Graphic Design BDes (Hons)

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • UCAS: W210
graphic design
graphic design
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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

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


YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Graphic Design at the University of Dundee

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

'Little City BIG Adventure' by Kevin Biggins, BDes Graphic Design 2016

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

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.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

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

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course 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 Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course ABB including art and design or a related subject, an appropriate literate subject and one other subject outside art and design
BTEC Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course 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
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC)
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject
Other Qualifications Foundation course in Art & Design
Notes All applicants must also submit a comprehensive portfolio of art/design/creative work and may be invited to attend a portfolio submission event. In some cases an interview may also be required. All qualifications should include a relevant art & design subject & a literate subject, and will be considered on an individual basis.

 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

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

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 Centre of Entrepreneurship 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

Fees for students starting 2018-19

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year of study See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £16,450 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

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 not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

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.

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.

We have more information on your portfolio in our How to Apply section.

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.


Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

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