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BA (Honours) Graphic Design

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Year of Entry 2024/25
BA (Honours)

Graphic Design

Full-time Art and design

Discover the emergent principles of graphic design and digital storytelling – developing your skills as an independent, authentic and confident practitioner.

Everything you need to know...

What is the fee? Home: See fees section below
International/EU: £16,655 per year (£1,200 for placement year)
How long will I study? 3 / 4 Years
Where will I study? City Campus
What are the entry requirements? 112-120 UCAS points
What is the UCAS code? W210
When do I start? September 2024
Placement year available? Yes

Student satisfaction

This course scored 91% for teaching satisfaction in the 2023 National Student Survey.

Course summary

  • Develop the knowledge, skills and attributes of graphic design practices that reflect your values, interests and career aspirations.
  • Apply your skills in creative projects with professional and academic tutors and a rich industry network.
  • Experiment with traditional and future-facing analogue and digital technologies in our purpose-designed studios.
  • Showcase your work to the public and industry professionals via presentations, competitions and exhibitions.

Prepare yourself for a career in the expanding field of graphic design through projects which respond to social, technological, economic and political challenges. By the end of the course, you’ll have the professional skills and knowledge to start your career in graphic design and create design solutions for the future.

This course also allows you to specialise in and receive a different named award – Graphic Design: User Experience (UX) – through focused project work in your final year.

Creative UK membership

We are members of Creative UK, which means our art and design students are also members until they graduate. With 10,000 members in its network, Creative UK represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries, advocating on the issues that matter the most to creative communities.


View our students' work

View our gallery of student work and learn more about the exciting projects they've been working on this year.

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Student View

Watch student Annie Neilson talk about what it’s like to study on this course.

How you learn

Watch lecturer Matthew Edgar talk about this course.

All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive. 

Based in our bespoke studios, workshops, and digital spaces, you’ll become part of a dynamic and collaborative learning community. Together, you’ll undertake creative adventures, explore possibilities, and challenge conventions.   

Through our teaching, we help you unlock your potential to contribute as a creative thinker and doer and apply your knowledge to design practice, culture, society, and life systems.

You learn through

  • Studio practice
  • Workshops  
  • Technical demonstrations  
  • Group and individual tutorials  
  • Critiquing activities 
  • Lectures  
  • Guest talks    
  • Live projects 

Key themes

You’ll be encouraged to develop your personal identity and unique style through a portfolio of practical work and active involvement in the industry, design identity and community. This work will demonstrate your unique strengths and interests to future employers when you graduate. 

You’ll explore design practices such as:

  • Typography and type design 
  • Brand and visual identity 
  • Publication design 
  • Digital product design 
  • User experience (UX) 
  • Design for visual arts 
  • Exhibition and installation design 
  • Motion and narrative storytelling 

We encourage and support experimentation, adopting a risk-based approach where anything is possible. Across the three years of your course, you’ll explore these approaches through the hand, head and heart:

  • Hand – emphasising risk through play and exploration, practical and experiential acquisition of knowledge and skills
  • Head – emphasising user research, analysis and responsible contextual application and production, while reinforcing year 1 attributes, skills and knowledge
  • Heart – emphasising the development and realisation of practitioner identity through a portfolio of practice and engagement with industry, design identity and community, while reinforcing year 1 and 2 attributes, skills and knowledge

Take a look at our department's Instagram to see the innovations and creations our students have been working on. For content directly from students on our course, visit our course Graphic Design Instagram

Course support

We’re a dedicated, qualified, and highly experienced teaching team, with world-leading research and recognised professional creative reputations, who take the time to get to know you.  

  • Access to our Skills Centre with one-to-ones and online resources to help with planning and structuring your assignments
  • Access to office and studio space, expert workshops, freelancing opportunities and a vast business network to tap into
  • Industry-specific employability activities and careers support for up to five years after you graduate

The course develops strategies of attention, empathy, imagination, courage and resilience in the face of an uncertain future. Our course prioritises care as a critical activity – care for global human contexts and for the more-than-human world.

Course leaders and tutors

Joanne Lee
Joanne Lee
Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design

I am a photographer, writer, researcher and publisher with a curiosity about everyday things and the ordinary places in which I live and work.

Applied learning

Your course has been designed to embrace real-world challenges and provide you with the practical skills and knowledge to be successful. 

We do this by developing your expertise in collaboration with the professional creative and cultural sectors – with commercial and creative practitioners, commissioners, clients and arts organisations. 

Work placements

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a year-long work placement (25 weeks minimum) or multiple placements between your second and final years. This gives you valuable work experience to prepare you for your future career and allows you to graduate with an Applied Professional Diploma to add to your CV. 

Live projects

You’ll have the opportunity to work on live projects, giving you the chance to apply your skills in a professional setting and gain valuable feedback, exposure and networking opportunities.

Our students have worked with the NHS, social change charity Good Things Foundation, the BBC, and design studios such as Why Not Associates and Graphic Thought Facility.

Field trips

In each year of your course you’ll have the opportunity to go on study trips in the UK and abroad. These could include trips to esteemed creative studios, design conferences, museums and special collections. 

