Experience our distinctive teaching approach, integrating the Communication Design disciplines through cross-disciplinary projects.

Our course offers you the opportunity to explore Communication Design through the investigation of traditional techniques and the latest digital technologies and production methods.

Four honours degree awards are available including Communication Design and/or specialising in Graphic Design, Illustration or Photography.

Industry-led projects, European exchanges, national design competitions, placements and internships are all integral to the curriculum which is distinctive in our cross-disciplinary approach to learning and the integration of the design disciplines and student cohorts within open plan design studios.

Key activities relate to professional and commercial practice and new business start-up activities encourage our graduates to adopt an entrepreneurial outlook.

A wide variety of opportunities and learning experiences raise awareness of the fast paced and changing context of Communication Design.

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS Code

WW26

Course Dates

September

Course Length

4 Years

Mode of Attendance

Full-time

Academic School

Gray's School of Art

Overview

Year 1

Enables students to develop competency in the fundamental elements of the creative process including research, ideas generation and development, resolution and reflection. You will develop a broad range of core skills and knowledge that enable informed choices and decisions to be made as the curriculum progresses.

Year 2

The curriculum provides students with the ability to understand and apply knowledge of key theoretical principles through the provision of integrated projects; these include a broad range of practical and technical skills associated with the Communication disciplines.

Projects are predominantly directed by staff and design briefs are delivered through a combination of studio, contextual and critical study activity that focuses on outputs that connect with personal interests.

Year 3

You are challenged to consider your own creative direction and personal voice within studio. You further develop your insight into your professional context, considering external opportunities and potential career pathways. You explore the requirements of new business start-up and the skills to pursue a career as an independent practitioner.

Students undertake increasing levels of self-directed study and studio project work enabling a greater focus on developing specialist interests in preparation for Year 4.

Year 4

Opportunities are provided to undertake a sustained period of independent self-directed study at the threshold of professional practice. You develop your own design brief in response to personal interests, researching subjects, themes and design questions that will underpin your study and final design outcomes.

You apply critical design skills to a range of projects while collaborative design briefs and competitions provide opportunity to promote work externally at a national and international level.


Modules

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course Disclaimer for more information.

Full-time

Year 1 -- Semester 1
  • Drawing & Visualisation 1
  • Creative Principles & Methods
  • Contextual And Critical Studies 1
    Semester 2
  • Drawing & Visualisation 1
  • Core Design Studies
  • Contextual And Critical Studies 1
    Year 2 -- Semester 1
  • Design: Drawing & Visualisation
  • Communication Design: Principles & Processes
  • Contextual & Critical Studies - Design Contexts
    Semester 2
  • Design: Drawing & Visualisation
  • Communication Design: Principles & Methods
  • Contextual & Critical Studies - Design Contexts
    Year 3 -- Semester 1
  • Contextual & Critical Studies - Exploring Critical Themes
  • Communication Design: Practice & Context
  • Professional Design Studies
  • Semester 2
    Route A - Industry Work Based Placement
  • Industry Work Based Placement
    Route B - International Study Route
  • International Study
    Route C - Taught Course
  • Contextual & Critical Studies - Research & Enquiry
  • Communication Design: Professional Practice
    Year 4 -- Semester 1
  • Contextual And Critical Studies - Dissertation
  • Communication Design: Self - Directed Projects
    Semester 2
  • Contextual And Critical Studies - Dissertation
  • Communication Design: Self - Directed Projects
  • Using both traditional techniques and the latest digital technologies, you are exposed to graphics, illustration and photography within studio based multi-disciplinary practice. Competition briefs and industry-led projects emphasise professional and commercial settings.

    Open plan studios enable you to work alongside students from all specialisms, creating a vibrant learning environment through shared learning experiences. A programme of critical theory-based study exploring design culture and context supports your studio learning. International study trips and industry-based placements with leading companies and designers are offered.

    In Year 3, you choose which area you wish to specialise in, preparing you for the Year 4 Honours project and Degree Show. Your chosen specialisation allows you to graduate with one of:

    • BA (Hons) Communication Design
    • BA (Hons) Communication Design, Graphics
    • BA (Hons) Communication Design, Illustration
    • BA (Hons) Communication Design, Photography 

    Year 4 activity summary

    Lectures

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • One hour per week

    Seminars

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • One hour per week

    Webinar

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Hours per week - varies

    Tutorials

    • One to One
    • 20 – 30  minutes per week

    Project Supervision

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • One hour per week

    Practical class or workshop

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Six hours per week

    Demonstration

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Hours per week - varies

    Supervised time in studio / workshop   

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Nine hours per week

    Field Work         

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Hours per week - varies

    External Visits   

    • Approximately 50 students per group
    • Hours per week - varies

    Independent study summary

    The course places particular emphasis on developing independent learning where you will have the opportunity to direct your own study through independent self-directed design project/s. By Year 4 you undertake independent study, reflecting on your previous 3 years’ experience building expertise and specialist knowledge within your chosen pathway towards professional practice level.

    Staff delivering this course

    The academic and technical staff on the course have a wide variety of backgrounds in design. They are all dedicated and their knowledge and experience will provide you with both a deep and wide understanding of the Communication Design disciplines. The academic staff also regularly engage in external research and scholarly activity; in line with the school and university’s wider strategy and objectives.

    Industry experts contribute to the programme through the Guest@Grays programme and as Professional Associates to the course. The course works closely with the University’s Library, Study Skills and Careers staff.

