FdA Graphic Design

Start date(s):
21 Sep 2020
2 years
Level 5
Credit Value:
Course Code:
Ucas Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
£9000 per year
This programme is validated by New College Durham


Course details may be subject to change

Let us help you pursue a dynamic career in the graphic design industry with this programme.

Delivered by industry experienced staff, this programme is designed in partnership with employers and will prepare you for employment, or self-employment, as a professional designer.

We will nurture your creativity, imagination and professional skills to get you ready for working in the industry. Throughout the course you will gain experience working on real-life design briefs to allow you to develop a full creative portfolio to demonstrate your skills as well as gaining experience of delivering a project from pitch right through to production.
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Aims are as followed:
  • Advance the development of professional, innovative and creative outcomes in a supportive learning environment
  • Evidence academic activity that underpins learning within the creative industries
  • Enhance creative skills within a work-related context that supports the acquisition of transferable and professional skills relevant to employment or further study in the creative industries.


Level 4
Core Modules:
  • Personal & Professional Development 1
  • Work Related Learning 1
  • Contextual Influences
  • Professional Studio Practice 1

Level 5
Core Modules:
  • Personal & Professional Development 2
  • Work Related Learning 2
  • Critical Study
  • Professional Studio Practice 2

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

You will have direct personal contact with an individual member of the course team to discuss academic and personal matters relevant to your learning. At induction you may discuss any learning or support needs – your progress will be monitored and you will be encouraged to arrange regular one-to-one sessions with your tutor to discuss any issues arising.

You will also receive academic support from your module tutors. Support is given to students via tutorials at set intervals during the academic year.

A range of assessment methods are used across both Level 4 and Level 5, including:
  • Time constrained briefs
  • Reflective journal
  • Presentations
  • Work related projects
  • Assessment of practical skills
  • Preparation of portfolios of evidence.

Maths and English

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Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

This programme places focus upon the opportunity for students to engage in, and gain credit for, the development of industry based work. You will be given the opportunity to contribute to live client briefs with local and national organisations.


You will be encouraged to engage in work experience activities to enhance your portfolio and develop work based skills needed for progression.

You could progress to BA (Hons) top-up Design or BA (Hons) top-up Visual Arts at New College Durham to top-up this qualification to a degree.

Alternatively, you could progress to a relevant course at university, or pursue a career in the industry.

Meet our students

Jacob Ham - Graphic Design

Jacob Ham

Jacob is now the Founder and Senior Graphic Designer at AlderHam.

Daniel Summerhill CS

Daniel Summerhill

Former graphic design student Daniel has joined the talented team of creatives at London agency Mccgic.

What else?

View the work of some of our current students here.

You will have the opportunity to go on a work placement in your second year to showcase your creative skills to employers.

You will have access to a visually striking Creative and Digital Suite, a bustling creative hub within the college, providing design and media students with impressive industry standard facilities.


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Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

Additional Costs

Additional costs include general art and design materials, external hard drive, access to a digital camera and personal computer (Mac or PC) with design software. There will also be expenses for a yearly national trip and optional international visit.

Interview Instructions

You will be invited to attend an interview to present a portfolio of art and design work. International applicants may arrange a telephone interview and send their portfolio via email.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

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European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits:


Entry Criteria

UCAS tariff points:
Standard Entry Criteria:
  • A Level 3 qualification in an art and design related discipline
  • An impressive art and design based portfolio (international applicants can present this via the internet or email)
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 4
  • To have, or be working towards, Level 2 or equivalent in English Language and Maths - if evidence of literacy skills are lacking within the application process, applicants will be required to successfully complete of a 500 word essay.

Non-standard Entry Criteria:
  • Evidence of ongoing creative experience or employment within the creative industries
  • An impressive art and design based portfolio (international applicants can present this via the internet or email)
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 4
  • To have or be working towards Level 2 or equivalent in English Language - if evidence of literacy skills are lacking within the application process, applicants will be required to successfully complete of a 500 word essay.