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80 points required

Clearing 2021

There are places available on this course for 2021.

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Graphic Communication with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

September 2021 — UCAS code W21F

This four-year degree course (incorporating a foundation year) has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake an additional year of study which will build stronger creative footings to ensure successful progression through their chosen degree program....

80points required

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Clearing 2021

There are places available on this course.

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Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Visual Communication
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Clearing 2021

80 points
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.
Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and find out the top four things you can do whilst you wait.

Get advice

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

Course overview

This four-year degree course (incorporating a foundation year) has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake an additional year of study which will build stronger creative footings to ensure successful progression through their chosen degree program.

Working in a lively and energetic environment, you will be given the freedom to expand your knowledge of practical skills, creative exploration and conceptual development, underpinned by broad critical understanding, academic writing and emerging theoretical principles.

There will be a range of opportunities to work on collaborative and individual projects aimed to develop employability partnerships and to identify the role of developing practitioner. BA teaching staff from across both schools will work closely with you throughout the course to prepare you for progression.

After successful completion of the foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within Birmingham School of Art or the School of Visual Communication.

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication:

Our diverse and exciting BA (Hons) Graphic Communication degree course is a must for anyone passionate about graphic design and looking to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Thanks to established links with major advertising agencies, publishing houses and interactive design groups, the course is structured to provide you with industry-relevant skills in the fields of communication, branding, strategy, creative advertising and design, in still and moving images, both in print and online.

Lecturers are well placed to give commercially relevant guidance based on current trends and historical contexts. 

Collaboration with other disciplines is encouraged, developing new ideas and connections with subjects such as illustration, photography and film and animation.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The Graphic Communication course expects you to stand out through your imaginative thinking, passion and commitment to new ideas and international perspectives. You will study a course that will enhance your design skills and challenge your creative thinking, helping you identify the latest directions in design and advertising communication on a world stage.

We attract independent learners who are creative, imaginative, playful, full of passion and totally aware of the power they possess to facilitate change, inform opinion and make their mark in industry.

In three years you will be engaged in all the practical and intellectual skills as practitioners in an ever-changing commercial environment. Many graduates have gone on to become leaders in their field of specialism and they often return to the University to share this knowledge.

You will immerse yourself in our vibrant creative community, based at our City Centre Campus, where you will find screen-printing, letterpress facilities, Adobe software training rooms and studio facilities to enhance your design work. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad for part of the course, or to go on trips to destinations such as New York, Berlin or Paris.

You will engage with live project briefs with companies and industry partners. These range from local to international and include such companies as the following - Moonpig, NHS, Studio Bonito, McCann Erickson, The Times, Chapter, One Black Bear, Cogent, Leo Burnett London, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, Fluid, Z3, Boxer, Momentum, CBSO, Ikon, Birmingham Hippodrome, John Taylor Hospice, Hello Creatives, DMA, and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Your tutors are enthusiastic about their specialisms, which fosters an invaluable knowledge transfer within the course. We have exceptional levels of external engagement, with visiting lectures given by nationally and internationally-recognised practitioners, as well as having numerous links with industry, workshops, seminars, masterclasses, careers advice, portfolio reviews, mentorships and placements.

"The learning environment we are in has really helped me to develop my creative thinking. We’re able to collaborate with students across different courses which will be a useful skill when going into the world of work, as the majority of creative jobs involve working in a team and collaborating across different areas." Josh Johnson

Why Choose Us?

  • Your Foundation Year gives you the chance to explore Graphic Communication, Illustration, Design for Performance, Photography, Fine Art and Art and Design. You will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within Birmingham School of Art or the School of Visual Communication.
  • The School of Visual Communication prides itself on a long-established national and international reputation. It consists of a range of courses that celebrate innovation and allow you to realise your creative ambitions.
  • Live project partnerships include NHS, Moonpig, Beehive, Studio Bonito, McCann Erickson, The Times Newspaper Group, Chapter, One Black Bear, Cogent, Leo Burnett London and more.
  • Graphic Communication has developed a series of professional public-facing lecture programmes entitled  ‘Type Talks’. Design luminaries are invited to debate current design issues with eminent practitioners, such as Neville Brody, Jonathan Barnbrook and Adrian Shaughnessy, presenting their work to students and staff.
  • This course has exciting trips to provide stimuli for your creative briefs. Cultural trips are planned for London, Berlin and New York, and these excursions will include visits to exhibitions, museums and studios visits.
  • Our end-of-year awards are sponsored and presented by high-profile names, with most award winners offered placements which have led to permanent employment.

