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HND Graphic Design Level 5

This course is for those interested in developing their design skills to a professional level and in preparing a portfolio for industry. The HND in graphic design is an internationally-recognised technical qualification equivalent to level 5 study (second year degree).


The course is project-based. You will study a range of subjects including advanced typography, digital media, packaging, advertising, editorial design, illustration and infographics. These will reinforce and develop a range of specialised skills already covered on the HNC course. The projects will be supported by core units in visual communication, idea generation and development, contextual and cultural referencing, and professional practice and project design. This is not a definitive list as there are optional and extra units. At the end of the course, you will compile your professional 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-FL5HD-GRA-1

    Start Date September

    How long is the course? 34 weeks

    What time does the course start? 9AM

    What time does the course end? 5PM

    When does the course run? Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri

    How much does the course cost? Tuition fee £4,299 Exam fee £0 Certification fee £200 Materials fee £100 = Total fee £4,599

    Are concessions available? No

    Examining Body Pearsons

    Is an interview required? Yes

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

    To attend this course, you must be 19 years or over and possess an HNC in graphic design, or equivalent. You must also have at least five GCSEs grades A-C, including English or IELTS Level 5.5.

    Mature learners who wish to have previous professional experience accredited will be required to submit a portfolio for a pre-enrolment assessment by the end of August, a month before the new academic year.

  • 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 and you will initiate and develop your own projects, from personal research and interests. A substantial amount of your time will be spent preparing a highly individual and professional portfolio.

    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. Guidelines on submission rules will be provided at induction.

  • What qualification will I get?

    If successful, you will receive an HND in Graphic Design, an internationally-recognised technical qualification.

  • What can the course lead to?

    There are many career opportunities available depending on the specialism identified. This could include work in a design studio, advertising agency, in project management, newspaper and magazine design, infographics and visual data, packaging design, and illustration. Students have also applied to continue their studies at appropriate BA (Hons) courses to top up their qualification to level 6.

    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 existing skills and knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator
    • Develop the confidence to present yourself and your work in a professional manner
    • Develop skills in teamwork, and working to deadline


    Past students have gone on to work for design companies, for newspapers such as the Guardian and Independent, for packaging companies and in editorial design. Some students have set up their own design companies, and others have chosen to continue their education at a number of other universities and colleges.

  • 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. In exceptional circumstances, this can be carried out remotely eg via Flickr, Skype, or over the telephone.

    Your portfolio should contain a range of work, which showcases the quality of your ideas and your ability to progress a project from early research through to a final conclusion. We will look for evidence of curiosity, intelligence and an engagement with the visual world. This could take the form of sketchbooks, notebooks, websites or blogs. An interest in current design is desirable, and this could be shown through visits to museums and galleries, through reading design journals and magazines, and/or through an awareness of current design practice.


See some of our students' work below:



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