School of Visual Communication

The School of Visual Communication has a rich history dating back to 1843, when the Birmingham Government School of Design was founded. We meet the demands of the economy now, just as we did when founded during the industrial revolution. When you study with us you’ll realise that the boundaries you perceive to exist between subject areas are more insignificant that you thought and breaking them will lead to unexpected and often magical outcomes.

We have 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.

Foundation courses

Our Foundation Years offer you an additional year of study to ensure successful progression to your chosen degree.

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Undergraduate courses

Find out about our range of undergraduate courses, including Photography, Illustration and Graphic Communication.

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Postgraduate courses

Take a look at our postgraduate options at the School of Visual Communication.

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So my BCU experience has been really good because you go from digital to printmaking that I do back to animation. 

It's just the fact that you can do anything that you want. There's always different briefs, but you can put your own touch on it. You can do what you want to do when. 

We give them quite open briefs so they have lots of opportunities to explore making and different methods of making. 

I think when you look around the degree show, you can definitely see that there isn't a house style here that's really nice that everyone's kind of allowed to do their own thing. 

I don't think anybody would be looking at my work, but it is nice because I've had loads of people message me all saying, I've seen your work and I do really like it.

I love working with small businesses. That's where my heart is. I really like bringing people's ideas to life and seeing the actual people that I'm helping. 

Whatever you're doing, they'll be someone that you can talk to about It and will have an insight of how you would go into industry. 

We have a lot of students that really surprise themselves, so they might think they're not suited to editorial illustration. We feel really proud of them because they have to Sometimes do a large presentation and they really step up to the mark and they learn a lot from it. 

Coming into BCU and throughout the majority of the course, I was someone that just couldn't speak to people. I would shut down completely. And my personal tutor has just been incredible. I mean, look at me now. I'm talking to you guys on camera. I would not have done that three months ago. 

It's really fulfilling I guess. We were the first degree show to our cohort since we were doing it blind a little bit, which was scary. But I'm really pleased with the final result. 

Like it helped you in terms of, you know, exactly what you're waiting for now like the next job you're going to go into, you know, this is what they're going to want. This is how you have to do it. 

It just really built me up. And my mum was in the car and my hair on the way here the tutors have made you into an adult. You're no longer a child. Thanks, Mum. 


About us

Studying a creative degree can open up a range of career opportunities. Hear how Ben’s Illustration degree was the first step in setting up his successful business.

Open Days

The best way to explore what's on offer is to come and see us in person at one of our Open Days.

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Our blog

Check out our blog where we share our experiences, stories and the latest news from the School.

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Find out what's been going on in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media this month.


Our facilities

Take a look around some of the facilities, studios and workshops that you’ll have access to.

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Placement profiles

Read about where our students have been on their placements and the things they learnt whilst there.

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Working with industry

Our range of industry links mean you can expect to gain a wide variety of experience.

Industry experience

Preparing yourportfolio

To support your application you will be asked to submit, or bring in, a portfolio. We've put together a range of useful tips and guidance to help you build one.

Portfolio tips