Exeter College

FdA Graphic Communication

Recognised as one of the leading further education college in the country, we offer small class sizes and one-to-one support. We offer courses delivered by friendly staff with industry experience. We offer modern, specialist, acclaimed learning resource centres. The result of studying with us? You earn a nationally and internationally recognised qualification awarded by Plymouth University. 

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Introduction to Typography (EXEC1163)

      A strong understanding of typography and how to use type for effective communication is essential for all students who wish to pursue a career in graphic design, advertising and other related creative industries. This understanding underpins virtually all creative activity within the graphic arts and will act as a bedrock for all future assignments throughout the course.

    • Interpretation and Problem Solving (EXEC1164)

      This module focuses on developing students’ creative and innovative problem-solving strategies, an important skill to acquire for a successful career in graphic design and communication. Students will have the freedom to choose a national competition design project to work on and learn how to interpret, interrogate and effectively respond to a client’s design, advertising or illustration brief.

    • Text and Image (EXEC1165)

      The vast majority of work carried out by professional graphic designers involves combining text and images in ways that effectively communicate specific information to a target audience. In this module the students will be introduced to the concept of combining text with image, by exploring the conventions of editorial design.

    • Branding & Packaging (EXEC1166)

      Brand and identity design is one of the most important and significant aspects of graphic design, and for most professional graphic designers it is a task that occurs frequently throughout their careers. This module requires students to re-design the branding and packaging for an existing product and create the necessary publicity items to promote the re-brand.

    • Exploring Digital Applications (EXEC1167)

      This module will allow the students to extend their experience and knowledge of digital software and professional technologies available to contemporary creative practitioners. A series of specific workshops on a range of digital techniques using industry-standard software will enable students to experiment and produce interactive web and / or app’ pages and short digital animations to produce an on-line advertising or awareness campaign. Final outcomes will be interactive and screen-based.

    • Application & Realisation of Design (EXEC1168)

      This module enables students to further investigate the many and varied aspects of graphic design in relation to professional practice. Students will devise their own, self-initiated brief, responding to a negotiated personal theme, utilising the knowledge and experience gained throughout the first year and the technical skills acquired. Opportunities may exist for students to work on a live commercial design project.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Graphic Design in Context (EXEC2033)

      This module will enable students to examine the debates, issues and theories in contemporary graphic design in depth. By investigating the development of design and its place in history and society it will place contemporary practices in context. By developing research and analysis skills, the module underpins and engages with theoretical and practical aspects of the programme.

    • Advanced Design Practices (EXEC2034)

      In preparation for future employment or eventual progression to level 6, this module will allow students to draw on knowledge and experience gained in year one to develop a more advanced approach to research, problem-solving and presentation techniques. The module will offer a balance between theoretical and practical learning, emphasising the processes involved in more sophisticated applications of design methodologies.

    • Specialist Graphic Design Practices (EXEC2035)

      This module provides the opportunity for students to tackle one of the vocationally-based D&Ad New Blood Awards design projects. Each student’s choice of design brief will depend largely on their chosen area of specialism. The briefs allow students to further develop their creative and innovative problem-solving skills as well as enhancing their professional practice and transferable skills such as research techniques, time management, critical reflection, and self-evaluation.

    Optional modules

    • Progression and Professional Practice (EXEC2036)

      There are two main aspects to this module: Students will focus on self-promotion, to include the creation of their own branding, stationery, CV, web site and portfolio in readiness for job applications, freelance design work and progression to employment, or their third and final year of study. As a group the students will work collaboratively to design and produce the publicity to promote their end-of-course Summer Show.

    • Final Major Project (EXEC2037)

      This module aims to consolidate the engagement with issues and theories in design practice and encourages critical thinking about the contemporary position of graphic design and communication in society. Individual, self-directed projects will be aligned to students’ own practice, career ambitions, interests and skills. The project will demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course.

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

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 admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/business-partners/partnerships/academic-partnerships/study-guide/progression-to-honours-degree

Our partnership with Exeter College
The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with Exeter College

We’re proud of our awards – and you can be proud of your education with us. In 2012 we were recognised as the leading further education college in the country after winning two Times Educational Supplement FE Awards.

Find out more about studying at Exeter College
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