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 and workshops, and setting live briefs.


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 and Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree courses at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Courses 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 course. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the course. Each level (year) of the course 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 study, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or staff-led sessions and the remaining hours are a combination of other types of supported learning and independent study.

For further information visit Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University.

Destination Careers

Graduates go into a wide range of careers within graphic design 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 a starter kit of equipment and materials that will help you during the first few months of the course. You will be provided with basic materials to help you complete set briefs. As you progress through the course, you will incur additional costs depending on the level and complexity of the work you are making and the materials you use.

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 & Digital Equipment

Our course is offered using a blended learning model which means you will need to access some course materials and video conference using a computer or mobile de-vice (eg laptop, tablet or smartphone). If you are intending to buy a computer for your studies we suggest that you wait until you commence your studies. 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. If you do not have access to a mobile device and are unable to afford one you may be eligible for further support from our hardship fund, more information can be found here.

You will have access to a range of digital equipment in course studios and central re-sources 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

Books, Online Subscriptions & Competitions

You will have access to an extensive range of books, text and online resources provid-ed by the University. There will also be opportunities to submit to national and inter-national 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 com-petitions. These may cost up to an additional £100 per year.

Educational Visits & Offsite Activities

Due to current travel restrictions and the uncertainties caused by the pandemic no residential trips are planned for the autumn 2020 term. This situation will be assessed and reviewed as the course progresses so that opportunities for educational visits further afield can be explored. Costs for such trips are in addition to other costs but attendance is not mandatory.

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

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

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

Apply Now

Please apply direct to the University for our BA (Hons) Graphic Design course using the links below.

Home/EU applicants

Click here to apply via UCAS

International applicants

Click here to apply directly

If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at or call us on 0113 280 8000.


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


BA (Hons) Graphic Design

View Gallery

Graphic Design and Illustration students announced as winners of Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2020

Olivia McEwan-Hill awarded second prize in the Adult Fiction category; Kael Crozier awarded third prize and Max Basey shortlisted in the Adult Non-Fiction category. …

Leeds Arts University BAME students celebrate exhibition success at Leeds Corn Exchange

Leeds Arts Union, in collaboration with the African Caribbean Society, celebrate the work of the University’s BAME student community at Leeds Corn Exchange. …

Latest news

More News

Leeds Arts University students and alumni win YCN New Now Student Awards

Awards follow responses to live briefs from leading brands Camden Town Brewery, Fedrigoni x Oliver Bonas, The Guardian and WRAP. …

Leeds Arts University shortlisted for six 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards

Leeds Arts University has been shortlisted for the 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards across six categories – University of the Year, Course & Lecturers, Local Life, Student Support, Students’ Union and Uni Facilities. …

Leeds Arts University announces first digital degree show

Leeds Arts University, the North of England’s only specialist arts university, is to launch its first online-only undergraduate degree show on 1 July. …

Graphic Design students exhibit in Leeds

Final year BA (Hons) Graphic Design students are exhibiting new work at Colours May Vary, showing the relationship between theory and practice in the field. …

“Graphic Design has a certain kind of logic, there are rules you need to work with and you need to think!"
Amber Smith, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Graphic Design