BA (Hons) Visual Communications

Studying a Visual Communications degree with the OCA

With our open learning approach, the OCA’s Visual Communications degree (comprising of Graphic Design and Illustration courses) provides a real alternative to traditional campus based learning. Our inspiring course materials enable you to work at your own pace, in your own time, and whenever you choose to study. We have a thriving community of students all following their passion and achieving at the highest levels, supported by tutors who are experienced teachers and practising graphic designers and illustrators. As you work towards your Visual Communications degree, your work will be assessed against a set of criteria by our accrediting university the UCA, one of Europe’s largest specialist universities for art, design, architecture, media and communication. This enables you to gain HE credits towards your degree and is based on an examination of your course portfolio rather than a formal exam. Click here to find out more about studying with the OCA.

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All of our degrees are accredited by the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist universities.

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OCA’s courses are independently reviewed. Read the report here: OCA’s QAA Review.

The aims of the visual communications degree are to:

  • To provide you with the opportunity to engage with a range of options within visual communications and select a specialism.
  • To widen access to education in visual communications at undergraduate level through Open and Flexible Learning.
  • To provide an intellectually stimulating programme of study based on high quality study material and tutor support.
  • To encourage the development of a personal and professional understanding of visual communications and to establish a personal creative voice within it.
  • To provide an opportunity for you to apply your skills, knowledge and understanding to a range of contexts.
  • To develop autonomous learners capable of applying intellectual and practical skills in a chosen area of visual communications appropriate to employment, further study, or life-long learning.

Visual communications is the artistic practice applied to communicating through a visual language. The BA (Hons) in Visual Communications builds knowledge across the disciplines of graphic design, illustration and book design all aiming to prepare you to become a visual communications professional, capable of applying your intellectual and creative skills to communications solutions. To build a broad foundation of your knowledge as well as studying graphic design, illustration and book design you can also choose to study complementary course units including digital film production, drawing, photography, painting, printmaking, textiles, creative writing, with art history and theory. As you progress to level 3 you can then apply your skills and understanding in a range of contexts, including client led briefs, competitions, and self-initiated projects. It supports the development of a personal and professional understanding of visual communications.

Work by Visual Communications student Dolores Costello

Career choices

The Design Council’s Industry Insights Report 2010 highlights that 87% of design consultants employ less than 10 staff, supporting the view that emerging designers need to have the skills to be able to work in small teams and to be able to establish themselves in small businesses and as freelancers. This degree aims to prepare students to become visual communicator professionals and autonomous learners, capable of applying their intellectual and creative skills in a chosen area in employment, further study, or life-long learning.

Degree Programme Enquiry Form

Please fill in this form to begin the process of enrolling on one of OCA’s undergraduate BA (Hons) degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form, and a member of the Head Office team will be in touch shortly to further discuss your application.