BA Graphic and Communication Design
In this Section:
This unique degree gives you the chance to develop your skills in graphic and communication design through a variety of briefs aimed at different audiences. It also gives you the benefits of studying at a Russell Group university, where top-class research feeds into teaching to give you a strong grounding in the principles of design, so you can put your work into context.
You’ll build professional skills in your practice, devising imaginative and exciting design proposals. You’ll also study core modules on the design process and think about the cultural, historical and technological influences that have shaped design and development.
You could choose to learn about typography, information design, digital media, photography and other areas of graphic design. You could even study abroad for a year or spend a year working in industry to gain first-hand experience. It’s a great opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to launch a career in this dynamic and competitive industry.
We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. You’ll be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. We also have large format printers, laser cutters and a print making studio.
The University is also home to the M&S Company Archive, including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history. It’s a fascinating insight into the development of marketing and advertising, and could be a fantastic resource for your independent research.
In your first year you’ll build your understanding of studio practice and the design process through project work, as you explore different aspects of graphic and communication design. You’ll improve your computer skills, and build on your visual research skills. At the same time, core modules will introduce you to the fundamentals of digital imaging, visual culture and the historical and theoretical approaches to design.
Once you’ve developed this base of knowledge and skills, you’ll build your own design directions as you specialise in graphic design and advertising, packaging design or animation and interactive media throughout your second year. You’ll also explore colour, advanced design theory and marketing while building your awareness of professional standards.
Your final year is more industry-focused, and you’ll spend much of your time on an independent project to present at your final degree show. You’ll also apply the research and critical skills you’ve gained through your academic studies to a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Fundamentals of Imaging 20 credits
- Material Culture and Mass Consumption 20 credits
- Design History: 1900 to the Present day 10 credits
- Graphic and Communication Media A 20 credits
- Communication and Design Process 20 credits
- Green Design and Sustainability 10 credits
- Introduction to Photography (Digital) 10 credits
- Patterns and Culture 10 credits
- Colour and the Design Process 10 credits
- Fashion Brand Analysis 10 credits
- Drawing 1A 10 credits
- Drawing 1B 10 credits
- Technologies for Art and Design 10 credits
- Theory and Research in Graphic Design 10 credits
- Research Methods 1: Finding and Using Research Resources 10 credits
- Research Methods 2: Research, Writing and Dissertation 10 credits
- Marketing Creativity and Innovation 20 credits
- Design Application 20 credits
- Graphic and Communication Media B 20 credits
- Contemporary Digital Media 10 credits
- Contemporary Art and Memory 10 credits
- Photography (Digital) 10 credits
- Class, Taste and Society: Interpreting Designed Objects. 10 credits
- Fashion Management 10 credits
- The Condition of Things: Curating, Critical Writing and Designed Objects 10 credits
- Eco-Design: Understanding Design's Role in Global Ecology 10 credits
- Design Management and Trends 10 credits
- Colour: Art and Science 10 credits
- Design Theory 10 credits
- 20th Century Fashion 10 credits
- Cutting edge: Collage as reconfiguring 10 credits
- Principles of Typography 10 credits
- Independent Study Dissertation 40 credits
- Graphic and Communication Media C 20 credits
- Independent Project 40 credits
- Contemporary Moving Image 20 credits
- Landscape, Place and Environment in Contemporary Art 20 credits
- Time and the Image in Contemporary Art 20 credits
- Fashion Styling and Photography 20 credits
- Collaborative Marketing and Promotion 20 credits
- Contemporary Typography 20 credits
- Information Design 20 credits
- Brand Communications 20 credits
- Contemporary Advertising 20 credits
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
This degree covers a range of different approaches and disciplines. As a result, you’ll benefit from varied teaching and learning styles. Lectures, seminars and tutorials are among the most common –particularly in more theory-based modules –and you’ll also have one-to-one contact with tutors in studios and workshops.
However, independent study is at the heart of this degree: it builds research and critical skills, but it also gives you the chance to develop your individual voice as a designer.
Practical work is assessed using visual presentations and portfolios, or you may have to submit practical log books or collections of design work. Written exams, essays and other written responses to assignment briefs may also be part of the mix, depending on the modules you choose.
This degree enables you to build valuable professional skills. You’ll be encouraged to engage with a defined audience on each brief you work on, and you’ll publicly present your work in your final year. But because a Leeds degree also gives you an academic framework for your design work, you’ll also be equipped with a number of transferable skills.
You’ll have strong visual and critical awareness, as well as a commercial understanding of advertising and fast-changing markets. You’ll have developed research and critical skills that make you an independent thinker, reflecting critically on the information you have and then drawing your own conclusions. All of these qualities are highly valued by employers in a range of industries.
Graduates have gone into careers in a number of different fields. Many continue with their professional practice – our graduates have gone to work for companies like Saatchi + Saatchi, FutureBrand, Exposure, Spiekermann Partners, Zitromat, McCann-Erikson, Smoke & Mirrors, Show Media, Elle Magazine, BBYO, SSY, Allgood, Golden, Prego, Elmwood, Cosmo, Apple, Nike, TBWA, BBH, Wieden + Kennedy, Root and Brand Union.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Leeds students can also spend a year working in industry after their second year. This is particularly popular with design students – it’s great for your personal and professional development, and may lead to the offer of apermanent role at placement companies.
Students have carried out placements at companies such as Tequila, FutureBrand, Spiekermann Partners, Zitromat, Show Media, The Chase, Saatchi + Saatchi, BBYO, SSY, Allgood, Prego, Elle Magazine, McCann – Erikson, Yell, Radio Aire and NE6.
Read more about the Year in Industry