UDGRPDFY - BA (Hons) Graphic Design (including foundation year)
|Highest award||Bachelor of Arts||Level||Honours|
|Possible interim awards||Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts, Preparatory Diploma, Preparatory Certificate|
|Total credits for course||480|
|Awarding institution||London Metropolitan University|
|Teaching institutions||London Metropolitan University|
|School||School of Art, Architecture and Design|
About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning
BA (Hons) Graphic Design at The Cass is about making conceptual thinking visual, audible and experiential. It is about creating structure and surprise, through innovation. It's communication. Students will be encouraged not only to find solutions, but also to seek out problems. This graphic design course enables students to investigate, question and challenge the contemporary purpose of graphic design, connecting with wide-ranging social issues and new ideas, to find their voices as graphic designers and to make their thinking visible. In Visual Communication at the Cass, we carefully consider the commercial world that our graduates will enter and ensure that they become independent and adaptable professionals with core skills that enable a life-long career in the creative industries.
Students will develop specialist skills and learn how to reach their audience through innovative design. Themes explored include audience, context, tone and effective methods of visual communication. Learning experiences include everything from type fundamentals, drawing and letterpress printing, to app design, user experiences, human-centred design and connected communication platforms. There are many diverse employment options available to graduates of this degree. This graphic design course enables students to investigate, question and challenge the contemporary role of graphic design, connecting with wide ranging social issues and new ideas in order to find their voices as a designers.
Consideration has been given to the following: the Subject Benchmark Statement (Art and Design 2017), the HE Qualification Framework, the University’s Strategic Plan and Student Charter, the University’s Undergraduate Regulations, the views and feedback of students, external examiners and employers/ clients, developments within the subject area, and the changing needs of the cultural/ commercial sectors and professions. Due consideration has also been given to inclusivity in course and assessment design, and specifically to the transition from the Level 3 year to the Level 4 – 6 BA programme.
Embedded in the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, the course draws on the strengths of teaching staff from across the School and the wide circle of academic and cultural contacts and collaborators attached to the School and University.
The course seeks to provide and foster:
1. learning through direct experience, connecting academic and creative studies;
2. student choice in subject and style of learning;
3. a culture of independent and critical thought, encouraging the challenging of received ideas and practice;
4. employability attributes, through live projects engaging with external partners, institutions and companies that create a realistic environment of professional; expectations for students, preparing students for graduate-level employment
5. engagement across the School and University, providing opportunities for collaborative project work during study;
6. individualised learning and study support opportunities, that cater for different learning styles
7. awareness of the duty of all to understand the impact of their decisions and actions as graphic designers and to strive to act responsibly.
Students are encouraged early on to make their thinking visible, to test ideas through iteration and to collaborate in practice. Students will have the opportunity to develop specialist and broad-based design skills, to think laterally and to innovate through making, testing and defining, and finding and reaching audiences. This course offers real opportunities to connect with graphic design studios and consultancies, to work across the realms of art direction, digital publishing and editorial design, moving image and sequential narrative, web and innovatory digital practice from app design to social media, brand communications to start-ups and design enterprise. The foundation year provides a programme of study in widely applicable and design-specific skills, knowledge and contextual awareness that prepares students for level 4 study, including expectations of assessment and preparation for assessment in higher education. The foundation year offers a safe and managed transition from the directed learning of secondary education and regular contact with the staff and students of the level 4-6 cohort through workshops, critiques, exhibitions and cluster and School-wide events.
A high-profile lecture series offers students the chance to engage with leading practitioners in the field of graphic design and the wider field of visual communication, including art direction, digital publishing and editorial design, and the opportunity to benefit from live project opportunities and a vibrant studio culture. Students will explore moving image and sequential narrative, brand communications, working with start-ups and design enterprise, as well as digital practice, including app design and social media. The course engages with national and London-based competitions and encourages students to extend these opportunities as extra-curricular activity, including collaborative publication and exhibition wherever possible. These industry links provide students with a clear understanding of future employment opportunities. Throughout the preparatory foundation year, students are prepared with the skills and knowledge in research and development for design, a range of realisation techniques and contextual awareness to enable a secure and confident transition to level 4. The foundation year is designed as three stages.
