Foundation Degree (FdA) Graphic Design and Illustration

Level 1 Diploma

Course Location


Stockport College


Stockport College

Further Details


University Level


Art & Design

Course Start Date

Monday 16th September 2024

Course Duration

Full-time, 1 Year

Course Time

09:00 - 17:00

Course Fee

£ 8000.00

Course Code


Course Overview

This studio-based foundation degree focuses on equipping students with a broad range of graphic art, design and illustration knowledge and skills relevant for employment in a wealth of different industries. This hybrid course will suit those who have a talent for drawing and digital creation and have an interest in typography and layout.

The ethos of the programme cultivates students who understand effective design practice as well as having the conceptual abilities to demonstrate a willingness to adapt, innovate and collaborate; a response to the UK’s evolving creative industries.

Course Requirements

Whilst applications are considered on an individual basis, offers are usually based on a requirement to have:

64 UCAS points
L3 qualification:
– Access to HE (60 credits at P)
– BTEC- L3 Diploma-MM
– T-level-Pass
– A level-DDE

4 GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above including Maths and English.

We also ask that you are willing to learn and undertake:
– Industry-based work experience.
– A broad range of graphics, art & design and illustration skills, technologies and techniques.
– Excellent attendance and a full-time commitment to group and individual projects.

The selection process will involve an UCAS application and may also involve an interview. TEAMS/telephone interviews are available for any applicants who are not able to attend interview on-site.

Applications are also asked to provide a portfolio of their work to interview.

What you will Learn

Experiential, active and enquiry-based learning are unique features of this foundation degree. Underpinned by experimentation, exploration and freedom of thought, students are encouraged to express their visual artistry. The development of the creative as a graphic artist or illustrator is fostered through the live briefs and diverse projects students undertake, often responding to current changes within the creative industries and the erosion of traditional parameters.

Participation in nationally recognised competitions is encouraged, as is a regular presence at major design events. Student work gains recognition from professional bodies such as Penguin, Design & Art Direction (D&AD) and Young Creative Network.

The interdisciplinary learning environment at The University Centre at Stockport College exposes students to the multi- disciplinary nature of the subject. Workshops in 3D materials and laser cutting, digital software, screen printing, printmaking and photography provide a platform from which students can build on in future projects.


Coursework based


Our Top up (level 6) BA (Hons) Contemporary Creative Practice is a tailor-made progression route (University Centre, Stockport).

Other Top up degrees in areas such as Graphics, Illustration and Art and Design.

Employment in industry or freelance.

Career Options

Graphic Design, Illustration, Concept Art, Motion Graphics, Production Art, Advertising, Marketing, Web Design, Social Media Marketing, Publishing, Print making, Screen printing, Interior Design, Fine Art, Games Design, Animation, Creative directing, Art Exhibitions and Events, Gallery Curation, Visual Merchandising.

Mandatory Units

At Level 4 you will study:

Principles- A studio-based exploratory module introducing design and illustration fundamentals and the principles of visual language.

Exploration- Working on a live brief (currently with a record label) to create products for them.

Expression- Through guided sessions you will begin to consider your future aspirations and the application of your creative processes. You will achieve this through collaborative projects, as well as live briefs and studio-based tasks, which encourage you to consider the key aspects of your practice.

Context 1- Exploratory research and essay-based module on social, cultural, historical, and commercial factors that underpin visual arts theory and practice.

At Level 5 you will study:

Digital Platforms- Exploring contemporary digital contexts such as animation, UI, 3D, moving image and interactive media.

Future-Self- The attention is turned on you as a practitioner, where you are required to seek a live project of your own. In the past this has included designing print workshops, producing music videos, hosting exhibitions and interning at creative studios, to name a few.

Application- This module encourages personal investigation, reflection and depth of study, encouraging you to consider your future as a creative practitioner in the industry. This includes creating and developing your personal brand and materials for self-promotion.

Context 2- An extended research study exploring art and design concepts relevant to their own practice and chosen specialism.

Contact Details

Extra Costs Involved

Optional educational or work-based trips in the UK and internationally will be offered and a fee may be attached should you wish to participate. Where possible, we endeavour to visit free exhibitions/workshops but travel abroad will incur additional costs.

Exam Validation Body

Sheffield Hallam University

Hours Per Week

12 hours a week

How Long To Complete

2 years

Programme Structure

This foundation degree programme has been designed so that in year 1 you can experiment and learn a broad range of graphics, art, design and illustration techniques.

In year 2, concepts and techniques are further developed. You also begin to identify your chosen area of specific interest, take part in industry briefs and work experience, and refine your craft culminating in a final exhibition or porfolio of your work.

Contact Details

For further information please email


Although every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate, there may be changes to this programme and provision. We will endeavour to keep prospective and current students updated where appropriate and when the information becomes available.
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