Graphic Design and Illustration BA (Hons)

About the course

Graphic Design and Illustration at DMU covers a variety of image-making including drawing, printmaking, and animation, visual problem solving and digitally produced imagery; giving you the opportunity to go into a wide range of careers in animation, illustration and graphic design.

Reasons to study Graphic Design and Illustration at DMU:

  • Learn from industry active teaching staff who are practising illustrators and designers working in textiles, children’s book illustration, creative writing, poetry, photography, animation, mural painting and printmaking

  • Benefit from close industry links which allow you to spend time working with professional clients such as the Design Society

  • Recent graduates have gone on to work for Orange, O2, Warner Music, George, Next, Imperial GB, Untitled and Jupiter Design.

In your first year, you will identify personal preferences and strengths, while at the same time enhancing and developing your creativity. 

The second and third years concentrate increasingly on project work, further developing your ability to provide creative solutions to graphic design and illustration briefs, through self-initiated work and competitions run by Young Creatives Network and McMillan Children’s Books, along with other industry and client-set projects.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  W221 

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

Entry requirements for 2014

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 260 UCAS Points from at least two A Levels or equivalent, including a grade C or above in Art and Design
  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths and English
  • BTEC requirements: Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) at National Diploma Level.
  • Additional qualifications can contribute towards the points score such as a third A Level or AS Levels
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ points.

If you are unsure about the amount of UCAS points your qualifications may attract you can use our UCAS Tariff Chart|.

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

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 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.

Teaching and assessment

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, such as the Design Society. 

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 15 timetabled taught hours and undertake approximately 25 hours of independent study each week.

Course modules

Year one

  • Graphic Studies: Context andCommunication
  • Image-Making for Illustration
  • Media and Communication Technology for Illustration I

Year two

  • Integrated Graphic Studies
  • Applied Illustration Studies (options and electives)
  • Media and Communication Technology for Illustration II

Year three

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

Work experience and placements

You are encouraged to seek work placements during the summer and there is an option to undertake a longer work placement lasting up to a year. You will also work on a live project brief set by real clients and have the opportunity to enter national and international competitions, such as the Young Creatives Network and The International Society of Typographic Designers.

Graduate careers

Illustrators are in high demand in many fi elds of communication and entertainment. Past graduates’ careers have included freelance illustration, animation, illustration for advertising, editorial and publishing. They are producing work for a range of media, including digital media and the internet. Recent graduates have gone on to work for Orange, O2, Warner Music, George, Next, Imperial GB, Untitled and Jupiter Design.

Fees and funding

Full-time £9,000
Placement year £650
Part-time (Where available)
4 year course £5,925 per year
6 year course £3,950 per year
Per module £988 per 15 credits
Full-time £12,200
Placement year £750

For more information please take a look at our Fees and Funding| section.


Scholarships and bursaries are available to home undergraduate students studying on a full time basis. To see if you are eligible, take a look at the Fees and Funding| section of the website.


We have excellent specialist facilities which include Mac-equipped computer suites, open access multi-purpose studios with excellent natural light, dedicated drawing and visualisation studios and large photography and printmaking workshops.

How to apply


Applications for undergraduate courses from UK/EU applicants must go through UCAS, you can fill out an application form through their website|. If you do not have regular access to the internet or find it difficult to fill out applications online you can request an alternative format from UCAS either through their website| or via the contact details below.

Customer Service Unit
PO Box 28
GL52 3LZ

T: 0871 468 0 468


International students can apply directly to the university through our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For further information and admissions advice

Study enquiries: +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Submit an online form| to ask questions and get advice.

Awards and competitions

You will undertake commercial design briefs and are encouraged to participate in award schemes including D&AD, ISTD, MacMillan and the RSA Student Design Awards.


“We are given live competition briefs, so it feels more ‘real’ and this allows us to make invaluable contact in industry and get our names known.”

Sammy Brennan, BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration, selected for ‘We Love Your Books’ {e}motive Exhibition 2010 and an industry placement with George at ASDA’s design team.

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