Stage 1 introduces and establishes a common ground of new experiences, values and practical skills. It lays the foundation for the course and serves as a base from which more independent work can be developed. Classes, workshops, inductions and tasks are relatively short and focus on substantial production and skills acquisition.
Stage 2 is more open-ended, with a series of longer projects and more choice and decision making for the student who is encouraged to apply, reinforce and develop effective practices from Stage 1 to establish a personal perspective, responsibility for time-management, self-knowledge and a sense of direction for their own creative practice. Direct experience of possible choices for subject-area of study ahead are through Cass subject-area tutors involvement in Stage 2 studio projects generally and from specific subject-area studio projects run by Cass undergraduate subject-area tutors that include use of subject area studios, workshops, technical facilities and expertise. Students experience what is shared across creative practices as well as what is specific to a subject-area’s culture.
Stage 3 helps the student undertake a sustained, focussed and resolved study with a longer, final project that is perceived as ‘under their control’. The emphasis is on increasing/focussing their subject-area knowledge - testing their commitment, and the production and organisation of coherent and resolved work - as they devise the brief, manage the process and outcome, and are participants in the process of evaluating their work.
Teaching methods include: lectures, seminars, tutorials, external visits, live briefings and feedback from partners, group critiques, workshops and opportunities for studio practice. Teaching and learning adopts a student-centred approach that identifies individual learning styles and accommodates them.
Lectures provide and encourage a critically informed view of a topic, contextualising the subject and illustrating applied approaches. Lectures provide students with a managed introduction to a theme, enabling them to continue with suggested or directed self-study.
Seminars enable students to debate and explore subjects, questions and assignments with peers and tutors, encouraging an open and collaborative approach to shared learning.
Tutorials support individual learning, allowing for individual approaches to study, and catering for individual interests. Tutorials can be diagnostic or can support specific assignment or project-related questions, and support differing student paths to achievement of learning outcomes.
External visits offer opportunities for vital direct experience with objects and sites of study, and to communicate with and learn from experts and specialists attached to partner institutions and bodies.
Live briefings and feedback are an important aspect of work-based learning, exposing students to experience of professional ways of working, of professional expectations of standards, and of the most current professional practice.
Critiques allow students to benefit from feedback on their own and others’ work, to contribute to that feedback, and are a valuable part of the peer-to-peer learning that is a core expectation and reason for University study.
Workshops offer students opportunities to engage in creative practice. Opportunities will be available to students to undertake workshop and studio practice relevant to their assignments or collaborative projects. The objective is to apply knowledge and/or acquire technical competence, to think critically and creatively, to master technique and develop the capacity to work independently and within teams.
Blended learning utilises the University’s VLE platform to support and reinforce reflective learning, to monitor progress through assignments, to foster peer-to-peer communication and collaborative research activity, and to facilitate tutorial support for students and flexible approaches to learning
REFER TO COURSE HANDBOOK
The aims of this course are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
The course aims to:
1. offer a creatively stimulating experience, which encourages students to engage with a wide range and combination of visual and conceptual communication methods, processes and issues that will continue to concern graphic designers;
2. provide project opportunities that develop both individual and team skills and that encourage debate between graphic design and related creative disciplines such as illustration, publishing, digital design and animation;
3. encourage individual questioning of the status quo and ensure that students build their personal professional design practice with the relevant skills to work within society, culture, commerce and/or education;
4. promote historical and contemporary knowledge and understanding of the professional contexts of graphic design and foster exploration of current and emerging technological issues and theoretical cultural debates, especially inclusivity and diversity;
5. develop a generation of ‘reflective creative professionals’ in graphic design, who have a clear creative voice and are able to articulate and defend their concerns and ideas;
6. support the development of high-level intellectual and practical skills necessary for the practice, management and theorising of graphic design and visual communication in the context of emerging practice, technologies and critical debates;
7. develop confident and persuasive presentational and communication skills utilising multidisciplinary approaches and production techniques;
8. produce graduates who can work independently and collaboratively, manage their own time and tasks and those of others, reflect objectively on their own performance, and plan effectively for the future, including for their careers;
9. support the growth of the individual; fostering self-reliance and commitment to personal and professional development, ensuring that graduates remain well-informed about current and developing thought and practice, and therefore maintain their employability.
