Communication Design: Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography

BA (Hons)

communication design courses
Experience our distinctive collaborative approach to teaching and learning in Communication Design. This course will develop your extensive understanding of Communication Design disciplines and supports the development of your creative, critical and technical skills necessary to pursue a career within today’s ever-evolving communication design professions across a broad range of industry sectors

Our course offers you the opportunity to explore Communication Design through the investigation of traditional techniques and the latest digital technologies and production methods. Industry-led projects, European exchanges, national design competitions, placements and internships are all integral to the curriculum and place an emphasis on the professional and commercial setting.

93% of students agreed the course had provided them with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth
National Student Survey, 2017.

This course has one study option
Mode of Attendance
Mode of Study
Start Date
Course Length
Mode of Attendance
  • On Campus
Mode of Study
  • Full Time
Start Month
September
Course Length
4 years

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

Year 1

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

Year 2

In Year 2 you will apply your knowledge and understanding of key theoretical principles through the delivery of integrated thematic and theoretically driven projects. 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 can opt to specialise in Graphic Design, Illustration or Photography and will undertake increasing levels of self-directed study and studio project work enabling a greater focus on developing specialist interests in preparation for Year 4. You further develop your insight into your professional context and explore the requirements of new business start-up.

Year 4

You will 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 at our annual Degree Show and 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 and module disclaimer for more information. 

Detailed module information

You will explore graphics, illustration and photography within studio based collaborative practice and are taught using both traditional and digital technologies and techniques. Open plan studios with dedicated work spaces create a vibrant learning environment through shared learning experiences while a programme of critical theory-based study exploring design culture and context supports your studio learning.

You will have the opportunity to participate in a diverse range of external activities throughout the duration of the course including international field study trips, national competitions and live collaborative projects with a wide variety of external partners. Our Enterprise Partners Network includes Hatch, Elevator, Scottish Institute for Enterprise Aberdeen, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and NESTA.

Activity Summary

Year 4

  • Lectures - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • Seminars - Approx 12 students per group, 1 - 2 hours per week
  • Webinar - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • Tutorial - 1 - 12 students per group, 0.5 hour  per week
  • Project Supervision - Approx 50 students per group, 1 - 2 hours per week
  • Demonstration - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • Practical class or workshop -Approx 50 students per group,length of time varies per week
  • Supervised time in studio / workshop - Approx 50 students per group,length of time varies per week
  • Independent Study - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • Field Work - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • External Visits - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - Approx 50 students per group, length of time varies per week
Independent Study

Throughout the course particular emphasis is placed on your development of independent learning through self-directed design project/s. By Year 4 you will undertake independent study, reflecting on your previous 3 years’ experience of building expertise and specialist knowledge within your chosen pathway and towards a level approaching professional practice.

Staff Delivering on This Course

The dedicated academic and technical staff on this course have a wide variety of design backgrounds and their knowledge and experience will provide you with a deep understanding of the Communication Design disciplines.

Industry experts contribute to the course as Professional Associates and through the Guest@Grays lecture programme, which invites national and international illustrators, designers and photographers to speak about their work. The course works closely with the University’s Library, Study Skills and Careers staff and academia from other Schools and departments of the university.

Assessment

Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 1 written assignment, including essay
  • 3 portfolios

Year 2

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 3 portfolios

Year 3

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 3 portfolios
  • 1 oral assessment

Year 4

  • 1 dissertation
  • 1 portfolio
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.

DISABILITY & DYSLEXIA CENTRE

ONLINE LEARNING & SUPPORT

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

CampusMoodle

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

STUDY SKILLS SUPPORT

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library

Placements

You will have the opportunity to undertake a 10 week optional placement in Year 3, Semester 2. This will enable you to gain first-hand experience and a real insight into professional practice. Past placement opportunities have included working with local, national and international creative companies and designers such as Timorous Beasties, Modest Studio, Bright, Bespoke Atelier, Tellyjuice, Slurpy Studios, Lomography, Satumaa Family Business and Imajica Brand Evolution. 

You are responsible for finding the placement with support from the placement office and academic staff. 

