Visual Communication and Design BA (Hons)

UCAS code W213

What is special about this course?

The BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design gives you the opportunity to acquire the skills to generate ideas and solve problems creatively, skills required for a successful career within the creative industries.

Working through a range of practical projects you will develop a clear understanding of the creative design process, techniques and business.  Visual communications is not restricted by the definition of specialism; likewise, this programme is not attempting to produce designers that are labelled by a pre-defined discipline. The course aims to nurture visual communicators that are responsive to emerging design issues and the focus of your studies will be:

  • the realised navigation of the design process
  • engaging in reflective practice
  • exploring the changing role of the designer and design

Special features

  • Emphasis on each individual interpreting and contextualising theory and technical skills to produce effective messages for a target audience
  • Work placements and live projects will give you the opportunity to define your own creative identity and explore the evolving demands of the industry
  • Opportunities for national and international trips to enhance your experience

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • Entry to year one, HNC, is 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • One A Level at D or above OR
  • NC Art and Design, or NC Digital Media OR
  • Foundation Apprenticeship Creative and Digital Media
  • You will also be required to submit a portfolio of work and may be invited for an interview

Advanced entry


 

Access routes

  • NC Art and Design
  • NC Digital Media

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Theory and practice: design
  • Research project: design
  • Professional design practice
  • Social design strategies
  • Design practice

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a major research project which will incorporate a substantial written element. You will also complete a professional project for an industry competition and a design collection which you will exhibit within a degree show.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

For direct entry applicants and continuing students into year three or four: Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. We hope to have some practical sessions in semester one, however the majority are likely to be in semester two (from January 2021), where this is not possible alternative options will be available.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (Structured)
  • Part-time (Unstructured)

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures, practical sessions, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.


How long will my course last?


  • Full-time:  4 years @ 40 hours per week
    Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

September

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

YearLevel2020-21 Full-time2020-21 Part-time
Year 1 HNC £1,285 £86 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £1,285 £86 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)
YearLevel2019-20 Full-time2019-20 Part-time
Year 1 HNC £1,285 £86 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £1,285 £86 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term-time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

YearLevel2020-21 Full-time2020-21 Part-time
Year 1 HNC £6,720 £448 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £6,720 £448 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £1,500 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours free £1,500 (per 20 credit module)
YearLevel2019-20 Full-time2019-20 Part-time
Year 1 HNC £6,720 £448 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £6,720 £448 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £1,500 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours free £1,500 (per 20 credit module)

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

YearLevel2020-21 Full-time2020-21 Part-time
Year 1 HNC £7,020 £468 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £7,020 £468 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £12,000 £2,000 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £12,000 £2,000 (per 20 credit module)
YearLevel2019-20 Full-time2019-20 Part-time***
Year 1 HNC £6,855 £457 (per HN credit)
Year 2 HND £6,855 £457 (per HN credit)
Year 3 Degree £11,650 £1,940 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £11,650 £1,940 (per 20 credit module)

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

Additional Costs

Students are expected to fund the materials required for the production of projects, they should allow starting budget of £150 per year for this.

Optional Course trips are available in some campuses at a fee of between £300 – 600, dependent upon selected destination.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design will prepare you for a career in digital media, design, broadcast, graphics or illustration.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the MA Art and Social Practice

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say

I wanted to do something art related but was unsure what course to do after school. I didn’t want to leave home for a university course in a big city when I wasn’t sure if that was the course for me. The HND for Visual Communications offered the study of a range of techniques which allowed me to try different creative practices and see what appealed to me.

I currently work as a Graphic Designer at a university where I deliver graphic, digital and print services to all faculty and support staff. Since graduating, I also work as a freelance designer/illustrator creating artwork for a variety of clients, including children’s book illustration. In 2017 I was shortlisted for the Kelpies Design and Illustration Prize and last summer was a commissioned artist for Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.

My aim is to become an illustrator of children’s books and continue working on exciting design projects.

Charlie Dear complete the A (Hons) Visual Communication at Perth College UHI. 

(Photo credit: Kalyan Veera)

The course is really practical which has been perfect for me as I’m dyslexic. It feels scary at the beginning but I can honestly say that studying here was the best decision of my life! My dream is to be a primary teacher part time and be a designer or involved in community art the rest of the time.

Meghan Potter is studying on the BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design at our Perth College UHI campus.

I currently have a design and communications internship with the university’s students association (HISA) at Perth College UHI. The role allows me to practise my skills professionally and has provided the opportunity of working with a team to make an impact on student life.

Gregor George is studying on the BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design at our Perth College UHI campus.

Apply for Visual Communication and Design BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.