Graphic Design FdA

Full-time undergraduate (2 years)

University Centre Harlow

September 2017

code: W210

Apply via UCAS


This two-year foundation degree course will give you a solid grounding in graphic design. You’ll be able to develop your practical skills and knowledge of the design business, from taking briefs to working with different media.

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Full description


This course provides a solid basis for a career in graphic design, digital graphics, media communications, advertising and marketing promotions. Working graphic designers help teach the course and we’ll encourage you to arrange placements or carry out design assignments from the very start. We have strong links with local and national employers.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Work Based Learning 1
    Learning in the work place is an integral part of your foundation degree. The work environment provides a rich setting for you to discover and explore a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. You'll undertake three strands that form an integrated approach to your studies: learning about work (further developing your knowledge and understanding of the workplace), learning through work (examines the acquisition of practical skills in a real working environment), learning for work (your knowledge and skills will be developed in a way that is directly relevant to the workplace). You'll reflect on your work practice, critically appraise your own performance and report on the experience of learning at work. You'll be expected to demonstrate information gathering and descriptive skills, as well as an awareness of ethical issues relevant to your practice and studies.
  • Graphic Design of the 20th Century
    On this module, you'll examine the important shifts in the theory and practice of graphic design throughout the 20th Century. This will give you a historical and cultural framework for graphic design, enabling you to place your studio work in a broader context. In addition to providing a chronological overview, this module will introduce you to a range of theoretical debates surrounding the practice of graphic design. This will allow you to examine graphic languages employed by designers and design movements using key theoretical concepts from the analysis of visual culture. You'll examine graphic design from its emergence in the early 20th century until its fracturing as a discipline at the end of the century. In covering this period, you'll discover the importance of acknowledging graphic design's international character, and you'll explore a range of examples from many different countries and cultures. You'll also learn how the discipline of graphic design itself must be contextualised and considered in relation to other media practices.

Year two, core modules

  • Debates and Practices
    On this module, you'll explore the links between critical studies and practice, enriching your knowledge and developing your articulacy about your specialism, as well as drawing on wider perspectives in relation to your own work. You will focus particularly on debates about contemporary practice. Your studies will be seminar-based and, where appropriate and possible, held in the studio. In discussions, you'll engage with theory and history alongside your own developing ideas about contemporary production, with an open agenda that will respond to current events, work and interests.
  • Work Based Learning 2
    Building on your experience in Work-Based Learning 1, you'll continue your exploration of professional/occupational practice as a source of learning along the strands developed previously. You'll need to demonstrate a greater degree of autonomy in the management of your learning, and more detailed knowledge of relevant theoretical underpinning. You'll also be required to analyse and evaluate both information and argument, and demonstrate the application of theory to practice.


We’ll assess your progress using your design portfolio, written assignments and performance during work placements.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, as well as nine international research clusters, such as the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

University Centre Harlow

University Centre Harlow (UCH) is a bright, modern campus with a range of top-class facilities.

Explore UCH

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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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.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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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.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

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:

Entry requirements

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UK & EU applicants

01279 86 83 16

Email University Centre Harlow