School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Graphic Design 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 design 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 Leo Burnett, DesignBridge and The Times.

Key features

  • Prepare yourself for your dream career: our graduates finding creative fulfilment working for companies such as DesignBridge, Leo Burnett, Snask, IBM and The Times.
  • 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.
  • Draw on support from committed tutors with long-term industry and academic experience.
  • Fly high and join alumni and current students who have won national and international competitions.
  • Engage with live client briefs, giving your creativity real-world impact.
  • Explore our range of resources including printmaking workshops, photographic studios and Apple Mac workstations complete with the latest Adobe CC 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.
  • 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
  • Core modules
    • GDES413 Type as Image

      Students are introduced to graphic design for platforms which involve user experience. Students are encouraged to consider how typography, image and other graphic elements can combine with motion and interaction, to evoke experiences within an audience. Working methodology and conceptual thinking in the context of designing user experiences is developed.

    • GDES423 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.

    • GDES433 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.

    • GDES443 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 a graphic identity is developed.

    • GDES463 Introduction to Design Research

      This module introduces students to the historical and theoretical context of graphic communication and design. Through written tasks, students learn how to analyse and articulate these contexts following academic conventions.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • GDES513 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.

    • GDES563 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.

    Optional modules
    • GDES500 Design Negotiated

      The student 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.

    • GDES523 Communicating Editorial

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

    • GDES533 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.

    • GDES543 Communicating Experience

      This module extends and develops students understanding of graphic design for experiential media. A complex design problem involving the development of a visual user interface is addressed. An understanding of aesthetic considerations and effective visual communication, within the context of user experience, are explored.

    • GDES553 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).

    • GDES583 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 GDES586, which must be taken in conjunction with this module.

    • GDES586 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.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • GDES613 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.

    • GDES633 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.

    • GDES643 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.

    Optional modules
    • GDES623 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.

    • GDES663 The Dissertation

      This module requires that 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.

    • GDES673 The Extended Dissertation

      This module requires that 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.

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 Design with Typography programme specification_6810

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

UCAS tariff

96 - 120

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.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

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

See our portfolio advice for further information.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

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.

<p>BA (Hons) Graphic Design with Typography<br></p>
Discover a course that combines creativity with employability
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<p>BA (Hons) Graphic Design with Typography<br></p>
Gain industry experience through work placements and live projects
<p>BA (Hons) Graphic Design with Typography<br></p>
Take part in workshops and talks from leading professionals
<p>BA (Hons) Graphic Design with Typography<br></p>

Become a graphic design and typography expert

Typography is about designing the appearance of words and text. Being great at typography makes you a better graphic designer. At Plymouth we place special emphasis on designing with this important element, by drawing upon some unique resources.

Discover our subject expertise and facilities

Do graphic design for good

This course belongs to a university that conducts world-leading research into sustainability, climate change and plastic in the oceans. Through collaborative projects, students learn how graphic design can help make our world better in the future, not worse.

Find out how students collaborate with the wider university

Personalised, supportive, friendly

With our small class sizes, bespoke studio space with adjoining staff offices, and high levels of face-to-face tutor contact, students join a friendly community of like-minded individuals who are all supported on their journey through university.

Learn more about the student experience

The lecturing team

Turn your creativity into the most amazing career

Being a graphic designer means working in a studio environment alongside other creatives, making work that is enjoyed by large audiences, and getting paid a regular salary to do it! We have a great track record of helping students prepare for employment, and landing their dream job.

Find out which award-winning companies our graduates work for

A dynamic and evolving curriculum

Although it's been running for over 25 years, the course is continually developed by staff, in consultation with industry, to keep it relevant and up to date.

Discover what you'll be doing on the course

Portfolio advice and how to apply

When applying, you'll need to show us a portfolio of creative work, but don't worry! Because our students come from a range of different backgrounds and courses, there are a number of ways you can do this.

Get some hints from the programme lead about your portfolio

Join us on Instagram

View up-to-date images of our students work, studios and exhibition spaces by visiting our gcomtypo Instagram channel.

  

 

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.