Course learning outcomes
On completion of this course, students will be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
1. recognise the historical development, philosophy, ideas, context and concepts of graphic design and visual communication (cultural, economic, ethical, global, historical, political, societal and theoretical) and distinguish the key methods and concepts connected with the analysis of visual culture (CA1, CA2, CA3);
2. appreciate how visual culture can be used to communicate ideas, problems and solutions; and create a coherent sense of identity visually, verbally and in writing, showing an awareness of the important roles of both the client and the designer (CA1, CA4, CA6, CA9);
3. recognise and utilise the impact of innovation and technology on the development of the discipline (CA1, CA6, CA7);
Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
4. collect, analyse and interpret data from a variety of sources and articulate creative and theoretical connections (CA2, CA4, CA5, CA7, CA8);
5. identify, propose and solve problems applying appropriate practical, conceptual and intellectual skills (CA5, CA6, CA8, CA9);
6. work within differing contexts, both within and beyond the field of art and design, and exercise critical reasoning and independent thought within practice (CA3, CA4, CA5, CA6);
7. work effectively, professionally and independently managing time, working to deadlines and apply confident professional skills in oral, visual and textual communication and presentation, including information, digital and visual literacy (CA5, CA7, CA8, CA9);
8. apply resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to recognise, anticipate and accommodate dynamic change within complex contexts of contemporary practice, and define a distinctive argument through reflective critical awareness (CA3, CA6, CA8);
9. employ and interpret professional principles and processes underpinning the management of design projects individually and in groups, recognising the role of the designer (CA1, CA2, CA5, CA8);
Subject-specific Practical Skills
10. employ intellectual curiosity expressed through appropriate visual languages to articulate imaginative concepts and ideas (CA1, CA5, CA7);
11. observe, analyse, speculate, visualise and communicate ideas as professional material outcomes for target audiences (CA5, CA6, CA7, CA8, CA9);
12. exhibit and display practice for self-promotional purposes to the client, markets and consumers (CA5, CA7, CA8, CA9).
Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference
Module Title Module Code Learning Outcomes
Project AA3001 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Techniques AA3002 LO2 LO3 L10 L11
Formats AA3004 LO2 LO4 LO7 L10 L11 L12
Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation CP3010 LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO10
Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Visual Communication) CP4021 LO1, LO2, LO4, LO7, LO10
Visual Research and Communication DN4001 LO1, LO2, LO4
Design Principles DN4002 LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5 LO7
Graphic Authorship DN4004 LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5 LO7, LO11
Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Visual Communication) CP5021 LO1, LO2, LO4, LO7, LO10
Narrative DN5003 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO10, LO11
Exploring Design Practice DN5020 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO10, LO11
Work Ready 1 DN5019 LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO10, LO11, LO12
Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Visual Communication) CP6019 LO1, LO2, LO4, LO7, LO10
Project Design and Development DN6001 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO10
Final Project Realisation: Graphic Design DN6032 LO1,LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO10, LO11,LO12
Work Ready 2 DN6031 LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9, LO10, LO11, LO12
Principle QAA benchmark statements
Subject Benchmark Statement; Art and Design (2017)
The assessment strategy for the course has been designed holistically, to ensure manageable timing, workloads and clarity of expectations for students, and to avoid duplication of assessment of learning outcomes.
The assessment regimes for the modules and tasks are designed together with the briefs, prior to the start of the year, taking into account student, external examiner, professional collaborator and colleague feedback from previous instances. The requirements of briefs and their components, the assessment criteria, grading scheme and descriptors are published and explained to students at the start of the year and are designed to be used as consistently as possible, to avoid unnecessary complication. Assessment is related to the achievement of learning outcomes; qualification frameworks and subject benchmark statements are consulted to ensure clear language that is appropriate to level of study. Students are informed of the procedures for first, second and parity marking, and external examiner scrutiny of the assessment process and marks, to ensure that they understand and have confidence in the probity of the process and security of the final marks.
