This module introduces students to graphic communication thinking and encourages exploration of typographic solutions to design problems. Research, working methodologies and conceptual thinking are introduced and developed. Awareness of graphic design as a subject is introduced and explored.

    • GCOM451 Information Design

      Students explore information design in relation to graphic communication. Students are encouraged to consider how typography, image and output might play a part in design for information. Working methodology and conceptual thinking in the context of creating design for information is developed. Contextual graphic design/communication content is researched and developed into an essay.

    • GCOM422 Type and Image

      This module extends graphic communication thinking and encourages exploration of both typographic and image based solutions to design problems. Issue-based content is introduced and developed. Working methodology and conceptual thinking is further developed. Awareness of graphic design as a subject is extended.

    • CART400PP Conscience (Communicating an Ethical Message)

      Students explore `Big Picture' ethical / sustainability issues in contemporary society. A real-world problem is researched / established through collaboration across Subject areas and students explore different visual responses through critical evaluation of each other's practice. Students are encouraged to consider future, holisticism, conscience, caring, imagining, listening, mindfulness, contemplation, soul, spirituality, grace and nourishing and important to ethical understanding.

    • GCOM431 Editorial Design

      Students explore editorial design in relation to graphic communication. Students are encouraged to consider how typography, image and output might play a part in editorial design. Working methodology and conceptual thinking in the context of creating editorial design is developed. Issue-based content is researched and developed into an essay.

    • GCOM441 Identity Design

      Students explore identity design in relation to graphic communication. Students are encouraged to consider how typography, image and output might play a part in identity and branding design. Working methodology and conceptual thinking in the context of creating graphic identity is developed. Contextual graphic design/communication content is researched and developed into an essay proposal.

  • Year 2
  • You'll expand your knowledge and confidence of communication design principles and enhance your critical and presentation skills. You’ll undertake work placements, work on live briefs and enter design competitions. You'll explore communication design career interests and have opportunities to study abroad and share your work in the end-of-year exhibition.
    Core modules
    • GCOM511 Designing with Type A

      This module extends and develops students¿ typographic practice gained in stage one. A complex graphic communication problem is answered typographically. Aesthetic understanding of typographic design as well as conceptual communication skill is developed.

    Optional modules
    • GCOM552 Looking Forward

      This module synthesizes creative, cognitive and technical skills learned so far in preparation for stage three. Students construct a written design brief (including a schedule of work), which draws upon previous learning and reflects personal aims and ambitions in relation to graphic communication and design (typography, identity, editorial, information).

    • GCOM586 Exchange Presentation and Report

      This module follows the exchange module experienced by students who choose to study at an institution abroad. Upon return the student prepares a presentation and a written report based on their experience of studying abroad, incorporating an insight into the methods by which work was achieved, the technologies available and the academic/cultural influences of the institution visited.

    • GCOM500 Design Negotiated

      The students identifies an appropriate personal learning opportunity. A learning contract (with agreed aims and objectives) is negotiated with a tutor. Students may wish to undertake a work placement, commission, competition brief, professional body entry submission or expand on work undertaken successfully in a previous module.

    • GCOM541 Communicating Information

      This module extends and develops students understanding of design for information. A complex information design problem involving different graphic systems or languages is addressed. Aesthetic understanding of design for information as well as conceptual communication skill is developed.

    • GCOM580 Exchange

      Designed to extend students¿ experience and understanding of subjects through study abroad. Students spend a minimum of ten weeks at an approved international institution offering complementary graphic communication/design options as a major subject. An opportunity to increase communication skills, self-reliance, cultural awareness and vocational prospects. Based on this period, students¿ present a critical evaluation of their educational, cultural and personal experience in GCOM585, which must be taken in conjunction with this module.

    • GCOM522 Communicating Editorial

      This module extends and develops students understanding of identity and branding design. A complex editorial design problem involving a range of items is addressed. Aesthetic understanding of identity/branding design as well as conceptual communication skills are developed.

