Coventry University Graphic Design

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Coventry University Graphic Design

Coventry University Graphic Design

Graphic Design BA (Hons)


This course runs in 2017/18

A career in graphic design requires intelligence, imagination and originality. You’ll also need a thorough knowledge and understanding of the skills required for print, the Internet, moving image and multimedia. This course prepares you for that.



This course gives you the chance to explore and develop. For example, you can design a brand new font in Illustrator, make it in wood on the latest laser-cutter, print it on a 150-year old hand–operated press then scan it and manipulate it in Photoshop.

If you choose this course you may benefit from:

  • placement/professional experience (subject to application) as part of the course during the second year; professional portfolio reviews (usually in the third year);
  • good on-going relationships with many companies who often work with our students providing employment, placements or professional review and guidance, for example Airbus France, Betahaus in Barcelona, Spain and in Berlin, Germany, Blind Mice Design, FILTAweb, Librios, Migraphics, Totem Learning Ltd and Watermill;
  • staff with expertise in a range of disciplines from editorial and book design to web-based design and typography. Staff will discuss their work with you so you can connect what they do with what you learn. All staff are active researchers and practitioners, and ensure that this feeds into their teaching;
  • access to dedicated design studios, the best software packages for page layout, image manipulation and multimedia design, a metal type workshop, printmaking workroom, screen printing studio, photographic resources and a digital print bureau;
  • opportunity of exchange programmes overseas;
  • coursework including national and international competitions. In 2013 students from Graphic Design at Coventry University won first prize for the Puffin Penguin book cover design competition, a D&AD yellow pencil and the Sky Arts sting and in 2014 were runners-up in the Puffin/Penguin prize and highly placed in the Sky Arts sting competition.

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You will begin by exploring the basics of typography and visual communication before being encouraged to experiment with type and image to solve graphic design problems.

The course is built around the four key themes of graphic design: typography, visual communication, design in context, and integrated design. These happen at the same time each year (but always with different briefs) so that you get a real sense of achievement as you progress.

In your third year you will be able to focus on building your portfolio in your area of interest, for example print, editorial and book design, advertising, corporate design or digital media. The course culminates in a school-wide degree show that attracts employers from industry. This has included local design agencies such as parenthesis Design and CPW, as well as international employers such as Codemasters and IBM.


Our course will be primarily based on the development of your studio practice but you will also have lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.


Our Design and Crafts courses are ranked 12th by Guardian University Guide 2018


Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes of each module. These outcomes are clearly set out on all project briefs, and your final feedback will refer to each outcome as well as giving you an overall percentage grade. You need to get above 40% to pass, and anything above 70% is outstanding. There is one written assignment per year.

The rest of the coursework is in the form of practical projects, usually mounted on boards and accompanied by developmental work and sketchbooks. Some project submissions are electronic and in these cases you’ll either supply a disc, flash drive or load your work onto the University server.

An estimated percentage breakdown of how your final grade is assessed is as follows: practical coursework 70%; essays/reports 20%; presentations 10%.

A compulsory Add+vantage module must also be completed.


In a typical week you will have up to 17 contact hours of teaching and this will generally break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 1 hour smaller tutorial/seminar with focused tutor contact each week.

Medium group teaching: 2 hours of seminars each week.

Large group teaching: 2 hours of lectures and 12 hours of studio practice each week.

Personal study: You will be expected to work on your coursework assignments as self-directed study for a further 20 hours each week.

Entry Requirements

Essential Entry Requirements:

5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English.

Typical Offers

A-Levels: BBC to include at least one Art or Design subject.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: DMM in an Art or Design subject.

Access: A pass in the Access Diploma, plus GCSE English Language at grade A*-C, or a specified equivalent.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 29 points to include Visual Arts or Design Technology at Higher level.

Find out more about acceptable equivalent qualifications here.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. If you don’t have the required level of English then view our range of Pre-Sessional English courses.

Additional Information: You may be required to submit a portfolio/show-reel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

In year two there is a major professional placement/ professional projects opportunity, stretching from March until June, where students can either work as freelancers for clients and/or apply for placements. Some of this is group work, some individual. You will also do competition briefs like D&AD and Penguin Wright from year one, and these raise your profile.

Graduates from this course have gone on to provide graphic design services for a number of well known companies including Image+, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Müller Dairy, McDonalds, and Saatchi and Saatchi.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities have their own Creative Futures unit provides a programme of workshops, embedded learning, lectures, professional experience and one-to-one guidance to help you develop the transferable skills and enterprising habits required for a successful career.


Included in the fees:

  • One core text book in each year of the course and some essential art materials provided through workshops;
  • Any mandatory UK site visits and trips;
  • 1,000 sides of black and white laser prints;
  • Tuition fee waiver for placement and study abroad year

Additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip;
  • Any additional specialist printing: £50+ per year


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university. The key: developing and enhancing students’ employability, and delivering a serious competitive advantage in the jobs market. At Coventry, that starts right from the beginning.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and which broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very broad range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

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There are opportunities for exchange with students on a similar course in overseas universities. You might also consider applying for an overseas placement in your second year or a year studying at an overseas university between your second and third years. You would then return to Coventry to complete your degree with International Enhancement.

Some students from overseas universities also join our course directly into years two or three (or just for a term to get a taste of UK design education).

Graphic Design projects are frequently set with international applicability in mind across all three years. Recent examples include stamp design to promote world democracy, publicity for the 2014 FIFA World Cup emphasising international cooperation and competition, a campaign to raise the profile of the BBC World Service and D&AD brief involving international branding.


Centre for Global Engagement logoDid you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we’ve been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

The objectives of the programme, in which eligible undergraduate and postgraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

Explore our Global Leaders Programme.