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As a graphic designer of the future, you're a keen observer who cares about how messages are conveyed and received. You'll connect the unexpected and create original work across a range of media and locations.
Our Graphic Design degree allows you to explore your passions, discover your specialism and further your ambition. You work in dedicated design studio spaces to develop your own unique style through projects inspired by identity, process, environment, form and effect.
From a range of starting points – light and shadow, place and space, identity and interaction – you generate portfolio pieces that include specialist signage, catalogues, infographics, interactive design and exhibitions. This portfolio, and the skills you develop are how as a Graphic Design graduate, you will be ready to step into an exciting and creative career of limitless opportunities.
wide range of facilities will help improve your practical skills and
technological knowledge, including a full Adobe Creative Cloud license.
Art and Design at Kent was ranked 6th overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Our collaboration with Blaze Signs gives you the chance to showcase your work to professionals. You'll get valuable feedback and make industry connections.
Part of your study includes producing live briefs in real-work situations, giving you key experience and connections to launch your design career.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact us for further advice. All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio, for more information click here.
BBC at A Level in art /design/technology relevant subjects.
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an appropriate subject.
30 points overall or 15 points at HL, including Visual Arts or Design Technology at HL 5 or SL 6.
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Design/Art and Design module (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.
Your portfolio is an important part of the interview and admissions process in the School. It should contain the strongest examples of your work as an artist or designer.
As a Graphic Designer you get paid to have ideas. As part of your application to the University of Kent, you are required to submit a portfolio as evidence of your artistic ability and potential to present your ideas visually.
Take time to plan this from the moment you decide to apply. Assessors at the University are expecting an indication of work in progress showing how you approach an idea or subject and develop the work from initial thought, through experimentation and enquiry, to resolved work. We do not expect to see professional outcomes at this level.
Below you will find details of what we are looking for and how your work will be assessed. You will also find tips on how to plan and present your work and what makes a strong Graphic Design portfolio.
Requirements (12 – 20 pages)
Each image can have up to 100 characters, including spaces and punctuation, of supporting/explanatory text.
The images demonstrating your influences may be images of work or objects which have inspired or influenced your work e.g.
Assessors are interested in how you have decided to put your portfolio together; it should be carefully planned and well presented. They will also be judging your ability to edit your work, so be selective and strategic in your choice of material. If you have lots of high-quality work, include it to showcase your talent and commitment. If you haven’t, select your best: these key gems can show us that you know what you are good at, and how to show it. Resist the temptation to pad out your portfolio with mediocre work.
For entry to Year 1 Graphic Design a strong portfolio is likely to display the following:
How we assess your portfolio
Portfolios are assessed by academic staff who are particularly interested in how you research and develop ideas in a visual way and how you engage with design. This is broken down into four main areas:
1. Visual Research and Enquiry – shows the level of your engagement in intelligent, structured visual enquiry and how well you communicate this.
2. Idea Development – shows your ability to appropriately explore and develop ideas, and your level of skills in the use of materials or techniques.
3. Selection and Resolution – shows how well you judge which ideas have the most appropriate potential and your ability to bring them to a level of completion appropriate to your intended outcome.
4. Contextual Awareness – shows the extent of your knowledge of the subject you have applied for and how your work relates to it.
How the content of a portfolio provides evidence for the above categories will vary enormously depending on the person – no two portfolios will be the same.
How to submit your portfolio
We will request a portfolio from you once your application has come through to us. Please upload your portfolio as a PDF document to the Kent Vision applicant portal. Please note, for uploads, the file size needs to be 5MB or under. If your file size is over 5MB, please email your portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your Applicant ID in the subject line.
This module listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
This module will provide a broad introduction to the important key people and ideas in the development of visual communication and culture from the twentieth century to the present day. This will include an exploration of designers, artists and philosophers that have been significant in transforming our seeing and thinking.
This module will introduce the attributes and language of typography. It will examine the principles of type and how it enables an idea to be written and given visual form. The module will examine the breaking of conventions and will encourage type/letterform experiments where function and form are challenged and where the concept of type as image is explored.
There will be the opportunity to pursue two and three dimensional outcomes as text is increasingly sculptural and integrated within architecture.