    • GCOM531 Communicating Identity

      This module extends and develops students understanding of identity and branding design. A complex identity/branding design problem involving a range of items is addressed. Aesthetic understanding of identity/branding design as well as conceptual communication skills are developed.

    • GCOM560 Understanding Design Contexts and Influences

      This module progresses an individual research project, towards an essay, which is a study of the work of a practitioner/practitioners of graphic communication. It also provides group research meetings and tutorials, culminating in a presentation, representative of the whole group's efforts. There is a series of lectures covering a range of historical and contextual design topics. Each presentation is an investigation into a particular theme within design history and follows the line of influence into contemporary graphic communication.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll undertake self-led study relating to a career in design or postgraduate study. Your major project will reflect your passions and ambitions, and you will produce a dissertation. In addition to the core award, you can choose from three industry-related award options: identity and branding, editorial and publishing or information design. Your work will be shared with the international art and design community at the end-of-year-degree show and D&AD New Blood Festival.
    Core modules
    • GCOM641 Major Project

      After self-initiated reflection, research and consultation with tutors, a written design brief and schedule of work is presented outlining a complex/substantial graphic communication task. Upon approval, the student undertakes self-directed and negotiated study leading to the production of a major body of work reflecting chosen aims, interests and subject option.

    • GCOM631 Facing Out

      Looking forward to completion of the programme, students consider employment or postgraduate possibilities that reflect personal aims/ambitions. Personal portfolios are prepared/presented, self-promotion `packages¿ are designed. Investigation of external bodies/ organisations that might benefit portfolio development and/or future learning will be undertaken.

    • GCOM611 Designing with Type B

      After reflecting on stage two learning experiences, and in relation to chosen aims and subject options (typography, identity, editorial, information), students, in negotiation with the tutor, construct a brief that presents a complex graphic communication problem which relates to personal interests. The problem is expected to be solved typographically.

    Optional modules
    • GCOM660 The Dissertation

      This is the dissertation module, which requires that stage 6 Graphic Communication with Typography students research, analyse and write a consistently argued dissertation. Students will demonstrate academic skills relating to selection of appropriate methodology and suitable methods of research. Academic writing styles and correct referencing systems will be used.

    • GCOM670 The Extended Dissertation

      This is the extended dissertation module, which requires that stage 6 graphic communication with typography students research, analyse and write a consistently argued dissertation of sufficient depth. Students will demonstrate advanced academic skills relating to selection of appropriate methodology and suitable methods of research. Academic writing styles and correct referencing systems will be used.

    • GCOM621 The Competition

      Students are presented with several competition briefs. One is selected for research/development. A brief is constructed (by negotiation with a tutor) that relates to a chosen subject option (typography, identity, editorial, information). It must provide an original/ challenging graphic communication task and reflect personal interests/knowledge base.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Graphic Communication with Typography 3887

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

A level
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably art and design or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

An interview and portfolio presentation are required for entry onto this course.

See our interview and portfolio advice for further information.


Fees, costs and funding

New students 2017-18

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Classroom based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Laboratory based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc £9,250
2 year fast-track £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,250 tbc £9,250
PGCE £9,250 tbc £9,250
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc tbc tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc tbc
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
PGCE £770 tbc £770

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2017-18 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Award options with BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography

Enhance your distinct voice by choosing a design industry-related specialism in your final year. Choose from identity and branding, editorial and publishing and information design.

Discover your final year study options

Career opportunities with BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography

Being a graphic communicator can be a dream job. The course has enabled students to get work as designers in great places, locally, nationally and internationally.

Find out about where this course could take you

Teaching expertise with BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography

With strong links to the University’s research centres, staff with years of industry and academic experience, and world-class visiting lecturers, your learning will be shaped by the very latest research and innovations.

Discover the course’s relationship with research

Interviews and portfolio advice with BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography

The Graphic Communication with Typography course requires all students to attend an interview at Plymouth University, bringing with them an up-to-date portfolio of work.

Your portfolio should demonstrate originality, depth of learning, evidence of engagement.

Get some hints from the programme lead about your portfolio

People