Our aim is to educate the professional, visual communicators of the future; those who have something to say and who are looking for the most effective way to communicate this.

Whilst the tools you will explore are broad, the core skills you learn will be universal: research, collaboration, project management, problem solving, and critical thinking. You can tailor your learning to suit your individual practice, and either maintain a broad multi-disciplinary approach throughout or choose to specialise in one practice.

You will develop your understanding of contemporary visual communication, including issues such as sustainability, globalisation, identity theory, and social media, and be introduced to a wide range of technical skills and theoretical ideas. We believe in the importance of people-centred design so you will be encouraged to develop and evaluate your ideas in dialogue with your potential audience. We are located in purpose built studios at the heart of the University allowing access to our award-winning facilities, and you will be taught by our expert team of professional creative practitioners.

External engagement through work-related learning is central to our approach, with all students working on live projects and many working regularly with businesses and external partners. Every year the majority of our graduates secure employment, work experience or freelance work in their chosen field as a direct result of connections established during the course. Our alumni work in a huge variety of fields including illustration, television, photography, graphic design, film, animation, visual merchandising, and teaching. Graduate employers include industry leaders in all areas of the creative sector. In addition many alumni are now established freelance practitioners working for clients across the UK and overseas.

 

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course details

What You'll Study

Year One — You’ll be introduced to the core principals of design and communication within graphic design, photography, filmmaking, printmaking and illustration. Through practical briefs you will be introduced to a range of communication processes including persuasion, narrative, documentary and reportage, where your own interests will inform the content of your work. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, work with businesses and communities in the city, exhibit your work and move towards independent learning and self- directed projects.

Year Two — You will begin to specialise in one or more specific forms of practice, and apply your skills to real life-projects (whether self-directed, client-based or competitions). During the year you will start to investigate the professional world that relates to your emerging practice and develop a portfolio of work to help secure work experience.

Year Three — You’ll develop professional and entrepreneurial skills in an area of practice to which you feel passionately committed, supported by a research project and facilitated through external links, exhibitions and conferences. On graduating, you’ll have a bespoke skill set and a clear strategy for moving on to employment, self-employment or further study.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at University. As well as guidance from the course team our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry.

Accolades

Students have a strong track record in winning design awards. Recent successes include:

  • Ten Creative Conscience Awards 2014-17
  • Leeds Transformer Volunteering Award
  • Wool Gather Art Prize
  • 2.8 Days Later Film Award

Course Specification

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Destination Careers

Our alumni work in a huge variety of fields. Graduate employers have included: Aardman Animations, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Topshop, VICE Magazine (New York), Wallpaper Magazine, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tate Modern, Design Museum, the White Company, We Are Fallon, Liberal Democratic Party, Marks & Spencers, Ilkley Literature Festival, David Oldham Photography, Bloomsbury Publishing, Sonar Festival, LBi London, Glastonbury Festival, I-am Associates, ASDA Marketing, Dubit Ltd, Red Star 3D, East Africa Playgrounds, Omobono, Kontra Oslo, Rapha Racing Ltd, Opera North, Left Bank Leeds, TNR Communications, OMD UK, 10 Associates, Haaretz, and New Era Cap.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

A well presented portfolio says a lot about an applicant and their work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement.

  • Examples of drawings.
  • Examples of design/idea development.
  • Sketchbooks/notebooks.
  • Critical diary, notebook, essay etc.
  • Examples of personal/work interests.

We do not need to see all the work you have produced – around 15-20 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal.

In general terms however we regard the portfolio as a means to discuss with you your ideas and where you see yourself going.

Be prepared to talk about yourself.


We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a student from the course who will take you to the studio where you will be asked to lay out your work.

You will be shown around the department and have the opportunity to ask questions. We will explain the interview process and give you a copy of our year book. You will then be given a brief written exercise (it is not a test) that you can do in our studio. Whilst you have been doing this the course staff will have been looking at your work. You will then have a 15 minute personal interview with two members of staff and one of our current students with your work.

Since we interview several students in one half day session, you should be prepared to be in the University for up to three hours. If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.

Criteria

This is identified from one or more of the following:

Good use of visual and technical skills

  • Samples of work

Demonstrate the ability to generate and develop a range of strong ideas

  • Samples of work

Skill and inventiveness in the use of a variety of media and techniques

  • Samples of work

A good understanding and use of visual and verbal language

  • Samples of work
  • Interview

An interest in working on real projects which engage with contemporary issues

  • Samples of work
  • And/or interview

Enthusiasm for studying at a specialist Art & Design University

  • Interview

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here.

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs. The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment & Materials

You do not need to purchase any equipment or materials prior to starting. You may wish to purchase a laptop and/or hard drive later on, but we can advise you about this. You will also receive a pack from us that will include key equipment you will need. During levels 5 and 6 you will need to produce practical work within your modules. The costs involved in production will vary dependent upon the nature of the work you choose to do. On average students report they spend around £200 in each year. You will also need to back-up your digital work in some way to keep it secure, either on external hard drives or cloud storage, this will cost around £50-100 each year.

Trips

We organise two residential trips for first year students to attend. The first is an overnight study visit within the UK and the cost of the trip is subsided by the course and will leave you with £25 to pay. This includes your return travel, accommodation and breakfast. The second is an overseas study trip in spring. The cost of the trip is approximately £360 and includes your airfare; return travel to the airport, accommodation and breakfast for the duration of the trip. Both visits are integral to your programme of studies and are a great opportunity to get to know your peers.

Each year level 5 students take part in the GIDE (Group for International Design Education) workshop and/or we may run a small level 5 trip later in the year with a cost of up to £200.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this course click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact international@leeds-art.ac.uk

Duration
3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
September
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
L28
UCAS Code
W211
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University

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"We believe you have the potential to make a unique contribution to the world we live in, and our role is to help show you how."
David Collins, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Visual Communication