The studio is the focus, a creative space with an innovative and engaging atmosphere. You will benefit immediately from exposure to the structures and disciplines of a studio environment, learning how individual and collaborative creativity combine to produce exceptional work.

This course will encourage you to develop your own voice, opinions and individual understanding of graphic design. You will build the discipline and skills you need to succeed in a professional environment, such as peer presentations, group feedback sessions and collaborative projects. You will explore how the application of type and image can solve problems and communicate ideas, which will engage and challenge your audience.

The BA (Hons) Graphic Design course offers opportunities to collaborate with creatives from other disciplines with different skills to your own. Developing your creative understanding you will be able to communicate both visually and verbally. You will gain a wider understanding of the creative, social and ethical context of contemporary visual culture. You will seek problems to solve and audiences to connect with.

Our industry links are extensive, with an array of visiting professionals delivering lectures, seminars, workshops and setting live briefs. Places on this dynamic and fast-paced course are in high demand and you will be expected to put in the hours to reap the rewards.


This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries. 

Book an open day

course details

What You'll Study

Year One — Focusing on the fundamentals of visual language you will investigate methods and design practice around type, language, image, narrative, meaning and message. You will work with typography, print, drawing processes, photography and screen based media.

Year Two — Taking a more self-directed role you will develop your design practice using specialist workshops, critical assessments and seminars. This is where audience, context, distribution and ethical issues become fundamental to your practice.

Year Three — You build on your understanding of professional practice, business and marketing skills, and project management. Working on a series of self-directed, negotiated and competition briefs, you will be supported to build your own individual and dynamic portfolio of work as well as exhibit at the end of year show.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements, engage with industry as well as plan for further study 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. In the past work experience has been undertaken across sectors such as branding/identity, packaging, information graphics, digital, editorial and publishing.  Companies that students have recently secured placements within include: Apple, Build, Creative Review, Elmwood, Moving Brands, Harewood House Estate and Robot Food.


Students have won countless awards including D&AD New Blood Award , International Society of Typographic Designers, Penguin Book Awards, YCN Student Awards, RSA Student Design Awards and Starpak Students Awards.

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

Graduates go into a wide range of careers within graphic design from the course which include working within a studio as part of a design team, in house or set up their own studios. Careers include editorial design, branding, packaging, typography, printmaking, design for screen and more!

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.

In general terms however we would expect the following:

  • Examples of visual investigation through a range of appropriate media.
  • Examples of design/idea development.
  • Sketchbooks, notebooks and design sheets.
  • Examples of work which demonstrates an involvement in the use of type and image in relation to visual research.
  • Critical diary, notebook, essay etc.

At this stage in your career we would much rather see experimental and innovative developmental work rather than all finished work.

We would like to see a personal, selective and well-presented portfolio that demonstrates an informed interest in graphic design.

We do not need to see all the work you have produced - around 10-15 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal - supported by notebooks/sketchbooks and design sheets, where appropriate.

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 member of the course team who will take you to the studio where you will leave your portfolio.

You will be shown around the department and have the opportunity to ask questions. You will then be given a brief exercise (it is not a test) that you can do in the library or café.

Whilst you have been doing this the course staff will have been looking at your work. You will be interviewed by one member of the course team with your work. Since we book in 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.

You can also keep up to date with the course by following us on Twitter: @LCABAGD


This is identified from one or more of the following:

Good use of image making, type and visual research skills to inform design development work.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design sheets
  • Samples of work

The ability to generate and develop a range of creative ideas in response to design briefs.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design sheets
  • Samples of work

Skill and inventiveness in the use of a variety of media and techniques appropriate to graphic design.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design sheets
  • Samples of work

An awareness of the concerns, trends, and contexts of contemporary graphic design practice.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design sheets
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • Interview

An active interest in the subject and ambition to succeed.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design sheets
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • 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. At the start of the first year you will be provided with starter kit of equipment and materials that will help you during the first few months of the course. Each course also provides basic studio materials and equipment that will help you complete set projects. As you progress through the course, any additional costs will be dependent on the type of work you choose to develop and the central resources that relate to your work.

