Graphic Design (Top-Up)

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How to Apply

A skills-based course with strong commercial links to the creative industries, focusing on professional and practical skills development and design studio work.

For more information about this course please visit the Weston College website

Why study Graphic Design (Top-Up)?

There are well equipped learning facilities and good technical support in specialist craft areas, such as bookbinding, photography and printmaking.


Course structure

BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Top-Up) builds upon and extends the work-based learning ethos of the Foundation degree. The programme has been designed to enable you to further develop your creative ability, whilst acquiring essential professional skills such as management, marketing, negotiation, business and freelance skills which are relevant to your creative practice and will increase your career opportunities within the creative industries sector. The programme combines work-based modules and subject specific modules in order to enhance your commercial awareness and professional experience of the graphic design industry. The programme is delivered one year full-time at Weston College.

During this Honours level programme you will play an important role in the management of your own learning by:

  • building on the transferable skills developed during your Foundation degree (or equivalent qualification) such as critical evaluation, time management, presentation and IT skills;
  • gaining research techniques and proposal writing skills by carrying out a planning and research methods module;
  • undertaking a work-based learning project related to the Graphic Design industry which will equip you with project management and decision-making skills;
  • undertaking a creative freelance management module in which you will learn how to operate as a freelance professional and manage your freelance practice;
  • undertaking a creative theory and practice module in which you will develop a portfolio of work clearly demonstrating your creative practice and target audience as well as diversifying your practice in order to work with other sectors.


  • Planning and Research Methods
  • Practice within the Creative Industries: Work-based Project
  • Creative Theory and Practice: Graphic Design
  • Creative Freelance Management

Course assessment

Assessment is carried out in a variety of ways:

  • Presentations;
  • Seminar reports/journals;
  • Management files;
  • Work-based project proposals and reports;
  • Portfolios of work;
  • Reflective practice;
  • Case studies/problem-solving activities;
  • Literature search review.

There are no examinations.

The course reflects the range of possibilities designers employ in print and screen based media and considers how visual communication works in the context of cultural, technological and social change. You'll be encouraged to explore and express your ideas through an understanding of visual perception, image-making, typography, narrative and movement.

Teaching methods

Taught sessions for the BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Top-Up), will take place at Weston College. These will include seminars and tutorials as well as workshops from industry practitioners. Additional tutorials may be arranged to suit your individual needs. Other learning will take place in your work-based setting. You will be assigned a project supervisor from the course team who will provide you with guidance and support for your work-based modules.

You will have the support of a personal tutor throughout your studies and you will also need to obtain a work-based mentor to support your professional development.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For more information, please contact the Programme Leader Applied Art and Design at Weston College:

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

You will be expected to have successfully completed a Bath Spa University Graphic Design (Foundation Degree).

Applicants who do not hold a Bath Spa University Foundation degree in Graphic Design may be considered as follows:

  1. There is evidence of curriculum matching of the learning outcomes of the course with those of the Bath Spa University Foundation degree in Graphic Design.
  2. Produce a portfolio of evidence demonstrating relevant and recent work experience equivalent to Foundation degree level.

All applicants to the programme will normally have achieved a minimum average grade profile of 50% in year 2 of their Foundation degree or equivalent qualification.

Applicants may be subject to interview.

It is a condition of entry onto the programme that all applicants will have secured a suitable work-based learning setting* by the time of admission. The suitability of the work will need to be agreed with the programme leader.

* Applicants will need to be employed or self-employed within some aspect of the creative industries either working as an employee for a creative company relevant to individual practice full or part-time or acting as a self-employed sole trader or freelancer (evidence of self-employment will need to be provided).

Applicants will need to identify a work-based mentor in order to undertake the work-based modules of the programme.

Career opportunities

The programme will enable you to work in a wide range of areas within the creative industries highlighting the multi-disciplinary nature of the design industry.

Potential career opportunities include:

  • Account Handler
  • Arts Administration
  • Branding Designer
  • Corporate Designer
  • Digital Art Worker
  • Editorial Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Design Consultant
  • Illustrator; Project Manager
  • Promotion and Marketing
  • Teaching in Graphic Design
  • Web Designer