Graphic Communication Foundation overview

Entry Requirements

80 points
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.
Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and find out the top four things you can do whilst you wait.

Get advice

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

80 UCAS tariff points.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
IELTS Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • CDD / 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.

AS and AS VCE

Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 80 pts

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
MMP

Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)

  • Pass
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 pts

IBO Certificate in Higher Level

  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 11 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 pts

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects.

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

MMP

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

T-Levels

Pass overall (C or above on the core)

UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design

Merit overall

UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology

Merit overall

UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts

Merit overall
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

 

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

£150 free credit (home/EU students only)

For 2021 entry, all new home/EU undergraduate students will receive £150 worth of free credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities, at an estimated cost of £50 for safety boots.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Personal equipment (optional)

Whilst not essential is it adviced you own a computer or laptop capable of design and video editing.

Gallery visits (optional)

It is advisable for all Creative Arts students to visit exhibitions, galleries and other creative and cultural institutions and events depending on your own individual area of interest. Travel and entry costs may be associated with this.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

80 points
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.
Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Course in Depth

Foundation year

Working in a lively and energetic environment you will be given the freedom to expand your knowledge in conceptual development, practical skills and creative exploration underpinned by broad critical understanding and emerging theoretical principles.

You will work individually and collaboratively to develop a stimulating visual portfolio of work that evidences your enthusiasm for further study within a specific subject area.

BA teaching staff from across both Birmingham School of Art and the School of Visual Communication will work with you throughout the course and you will have full access to all of the University facilities.

The two first semester modules will run in conjunction with each other to enable understanding of the relationship between developing work and potential contexts.

These modules will form the building blocks for future work and will focus on developing confidences with techniques, learning skills and productivity. The two final semester modules will run in conjunction with each other to enable a positive integration between Perspectives on Practice and Creative Realisation. 

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

This module explores the term ‘practice’ as the process of making, developing and recording information. We will work with you to explore the development of your work based on a set project, looking at a number of documentation strategies while experimenting with a broad range of materials. You will have the opportunity to meet artists and practitioners through local gallery visits and in studio activities and will learn to analyse your work through tutorials and small group discussions.

Artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition.

This module will look at experimental approaches to drawing to identify radical new solutions from the perspective of the contemporary world we live in.

During this module you will meet lecturers, researchers and partners from across BCU, the city and further afield to open your understanding of practiced based creative work. Through lectures and workshops, you will be introduced to the versatility of subject areas in terms of ideas, development, research, materials, techniques and contexts.

Creative realisation is not just about the practice of producing creative responses, it is about identifying the factors that generate creative thinking and facilitating the process.

For this module you will draw on your own creative strategies to facilitate the development of a project that is appropriate for progression onto your chosen BA (Hons) course.

First Year

Your first year of study will introduce you to the basic skills and critical framework within Graphic Communication. You will be taught through a series of modules, which provide you with the knowledge to further explore this ever-expanding discipline.

You will develop skills that encompass composition, line, form, narrative, type, imagery, colour, juxtaposition and ideation. From these fundamental principles, you can tailor the remainder of the course to areas of graphic communication that are of particular interest to you and your future career aims. Through your modules you will discover the application and use of colour, light, scale, composition, the typographic hierarchy, motion design, UI and interactive design.

Fundamental visual communication issues will be addressed through a series of core lectures and theory seminars. You will also have the opportunity to work with other students from across the School by selecting one of five in house options. 

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits): 

This module introduces the universal principles and theories of visual communication, celebrating the wider opportunities for interdisciplinary practice within the School. The aim of the module is not only to introduce you to the principles within your own chosen subject area, but also to provide opportunities to take workshops in other subject areas, seek advice from experts in other disciplines and work collaboratively with students from across the Visual Communication subject areas. 

The aim of this module is to emphasize the importance of research through an engagement with historical and contemporary concepts. The project(s) will focus on aspects of typographic communication, advertising and branding, supported by digital platforms and examine how we communicate ideas in new and imaginative ways.

This module will consolidate your practice undertaken in the previous Level 4 projects. Allowing you to develop further your creative process as a designer for performance, it will build on and extend your visual and technical vocabulary, and prepare you for progression to level five.

