Graphic Design

BA (Hons)

Find a course


Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

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

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years


School of Arts

UCAS Tariff Points



Experiment with and explore new ways to push the boundaries of graphic design. 

You'll take an applied approach to the dynamic field of graphic design. You'll use professional studios and workshop facilities to gain and build on your creative and professional skills. Hands-on, practice-based projects will develop your core design and research knowledge and develop your own design identity. 

You’ll explore a range of approaches and techniques including:

  • typography
  • interaction
  • user experience
  • social design
  • photography
  • animation
  • digital design
  • book and editorial design. 

You’ll participate in live projects working with the broader design industry in an environment that help prepare you for work in a professional studio. Recent collaborations have included RSA, D&AD, ISTD, Creative Conscience and Extinction Rebellion. A third year optional work placement / internship will help you progress your skills.

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

Example of student work

How to apply

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.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Grade 4 (C) in Mathematics and English

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

Applicants are offered places through:

  • submission of a digital portfolio of an appropriate standard (see guidelines below); and
  • an interview with a member of staff from the programme.

Most interviews take place between late January and the middle of March. Applicants who submit their application early may be invited for interview in December.

Portfolio guidance:

What to include and what we are looking for

Your portfolio should demonstrate your own unique world through which we can see your skills, personality and potential. It's a collection of your work demonstrating how your creativity has developed over a period of time. It shows your ability to work with different materials, themes and techniques, as well as how you research, develop and plan your ideas. Your portfolio should be professional yet human - we want to see your amongst the slides / pages. 


We want to see your passion and enthusiasm for graphic design. It's not always about how advanced your skill set is but what your potential is. As creatives we put a lot of ourselves into our work, so ensure that comes across in your portfolio. 

Balance process and perfection

Don't be afraid to include imperfect drawings or unfinished plans (sketchbook work), it's all part of your process and is how we understand your ability to generate ideas. We always like to see research, development and final outcomes. It's good to see a variety of process work (trial, tests, sketchbooks) and finished work, and a range of techniques and processes if possible. It's your work, so give it the best possible chance of making a good impression. Feel free to include text labels and indicators so we know what materials and creative methods were involved. 


Instead of chronological order we advise a strong narrative. Compare it to a good book design: an impactful beginning, interesting middle and a punchy end. Ensure work has room to breathe, is all the same orientation and can speak for itself (with additional labelling if required).

Be decisive

While we love to see a varity of work within your portfolio we do want to see your ability to edit. It's all about establishing a balance, don't submit everything you've ever done but don't pare it back to nothing at all. If you have lots of drawings, show us a few of your favourites.

Show us what you love

Don't assume what we want to see. It's better to include what you want us to see. You can submit unfinished pieces, independent or group work - but do remember to indicate this so we know the origins of the project and the role you played in it. You may really excel at a certain technique but show variety and endeavour to keep the work on topic without it becoming repetitive. Show us your range, keep our attention. 

Building your portfolio

  • Please provide a maximum of 20 slides of your work. Each slide can contain more than one image.
  • The preferred format used to present your portfolio is either a single PDF document, PowerPoint presentation file (under approx 15MB) or if you choose to use an online service, such as Behance, Carbonmade or similar, you can email the link to us
  • Carefully select and edit your work to produce an exciting, creative and representative portfolio which informs us about your skills, interests and ambitions

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

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

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

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

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

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)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

Learning and assessment

Year 1 introduces you to the theories, practices and processes associated with the discipline of Graphic Design. This provides a solid grounding for years 2 and 3.

Year 2 focuses on personal exploration, application and developing your personal voice. We encourage risk taking and you'll learn to challenge established languages and processes. This will help you to create disrupted, innovative and imaginative solutions. We also encourage you to seek out your individual interests as well as work in teams.  

In your final year teamwork continues and you will develop projects based on your own career planning. You will consolidate your practice. And prepare for either employment, self-employment or further study. Creativity, critical thinking and complex problem solving are transferable skills. These skills cross disciplines and significantly contribute to employability.

See work by our students by following @oxford_graphics on Instagram.

Student carving lino sheet

Study modules

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


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.

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 methods used on this course

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).

After you graduate

Career prospects

Throughout the course you’ll discover your own approach to visual problem solving and graduate with the technical, critical, and conceptual skills that are highly valued by the creative industries. This course can lead to a wide-range of careers from branding consultancies to digital design, illustration, publishing to advertising.

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.

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.