Graphic Design (Illustration) BA (Hons)

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


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. You will work on projects that 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 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)

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.
  • 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 and Creative Conscience.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from Education 2030, where a simplified ‘block learning’ timetable means you will study one subject at a time and have more time to engage with your learning, receive faster feedback and enjoy a better study-life balance.




"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


Find out what makes a great portfolio

Graphic Design portfolio advice


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


More courses like this

Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Graphic Design and e-Media Foundation Degree (FdA) 

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W221

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

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Find out about additional costs and optional extras.

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.

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W221

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

Fees and funding: 

2023/24 tuition fees for international students: £15,750

Find out more about available funding for international students.


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.

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
  • T Levels Merit 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.

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.


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

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Read more about Education 2030

Course modules

Teaching and assessments



Year one

Block 1: Exploration and Ideation for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 2: Applied Idea Development for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 3: Visual Communication for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 4: Creative Resolution for Graphic Design and Illustration

Year two

Block 1: Design Process for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 2: Design Process Progression for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 3: Design Communication for Graphic Design and Illustration

Block 4: Year 2 Personal Practice for Graphic Design and Illustration

Year three

Block 1: Independent Practice

Block 2: Independent Practice 2

Block 3: Professional Practice

Block 4: Professional Practice 2


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. 


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.


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

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Works

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 studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.


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





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.

Take your next steps