Throughout L4, a series of Perspectives lectures will be delivered on a regular basis, exploring a wide range of themes appropriate to the analysis and production of visual communication outcomes. These lectures will be coupled with studio-based discussions and/or activities considering discipline-specific research. Discourse follows on from this lecture series, and is a module in which you will produce a written response. The module, and preceding lecture series, will supply you with a broad contextual framework that will underpin your practice.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:

The ‘Space and Place’ optional L4 module is designed to equip students with a good understanding of the issues surrounding these two areas. This will be achieved through a conceptual and practical understanding of the narrative process.

The ‘Time and Sequence’ optional L4 module is designed to equip students with a good understanding of the issues surrounding these two areas. This will be achieved through a conceptual and practical understanding of the narrative process.

The ‘Sound and Movement’ optional L4 module is designed to equip students with a good understanding of the issues surrounding these two areas. This will be achieved through a conceptual and practical understanding of the narrative process.

The ‘Text and Image’ optional L4 module is designed to equip students with a good understanding of the issues surrounding these two areas. This will be achieved through a conceptual and practical understanding of the narrative process.

The ‘People and Identity’ optional L4 module is designed to equip students with a good understanding of the issues surrounding these two areas. This will be achieved through a conceptual and practical understanding of the narrative process.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Second Year

Through a combination of theory and experiment, you will learn how to evaluate and apply principles to practice, and will receive opportunities for placement, field study, collaborative and interdisciplinary work. We shall help you to develop your own personal direction, focusing towards the establishment of a specialised and flexible area of practice.

You will learn how to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences. You will enhance your ability to work collaboratively within a working environment, demonstrating knowledge of the main methods of enquiry within the field.

You will develop your critical awareness, individual style and perspective and. You will formulate approaches to solving problems, helping you to further understand the creative role, opportunities and responsibility of the contemporary designer. 

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

In this module students will interpret their own practice in the context of the professional world and consider communicating in a wide range of ways. The focus will be addressing the world of graphic communication in a professional context. Interrogation of studio practice with live briefs and competitions will allow students to expand their knowledge of graphic design, advertising and branding.

This flexible module reflects upon the range of experiences in Level 4 and Level 5 to allow you to identify a specific direction for your own practice and future aspirations. This will then form the initial stage and design of your Level 6 study. In this module, you will explore possible approaches, areas of research and projects that will help define your area of practice.

This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/ agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation. It is an opportunity for you to engage in a professional manner with an aspect of your subject area, which contributes to the development of employability skills within the supportive infrastructure of the University. Where appropriate, the project may involve interdisciplinary collaboration with students from other courses. In this way, it reflects the collaborative, flexible nature of employment within the Creative Industries.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules. 

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Final Year

During your final year of study you will be supported in establishing the confidence to acknowledge and assert your own distinctive work identity. You will be required to demonstrate within your work a particular view of what constitutes a design proposition.

You will enhance your communication skills, allowing you to develop confidence and understanding, allowing you to capably articulate your views and knowledge to others.

The final year of the programme is designed to help you demonstrate a systematic, extensive and advanced knowledge of contemporary Graphic Communication. You shall work autonomously or collaboratively to a professional standard on self-generated projects, with creativity and imagination. 

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Level 6 Critical Practice constitutes a step progression from Level 5, building and elaborating a more advanced expansion of study.

Critical Practice provides the opportunity to adopt an increasingly autonomous commitment to the individually chosen direction(s), from the wide spectrum of Visual Communication and Creative Design Practice. These directions are established with guidance and academic rigour through individual tutorials, guest professionals, workshops, group discussion and peer participation.

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.


Images: Amritpal Sembhi / Tom Armstrong


Classroom projects and activities

Look book
Students successfully collaborated with photography and fashion staff and students to create a look book. This substantial editorial was professionally designed and printed. The student’s involvement included design, art direction, typographic hierarchy, editing, production and setting up the editorial for print.


Student work

Our final-year students engage with briefs which have social benefits as well as experimentation and commercial outcomes.

