Skip to content

Graphic Design (Illustration) BA (Hons)

Learn how to engage audiences and develop your own personal visual style across print, digital and analogue media platforms. 


Watch: Subject Group Leader Dan Morley discusses the unique qualities of studying Graphic Design (Illustration) at DMU.

The Graphic Design (Illustration) degree is taught in alliance with the Graphic Design degree, with module specific teaching to develop a more personal visual language.

Graphic designers and illustrators need to be curious innovators and follow a reflective and explorative design process. They need to understand and engage audience. The Graphic Design (Illustration) course will build both your Graphic Design industry skills and develop your own personal visual style. You will be taught how to interpret briefs, identify and solve problems to create innovative design illustration solutions.

On the Graphic Design (Illustration) course you will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with an extensive range of media and craft skills, taught by expert practitioners. Working on projects that will allow your creativity and talent to thrive over all print, digital and analogue media, platforms.

Though our close relationships with industry you will be set live projects giving enabling you to have work selected and published.

The course will prepare you in all aspects of graphic design and illustration to prosper in the exciting, everchanging creative industry. You will work towards building a professional creative portfolio that will showcase your unique visual voice. 

Graphic Design (Illustration) student work

Rahim Rizwan – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Johanna Kugler – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Steph Mole – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Jaleel Hudson – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Fiona Morris – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Ellis Pearce – Graphic Design (Illustration)
Elliot Sharp – Graphic Design (Illustration)

Want to see more student work?

To see the fantastic range of creative projects our talented students work on, visit our graduate degree show: 

For further insight into our programme, follow our virtual studio on Instagram @dmu_graphics here you’ll see students work in progress, final projects, alumni stories, industry guests. It's an inspration and design community hub where you can interact directly with the course.

Key features

  • Access one-to-one support from the Leicester Media School Drawing Centre to perfect your drawing skills and meet like-minded artists.
  • Benefit from our Gurus and Grasshoppers peer support mentoring scheme – final-year students mentor new students on formal assignments and additional areas, as needed.
  • Expand your portfolio with House – DMU’s Design Society – which gives you the chance to develop your practical and professional skills through live project briefs set by real clients from the design industry.
  • Enter high-profile competitions such as D&AD, RSA, Macmillan Children’s Books, Batsford, Penguin, Folio Society and the Young Creative Network.
  • Explore the world with DMU Global, our international experience programme. Graphic Design students have previously researched the Bauhaus art movement in Berlin and visited museums and galleries in Amsterdam.
  • Exhibit your work at the week-long DMU Degree Show, one of Leicester’s biggest art and design shows, where final-year students have the chance to meet talent scouts and win industry prizes.


"This course has broadened my skill set incredibly, opened up my mind to new ways of thinking using different methods, and given me the chance to experiment with ways of working that I wouldn’t have otherwise."

Lucy Depardieu, Graphic Design (Illustration) graduate


News stories/case studies

Striking designs of London landmarks by DMU Graphic Design (Illustration) student Elliott Sharp will feature on a range of merchandise sold at the National Gallery in London. The final-year  student was one of 15 who had the chance to work on a live project set by the gallery, which houses more than 2,300 paintings and is among the most visited art museums in the world. Read the full story here.  

Students at DMU have compiled their imaginative rainbow illustrations into a downloadable colouring book to raise funds for the NHS. Final-year  Graphic Design (Illustration) students Katie Pearce and Fiona Morris were approached by their tutor to lead on the project, following the success of the first colouring book they released during lockdown with a small group of friends on their course. Read more about the project here.

Find out what makes a great portfolio

Graphic Design portfolio advice

More courses like this:

Graphic Design and e-Media Foundation Degree (FdA) 

Graphic Design BA (Hons)

News stories

Design students take on the challenge of designing posters for national Stephen Lawrence Day

Local design agency supports DMU students to create virtual degree show

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W221

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Students enrolling for the 2021/22 entry of this course qualify for financial support as part of The DMU Difference. We are offering awards of £200, for students on years one to three of study*, towards specialist printing.

*Awards are available to students undertaking full-time study and pro-rata for part-time students. Students on placement and therefore not incurring such costs are not eligible for financial assistance.

Important information on The DMU Difference.

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W221

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for international students: £14,750

2021/22 tuition fees for EU students: £9,250 with our EU undergraduate transitional scholarship (T&Cs apply).

Find out more about available funding for international students.

