module specification

SM4F02 - Graphic Design (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Graphic Design
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Presentation
Coursework 30%   Portfolio of images
Coursework 30%   Portfolio of Graphic Design work
Coursework 20%   Reflective evaluation
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module looks in detail at combining text with image in the context of graphic communications. During the module you will produce studio and location photography learning camera techniques and lighting conventions. Correcting and preparing these images for publication will also be covered alongside image manipulation techniques to enhance or distort meaning. These skills will be studied alongside a sound understanding of both traditional and current typographic practice, acquired through theoretical study and practical activity. Learners will be required to identify and consider typographic style and integrate this successfully with images in the context of both screen based and print based work.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

1. Research and evaluate traditional and contemporary typographic and graphic design practices.
2. Make appropriate decisions in selecting and using type forms
3. Demonstrate the ability to use image capture and manipulation tools /techniques creatively.
4. Consider issues surrounding text with image, information hierarchy, visual impact and tone of voice across a range of formats.
5. Conceptualise, plan and produce design outcomes that exploit the media of graphic design for defined purposes and audiences


An indicative programme of study covers the following:
• Typographic, history,terminology and conventions
• Interpreting a design brief, addressing specific clients/audience requirements
• industry conventions for presentation of design and graphic proposals
• Studio and industry techniques& technology for print and photographic media
• Camera and studio techniques
• Studio lighting and commercial photography
• Location photography
• Experimental typography
• formal properties of the medium, styles & models, and how to use these to enhance meaning and effect development of project proposals

Learning and teaching

This module will be based around simulation of the professional practice employed in a design studio. Students will be taught how to plan and make effective use of the photo studio, and how to prepare the results for use in publications. Images produced for a range of contexts will form a portfolio for assessment. Students will be encouraged to experiment with image capturing techniques and image manipulation software through practical software demonstrations provided to facilitate technical learning. Theory sessions will supplement practical sessions.  Alongside this students will be encouraged to research a wide range of typographic designers in order to understand the key concepts and challenges of creating original work. There will be input from visiting speakers, alongside tutor led lectures, seminar discussions and individual tutorials.

Learning outcomes

knowledge and understanding:
1. Research and demonstrate an awareness of current and periodic graphic design practices

cognitive intellectual skills:
2. Propose layouts on paper using traditional skills effectively, making informed decisions in selecting and applying type forms
3. Evaluate the use graphic design practice in own work

transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice:
4. Interpret and understand the requirements of a design brief

subject-specific practical skills:
5. Capture, access, and work with images effectively demonstrating the ability to use image manipulation tools and techniques creatively
6. Develop and apply graphic design solutions that creatively respond togiven scenarios in a range of contexts, making effective and creative integration of text and image


Bantjes, M. and Sagmeister, S. (2010) I Wonder, Thames & Hudson; London
Heller,S and Vienne, V (2012) 100 ideas that changed graphic design; Laurence King
Ingledew, J (2011) The A-Z of visual ideas : how to solve any creative brief;  Laurence King
Kelby, S. (2011) Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image (Voices That Matter);Peachpit
Shaughnessy, A. (2010) How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul;Princeton Architectural Press
Spiekermann, E. (2002)Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works; Adobe Press

Creative Review [journal] Centaur Media
Practical Photography [journal]   Bauer Media Group