In every case, there is required formative assessment and feedback prior to summative assessment at set points. This is recorded so that it can be used by both students and staff to track further progress and engage support where it is required. Feedback follows good pedagogic practice in that it is constructed as ‘feed-forward’, with a focus on specific actions and strategies as to how to improve, not only on what requires improvement. Challenge to students is managed, so that students performing well in-year are encouraged to strive for excellence, while those performing less well experience clear, targeted and structured guidance, including notice of where they are doing well or are showing potential.
The course adheres to the University’s requirements for assessment and feedback turnaround times and to academic regulations for marking and second making sampling. Additionally, the course engages in Subject and School parity exercises to ensure that assessment standards are consistent. This is especially important in relation to studio delivery through which students on the same modules will be undertaking differing projects.
Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad
Work- related learning is embedded in the course both formally and throughout the course through live projects, industry visits, visiting speakers and events such as ‘Making a Living’ and ‘Celebration’ weeks.
Work-related learning is an integrated and mandatory part of the course, in line with the University’s policy of securing a work-related learning opportunity for each undergraduate student during their studies, with at least 70 hours working on live projects for real organisations delivered through placement, live briefs, real entrepreneurial activities or short in term work placements built into the course. Students will experience a competitive recruitment process or pitching for opportunities, and they will be required to reflect on their experience of the project or placement and undertake forward career action planning.
The majority of tutors and lecturers on the course are practitioners and share their knowledge and experience with students throughout their course of study. The studio delivery of the course means that opportunities for work related learning through collaboration with external companies, agencies, institutions, competitions and professionals can be taken up as they arise, if appropriate to the programme of study.
Studios function as simulations of professional workplaces, with expectations of professional standards, conduct and delivery building as students progress from level to level. During their final year, students are expected to work independently towards completion of professional portfolio of projects, culminating in exhibition of these in the annual summer show and associated events.
The level 5 module ‘Work Ready 1’ and the level 6 module 'Work Ready 2' are designated as the placement or work-related learning modules.
Course specific regulations
In BA (Hons) Graphic Design, the following course regulations shall apply:
As a condition of progressing from level 3 to 4, level 4 to 5 and level 5 to 6, students are required to have gained 120 credits per level, that is, by achieving pass marks (40%) in all four modules in the preceding level of study.
Level 6: In order to achieve an honours degree award on this course, students must have completed and passed each Level 6 module at 40% or above.
FACILITATED COURSE TRANSFER
ii) The structure and scope of learning within Level 4 of this course can permit (if appropriate) related programme course transfer. In other words, students who succeed in passing all modules at Level 4 who wish to, based on their learning experience, seek review and revision of their course title (within the related programme cluster i.e. Visual Communication), may do so within the first twelve months of their course (i.e. from BA Graphic Design to BA Illustration and Animation or BA Design for Publishing)
PART-TIME MODE OF STUDY
Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 480-credit degree will be 8 years. The pattern of study shall be as follows:
AA3001 Project & AA3002 Techniques
CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation & AA3004 Formats
AA3001 Project & AA3002 Techniques
CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation & AA3004 Formats
DN4002 Design Principles, DN4004 Graphic Authorship
CP4021Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Visual Communication), DN4001 Visual Research and Communication
DN5003 Narrative, DN5020 Exploring Design Practice
CP5021 Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Visual Communication), DN5019 Work Ready 1
DN6001Project Design and Development, DN6032 Final Project Realisation: Graphic Design
CP6019 Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Visual Communication), DN6031 Work Ready 2
Modules required for interim awards
All modules on the course are core and compulsory (there is no flexibility in choice or in the order in which modules may be taken). The part time route is prescribed (section 25).
Year 0/ Level 3 core modules:
• CP3010 Critical and Contextual Studies: Foundation
• AA3001 Project
• AA3002 Techniques
• AA3004 Formats
Year 1/ Level 4 core modules:
• CP4021 Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Visual Communication)
• DN4001 Visual Research and Communication
• DN4002 Design Principles
• DN4004 Graphic Authorship
Year 2/ Level 5 core modules:
• CP5021 Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Visual Communication)
• DN5019 Work Ready 1
• DN5003 Narrative
• DN5020 Exploring Design Practice
Year 3/ Level 6 core modules:
• CP6019 Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Visual Communication)
• DN6001 Project Design and Development
• DN6031 Work Ready 2
• DN6032 Final Project Realisation: Graphic Design
Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development
The School’s studio system of curriculum delivery embeds reflective learning and personal development planning throughout the course.
