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HNC Graphic Design Level 4

This course is for those interested in developing their design skills to a professional level and preparing a portfolio for industry. The qualification can be taken in preparation for the HND in Graphic Design, an internationally-recognised technical qualification equivalent to level 5 study (second year degree). The HNC is also a stand-alone qualification at level 4.


The course is project-based. You will study a range of subjects including typography, digital media, advertising, editorial design, and infographics. These will introduce you to a range of specialised skills to encourage an exploratory and creative approach to graphic design. The projects will be supported by core units in visual communication, idea generation and development, contextual and cultural referencing, and professional practice. This is not a definitive list as there are optional and extra units. At the end of the course, you will compile your portfolio and exhibit your work.


You will need a range of drawing equipment, and access to a computer and Adobe software would also be useful. You will be expected to have a high level of commitment to the course as well as good attendance and punctuality, curiosity and the willingness to take risks.


Click here to take a look at student's work from 2021. 


Please note this is a course for adults (19+). Click here for courses for 16-18 year olds.

  • Course details, fees and dates

    Course Code 22-FL4HC-GRA-1

    Start Date September

    How long is the course? 34 weeks

    What time does the course start? TBC

    What time does the course end? TBC

    When does the course run? Full Time 2 days studio taught

    How much does the course cost? Tuition fee £4,200 Exam fee £0 Certification fee £200 Materials fee £100 = Total fee £4,500

    Is this course eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan? Yes

    Are concessions available? No

    Examining Body Pearsons

    Is an interview required? Yes

  • What qualification or experience do I need to start the course?

    To study this course, you must be 18 years or over, and possess one of the following:

    • A BTEC level 3 qualification in art and design
    • An A level profile, that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject
    • A foundation diploma in art and design


    Plus at least five GCSEs grades A-C, including English.

    Mature learners are welcome and may have a more varied profile of achievement which might include relevant work experience and/or professional qualifications.

  • How will I be taught?

    The course is taught mainly through studio-based projects. You will also work on group projects, which will prepare you for the demands of a professional working environment. Live briefs are an important aspect of this course and we will encourage you to apply for an internship or other work experience. You will become increasingly independent in preparation for the HND, where you will be encouraged to initiate and develop your own projects, from personal research and interests.

    We have visiting designers plus off-site visits to design studios, galleries and museums. We work on live projects, engage in group work and have a high ratio of students/lecturer (no more than 1:15, with frequent 1:1 access and a dedicated tutor).

    We recommend that you spend at least ten hours per week studying outside class time.

  • How will I be assessed?

    The content of the course is 100% coursework. You will be given formative feedback during each project and summative assessment at Pass, Merit or Distinction. 

  • What qualification will I get?

    If successful, you will receive an HNC in Graphic Design, an internationally-recognised technical qualification. Most students will go on to study the HND qualification.

  • What can the course lead to?

    After completing the HNC, you can go on to study the HND, which is a level 5 technical qualification. Students can study the HND to prepare for a BA (Hons) degree or to sharpen up existing design skills.

    During the course you will:

    • Learn how to answer a design brief creatively and to a professional standard
    • Learn how to select and use typography confidently, and generate design outcomes using a wide range of processes
    • Develop your skills and knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
    • Develop the confidence to present yourself and your work in a professional manner
    • Develop skills in team work, and working to deadline


    Last year, all students progressed to the level 5 HND course. From there, a few students continued with their design education on a BA (Hons) top-up in graphic design at a number of other universities. Other students gained employment as junior designers or undertook internships with various companies.

  • How do I join the course?

    To apply, please click on the 'apply' button below.

    Before being accepted on to the course, you will be required to attend a portfolio interview at the College. 


See some of our students' work below:

QAA 2014

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