Graphic Design BDes (Hons) (and degree combinations)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design

Are you a creative thinker? Artistic? Interested in design related challenges? Then the Graphic Design course at DJCAD is for you. We will challenge you with a range of design briefs that will enhance and inform your work. You will study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee.  

Graphic Design at Dundee

Graphic design is about the visual communication of ideas. Our students are challenged with a range of industry-focused design projects. 

Work by Craig Morrison

Why study this course at Dundee?

We will challenge you with a range of design projects set by tutors, external design agencies and international design bodies. Lectures, tutorials, workshops and exposure to professional bodies will all form part of your learning experience. As will our unique industry placement scheme.  

We aim to provide a working environment that is reflective of contemporary professional practice. Each year-group works in a design studio, and each student has a personal work desk. We believe this helps to support good communication, a more intimate teaching environment and improved peer learning. We believe in building community.

All our students engage in the broadest spectrum of practice. This includes design for print, typography, branding and marketing, motion-graphic design, video editing and design for web and apps. Our students also work with  traditional media such as screen-printing. 


Did You Know?

  • Graphic Design students benefit from our unique industry placement scheme

Placement scheme

You will have the opportunity to take part in an established placement scheme, working with design agencies across the UK.  You will also present your work at an end-of-year exhibition.


At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • understand the graphic design process
  • demonstrate an effective personal visual vocabulary
  • understand historical and contemporary influences on design
  • use computer aided design from initial concept to final outcome
  • cohesively answer a design brief


Who should study Graphic Design?

You are:

  • creative
  • artistic and innovative
  • attentive to detail
  • a strong communicator
  • interested in developing your computer and drawing skills

You want to:

  • learn how to design for print and screen
  • develop your computer aided design skills
  • learn how to answer a design brief
Graphic design video still

Graphic Design showreel from DJCAD students at the University of Dundee.

Communication Design

Graphic design is one of three courses that comprise the communication design programme. The full list is animation, graphic design and illustration. While following your course in graphic design, you will also get a wide range of opportunities to engage with generic communication design issues.

The goal is to deliver agile and flexible graduate designers who have a broad understanding of communication design coupled with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen subject.


Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

Related Courses

In each year of the course, staff engage with students in small tutorial groups and on a one-to-one basis, to encourage an 'individual' response to set briefs. The studio-based programme promotes research, experimentation, analysis, evaluation, and self-criticism - all of which assist in arriving at the best possible solutions to design challenges.

Your learning experience will be supported by:

  • lectures,
  • tutorials,
  • workshops,
  • visits to design agencies.

Level 1

Students can enter Graphic Design after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course (apply for course WW12) or on successful completion of a recognised Foundation Course or equivalent (apply for course W210).

Level 2

  • Tutor set briefs
  • Typography
  • Design for print and screen
  • Computer aided design
  • Drawing
  • Contextual studies

In Level 2 you will apply and develop your skills.

Level 3

In Level 3 you explore.

  • Tutor-set briefs
  • Typography
  • Design for print and screen
  • Live project work
  • National competitions
  • Contextual studies
  • Business studies
  • Work placement
  • Elective modules such as Visual Effects, Comic Art & Graphic Novels, Printmaking etc
  • Optional one semester of exchange study at an international institution

Level 4

  • Self-directed programme of study
  • Professionally endorsed national competitions
  • Supporting study elective
  • Exhibitions in Dundee and London

Progress is monitored as an integral part of the teaching process. Module tutors will conduct an assessment of completed work and supporting studies at the end of each part of the module and aggregate these assessments to provide a final mark for the module.

With the wide range of skills that you will develop on the design programmes, you will be prepared not only to practise as a designer in your chosen field but also to meet the challenges of a variety of different career paths. Recent graduates have been employed in a wide variety of fields of work including:

  • Freelance design
  • Packaging design
  • Branding
  • Digital based media
  • Advertising
  • Television & motion graphics
  • animation
  • TV/theatre set and exhibition design
  • games industry
  • business
  • arts management
  • architectural and interior design
  • lighting design
  • landscape design
  • sound
  • CAD
  • teaching

Placements, live project work and participation in national and international competitions all hone the employability and aspirations of our students. Students have found employment with many major design studios and organisations such as:

  • BBC
  • Sky TV
  • Nokia
  • Audi
  • Chanel
  • Xbox 360
  • Wolff Olins


Others have gone on to establishing their own successful businesses. Extra curriculum activities such as the Enterprise Gym help students cultivate entrepreneurial skills.

Tom Drysdale, Junior Designer

"After the general foundation course I studied graphic design for the next three years. It is only with hindsight that I can appreciate just how beneficial those three years were for me. I quite often find myself relating experiences to lessons that I learnt during my time studying graphics. I feel that this is testament to just how well the course prepared me for life after university. I also found that the course allowed me the freedom to pursue and develop my own particular interests and skills, the benefits of which cannot be underestimated. In addition, the course tutors were great at providing both direction and encouragement a real driving force. I cannot speak highly enough of DJCAD."

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5, at Higher level)
Essential Subjects Art and Design, or related subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level, IB Higher Level), an appropriate literate subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level) and one other subject outside art & design subjects (at SQA Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level).
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Students applying for Graphic Design must successfully complete our 1 year Art and Design (General Foundation) course. In this instance you should apply using the UCAS code WW12.

Alternatively, if you have already completed a recognised foundation course or equivalent elsewhere then apply directly to Graphic Design

All applicants must submit a comprehensive portfolio of art and design work. The qualifications listed may be modified for an applicant presenting an exceptional portfolio.

Students are selected by assessing the contents of a portfolio of work that should convey a measure of creative, practical skill and intellectual/enthusiastic engagement in the practice of art and design.

The course operates a highly successful student placement scheme, with an established network of design consultancies through the UK. A a high percentage of our students undertake one or more placements at the end of the third year of study.

Our graduates are employed in a wide range of design-related disciplines, e.g. design for print, digital based media, television and motion-based graphics and design management.

Client-based live project briefs and live industry challenges, written and assessed by leading designers and business professionals are part of our programme of study. We seek to offer a balance of tutor-set briefs and professionally-set external briefs across the three years of the discipline.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowGraphic Design BDes (Hons)W210