Most summative assessment is at the end of year-long modules, with several formative assessment points formally instituted in the course of the year. At these interim formative assessment and feedback points, students reflect on their progress to date with their peers and course staff (with the benefit of feedback from professional partners), seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. The feedback and student reflection are recorded and forms an action plan for the next period of study.
This system is highly individualised, but also benefits from peer engagement in studio critiques. The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.
Throughout the modules and the course therefore, in this way, students build bodies of work, including reflections on progress and achievement, and planning for their future achievement of targets.
In the foundation year the main outcome of the course is contained in the student’s portfolio of projects containing edited and organised versions of all the work the student has undertaken during the course. It is used both for the purposes of self-reflection and evaluation, formal assessment and, in various versions, to apply for jobs or courses. Building the portfolio is a continuous enterprise. Every project, practical or intellectual exercise can be represented in the portfolio but also has to contribute to the document as a whole and in its parts. Students learn to reflect on their work both as a specific item and in the context of their own developing profile in their portfolio.
Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development
Careers advice is integral to the course. Commercial practitioners and agencies are part of the course teams and they and invited guest lecturers review of student projects and portfolios. Progress surgeries are carried out through which the student is given encouraging and specific advice in regards to their presentational focus. Students are mentored by industry professionals throughout their final year and students are encouraged and supported to seek internships and work experience. Competition, exhibition and publicity opportunities exist throughout the course and internal and external exhibitions enable students to develop further career opportunities. Students are supported throughout to reflect upon their own practice so that they are able to progress successfully to their chosen field within the professional graphic design sector.
Successful completion of the course offers enhanced career opportunities in the graphic design industry. Students leave with a high-quality portfolio of work and a range of practical, professional and academic skills, providing an excellent base for both work and further study. Graduating from the BA (Hons) Graphic Design is the start of lifelong learning and an exciting and varied career in design. It provides graduates with core and transferable knowledge and skills that enable individuals to seek work in a wide variety of areas such as: self-employed freelance graphic design professionals, designers, in-house designers, creative directors or art directors, editorial designers, project managers, photography, design consultancy, advertising, art direction, publishing, moving image, digital design.
Students can also benefit from support and guidance from the Careers and Employability services and the University’s business incubator unit, ‘Accelerator’.
On graduation you’ll have the knowledge and skills to become a successful graphic designer. Careers relating to graphic design can include advertising, editorial, publishing and web design, with positions available on a freelance basis, in-house and in agencies.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
- at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
- English Language GCSE at grade C/4 or above or will need to take the University English test
You will need to attend an interview with your portfolio of creative work. We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
If you live in the UK, you will be invited to a portfolio interview. If you live outside the UK you will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.
Official use and codes
|Approved to run from||2019/20||Specification version||1||Specification status||Validated|
|Original validation date||15 Aug 2019||Last validation date||15 Aug 2019|
|Sources of funding||HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND|
Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered
|CP3010||Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||WED||AM|
Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered
|CP3010||Critical & Contextual Studies: Foundation||Core||30|
Stage 2 Level 04 September start Offered
|CP4021||Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Visual Commu...||Core||30||CITY||SPR+SUM||WED||PM|
|DN4001||Visual Research and Communication||Core||30||CITY||SPR+SUM||WED||AM|
Stage 3 Level 05 September start Offered
|CP5021||Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Visual Commu...||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||THU||PM|
|DN5020||Exploring Design Practice||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||FRI||AM|
|DN5019||Work Ready 1||Option||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||THU||AM|
Stage 4 Level 07 September start Offered
|CP6019||Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation...||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||WED||AM|
|DN6001||Project Design and Development||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||FRI||AM|
|DN6031||Work Ready 2||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||FRI||PM|
|DN6032||Final Project Realisation: Graphic Design||Core||30||CITY||AUT+SPR||FRI||AM|