There’s also the option to enhance your studies further with our optional field trips. Recently students on the course have visited Dublin, Reykjavik, New York and Tokyo.

Students can also apply for funding through the Turing Scheme to support a study exchange or placement outside of the UK. 

Networking opportunities

You’ll have regular opportunities to meet acclaimed guest lecturers, graduates and industry practitioners within the University.

You’ll be part of a thriving community of creative practitioners through our membership with the AOI, BIMA, and our visiting lecture programme

Competitions and exhibitions

We support you to enter national and international competitions which have the potential to enhance your professional reputation and put you on the radar of future employers. Our students have won prestigious global competitions such as the RSA Student Design Awards, which challenges students to design solutions that can shape the future.

These competitions can significantly impact your professional reputation, giving your professional career and instant boost.   

At the end of your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to exhibit your work in our annual Future Now Festival of Creativity – to which we invite VIP guests, employers, businesses, influencers, friends and family, and the general public. The festival is widely attended and is hosted in the city centre. You’ll also be able to curate and exhibit your work on our online Gallery.

Future careers

This course prepares you for careers and future study in: 

  • Graphic design 
  • User experience (UX) design 
  • Designing for environments and 3D spaces 
  • Editorial and digital publishing 
  • Motion graphics and animation 
  • Illustration and printmaking 
  • Branding and visual identity 
  • Advertising 
  • Design strategy and policy making 
  • User research 
  • Account directing 
  • Graphic design for film and TV 
  • Typography and type design 
  • Digital product design 

Many of our graduates launch their own businesses, while previous graduates of this course now work for global studios and agencies such as:

  • BT
  • Coop
  • Disney 
  • Department of Education
  • DixonBaxi Studio
  • Du. st Design
  • G4S
  • GBH
  • Jaywing
  • Regular Practice
  • Sky
  • Studio Hawk
  • Why Not Associates

Where will I study?

You study at City Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

City Campus

City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.

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City Campus map

Howard Street
S1 1WB

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Equipment and facilities

You'll have access to a wide variety of facilities across the university campuses – including a 24-hour learning centre, Students’ Union, cafes and eateries, lecture theatres, exhibition spaces and more. 

You'll be based in a fully equipped and purpose-designed studio, with state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • Industry-standard computer software and equipment 
  • Adobe Creative Cloud 
  • Digital and analogue print facilities including screen-printing, etching, and risograph 
  • A photographic studio and creative media centre  
  • Digital fabrication and rapid prototyping 
  • Virtual reality equipment and software for coding 
  • Textile printers 
  • Ceramics

Learn more about your department

Art and Design facilities tour - shared workshops

Take a look around the shared workshops in the Department of Art & Design at Sheffield Hallam University.

Entry requirements

All students

UCAS points

  • 112 - 120

This must include at least 64 points from two A levels, or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. For example:

  • BBC-BBB at A Level.
  • DDM in BTEC Extended Diploma.
  • Merit overall from a T level qualification
  • A combination of qualifications, which may include AS levels, EPQ and general studies.

You can find information on making sense of UCAS tariff points here and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.


  • English Language or Literature at grade C or 4 or equivalent

¿ Access - an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 18 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in a media-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate.

If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

We welcome applications from people of any age. We may be flexible in our normal offer if you can show a commitment to succeed and have the relevant skills and experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.

Portfolio review

If your application is successful you will receive an email inviting you to submit your portfolio by email and submission details by an online google form.

The portfolio helps us understand whether we are able to offer you a place on the course you¿ve applied for. Your UCAS statement and portfolio provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your creative experience, potential ability and enthusiasm for the course you¿ve applied for. Visit our portfolio review guidance

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Important notice: The structure for this course is currently being reviewed and enhanced to provide the best possible learning experience for our students. Module structure, content, delivery and assessment are all likely to change, but we expect the focus of the course and the learning outcomes to remain as described above. Once the changes have been confirmed, updated module information will be published on this page.

You will be able to complete a placement year as part of this course. See the modules table below for further information.

Year 1

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Graphic Design Journeys — Pathways & Disciplines Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Graphic Design Unbound — Principles & Skills Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework

Year 2

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Future Now: Collaboration In Action Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Graphic Design Impact — Context & Responsibility Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Graphic Design Life — Making & Visibility Credits: 40 Assessment: Coursework

Year 3

Optional modules
Module Credits
Module: Placement Year Credits: -

Final year

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Graphic Design Being - Portfolio & Practice Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Graphic Design Community — Collaboration & Participation Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fees for UK students starting full-time undergraduate study in 2024/2025 are regulated by the UK government and are yet to be confirmed. For an indication, our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time undergraduate study in 2023/2024 is £9,250 per year. During your placement year you will pay a reduced fee of £1,200.

If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £16,655 per year. During your placement year you will pay a reduced fee of £1,200.

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Financial support for home/EU students

How tuition fees work, student loans and other financial support available.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Art and design courses (PDF, 330.8KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.

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Financial support for home/EU students

How tuition fees work, student loans and other financial support available.

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How do I apply?

Apply now via UCAS

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Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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