UCAS code: W214

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years with a work placement

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Arts

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If you want to push the boundaries of graphic design, discover its problem-solving solutions and explore its ethics, you can do just that at Oxford Brookes University.

Each module on our Graphic Design BA blends design, practice and theory, and you’ll build a portfolio of work ready to start your career after graduation. We invite you to apply your talent in multiple creative and experimental ways. And you’ll find an inspiring mix of analogue and digital techniques to learn.

Live briefs with external and in-house clients give you real-world experience. With a focus on ethical practice and sustainability, our partnerships have included work with Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion. New clients each year provide opportunities to grow your professional network.

This is design with a conscience. Modules integrate the ethics of design practice. And, keeping up with the times, sustainable materials are very much part of the conversation.

Take a closer look at our students work on Instagram

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Example of student work

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Go your own way

    Discover your own approach to visual problem solving. You’ll graduate with technical, critical, and conceptual skills highly valued by the creative industries.

  • Keeping it real

    Learn how to meet clients’ needs and expectations. Respond to live briefs from the likes of WeGlimpse, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion with your design solutions.

  • It’s not all digital

    We want you to understand design in the round. You’ll spend time away from the computer exploring practical skills including letterpress, bookbinding and more.

  • Definitely planet aware

    We’ll show you how to design with green credentials, how to work with recycled materials and the environmental costs of 21st century design.

  • Join the collective

    The arts are founded on collaboration and this course is structured to create ample opportunities for you to work together, even across artistic disciplines.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Course details

Course structure

This is your destination to learn how to create, experiment and shape your style. You’ll investigate a range of design approaches and techniques: typography, animation, user experience and social design among them.

Year 1 is your general grounding in the theories, practices and processes of graphic design. Apply and develop your chosen creative strengths from a broad range of disciplines. As you push in new directions you’ll be fully supported by our in-house expertise.

With its practical modules, Year 2 is about developing your personal voice. Take risks, be a disruptor. You’ll produce innovative and imaginative solutions. And you’ll collaborate too, working in project teams drawn together from your cohort.

In your final year you’ll consolidate your practice and develop work based on your own career planning as you prepare for those next steps.

Follow the work of current students @oxford_graphics on Instagram.

Student working with screen printing

Learning and teaching

Your work will be project-led and practice-based. To prepare you for the creative challenges and pressures of the professional world, you’ll work in a professional studio environment.

Teaching is enhanced by visiting industry professionals. You will have the chance to enter industrially recognised competitions. As well as work on live projects with real clients.


Assessment is 100% coursework.

Your final year prepares you for either employment, self-employment or further study.  You will:

  • Create a self-promotional branding package. You'll use a range of platforms and business and career planning techniques. This helps you to prepare for employment, self-employment or postgraduate study (Entrepreneurial practice).
  • Respond to live and competition briefs individually or collaboratively. This enhances your professional portfolio (Collaboration) (Professional Practice).
  • Produce a final practical project. You'll combine a written research project with a range of practical portfolio pieces. This allows you to display your own creative and academic voice. (Final Negotiated Project).

Study modules

Teaching for this course takes place face to face and you can expect around 12 hours of contact time per week. In addition to this, you should also anticipate a workload of 1,200 hours per year. Teaching usually takes place Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

Contact hours involve activities such as lectures, seminars, practicals, assessments, and academic advising sessions. These hours differ by year of study and typically increase significantly during placements or other types of work-based learning.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Critical Thinking: Research skills & methods

    This module serves as an introduction to the fundamental research methods and offers valuable insights into the ever-evolving field of critical thinking. Through engaging in critical analysis of various works and presenting your findings to peers, you will sharpen your research skills and develop a research journal or blog. Additionally, you will undertake the task of producing a comprehensive literature review, which will deepen your understanding of the subject area. 

    By the end of this module, your ability to critically analyse your own creative practice and the works of others will be greatly enhanced. Moreover, this module will foster independent thinking and encourage you to contribute with informed ideas and well-considered opinions, empowering you to actively participate in academic discourse and collaborative environments.

  • Design Practice: Principles (15 credits)

    Immerse yourself in the fundamental principles of graphic design with the module "Design Practice: Principles." As a central part of Level Four, this module provides a comprehensive understanding of the languages, methods, practices, and contexts associated with graphic design. Through a program of practical study, you will embark on a journey of exploration, discovering a wide range of approaches to creating impactful design work. Throughout the year, you will also have the opportunity to engage in workshops focusing on diverse topics such as Letterpress, bookmaking, and Photoshop.

    By the end of this module, you will have built a solid foundation in the principles of Graphic Design. Develop your skills in research, concept development, and visual experimentation, nurturing your ability to effectively communicate and express your creative ideas. Embrace a range of media processes and techniques, refining your artistic craftsmanship and shaping your unique design voice. 

  • Design Process: Strategies & Techniques

    How to get ideas and how to develop them imaginatively is the skill of creativity, greatly sought after in the workplace.
  • Critical Thinking: Theory & Practice

  • Design Process: Context, Communication and Audience

    Students learn to work collaboratively as a team.
  • Design Practice: Application

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Critical Thinking: Design & Society

    Building upon your previous engagement with Critical Thinking at level 4, this module will help you cultivate a profound understanding of the historical and cultural influences on design, engage in stimulating debates, and unravel the intricate relationship between theory and practice. By critically evaluating the profound impact of social, political, cultural, and technological contexts on design practices, you will gain a holistic perspective, enabling you to comprehend the multifaceted nature of the field and make informed contributions to its discourse.

    By the end of the module, you will emerge as a perceptive and discerning thinker, equipped with the tools to critically analyse design's impact on society and navigate the evolving landscape of design practice.

  • Design Practice: Integrated Projects 1

  • Visual System

  • Design Process: Issues, Ethics and Social Responsibility

  • Design Practice: Integrated Projects 2

  • Professional Practice

Year 3 (placement year)

Optional modules

Career Development Placement

Career Development Placement The aim of this module is to develop the professional profile and professional confidence of a student through experiential learning opportunities and engagement with external organisations by undergoing work placements, internships and industry experiences. It aims to enable students to manage their own learning and self-direction through identifying opportunities that align to their disciplinary ambitions, situating their practice in a professional context. It offers a range of options including an Enterprise Residency where students can operate as freelancers and develop ideas for a start-up business with the full support of Brookes Enterprise Support.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Final Negotiated Practice

  • Collaboration

  • Entrepreneurial Practice

  • Professional Practice

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


This broad-minded course is the right choice for multiple careers. Animation, social, digital and editorial design are among its disciplines, alongside campaign and identity design.

Our tutors and associate lecturers know their industry. Helped by them, and through your own contacts, you’ll join and grow your creative network and experience.

This course opens up a wide range of careers that includes branding consultancies, digital design, illustration, publishing and advertising. Graduates freelance for a broad sweep of sectors or are employed in design agencies or larger organisations.

You’ll find your creativity, critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills are highly transferable and contribute to your employability.

You might also consider roles such as:

  • publisher
  • creative director
  • animator
  • art director
  • curator
  • type designer.


Student profiles

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400


Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.