During this module students will experiment and test the flexibility and fluidity of digital images, by drawing on previous projects (Photography & Imaging) students will work to produce a short film of both still and moving images for editorial production. Students will have the opportunity to explore the relevant industry software programmes to produce an online and physical catalogue of their digital imagery. The final project is directed by the student's specialism, 2D print or screen, 3D environmental (e.g. projection or sculptural) and 4D time based.
The story or narrative is at the core of the majority of advertising and marketing campaigns as well as discrete design outcomes. This module will introduce the identification of narrative elements from a range of sources, understanding narrative structures with particular emphasis on storyboarding & script writing, often a combination of both. Exploring the hand drawn, collage and photomontage, utilising a rich range of techniques. Final projects can take experimental adventurous interpretations of a storyboard, including 2D & 3D comics, graphic novel book form, 3D structures and performance space (including live action/animation of space). Knowledge and skills gained on this module will be transferable to creative projects across the programmes.
This module will provide a broad introduction to the important key people and ideas in the development of design culture from the twentieth century to the present day. This will include an exploration of designers, artists and media processes that have been significant in transforming our seeing and thinking.
In this module students will be introduced to creative methodologies that demonstrate a strategic response to resourcing the communication problem/issue/brief.
It will consider the selection and shaping of ideas and concepts that advance intentions and solutions. The module will examine the responses and decisions that enable the articulation of an appropriate outcome.
During this module students will produce digital imagery, predominately still images by responding to the world around them. Students will experiment and learn skills in the relevant industry software to enhance and manipulate imagery ready for production. Students will explore presentation techniques of photography and imaging and consider alternative ways to present and disseminate imagery and photography in the digital age.
On this module students will be introduced to a range of 2D design techniques, processes, essential skills, and understanding to enable them to quickly and confidently communicate their own design concepts and solutions in response to creative exercises and briefs. The skills taught on this module will be required, developed and deployed on many other modules throughout the programme, and should be considered essential core skills. Graphics students will work in an open studio to establish a design ethos, where design is studied and seen to operate in the digital realm, on the page and spatially and environmentally in the physical realm.
How we play and interact with design is paramount to understanding user experience and engagement whether on mobile phones or in virtual environments. All designers must be comfortable in their ability to explore notion of play and interaction; in this module students will learn how to critically analyse users' needs and define user experience through systematic research principles. They will also design and make final outcomes using play and interaction methods. Underpinning the practical work, we will consider how digital media and interaction design plays within our lives, exploring how people use and respond to emerging technology and media.
Students will emerge equipped with adaptable practical and theoretical skills to allow them to design for current and future trends, whether creating for screen-based media or interactive experiences. You will gain experience in the use of computer-based authoring tools to design for audio, video, 2D and 3D experiences to design interactive interventions.
This module focuses on embedding employability within a design curriculum in a seamless and meaningful way within the context of students' future working environments. Students will identify their own strengths and talents, form their own creative agencies and pitch for work to selected live brief clients. The aim of this module is to evaluate critically and develop a focused understanding of the commercial concerns of the creative business sector and to show their own work in a public space. The role of freelance, self-employed creative, the financial demands placed upon designers and the expectations of employers will be explored. It is anticipated that students will understand the changing creative job market and be well placed to make appropriate careers decisions accordingly. Several external talks and visits will focus on design jobs within the design sector and will provide a useful contact network for future internships and work experience.
This module explores the wider context and application of branding and identity as applied to products and experiences. Starting from an exploration of historical, social, cultural and commercial contexts students will then undertake a series of briefs that enable them to apply their design skills to external spaces and interiors, packaging, moving image, storytelling and narrative. It will encourage initiative, exploration and innovation. The skills developed include audience engagement through the development of brand stories, cross cultural communication and brand personalities, the potential for societal change and for audience engagement through a range of technologies.
The physical world is complex and yet most people navigate their way around it with ease. Wayfinding and signage greatly impacts how people engage with and experience indoor and outdoor spaces, and is important for architects, designers, and event organisers when planning projects. Designers find solutions to wayfinding and sign design while simultaneously reflecting and creating brand expressions.
This module will cover how to work with human behaviour, including the consequences of bad way finding systems. On a practical level students will undertake site visits, study the spaces to be handled, engage in ethnographic research, analyse visitor traffic, different visitor types and accessibility, learn how to apply readability, legibility and positioning for signs, locational, directional and directory signs. Students will plan and create signage and information design that allows a user the best experiences of outdoor events, buildings and exhibitions.
