Key facts

Entry requirements

104 UCAS points or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W221

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

3 years full-time, 4 years with placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Additional costs

Entry requirements

104 UCAS points or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W221

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

3 years full-time, 4 years with placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Additional costs

You will also be able to work on a diverse range of industry and competition briefs, supporting your professional practice and understanding of the industry

This Illustration with Graphic Design course aims to develop your image making, design and illustration skills, allowing you to develop and refine your own visual voice. You will work on a diverse range of projects that allow your creativity and talent to thrive over digital, motion and print platforms.

Through the course you will learn how to interpret briefs, identify and solve problems to create innovative illustration and design solutions, you will also be able to work on a diverse range of industry and competition briefs, supporting your professional practice and understanding of the industry.

The course is designed to support a career as an illustrator and creative practitioner: In year one, you will focus on understanding the fundamentals of drawing and design principals; in year two, you will begin to locate and develop your individual voice by applying your illustration through creative projects and varied workshops; in year three, you will position your creative practice through professional preparation and real world experiences, supporting your individual aspirations for entering the creative industries.

The Illustration with Graphic Design degree is taught in conjunction with the BA (hons) Graphic Design course, with some shared module-specific teaching, allowing you to build both your professional illustration skills alongside core graphic design knowledge and a supportive community of creative students.

Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments – rather than lots of exams at the end of the year – and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging. Read more about block teaching.

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What you will study

Block 1: Exploration and Ideation for Graphic Design and Illustration

The module aims to build ideation skills to create innovative solutions to design briefs, through meaningful problem solving. You will gain an appreciation and understanding of design principles. Practical and technical skills will be taught in this module that will give you the tools to deliver your concepts through effective communication. The module intends to encourage creative curiosity, with students able to utilise reflective insight within their solutions.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 2: Applied Idea Development for Graphic Design and Illustration

Supports the development of ideation skills to create innovative solutions to design and illustration briefs through meaningful problem solving, here students will gain an appreciation and understanding of fundamental design and illustration principles. Practical and technical skills will be taught in this module, that will offer students the tools to explore and present concepts through effective communication. The module intends to encourage creative curiosity, with students able to utilise reflective insight within their design solutions. Students will be set creative briefs that will encourage them to tackle problem solving in an explorative manner, supporting lateral thinking and building an iterative design process.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 3: Visual Communication for Graphic Design and Illustration

This module introduces the fundamental principles to understand and apply semiotics in a graphic design and illustration context, designed to enhance students’ visual communication skills. Students will explore the relationships between product, service, client and audience to ensure their creative outcomes successfully resonate with all stakeholders. Practical and technical skills are also taught in this module to support the communication of final propositions and design concepts. Creative briefs will encourage investigation to give insight to design solutions aimed at creating meaningful relationships with audience through critical judgement and problem solving.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 4: Creative Resolution for Graphic Design and Illustration

Explores the principles of successful visual communication to an audience, developing students’ understanding of refinement and finesse within a client-designer context, exploring the resolution of the design process and reflecting on the requirements of the brief. Students will analyse design and illustration solutions in a professional practice context and evaluate strategic decision making and the success of projects. Through analysis and reflection, students will be able to evaluate necessary design development and refinement. Practical and technical skills are taught in this module to support the successful communication of design and illustration choices.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 1: Design Process for Graphic Design and Illustration

Develops a design process to create innovative solutions to design and illustration briefs, through meaningful problem solving. Students will develop an appreciation and understanding of design and illustration principles. Practical and technical skills will be taught in this module that will give students the tools to deliver their concepts through effective communication. The module intends to encourage creative curiosity, with students able to develop and utilise reflective insight within their solutions.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 2: Design Process Progression for Graphic Design and Illustration

The module utilises design and illustration process skills for students to experiment with themes and creative solutions, and students will continue to develop an appreciation and understanding of design and illustration principles. Practical and technical skills will be taught in this module that will give students the tools to deliver their concepts through effective communication. The module develops a theoretical understanding allowing students to then develop their creative curiosity and lateral thinking. Students are encouraged to be boundary pushing and take risks through playful exploration.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 3: Design Communication for Graphic Design and Illustration

The module utilises design and illustration process skills for students to experiment with themes and creative solutions, and students will continue to develop an appreciation and understanding of design and illustration principles. Practical and technical skills will be taught in this module that will give students the tools to deliver their concepts through effective communication. The module develops a theoretical understanding allowing students to then develop their creative curiosity and lateral thinking. Students are encouraged to be boundary pushing and take risks through playful exploration.

Lecture: 6 hours
Tutorial: 42 hours
Studio/lab: 42 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 4: Personal Practice for Graphic Design and Illustration

In this module students will define their practice and as professional graphic designer or illustrator, or for design entrepreneurial activity. Students will research and understand relevant areas of creative practice. Students will also evaluate and question their creative strengths and direction.

To do this, students will design and present a portfolio of their project work along which defines their practice and expresses their creative position.