The following students work are exemplars of these aspects:

  • Richard Jones has an affinity for visual identities and brand strategy, ensuring all aspects are rationalised. Richard’s work exemplifies a broad socially aware design ethic and encompasses work with the RNIB and Winterbourne Press
  • Nora Bruno’s passion for creativity and design brought her to the UK about six years ago. Nora enjoys working with ink, paper, typography, calligraphy and hand lettering. Her work represents her passion for working in an experimental way and the use of mixed media such as screen-printing, letterpress and mixing printmaking with digital techniques
  • Taylor Lantelli enjoys all kinds of art and design, and would consider herself more of a 'maker' because she loves creating tangible objects. In terms of graphic design, her real passion lies in anything print and editorial. She finds publications fascinating and views every page as a separate piece of artwork.

View examples of student work...


Trips and visits

While you study the course you will be offered opportunities to go on group excursions both in the UK and abroad. There are usually three overseas trips a year, which we offer both at subject level, as well as School level, to Venice, New York and Berlin.

Locations do alter each year to allow for students to experience a range of cities. We always put on UK study trips to places such as London, Manchester, Oxford and Liverpool. Where possible, UK trips are free or heavily subsidised.

As a Visual Communication student, you’ll be encouraged to take advantage of these trips as we see them as adding extra value to your course and they do offer additional research opportunities.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

Our students are required to achieve all of the learning outcomes set by the Graphic Communication course and pursue excellence by engaging with competition and live briefs, achieving Adobe accreditation.

Practice-led, knowledge-applied education is facilitated by you engaging and participating in workshops, lectures and seminars. The curriculum and live briefs will sharpen and improve your employability skills and prospects.

Internationalisation of the student cohort, links with Erasmus+ and Birmingham City University’s strong links with China, Malaysia and Thailand offer you a varied global curriculum.

Placements

You are required to develop strong networks, identifying opportunities and work placements appropriate to your practice. Visits to companies, interviews and live projects are an excellent way to introduce you and to develop these links. More formal placements have included opportunities with IE Design, Green Room and Fluid, along with various graphic design opportunities including editorial design, branding and art direction. 

Summer placements with high-profile companies Z3, TDL and most recently White October have been offered as rewards for live project initiatives. These prestigious opportunities allow students to gain a real insight into the creative approaches used by these organisations.


Links to Industry

Our partnerships with industry include the following: day briefs, live briefs, competitions, pitches, curriculum development and awards ceremonies. Live project partnerships include NHSBeehive, Studio Bonito, McCann Erickson, The Times Newspaper Group, Chapter, One Black Bear, Cogent, Leo Burnett London and more. Take a look at how students have worked with industry here

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Further Information

Students come to study in the School of Visual Communication from all over the world but we have nurtured some long-standing relationships with Malaysia, Thailand, China and India.

If you are a student from these countries, or any other, you should consider studying with us as we offer a wide curriculum that has internationalization built into the modules. We actively encourage trans-disciplinary teaching, group projects and have established relationships with colleges and industry overseas.

We take a pride in developing strong creative communities and these thrive on the injection of different cultural experiences. To develop a sense of sharing all experiences and ideas is fundamental to the philosophy of Visual Communication.

Facilities and Staff

Parkside - City Centre Campus
Parkside - Milo Studio

Our visual communication degrees are housed in the state of the art £62 million Parkside Building, part of our City Centre Campus.

We offer extensive studio and workshop space and cutting-edge equipment such as Vicon 3D (an external tracking motion capture facility) and Gypsy (an exoskeleton-based motion capture system). Both of these systems extend the possibility for production of 3D animation and films.

You will enjoy access to our Hollywood standard MILO unit. We were the first School of Visual Communication in Europe to offer MILO motion capture technology, now one of only two owned by Universities in Europe.

We offer cutting-edge provision such as digital print centres and Sonny Ross became the first student on the Visual Communication course to master the art of the RISO machine. He has since used this to produce many successful RISO publications including “Rojo & Baxter” which has been a success at various zine and book fairs across the country.

The Parkside Building also offers:

  • exhibition space
  • digital and analogue photographic facilities and studios
  • dark rooms

We have fantastic letterpress and screen printing facilities and typographic archives as part of our facilities. We offer book-binding and printing techniques as part of the course. Students also have access to 3D printing and wood workshop facilities within the building.

Students from Graphic Communication also have the opportunity to use letterpress and printing in the Winterbourne Press with lecturer Rebecca Howson.

