Creatively explore visual language and solve challenging design briefs using industry-standard technology. Develop your understanding of effective graphic communication and prepare for a career as a professional graphic designer.
Studying Graphic Design at ARU has been a great experience. I've loved being surrounded by people who are both interested in design and also so brilliant at their work. I'm very grateful to ARU for the employability opportunity I've been given and I would never have thought I'd end up with a job at a design agency before I even finished my degree!
This course will prepare you for work as an informed and technically skilled designer capable of creative and independent thought, with the confidence and ability to succeed in the design industry.
Cambridge School of Art offers an academically rich and visually diverse environment: the perfect place to enhance your understanding of graphic communication and develop your design skills. You’ll explore many different graphic disciplines and learn how they are applied professionally, and develop your visual literacy using graphics, typography and text-image relationships.
Our studio and workshop-based modules will give you experience of solving design briefs, while you receive all the theory and contextual understanding you’ll need from our other core modules on historical, contemporary and future design practice.
You’ll experiment with traditional print-based solutions as well as modern commercial practices like site specific, ambient, conceptual, interactive, mobile media, app generation, graphical interface and multimedia work, and be encouraged to come up with ideas that challenge traditional notions of design or visual communication.
At the end of the course you’ll celebrate your success and final year work at our annual Degree Show, and maybe even produce the publicity materials for this event, which is attended by industry professionals, design recruitment agencies, graphic artists, parents and past students.
Course Leader: Jon Melton
This course will prepare you for a career as a graphic designer, and also for design-related roles in digital graphics, online media, communications and marketing, publishing, and advertising.
Our previous students have gone on to work with design studios or media and communication companies producing: advertising, corporate identities and promotions, packaging and branding, informational design, editorial and book design, web designs and interactive media.
Or you might enjoy your studies so much you decide to take a Masters course, like our MA Graphic Design & Typography.
You’ll have the chance to get involved with national design networks such as D&AD, New Designers, ISTD and Young Creatives Network. Our students regularly engage in ‘live’ projects or commercial briefs and are actively encouraged to build industry contacts to undertake freelance projects, work experience or internships - often resulting in job offers before graduation.
You’ll find many opportunities to generate a strong portfolio of graphic design projects that will help you secure a job in this rewarding, vibrant and growing industry.
Our modules allow you to demonstrate your progress by producing coursework to set projects, design tasks and formal briefs. At the end of each semester you’ll submit design work for practice-based modules, and a written document for contextual/theoretical modules. These will then be graded and you’ll receive written feedback.
You’ll also receive ongoing feedback on your design project concepts and develop your learning in taught sessions, one-to-one discussions, project reviews and group critiques.
Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.
Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.
We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.
Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
You’ll have access to our on-campus digital facilities and design studios, and get a real understanding of digital design processes by working on industry-standard Adobe design software on Macintosh technology. But we also have dedicated facilities for traditional letterpress and printmaking for the more ‘hands-on’ designer.
For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages
Estimated costs of materials over three years £950.
Optional field trip £200.
Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.
If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.
You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.
Grants and scholarships are available for:
We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.
Interviews with portfolio
At interview, we’ll ask to see a portfolio that displays your creative abilities as an artist, graphic artist or designer, and demonstrates an awareness of visual language or graphic communication. You should also include examples of the creative thought processes you employ via preliminary visuals and sketchbooks. At Cambridge School of Art we value excellence in graphic and typographic design, but also speculative, experimental, innovative and articulate visual solutions.
If you’re invited to interview, we’ll send you a letter with more information about our portfolio requirements.
If you’re an international applicant, please host your portfolio online if possible and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We’ll also accept CDs or hardcopy sent by post to our International Admissions Office, but please note that these will not be returned to you.
For more information, please download our digital portfolio pack.
Important additional notes
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.
Add all your qualifications to the tariff calculator and check your total score against the entry requirements for your chosen intake, which can be found above
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