Study a Visual Communications online degree program with OCA

Our BA (Hons) Visual Communications degree encourages you to explore the most creative and original ways to communicate a message to any given audience. It provides an opportunity for you to experiment with multiple creative disciplines and topics, so that you gain a more comprehensive understanding of meaning, purpose, interpretation and design.

You’ll learn how to communicate your ideas effectively across various media and practices, equipping you with new thought processes and reasoning behind your methods. This will help you produce an interdisciplinary portfolio of artwork that can span a range of areas including graphic design, illustration, web, moving image, comics, infographics, packaging and beyond.

Throughout your course of study, your specialist tutor will support you and your work, enabling you to work both independently, ready for the world of visual creativity. So if you’re looking to create meaningful communications for a client base or for yourself, our BA (Hons) Visual Communications degree is for you.

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Studying Visual Communications

The BA (Hons) Visual Communications course offers an accessible distance learning experience through which students can develop an understanding of visual enquiry and find a personal creative voice; if you so desired, you could continue onto a visual communication graduate program after you finish.

The curriculum explores a span of visual communication practices that encompasses graphic design through typography, editorial design, branding and packaging and illustration through drawing, image making and visual storytelling, animation and comics, all of which touch upon both traditional and digital skills and techniques. Due to a comprehensive curriculum like this, the range of jobs you can get with a visual communications degree are diverse – from marketing to digital design and beyond – the possibilities are endless!

An Open and Flexible Learning environment supports student expectations and needs, helping you to develop the skills necessary for autonomous learning. Our course team is made up of experienced tutors who are all practitioners within the field or lecturing at other UK art colleges and Universities. This learning environment encourages students to develop a personal creative voice within their work that can be extended into employment, self-employment, further study, or continued personal development. OCA is one of the best colleges for visual communication as a distance learning course – so apply today!

Course Structure

The course is designed to give students the widest choice of course content while retaining a strong core structure. As students move through the three course levels they can refine their study choices as the range of study options broadens, making the course truly interdisciplinary.

Level 1

Level 1 support the development of creative ideas by examining how to analyse a brief, generate and visualise ideas, use reference material to inform approaches and begin to develop content and meaning within your work. You are introduced to the visual languages of illustration and design thinking through creative problem-solving exercises, explore the relationship between form and function, and consider how to develop a creative process through researching, visualising and presenting ideas. These units also offer a gateway into specialist study through a choice of content in areas of visual practice such as drawing, printmaking and photography.

Level 2

Level 2 supports students’ ability to further develop visual language and develop the critical and reflective skills to evaluate the results. You will explore the integration of typography and visual elements within layouts and examine the role of graphic design within identity design, branding and campaigning. You will also investigate how to use image-making in reportage, sequential narrative through storyboards, and consider a range of contemporary contexts for illustration. Stage 2 study also offers distinct options into specialist study, from book design and visual exploration to comics and graphic novels, and enables you to summarise all that you have learned by undertaking a self-directed brief from a range of professional contexts.

Level 3

Level 3 synthesize students’ creative practice and research interests across a self-directed body of work, and provide a framework that enables you to foster an increasingly autonomous and professional approach. You will demonstrate your creative voice through outcomes that include a portfolio of self-directed work, a reflective learning log, and a critical thinking assignment which can be written or take an alternative presentational format.

Course Information

To review the programme specification, unit descriptors, accessibility statements and course samples, click the link below!

Click here!

Foundations

£915

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,080

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,080

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,080

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,360

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,360

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,080

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £860 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £280.

Foundations

£1,052

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,680

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,680

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,680

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,680

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £1,120 followed by 11 monthly instalments of £300.

More Information

  • With the OCA, you can study a BA (Hons) degree in our flexible online learning model at approximately one third the cost of a degree at a traditional physical university.

    Students study and pay for the course on a unit-by-unit basis, so you only pay for the course as you enrol to each unit.

    This course is eligible for a part-time tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or you can self-fund the course and break down costs even further through the deposit and instalment option.  Find out more about your funding options here.

  • You will require regular use of a computer or laptop and internet access. Most essential reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks.

    Students are responsible for sourcing and, where necessary, purchasing any additional software and resources specified. These can be around £400 at Level 1, £500 at Level 2, and £550 at Level 3. Where possible, open or freeware equivalents will be discussed alongside industry standard options.

    You will need some type of editing software for this course. Adobe is recommended but you are welcome to use alternatives.

    You may be eligible for any student discounts on computer equipment and software by using your student email, and you can find out more information about student discounts here.

  • Visual Communications is an open access degree; this means that there are no formal qualifications or experience required to join the course. All you need is a passion for the arts, and willingness to learn.

    All OCA courses require students to be IT literate, have a good internet connection, and have a good standard of English equivalent to CEFR B2. You can review the study requirements here so you’re prepared for online study at higher education.

  • We accept enrolment for our BA (HONS) courses all year round, so you can start at a time that suits you. You don’t need to wait for a specific intake month, simply complete the online enrolment form and indicate your preferred start date.

    When applying for a Student Finance tuition fee loan, this may take 4- 6 weeks to process, so select a start date reflective of this. If you are also applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and would like this support to be in place before beginning your course, please allow 14 weeks from when you begin your application to your start date.

  • Our part-time degree courses are completed on average between 4 and 9 years. The degree is structured into three levels (instead of three years) so you’re able manage study around other commitments.

    Once enrolled, you’ll have a maximum of 12 years to complete your degree course. There are unit and level timeframes within the overall degree time frame, and you’ll need a minimum of 10 study per week to keep on track. To find out more about course duration and managing your time, click here.

  • Your course materials are accessible online through the virtual learning environment, OCA Learn, where you’ll also have access to student forums, a subject space, the student handbook and the online library. You’ll work primarily from a set text of course materials and resources, but can also sign up to webinars, workshops and study groups in addition to your core learning.

    Once you’ve completed the required assignments within a course unit and received tutor feedback, you’ll submit a portfolio of work to an assessment event. This gives you the opportunity to develop your work before you have it formally assessed to achieve credits towards your degree.

  • Upon completing the BA (Hons) Visual Communications degree, you’ll be set with skills to help you navigate the workplace. You could use your practice as a professional illustrator, digital designer, artist, brand or content specialist, the possibilities are endless. Prospects can help you with a variety of options of where your degree could take you.

    In 2017 the Department for Culture, Media, & Sport estimated there were some 3.12 million jobs in the UK creative economy, and 80,000 new jobs were created in 2017 alone. The creative industries are growing faster than any other sector in the UK.

  • The Academic Regulatory Framework (ARF) regulations are applicable to all taught courses offered by the Open College of the Arts
    (OCA), and leading to an undergraduate award of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

    You can review the ARF through the link below:

    Academic Regulatory Framework

To Join

To enhance your profession and expand your knowledge, enrol here today!

If you are a new student with OCA, please submit the online enrolment form below. For continuing students, please complete the PDF enrolment form and return to enquiries@oca.ac.uk.

2021/2022 Continuing Student Enrolment Form

2022/2023

If you plan to begin your course or your next unit from August 2022, please complete the relevant enrolment form below and return to enquiries@oca.ac.uk. Your email subject should be ‘Enrolment Order’ with your name.

2022/2023 New Student Enrolment Form
2022/2023 Continuing Student Enrolment Form

If you want to begin your course before 29th July 2022, please complete the online form below.

Continuing Student Enrolment Form