Through a series of workshops, students will learn to design effective wayfinding strategies, and receive guidance about issuing production information to manufacturers.
You can extend your studies from three to four years by taking the Year in Industry option (this option is not available if you are studying on a part-time basis). This provides the opportunity to gain relevant workplace experience as part of your programme of study. You can also increase your contacts and network so that you can hit the ground running when you graduate.
The Year in Industry is taken in addition to your standard undergraduate programme and normally falls between your second and final year. You typically work on a placement for the full calendar year, and salary and holiday entitlements vary according to the employer. The year is assessed on a pass/fail basis through employer feedback and a written report that you submit. Students also have the option to take a Term in Industry.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
You spend your year abroad at one of our partner universities. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
This module introduces students to independent research project development and structures. It will cover academic and practice research and the relationship between the two, how each area can inform, develop and progress the other. The module will enable students to develop either an extended individual design practice project, or a dissertation (Extended Essay) on contemporary or historical developments in design and communication culture the following term. Students will engage with independent and critical thinking and advance their research skills.
This module takes the form of an individual research study. Students who wish to take the module should approach a member of staff with a proposal in advance of module registration, during the Spring Term of the previous academic year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. The tutor will oversee the development of the extended research essay (dissertation).
Museums, cultural and heritage centres and managed visitor experiences are traditionally interpretive environments with many varied and complex stories to tell. This module examines the theory and practice behind the history, development, and future trends of graphic communication in these ‘environments’, exploring how a variety of traditional and new technologies and techniques can be used to communicate content in time and space to an audience. Particular attention will focus on the use of multimedia to bring ‘stories’ to life, providing a stimulating, multi-sensory experience that can entertain and educate visitors of all ages and across all cultures.
This module provides students with an opportunity to design and realise a major graphic design project (or coherent extract thereof) derived from their own developing interests and skills. Students will take significant control over the brief, their input and the outcome, affording a significant independent experience.
For the duration of the module lecturers act as art directors/supervisors and students negotiate their project brief and receive ongoing support. This project is a calling card for future employers; discussions of subject, context (client, location and audience) and realisation are crucial to the process.
The module asks students to develop their practice-based work towards a final outcome which may take the form of a combination of 2D graphic campaign (print/digital), moving image (motion graphics) project, a site intervention/transformation (material or digital) or proposal/visualisation exhibition/presentation - it will be substantial and multi-faceted.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programme specification.
As a Graphic Design student at Kent, you will benefit from creating in an advanced learning environments accompanied by an inclusive and supportive creative studio culture, where you work alongside your peers, people currently working as designers and academics. This prepares you for work in the industry or further study. Ultimately it is a perfect combination of people and skills that enhance your career prospects. Everyone you meet becomes part of your extended network from the day you join the course.
Graphic Design is increasingly important for all businesses and institutions. The ability to communicate in immediately recognisable ways and a deeper understanding of design, communication and identity are skills that set you up for an exciting career in any field. This means that you are free to explore your passions and further your ambitions, from education to business, charity to government, as a Kent graduate, you will have the talent and insight to make your career your own.
As a Graphic Design graduate, you’ll have learnt how to produce live briefs for a range of clients in real-work situations. By the end of your course, you will be fully prepared for a career in graphic design and the expanding design opportunities in the creative industries.
The creative, planning and technical skills you develop at Kent prepare you for a role in an design agency or in a career related to design, graphics or visualisation.
The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,850.
Fees for undergraduate students are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
This gallery showcases the wide range of graphic design work produced by our students.
The course allowed me to build a whole range of skills beyond becoming a better graphic designer. In the past year I have learned much about teamwork, organisation, time management and attention to detail within my work. I would definitely say taking part in live briefs gave me the chances to build my portfolio and gain real world experience as well as enhancing my confidence in designing as a professional.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.
We welcome applications from students all around the world with a wide range of international qualifications.
Kent is ranked top 50 in the The Complete University Guide 2023 and The Times Good University Guide 2023.
Kent has risen 11 places in THE’s REF 2021 ranking, confirming us as a leading research university.