PLACEMENT OFFICE

Study Abroad

In Year 3, Semester 2, there is the opportunity to undertake a period of international study exchange with our partner colleges across Europe, Canada and the US

STUDY ABROAD

Job Prospects

The breadth of experience and choice of specialisms offered by this course ensures you have a number of employment opportunities in various roles including graphic design, illustration, photography, publishing, digital design, interactive design, web design, branding, advertising, motion graphics, marketing, communications, tv, radio, film and fashion.

A number of our 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.

For more information on the Masters programme at Gray’s School of Art visit here.

CAREERS

ENTRY TO YEAR 1

SQA Higher: BBC to include Art & Design (or a creative design and/or media subject e.g. Graphic Communication, Media Studies) and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English)

GCE A Level: BC to include Art & Design (or a creative design and/or media subject e.g. Media Studies) and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English e.g. History).

Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H3H3H3 to include Art (or a creative design and/or technology subject e.g. Graphic Communication, Media Studies) 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).

All applicants with the appropriate qualifications (or due to sit appropriate qualifications) will be invited to attend a portfolio review/interview and participate in a selection process.

ENTRY TO YEAR 2

Suitable qualifications for entry to Year 2 (or above) may include relevant GCE A Levels, HNC/HND or Diploma in Foundation Studies (e.g. Art & Design, Design & Media, Fashion Design, Textile Design).

GCE A Level: BCC to include Art & Design (or a creative design and/or media subject e.g. Media Studies) and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English).

IB Diploma: 27 to include Higher Level Visual Arts and English (or a written subject requiring the use of English)

All advanced entry applicants with the appropriate qualifications (or due to sit appropriate qualifications) and who successfully meet the criteria will be invited to attend an ‘advanced’ portfolio review/interview and participate in a selection process.

APPLICANTS FROM PARTNER COLLEGES

A relevant HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 2 or 3, subject to successfully meeting the partner course criteria.  

All advanced entry applicants with the appropriate qualifications (or due to sit appropriate qualifications) and who successfully meet the criteria will be invited to attend an ‘advanced’ portfolio review/interview and participate in a selection process.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DEGREE LINK

ALTERNATIVE QUALIFICATIONS

Those who may not hold the standard qualifications listed are encouraged to apply if they can evidence other appropriate/relevant creative work, qualifications and/or life experiences. Such candidates are advised to contact the Student Admissions Service for further advice and guidance.

A portfolio review/interview is still a requirement for this category of candidate.

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.

 

International Students

The International College at Robert Gordon University offers first year degree entry into Art and Design courses at Robert Gordon University for International Students.

ICRGU INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE

English Language Requirements

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

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH PROGRAMME AT RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact admissions@rgu.ac.uk for further information.

 
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 2019/2020

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1,820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £12,730 per academic year
Additional Costs

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

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and Living costs
  • Printing
  • Studio fund: £100 Year 1, £60 Year 2, £60 Year 3, £60 Year 4
  • £50 - £150 Materials
  • £250 Field Study (optional)
  • £750 International Travel (optional)
  • £300 Camera (optional)
  • £1,000 Laptop (optional)
  • £350 Tablet (optional)

Other Fees and Charges

Student Funding

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

Student Awards Agency For ScotlanD (SAAS)

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

Student Finance England

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance NI

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AWARDS

Disclaimer

For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:

STUDENT FINANCE

Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Team and we'll do our best to help.

+44 (0) 1224 262728

The studios provide a creative environment to discuss projects and briefs with peers. The facilities and in particular the workshops within Gray’s, have really helped me to develop my creative practice. I have learned how to use a professional camera and had access to the dark rooms so now I can confidently develop and produce my own photographs.
ALLANA HARDIE | BA (HONS) COMMUNICATION DESIGN STUDENT

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

Apply

UCAS Code: WW26

We’ve got a few options for applying to our undergraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.


Applicants for first year entry will apply to other universities as well as to RGU through a single online Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application.


Applicants from non-EU countries can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.


RGU accepts applications through the Common Application for those liable to pay international tuition fees.