Graphic Design 3: Advanced Practice

Course Level: 3 (HE6) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week


Building on the learning undertaken at previous levels, this unit provides an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and understanding of contemporary illustration, graphic design or visual communication practices. You are encouraged to explore an increasingly personal voice within your practice and improve the quality and presentation of your work.

The unit will develop the design skills necessary to undertake work at this level through the application of your interpretive and creative problem solving skills, research methods, and idea development. You will be encouraged to research into contemporary contexts, identify gaps in your knowledge and understanding and develop self-directed projects that extend your skill set and help develop a sense of specialism or personal voice within your practice.
Audience focused projects will provide an opportunity to produce artwork that is of a high visual standard, can communicate effectively and ready for commercial printing or other appropriate outcomes.

The unit supports your growing autonomy as a learner and deepening understanding of your practice by establishing self-directed projects, critically evaluating your work, researching and reflecting on contemporary contexts, and thinking about how your practice can best be presented. Your learning log will be used to document these reflections.


The unit aims to

  • A1 use experimentation to extend your practice and to develop your visual language
  • A2 extend your visual and research skills to identify a line of enquiry and produce a critically informed body of work
  • A3 further develop your technical and practical skills to realise an ambitious body of work
  • A4 develop a critical and analytical understanding of approaches to graphic design and contemporary cultural contexts.


On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • LO1 demonstrate how experimentation has informed your practice and visual language (A1)
  • LO2 produce an ambitious body of work that is critically informed (A2)
  • LO3 demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of technical and practical skills through your work (A3)
  • LO4 articulate your critical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of approaches to graphic design and contemporary cultural contexts (A4).

Course content

  • Understanding your practice: An investigation into contemporary and professional practices within the fields of illustration, graphic design and/or visual communication. Using this research as a starting point, you will undertake a critical reflection of your own practice in order to identify areas of interest, specialism, gaps in your knowledge and understanding or areas for development, and undertake self-directed projects in response.
  • Text and image: Creatively explore the use of text and image to communicate ideas through a combination of image-making, layout and typography. An overview of commercial print and web processes will provide the context to develop artwork in appropriate formats and to a high visual standard.
  • Audiences: A critical examination of how to approach designing for an audience through creative problem solving, conducting research, developing and testing ideas, undertaking audience focused project work and reflecting on the results.
  • Presenting your practice: Explores a range of ways your practice can be presented through the use of portfolios, exhibitions or other promotional material; a reflection on the ways your practice can conceived and described; and ways through which your personal creative voice can be extended through self-directed project work.