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

  • Level 4 (First Year) Materials, printing etc. £150-£200
  • Level 5 (Second Year) Materials, printing etc. £150-£275
  • Level 6 (Third Year) Materials, printing etc. £150-£350

At level 6 the University will pay a contribution to the cost of materials, preparing your portfolio and/or exhibiting your work professionally.

Computers and Digital Equipment

You will have access to a range of digital equipment in course studios and central resources throughout your studies. You may decide to purchase your own equipment as your studies progress which may result in additional costs. These may include:

  • Wacom drawing tablet £70-£300
  • Mac or PC £500-£1,800
  • External hard drive £50-£120
  • Digital camera £100-£250

These items are not essential for the start or completion of the course. If you are intending to buy a computer for your studies we suggest that you wait until you get here. You will quickly find out what you need and what you don’t need. The Course Team will be able to offer you advice on what to buy and where to purchase it from based on your creative needs and budget.

Books, Online Subscriptions & Competitions

You will have access to an extensive range of books, text and online resources provided by the University. There will also be opportunities to submit to national and international competitions and live projects as part of your course. These resources are directly related to your studies and highlighted in modules as you progress through the course. Throughout your time on the course you may choose to purchase your own copies of key texts, subscribe to online networks and enter non-compulsory competitions. These may cost up to an additional £100 per year.

Educational Visits and Off-Site Activities

We arrange a range of research trips for all level 4 and 5 students. These trips are an essential part of the course and the costs are covered by course budgets.

During level 4 optional educational visits will cost approximately £400 (these will include conferences, exhibitions and a European study visit*); during level 5 the cost will be approximately £850 (and include an international study visit*); and during level 6 the cost will be approximately £400 (these will include conferences, exhibitions and a European study visit).

These visits are planned to enhance your experience and are optional. We plan activities and aim to provide information about suggested places to visit and equivalent events for those students who are unable to participate in the visits.

*We do not guarantee that we will run international visits. The decision is made annually based on availability, cost and the number of students required to make the trip viable.

We provide support for undergraduate students dependent upon their financial circumstances. Visit Undergraduate Financial Support for further information.

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

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University


BA (Hons) Graphic Design

View Gallery

Student work exhibited at John Lewis & Partners

Undergraduate students have responded to a brief from John Lewis & Partners creating artwork to be exhibited in the loved&found department at the Leeds store. …

Student designs visuals for up-and-coming Leeds band

Final year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Joshua Blakemore won a brief to design a logo and gig poster, to help the band to refine their visual aesthetic. …

Latest news

More News

University is in the top five for Design & Crafts!

Leeds Arts University is in the top five for Design & Crafts in The Guardian University League Tables 2020 …

Students exhibit at D&AD New Blood 2019

Recent graduates from Animation, Creative Advertising, Graphic Design and Illustration exhibit their work in London at the D&AD New Blood festival 2019 …

University Graduates win YCN Awards!

Students from the University’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Creative Advertising courses have won commendations at this year’s YCN Student Awards. …

Honorary arts degrees awarded by Leeds Arts University

A leading creative director in the interiors industry, and a renowned photographer are set to receive honorary Master of Arts degrees from Leeds Arts University. …

Latest Events & Exhibitions

More Events

Thought Bubble 2019…

Leeds Arts University are sponsoring and partnering with Thought Bubble Festival; a week-long celebr…


Library Intervention…

In 2019, Leeds Arts University Library relocated to the University’s Blenheim Walk site. The Library…

Daisy Argyle


Daisy graduated from BA (Hons) Graphic Design in 2009 and now works as a graphic designer for Dalziel & Pow, a leading international retail design consultancy.

Amber Smith

Featured Staff

Amber is Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design. 

Georgia Hamilton

Featured Student

BA (Hons) Graphic Design student, Georgia Hamilton, talks to us about her time at the University and what's next!

“Graphic Design can be ridiculous, the funniest thing you have ever seen but at the same time intense and hard hitting."
Amber Smith, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Graphic Design