Our staff

Jo Newman

Course Leader: Foundation

As a practitioner she understands the urgency to ‘make’ and the excitement and frustration that comes with this. Jo has chosen to lead the Visual Arts and Communication Foundation Course so that she can introduce students to an environment where ‘making’ can be positively productive and can facilitate learning through creative exploration, providing a bedrock for future study. As an educator she teaches with both academic rigour and humour. Jo designs projects which aim to challenge students to stretch their understanding of art and design and she has admiration for the courage and curiosity of student perseverance.

More about Jo

Joe Miles

Foundation Lecturer

Specialising in commercial and editorial photography for national and international clients Joe works freelance alongside his work for the University. Experienced in both film and digital photography he is currently working with RED cameras, combining moving and still image. His extensive list of clients include: BBC, British Telecom, Fulham FC, Hyundai, Liverpool FC, Marie Claire, Microsoft, Nivea, the Times, Sotheby’s, The Sunday Times Magazine Tesco and the Young Vic Theatre.

More about Joe

Christopher Morris

Course Director, BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

Upon graduating from Northumbria University Newcastle in BA (Hons) Advertising & Graphic Design Christopher was employed as an Art Director for several London agencies; Lowe Howard-Spink / Horseman Cooke, The Unknown Partnership & D4. He worked on accounts for Boots, M&S, James Capel, Financial Times, Britvic, JPS, Virgin, Mappin & Webb, Beggars Banquet and Phonogram, designing brand identities for City Beat, Global Village and XL Recordings.

After completing the MA Communication Design Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University, Christopher worked as a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University before accepting a full-time post at The University of Salford. He wrote the BA (Hons) Advertising programme prior to accepting Programme Leadership. The programme received consistent successes at YCN, Roses, DADI, Creative Pioneers and D&AD - winning Yellow Pencils across a range of categories from 2006 - 2013 including: Viral, Integrated, Online and Open Advertising, Applied Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Copywriting. His current research projects involve the analysis of effective creative content within outdoor advertising. He is a member of D&AD and has completed several External Examiner roles.

His work has been exhibited at The Golden Gallery: Soho Square, The Righton Gallery: MMU, Dry Bar: Manchester, Fusion - Visionfest: LJMU and has been featured in Computer Arts Magazine and The Guardian. 

Following student nominations he won two categories at the Solent Teaching and Recognition Awards (STAR) for 'outstanding contribution to teaching' and 'the provision of support for students'. In 2018 Christopher accepted the post of Course Director for BA (Hons) Graphic Communication at Birmingham City University.

More about Christopher

Professor Andrew Kulman

Principal Lecturer in Visual Communication

Principal Lecturer and Professor of Graphic Art. Award winning Illustrator with 30 years of industry engagement. Currently Head of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Visual Communication. Responsible for developing courses in the School of Art and initiating several outreach programmes for the University. Research areas include the development of autographic print processes in contemporary graphic art practice.

More about Andrew

George Hart

Deputy Head of Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts

George Hart was the first member of my family to go to University, which has given him an understanding of the challenges students face when going to Universities.

The enthusiasm of a wonderful art teacher at school inspired George to follow his creative ambitions and make the most of his talent. This encouraged him to apply to a Foundation Course at the University of Sunderland, followed by Degree at Norwich University of the Arts.

After the completion of his degree George worked within the creative industries for seventeen years as a Freelance Illustrator/ Designer, mainly working in London, but also nationally. Some of the commercial clients he worked with include companies such as The Sunday Times, Channel 4, Conde Nast Publishing, Hodder and Stoughton Publishers, Brian Eno & War Child, British Airways, Commonwealth Institute, etc.

During this period George undertook his MA in Illustration at the Royal College of Art. This proved both inspirational and pivotal in his work, but also highly important in his decision and desire to help develop future creatives.

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David Osbaldestin

Deputy Course Director

David has specialist knowledge in brand experience and advertising design. David has a rich background engaging with industry and a passion for typography. David is currently investigating the sans serif in Britain, and typography as an index to cultural values through his PhD research. In addition to this, David represents the University through the EyeCandy festival and is a member of the Printing Historical Society.

Previous work has included: Chair of Birmingham Artists and founder of the Periscope Gallery, Company Secretary of Vivid, and academic consultant for the Plus+ International Design Festival. David was also an Innovation Mentor for Service by Design and Chair of the digital brand panel for Hello Business.

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