• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

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 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 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 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design website.

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
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements BB at Advanced Higher, including art and design or a related subject and an appropriate literate subject, plus BB at Higher in different subjects including one other subject outside art and design
GCE A-Level For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements ABB including art and design or a related subject, an appropriate literate subject and one other subject outside art and design
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC)
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements 34 points including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level to include art and design or a related subject, an appropriate literate subject and one other subject outside art and design
Graduate Entry
BTEC For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate For Level 1 entry, please see the BA/BDes Art & Design (General Foundation) programme for entry requirements 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject
Other Qualifications Foundation course in Art & Design

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

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.

How you will be taught

Your learning experience will be supported by:

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

How you will be assessed

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.

What you will study

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

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 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design."

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.

There is a two stage consideration process for entry to the BDes (Hons) Graphic Design course:

Stage One - Digital Portfolio Submission

You will be invited to submit approximately 15 images (in pdf format) which best describe your work. 

Your selection should provide us with a ‘taster’ of e.g. the range of design problems you have tackled to date related to your current work; and demonstrate the way you think in response to a design challenge.

In terms of work for print, this could include poster design, editorial layout, packaging, direct mail, promotional and marketing concepts etc.  If you have produced any work in terms of motion graphics/time-based outputs, contemporary media e.g. web/apps design then please include examples.  Responses to tutor-set briefs e.g. D&AD, YCN, MPA Roses etc and self-motivated work are all relevant for inclusion.

Digital Folio Submission Format

jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, pdf, png and bmp file types are allowed and each file size limit of 5Mb.

Movie files can be submitted providing links to YouTube/Vimeo or QuickTime movies.

Full details on submitting your digital folio via Drop Box will be provided when we send the formal request.

Stage Two – Interview in person or via Skype

Based on the portfolio submission, selected candidates will be invited to attend interview in person to present a comprehensive portfolio or if this is not suitable due to distance/cost etc., we can arrange an interview via Skype at a mutually suitable time.  However, where possible we would encourage you to attend interview in person to give you the opportunity to view departmental facilities, meet staff/students and of course experience life on campus.

The interview and portfolio presentation is intended as a means for the academic staff team to assess whether you are likely to benefit from/contribute to the course.

Candidates invited to attend interview will be required to demonstrate:

  • evidence of research skills; analysis of investigation and development, leading to the final submission (whether electronic or paper-based, your portfolio should include examples of sketchbook work)
  • the ability to solve design problems (it would be helpful if a design brief were provided to accompany each project submission)
  • creative responses to a wide range of set problems
  • critical and analytical skills
  • skills in multimedia*
  • drawing – examples of life drawing and object drawing*
  • self-motivated work*

* If this forms a component of your current course.

Please inform us in advance, of you intention to show multimedia work at the interview and any software required.

Portfolio Guidelines (for submission at interview)

Prior to attending interview you should ensure that your portfolio is well organised and that development work accompanies the finished pieces.  It may be appropriate to bring 3D work e.g. packaging, to the interview but if this presents a problem, perhaps due to scale, then photographs can be shown.  You should also consider what to include in your portfolio – remember the watchword is quality, not quantity!  To this end you might consider editing-out any work which you feel does not meet the criteria.


Applicants are advised to seek the help of their Art & Design Teacher/Tutor in the presentation of an admissions portfolio.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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