BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Course Overview

Across practically all industries, strong graphic design talent is now essential for business to grow their marketplace visibility. So, whether you’re interested in a digital design degree, a marketing career, or even a future in illustration, this graphic design course is the best way to get your foot in the door.

Exploring everything from typography and basic image creation to more advanced digital design and animation, this course will give you the upper hand in a range of creative pathways. During your studies, you’ll also learn more about the industry itself and the ever-evolving medium of design technology. The modules you’ll study on our graphic design degree are cutting-edge and go far beyond the basics – providing you with everything you need to become a fully-fledged graphic designer in the industry you feel passionate about. 

The staff members behind this course are design practitioners themselves, so the experience you gain will be real-world and highly relevant. Learning from those in industry also gives you the opportunity to explore fields of design you may not previously have considered – so your next career move is wide open. 

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn’t a clear pathway to this degree – we are more than happy to discuss your application.


Standard entry requirements

  • Two subjects at GCE A level or equivalent, plus passes at grade C or above in three subjects at GCSE level or equivalent.
  • Completion of a recognised Access Programme or equivalent.

Non-standard entry requirements

  • Two years relevant work experience – this should be in the field of graphic design, broader design work, advertising or a related creative field in which working with visual media has been a significant part of the role.
  • Applicants who do not hold qualifications or do not have the relevant work experience will need to demonstrate two years of general work experience and provide a portfolio of five pieces of work that demonstrates an aptitude in graphic design.

Course fee

International FeeFee
fee per level:£5500
UK FeeFee
fee per level:£6,935

Please note: Fees quoted relate to the intake that you enrol on (i.e. when you start your course), NOT your application date.

English Proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 80; or equivalent

We also offer an internal English test for applicants. More information on this can be found here.

We are happy to consider an application from you if you can show us you have the motivation to study this graphic design degree.

We’ll ask you for a personal statement that demonstrates your ability to study the course. We may also want references and evidence of relevant experiences.


Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course details and modules

On the course you’ll get creative with a broad range of digital technologies that are used within a range of exciting industries. You’ll also have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge of traditional mediums, such as typography, print, and layout design. But most importantly, you’ll learn everything there is to know about universal design, and how to apply your skills to different companies all over the world.

Just some of the fascinating modules you’ll study on this course include:

Typography and Image Creation

Discover how traditional graphic design skills like sketching, drawing, typography, and logo design can inform and enhance modern digital media. Learn how the two methods integrate on the path to becoming a graphic designer.

Reading Images

Learn how to interpret images and decipher their meanings within the realm of visual communication. Understand and articulate the significance and context of your visual creations to elevate yourself from a competent designer to a smart one. 

The Major Project

Cultivate the right mindset to thrive in today’s professional design world. Tackle a self-initiated design brief on a subject matter and media of your choice, allowing you to create work that mirrors your unique interests and personal style.

Authentic assessments. No exams.

Like you, we believe in real-world assessments you can apply to everyday life, not exams. That’s why each assessment on this course is embedded with employability skills you can transfer to your future role, including preparing presentations, case studies, conducting real-world research and analysis. You’ll prepare a portfolio of work to showcase your acquired skills and knowledge.


You have 3-9 years to complete this course, meaning that you can take up to three years to complete each level; however, many of our students complete the course in 3-6 years

Level 4

  • Typography and Image Creation
  • Design History and Critical Thinking
  • Design and Layout
  • Illustration and Animation
  • Design Vocabulary
  • Digital and Analogue Moving Image

Level 5

  • Studio Practice I
  • Studio Practice II
  • Reading Images I
  • Reading Images II
  • Self-Promotion and Packaging I
  • Visualising Concepts

Level 6

  • Self-Promotion and Packaging II
  • Industry Competition Briefs
  • Dissertation
  • Major Project

Career prospects

We don’t expect undergraduate students to already have a career path in mind before starting their degree, especially as there are so many exciting career paths to choose from. Instead, we aim to prepare you with a range of universal skills that employers from a variety of organisations will value, so that you’ll graduate with the confidence to make a decision about which direction your future career should take. 

What can I do after Arden University?

After graduating, you’ll have a world of opportunity waiting for you! Once you’ve completed your graphic design degree, you’ll possess skills and knowledge that are in high demand, making you a vital employee to a range of different companies and sectors. Take a look at some of the roles you may want to consider in the future: 

  • Publishing (book or magazine design)
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Digital Moving Image
  • Motion Graphics
  • Packaging
  • Television Graphics
  • Exhibition Design
  • Animation
  • Photography
  • Marketing Creative
  • Studio Manager

What can a graphic design degree do for me?

Our main goal is to teach the professional and multimedia skills needed for students to excel in a range of creative industries. This course will facilitate your development of unique design methods and the innovative strategies that go with them. Some of the advanced skills you will learn include:

  • The ability to research and present different graphical languages and modes to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Analysis and evaluation of design contexts
  • Effective written and verbal communication
  • Proven ability to present findings in a range of formats including essays, presentations, reports and online forums
  • The ability to work independently and collaborate within a team
  • Problem solving
  • Independent learning
  • Develop a range of transferable skills in graphic design

Online learning

How does it work?

Studying this course online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location.  

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud. ilearn provides everything you need to study at University. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

ilearn is also integrated with Zoom, making it easier to chat with your course tutor during your scheduled seminar sessions. You can even integrate our study materials into your Kindle, making it possible to study wherever you have you Kindle handy. 

Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with likeminded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. We’ve even set up community boards embedded into each of the course modules so you can have discussions with your tutor and classmates on the topics you’re currently learning. 

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Tuition Fee loan to pay for their course. If you cannot attend your course in person because of a disability, you may also be entitled to a Maintenance Loan to cover living expenses. If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information about obtaining a student loan to cover your costs from your student finance body.