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Art & Design (Graphic Design) Higher National Certificate/Diploma

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in a new direction for visual communication and will provide opportunities to work in the broader disciplines of the design industry. Delivery of the programme will be at specialist studios at Matthew Boulton College.

This course takes traditional graphic design values and skillsets and applies them to a new platform of interactivity and visual communication. It will cover many different disciplines from print to motion graphics and app design to sonic performance. Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from all areas of art and design as well as bringing their own life experiences to develop an individual visual style. All students will work on live projects for external clients and have the chance to collaborate with industry professionals in our mentoring scheme.

Year 1 modules:
• Contextual Studies
• Darkroom Techniques
• Graphic Design Practices
• Individual Project (Pearson-set)
• Packaging Design
• Professional Development
• Techniques and Processes
• Typography

Year 2 modules:
• Advanced Graphic Design Studies
• Applied Practice Collaborative Project (Pearson-set)
• Art Direction
• Branding & Identity
• Moving Image
• Professional Practice

The Year 1 HNC tuition fee for academic year 2022-23 is £6,500. The Year 2 HND tuition fee for academic year 2021-22 is £6,500. Please be aware that we intend to increase tuition fees in subsequent years using the Retail Price Index (RPI-X).

Course Info

Level 5 - Professional & University
Subject Area
Art & Design
Course Type
Higher Education Full-Time
Matthew Boulton College
Next Start Date
Course Length
32 weeks

Entry Requirements

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS UCAS Tariff Points: Pre-2017 Entry - 120 points, Post-2017 Entry - 48 points The tariff points can be made up of: A Levels (GCE and VCE): 2 A Levels at Grade D BTEC Extended Diploma: Grade PPP BTEC Diploma: Grade MP BTEC 90 Credit Diploma: Grade MM Access to HE: Grade P45 The Level 3 qualification must be an art subject. Minimum number of GCSEs at Grade C or above: 5 which must include: GCSE English: Grade C or 4 GCSE Maths: Grade C or 4 Are Level 2 equivalents accepted?: Yes NON-ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS All successful applicants from the initial application process: [personal statement / reference] will be called for a formal interview, where they will need to present an art and design portfolio. Portfolios should include: drawing, photography and design work. We encourage applications from students who do not meet the entry requirements outlined but can demonstrate ability through work experience, portfolio of evidence or successful interview.

Delivery and Assessment

The course is assessed through a range of project briefs across broad design disciplines. You will produce sketchbook work to record ideas and produce a series of manual and digital outcomes such as animations, magazines and portfolios. You will also get the opportunity to exhibit your work.


Course graduates can progress into employment or onto a full honours degree by completion of one or two additional top up years. Alternatively you could enter employment as a graphic designer, web designer or a creative director.

Career Opportunities

  • Animators
  • Exhibition Designers
  • Fine Artists
  • Graphic Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Printmakers
  • Production Designers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Textile Designers