Tutorial: 45 hours
Studio/lab: 45 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 1: Independent Practice

This project-based module is the principle means for students to test, apply and articulate the concepts and theories learned at levels 4 and 5 and to develop their personal creativity to a mature level. Essentially studio-based with minimal formal taught content, it provides the opportunity to explore and develop individual creative pathways under close tutor supervision.

Students are responsible for selecting and organising the content of their study programme according to their individual interests, which may include design for both print and digital media in the areas of editorial publishing, typography, illustration, packaging, corporate identity, promotional, entertainment and information graphics.

Tutorial: 45 hours
Studio/lab: 45 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 2: Independent Practice 2

The module utilises students' ideations skills to experiment with themes and creative solutions developed in the first block. This project-based module is the principle means for students to test, apply and articulate the concepts and theories learned at levels 1 and 2 and to develop their personal creativity to a mature level. Essentially studio-based with minimal formal taught content, it provides the opportunity to explore and develop individual creative pathways under close tutor supervision.

Students are responsible for selecting and organising the content of their study programme according to their individual interests, which may include design for both print and digital media in the areas of editorial publishing, typography, illustration, packaging, corporate identity, promotional, entertainment and information graphics.

Tutorial: 45 hours
Studio/lab: 45 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 3: Professional Practice

This module introduces students to the advanced knowledge and skills needed to understand graphic design and illustration professional practice including knowledge of the commercial aspects of design practice. Students will work on live and external briefs, which will involve research directly linked to generating appropriate ideas for the practical design work and the preparation of the final portfolio with support materials, to be assessed at the end of the module.

The module introduces the process of managing the client/designer relationship, where transferable skills relevant to the entire programme of study are developed through effective self-management of learning the projects. The module presents an opportunity for students to develop a better understanding of the relevance of visual communication (graphic design and illustration) to industry and in society.

Tutorial: 45 hours
Studio/lab: 45 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Block 4: Professional Practice 2

This module aims to prepare students for the process of obtaining their first job as a professional graphic designer or illustrator, or for design entrepreneurial activity. To achieve this, the student will need to assess and consolidate their creative strengths and direction, as well as research and understand the creative marketplace. Students will design and produce a range of materials aimed at representing their creative abilities and supporting a job application. These will be presented within the final portfolio of work, forming a complete self-promotional package.

Tutorial: 45 hours
Studio/lab: 45 hours
Self-directed study: 110 hours
Assessment: 100 hours

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Structure

This is a full-time course. Each module is worth 30 credits. Outside of your normal timetabled hours you will be expected to conduct independent study each week to complete preparation tasks, assessments and research.

Course delivery is in block mode, which means each 30 credit module consists of a seven week teaching block.

The multidisciplinary approach requires a range of deliveries, such as: workshop demonstrations, studio work, lectures, seminars, tutorials, group project work, screenings, external visits, visiting professionals, independent learning, research and self-directed studies all inform practical areas of study. Lectures and seminars, research and self-directed study deliver the contextual and historical information students need to inform their thinking around theoretical issues, and their analytical writing skills.

Assessment

Formative reviews of work take place on a continuous weekly tutorial basis preceding formative assessments each semester and summative assessments in May. Assessment strategies adhere to subject benchmarks and applicable professional requirements.

Student work

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Our facilities

Graphic design studios

Specialised resources tailored to the needs of graphic design and illustration students.

Explore the studios

Traditional printmaking workshops

The letterpress facilities focus on typography and relief printing, giving a historical understanding of print communication.

Explore the workshops

Risograph printing and foiling

These facilities catering to distinct artistic applications, risograph printing allows students to produce unique prints with a distinctive texture and aesthetic, while foiling equipment enhances projects with bold or subtle metallic features.

Risograph and foiling facilities

The Digital Fun Factory

Dedicated to exploring emerging creative technology, developing new technical skills, and experimenting with ways of pushing the boundaries of digital design and illustration

The fun starts here

What makes us special

Three students working together around a laptop

Block Learning

With Education 2030, you’ll learn in a focused ‘block’ teaching format, where you study one subject at a time instead of several at once. As a result, you will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, have a more simplified timetable, and have a better study-life balance. That means more time to engage with your DMU community and other rewarding aspects of university life.

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DMU Global

DMU Global is the award-winning international experience programme for DMU students, aiming to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons.

Where we could take you

Placements fair

Placements

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 Team 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.

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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."

Course specifications

Course title

Illustration with Graphic Design

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W221

Institution code

D26

Study level

Undergraduate

Study mode

Full-time

Start date

September 2024

Duration

3 years full-time, 4 years with placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Additional costs

Entry requirements

  • 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
  • T Levels Merit or
  • Art and Design Foundation Diploma: Pass

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

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course 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.

Contextual offer

To make sure you get fair and equal access to higher education, when looking at your application, we consider more than just your grades. So if you are eligible, you may receive a contextual offer. Find our more about contextual offers.

Interview and Portfolio

Portfolio required: Yes

Interview required: No

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

Additional costs

Graphic Design materials: You will need to purchase sketchbooks, USB flashdrives, drawing and art equipment. You will also have costs for printing. A basic kit list will be provided to indicate the minimum materials required.