    Facilities

    • Print Making Suite
    • Wood & Metal Workshop
    • Printmaking Workshops
    • Photography Studio
    • Photography Darkrooms
    • Digital Fabrication Lab
    • Green Screen Studio
    • Specialist CAD Labs
    • Audio Video Suite
    • Sound Recording Studio
    • Drawing & Visualisation Studios
    • Cross-Disciplinary Studio Spaces
    • University Library
    • Georgina Scott Sutherland  Learning Centre
    • Specialist Mac Suite
    • Student Support Services

    How you are assessed

    Typically students are assessed each semester:

    • Project Outputs
    • Written Assignment, including essay
    • Report
    • Oral assessment
    • Practical skills assessment
    • Dissertation
    • Portfolio
    • Group critique
    • Set Exercises

    Feedback

    We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

    Academic Support

    The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

    Study Skills Support

    The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

    • Academic writing
    • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
    • Maths and statistics
    • English language
    • Information technology support

    More on Study Skills

    SQA Higher: BBC to include Art / Design and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English).

    GCE A Level: BC to include Art / Design and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English).

    Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H3H3H3 to include Art and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English).

    IB Diploma: 24 to include Higher Level Visual Arts and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English).

    Alternative Qualifications: Those who may not hold the standard qualifications, are encouraged to apply if they can evidence other appropriate life and work experiences. Such candidates are advised to contact the University during open days or the Visit Afternoons for further advice and guidance. A folio of work is still a requirement for this type of candidate.

    Applicants from Partner Colleges: A relevant HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 3, subject to meeting conditions criteria and successfully passing the selection. Find out more about Degree Link

    Advanced Entry: Suitable qualifications for entry to Year 2 or above may include a relevant HND or Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design, Design & Media). All advanced entry applications with the appropriate qualifications will be invited to attend an interview. Download a copy of our portfolio guidance

    Interview/Portfolio Review: Suitable applicants will be invited to attend the School with their portfolio for an informal review/discussion with academic staff. This allows you to meet staff, see the teaching environment and allows the School to explore our ambitions whilst reviewing your work. We will discuss your folio work and specific interests within art and design, as well as your aspirations. It will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions.

    Non Standard Entry: Those who may not hold the standard qualifications, are encouraged to apply if they can evidence other appropriate life and work experiences. Such candidates are advised to contact the University during Open Days or the Visit Afternoons for further advice and guidance. A folio of work is still a requirement for this type of candidate.

    International students who do not meet our direct entry requirements for this course can gain additional entry points through our International College at Robert Gordon University.

    English Language

    Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

    We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

    English Language requirements

    * All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.

    You have the opportunity to participate in a diverse range of external activities throughout the duration of the course. This includes international field study trips, national competitions and live collaborative projects with a wide variety of external partners.

    You are responsible for finding an industry-based placement with support from the Placement Office and academic staff. Past placements have included leading creative companies and designers.

    We also offer the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus European Exchange Programme and you will participate in our annual undergraduate Degree Show and the D&AD New Blood exhibition in London.

    Our Enterprise Partners network includes Elevator, Scottish Institute for Enterprise Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and NESTA.

    There are also a number of university clubs and societies and local creative collectives that offer a range of extra-curricular activities.

    If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

    Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

    For Academic Year 2018/2019

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,360 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2017/2018

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2016/2017

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,500 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2015/2016

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2014/2015

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,500 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2013/2014

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £10,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2012/2013

    Scottish/EU Students

    Full-time

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    Full-time

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £9367 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2011/2012

    UK/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    International Students

    • £9300 per academic year

    Disclaimer

    Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

    For further information see Student Finance pages

     

    Home, EU and Rest of UK applicants to Robert Gordon University must apply online at www.ucas.com/students/apply.

    It is important that you keep track of your application process using the UCAS website, as it will update you on whether you have been offered a place from the University. It is also where you should respond to offers and receive confirmation of your place within your chosen course, rather than contacting the institution in the first instance.

    International fee paying students have the option of applying either via UCAS or direct using our application form.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions

    The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

    Our graduates are employed in a variety of professional roles across all sectors. Many work for local companies while others are employed nationally and internationally for leading design agencies.

    A number of graduates have established their own design consultancies while others are working as freelance designers, illustrators and photographers for prominent publications, major design consultancies and media organisations such as the BBC and Channel 4. A number have extended their academic understanding through further study at the Royal College of Art and other postgraduate institutions.

    The breadth of experience and choice of specialisms offered by this course ensures our graduates maximise their potential. Employment opportunities regularly exist within the following areas: 

    • Graphic Design
    • Illustration
    • Photography
    • Publishing
    • Digital Design
    • Interactive Design
    • Web Design
    • Branding
    • Advertising
    • Motion Graphics
    • Marketing
    • Communications
    • Art Direction
    • Fashion
    • Media
    • Film
    • TV
    • Video
    • Radio
    • Performing Arts
    • Enterprise

    Visit the Gray’s School of Art blog site to find out more about the wide range of activities and opportunities on this course.

    The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

    • Studio fund:
      • £100 Year 1
      • £60 Year 2
      • £60 Year 3
      • £60 Year 4
      • Printing

    In addition, you will be expected to pay for:

    • Materials
    • Field Study (optional)
    • International Travel (optional)
    • Travel
    • Specialist Clothing
    • Research Allowance
    • Camera (optional)

    Other Fees and Charges

    Back to Top Back to top

    Back to undergraduate