Students enrolling for the 2021/22 entry of this course qualify for financial support as part of The DMU Difference. We are offering awards of £200, for students on years one to three of study*, towards specialist printing.

*Awards are available to students undertaking full-time study and pro-rata for part-time students. Students on placement and therefore not incurring such costs are not eligible for financial assistance.

Important information on The DMU Difference.

Find out about additional costs and optional extras.

Entry criteria

  • Normally 104 UCAS points from at least two A-levels or equivalent, with Art and Design at grade C or above or
  • Art and Design BTEC National Diploma/ Extended Diploma at DMM

Plus five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications include:

  • Pass in the QAA accredited Access to HE Art and Design course with at least 15 credits in Art and Design at merit. English GCSE required as a separate qualification as equivalency is not accepted within the Access qualification. We will normally require students to have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course or
  • International Baccalaureate: 24+ points including Art and Design at higher level grade 5 or
  • Art and Design Foundation Diploma: Pass

Portfolio Required: You will also need a good portfolio according to the course guidelines as part of your application. Portfolio guidance for Graphic Design.

Interview Required: No

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications

UCAS tariff information

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

English language

If English is not your first language then an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent) is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments



Year one

  • Graphic Studies: Context and Communication
  • Image Making for Illustration 1
  • Media and Communication Technology for Illustration 1

Year two

  • Integrated Graphic Studies
  • Image Making for Illustration 2
  • Media and Communication Technology for Illustration 2

Year three

  • Major Negotiated Pathway Project
  • Creative Competition Projects
  • Applied Professional Practice Studies

Teaching takes place through workshops, seminars, and interactive lectures from leading practitioners and experts. There is a vibrant studio culture, with projects supported by tutors on a one-to-one or small group basis. You can choose from a wide range of specialist topics and develop personal critical skills through a series of critiques and presentations of work to tutors, peers and industry experts.

Teaching staff are practising designers with a range of experience. They have close industry links which allows you to spend time working with professional clients, recent examples include Next, George, OhhDeer, Checkland Kindlesides, Codemasters and Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival. 


You also have the opportunity to gain ownership of significant parts of the course on the Gurus and Grasshoppers mentoring scheme, where final year students mentor new students.

Assessment is continuous, with specialist staff providing feedback as your work develops. You will typically have 12-16 timetabled taught hours and undertake at least 24 hours of independent study each week.


Facilities and features

Graphic Design Suite

You will learn in our newly developed, specialist facilities. Throughout your studies you will have access to multiple Mac equipped studios, open access multi-purpose studios with excellent natural light, specialist digital printing facilities, green screen, video and photography suites, dedicated drawing, visualisation and craft studios, letterpress and traditional printmaking workshops.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more

Graduate Careers

Graphic Design (Illustration) graduate Jack landed a two-book deal with Kings Road Publishing thanks to his final-year project, The Mega Meltdown, a book about ice age animals such as the woolly mammoth, sabre tooth tiger and giant sloths.

He said: "DMU gives students lots of support in establishing yourself as a self-employed freelancer, which was really helpful for me. My tutors were great too. They didn't just stand up and give a lecture, they’d come around while you're working, talk to you about your projects, and give you advice."


DMU Global


Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons, helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK-based activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Recent trips have seen Graphic Design students explore Berlin and take part in illustration and interactive courses in Amsterdam.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 




During this course you will have the option to complete a placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career.

Our Graphic Design Illustration students have recently secured placements at Pochin Bathrooms and Fleishman Hillard.

Our careers programme DMU Works can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement.

DMU Open days

The next DMU Open Day will take place on Saturday 4 December

Book now

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order now

How to apply

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Case study
De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) 

Case study

Graphic Design (Illustration)  students at DMU produced a collection of impactful posters and educational resources to help raise awareness of the first national Stephen Lawrence Day.

Third-year students were tasked with creating artwork to educate and influence young people in memory of Stephen, encouraging them to ‘live their best life’, which is the theme for the first commemorative day in his name. Read the full story here.



We offer a range of high-standard accommodation for our students, with 13 halls of residence and around 4,100 rooms, all of which are a short distance from our campus. There is a choice of mixed or same-gender flats, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, furnished bedrooms (some with en suite facilities) and internet access. Find out more.


De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) 

Run by students for students, DSU offers more than 150 societies and almost 40 different sports clubs. You can also get involved in the award-winning Demon Media group, volunteer to help in the community, become a course or faculty rep, and take part in DSU’s annual elections. Find out more.


A city like no other

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.