BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Visual Communication and Illustration)

Course summary

This course has been designed to reflect the broad arena in which visual communication now operates.

All our academic staff have extensive professional, practice-led and teaching experience.

The course offers:

  • small group sizes and individual tutorial system
  • opportunities for work placement through the school's placement officer 
  • emphasis on developing your own individual visual language within the curriculum.

Why choose this course?
Based in London, this course is ideally placed to help you develop a career in the exciting and burgeoning world of the creative industries.

Everything is Graphic Design. In the fast moving world of contemporary visual communication, Graphic Design shapes the way we see and interact with our world.

The course is founded on established Graphic Design processes such as:

  • typography
  • print design
  • illustration
  • design development.

While at the same time it is rigorously contemporary and forward looking and embraces:

  • motion graphics
  • web design
  • design for mobile devices
  • animation
  • conceptual design thinking.

Being London-based we make full use of the numerous galleries, exhibitions, design lectures and other events the city has to offer. If student demand is sufficient we can also organise study trips to parts of the UK and Europe.Third Year students exhibit at New Designers graduate exhibition.

The course team use various teaching methods including:
  • lectures
  • workshops
  • studio-based sessions
  • seminar groups.
With only a select number of students on the course, we are able to support you throughout your studies, often on a one-to-one basis. We pride ourselves on knowing our students, and work closely with you to help you find your visual voice.

Career and study progression
On completion of the course you should have all the skills and experience necessary to pursue work within:
  • graphic design studios
  • interdisciplinary consultancies
  • publishing houses
  • new media/multimedia studios
  • advertising agencies.

A number of former students have also been successful in setting up their own design businesses. Students pursuing a career in illustration work generally on freelance commissions.

We have a wide range of postgraduate courses offered by the London School of Film, Media and Design. 

 See our postgraduate courses page to view all the courses on offer.

Careers support
Our degrees are designed to help you find the career that’s right for you. 97% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating. With our desirable West London location, we have strong links with many national and multinational organisations such as the BBC, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Ltd, Middlesex Law society and the Savoy Education Trust. 

We have a strong track record of providing valuable work placements and we also provide hands-on experience at the University through our Student Ambassadors’ scheme.Many of our staff have successful backgrounds in relevant industries and can advise you on how to kick-start your career. Our careers service will also help you realise your potential by offering specialist advice and guidance on a wide range of careers issues, including:
  • CVs
  • job hunting
  • recruitment and selection procedures
  • further study.

We are The Career University.

How will the course be assessed?

Year one
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

Year two
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

Year three
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

student working in digital design studio


Student poster design for "The Outsiders"Student poster design for "The Outsiders"Student poster design for "The Outsiders"

Course detail

Practically based, the course is delivered in well equipped, studio environments, taught by a range of industry professionals and supported by a range of academic and technical staff. You will have access to computer labs, screen and digital print studios, photographic and video studios and develop high end professional skills across a range of areas and disciplines as well as looking at the historical and cultural context of the design world.

Graphic Design is an exciting, and broad ranging course that builds the practical, conceptual and strategic skills needed by the contemporary Graphic Designer.


Year one (Level 4)

  • Visual Studies
  • Digital Skills
  • Research and Referencing
  • Image Making
  • Typography
  • Ideas, Development and Context

Year two (Level 5)

  • Word and Image
  • Narrative Structures
  • Ideas and Perspectives
  • Professional Graphic Design Practice
  • Designing for interaction
  • Negotiated Projects

Year three (Level 6)

  • Design Portfolio
  • Experimental Communications
  • Concept Development
  • Professional Presentation
  • Major Project

Entry requirements

104 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications.

These can include:

  • A Levels at grade B, C and C, or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma with Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Access to HE Diploma

You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 – 4 / A* - C) or Level 2 equivalents.

Mature applicants (aged 21+): If you do not hold the above qualifications but possess relevant work experience, you are invited to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

Level 5 entry
If you wish to enter directly at level 5 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 120 undergraduate credits at level 4 or a CertHE in a related subject area.

Level 6 entry
If you wish to enter directly at level 6 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 240 undergraduate credits (at level 4 and 5), a DipHE, Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject area.

International entry criteria

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses


Fees for home and EU students

Main fee

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.


Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

Students will also be asked to bring along a portfolio of work.

For further details about the portfolio please download our Portfolio Guide (pdf, 56Kb)

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

Apply for this course at when UCAS applications are open, from the previous September until June (see dates). You will need our institution code W05 and the UCAS code given on the right hand side of this page.

If the UCAS deadline has passed, you can apply through Clearing by calling our hotline on 0800 036 8888 (or +44 8231 2468). Clearing takes place over the summer months (July to September).

If you are making an early application, before UCAS has opened, you can apply directly to the University by clicking the red 'apply now' button above. You should also use this button to receive specialist information if you are applying for Nursing and Midwifery courses.

More about how to apply to the University of West London.

International students

Apply at or complete our application form for international students. We have an online application form or you can download the print version.

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

During the course

What our students say

Danni Scoble - Student, BS (Hons) Graphic Design (Visual Communication and Illustration)

Danni Scoble, BA (Hons) Graphic Design student

Marta Labuda, BA Graphic Design graduate

"Three words to describe my university experience:  Tough. Worth it.

My favourite aspect of university life was the social life, meeting new friends and being a student ambassador.

My favourite aspect of the course was working in a studio.

Next is a career in graphic design.

In five years' time I see myself as Head of Design.

Jobs and placements

Work opportunities

Developing professional, suitably equipped practitioners who are able to work in the creative industries is one of the key philosophies sitting at the heart of the course. To this end the course structure has been developed to take advantage of many different ways to develop learning from work related opportunities.

The Professional Graphic Design Practice module at Level 5, as the title suggests, has a focus on preparing students for the professional world, and seeking a work placement during the vacation between Levels 5 and 6 is a significant aspect of the curriculum.

At Level 6 the Design Portfolio module features live and/or competition briefs, which have been formulated by clients and industry professionals to give students real creative problems. These projects are assessed against professional standards and give you the opportunity to consider your work within an industry context. Finally, the Professional Presentation module is designed to help you secure your dream job with projects to enhance your portfolio, prepare your CV and self promotional material, and contribute to New Designers - the largest design graduate exhibition in the UK.

Work placement, internship and live project opportunities are frequently promoted through the Schools placement officer. Students will be prepared and supported through the preparation of your creative portfolio throughout the course.

Finally, embedded in the subject area and the course is the philosophy of entrepreneurship, where you will be encouraged to view your creativity and skills sets as a tangible assets which can be developed and used within a commercial arena.