This graphic design course focuses mainly on creative commercial outcomes. Your design work will excite, challenge and persuade target audiences. The work will be varied and will involve designing anything from corporate graphics, logos, branding and corporate identity, brochures, annual reports, promotional items, web, mobile apps, packaging, typography, design, advertising, exhibitions, print and many other graphic outcomes.
Staff who teach on this course are themselves practicing professionals at the cutting edge of their field and they bring their industry insights and experience directly into their teaching. We have fantastic facilities, award-winning staff and students, and a focus on employability and cutting edge professional skills.
- The Design programmes at Sunderland have been winning top international design awards and accolades for almost three decades. The most recent successes include the D&AD ‘The Best in Show’ and the Adobe Students Creative Awards
- 100% of our BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Graphic Communication graduates are in graduate-level employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
- We are one of six institutions across the UK that is participating in The Design Council’s Design Academy Scheme. Design Academy is an interactive, four-day training programme for Design students at leading universities, helping to prepare students from a variety of disciplines for real-world design challenges by developing their strategic design capabilities
- Access to FabLab Sunderland on City Campus, part of a global network of digital fabrication spaces that provide 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and a CNC router
Teaching methods include, lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups. Teaching takes advantage of the University’s specialist computer laboratories.
If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
View more student work in our student galleries.
Throughout the course we support you to launch your design career. You will build up a creative and industry ready portfolio, access guaranteed work placements, attend employability days and put your designs on show to the public.
On modules such as ‘Studio Practice’, you will receive valuable advice on a variety of work-related topics. These range from costing, cash flow and business plans to going freelance, self-promotion and copyright issues.
You will also develop a Professional Engagement Document. This highlights all your self-development activities and engagement with industry, as well as other factors that give you an edge compared to other graduates.
Our graduates have gone on to work all over the globe in graphic design, editorial, infographics, motion graphics, advertising, web, packaging and interactive design. We have graduates working in Ordinance Survey, MTV and SEGA. Some have also gone on to work in the creative industries of publishing, design consultancies and advertising design, while others prefer self-employment.
This creative degree can also open doors into many other careers, such as teaching, or further study to Masters or Doctorate level.
We encourage you to participate in competitions and award schemes including those run by the Design and Art Directors Association (of which we are a corporate member). Such competitions are part of building up a compelling creative portfolio.
In your final year you’ll display your work at our annual Degree Show, attended by industry experts and potential employers. You may also have the opportunity to take your work to London.
In addition, our academic team organises visits to arts venues across the UK and in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and New York.
Employability days and guest speakers
We hold specific ‘employability days’ to help give our students that essential cutting edge. We invite graduates and employers to come into the University in order to look at student portfolios and give advice.
Through our links with industry, we also attract professionals in graphic design to come in and give talks throughout the year. These help you gain valuable insights and contacts in the world of work. Our creative spaces and conferences attract acclaimed guest speakers from across the design world, such as Andy Aldmann (Why Not Associates), Ben Fry, Jill Calder, Fig Taylor and Bruce McClean.
Guaranteed work placement
All students studying on-campus undergraduate design courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp.
By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.