2 years full-time for FdA (Foundation degree)
Upon successful completion of this course you'll have the option to join NTU's BA (Hons) Graphic Design and top-up to a Level 6 qualification. Please read the Progression section for further details.
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham
UCAS course code:
Entry and admissions criteria:
- A-levels – DDE; or
- BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP; or
- 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
- GCSE - English and Maths Grade C / 4
We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.
We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:
English language entry requirements
You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:
Would you like some advice on your study plans?
Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors. Find out more about advisors in your country.
This degree is validated by Nottingham Trent University. You can apply through UCAS.
Fees & funding
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.
Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.
We advise you to budget between £50 - £250 for an external hard drive and appropriate art and design materials (sketch books, pencils etc.). Whilst you will be provided with storage for your work on the servers it is also good practice to back up your digital files to an external source.
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.
Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.
Our aim is to develop and create ambitious graduates for the graphic design industry.
Studying in a creative technologies institute, you’ll learn the theories and techniques used in creative problem solving and explore the impact of emerging technologies on visual communication, such as advertising, branding, marketing, image creation, UX design and web design.
Working on a modern campus in our multi-million pound digital media hub, you’ll have the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and skills in industry-standard design software packages including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and InDesign, accessing a range of modern studio spaces.
Through live project briefs, we’ll push you to develop your research, critical discussion and presentation skills in seeking to solve a challenging design problem, whilst you’ll get an insight into how work is commissioned with the graphic design industry. We’ll develop your project management skills through collaborative projects, and you’ll be encouraged to take an experimental and creative approach to your work.
By the end of the two-year Foundation Degree, successful graduates will leave with a wide range of valuable skills, experience and knowledge, alongside a professional portfolio tailored to their career aspirations.
Within individual modules the delivery of the material encourages increasing levels of skill development and student participation, ensuring that, as you progress through the course, you become a more confident and independent learner. We aim to include a range of methods of delivery that may include;
- Group tutorials
- Academic Tutorials
- Presentations and pitches
- Team working
- Independent learning
- Visiting industry professionals
All the modes of delivery are structured to develop on-going abilities and skills through exploring ideas and problem solving. The course will offer a broad range of assessment methods.
What our current students think
"The course is the perfect level of practical to theory and the class sizes are small allowing you one-on-one time with tutors."
Advice from our alumni
"Confetti provide all of the industry-standard software, and help direct you on a career path if you haven’t yet decided. The tutors are very helpful and it is a great atmosphere to learn in."
A variety of formative and summative assessment methods will be employed throughout the course such as:
- idea development
- research led projects
- live briefs
Each assessment undertaken for each module will enable you to develop specific skills required by a graphic designer.
A two year Foundation degree is a great choice if you want to have the option to graduate with a Level 5 qualification and start your creative career early. With an accessible UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more practical approach to your studies. After completing two years you will graduate with an FdSc/FdA qualification and choose whether you want to continue and enroll on a top up year for a full BSc/BA qualification or whether you would rather stop your education and start your creative career.
What you'll study in year 1
This module will explore some of the fundamental principles that underpin good, efficient and effective graphic design. The module will introduce students to established design theory whilst exploring the application of this theory in a real-world context.
Learners will engage in research and idea development and investigate a variety of design techniques through looking at established design theory and combining this with their own experiments whilst analysing and justifying approaches to their own work. Students will implement the techniques explored and reflect on the work they have produced.
With a focus on 2D graphics production software learners will develop an understanding of physical and digital processes and make assessments of appropriateness of particular projects. Learners will choose appropriate tools and processes in their production of design work which responds to a chosen theme.
Learners will respond to a series of short briefs which explore the use of different tools and processes, both physical and digital. Learners will choose appropriate tools for a project based on a chosen theme. Students will demonstrate confidence with chosen techniques, with choices driven by industry standards regardless of personal preferences.
This module will explore the evolving processes and new technologies in the fast-changing world of Graphics and Digital Design and the technical issues that confront today’s graphic designers.
Working collaboratively learners will develop research, critical discussion and presentation skills in seeking to solve a challenging design problem. Learners will develop solutions that thoughtfully consider the audience, client and market. Learners will collaborate as a team on generating ideas and proof of concept for a campaign which includes at least one print and one digital element. Learners must demonstrate professional, ethical and resourceful behaviour
Learners will produce an individual written research report into the role of a designer considering the contribution of modern factors vs historical work including a case study into a particular design movement, and an analysis of a design problem considering the designers relationship with audience, client and market. Learners will develop a critical understanding of the range of conflicting factors associated audience, client and market.
Together with the increase in transmission speeds there is a growing convergence of media and the quality of visual content plays an increasingly important role in the way we communicate to a wider range of audiences. The quality of visually received information is the responsibility of digital graphic designer. This module will allow leaners to explore the Graphics and Digital Design industry and how technology has altered the working practices of those employed within this industry.
Learners will research and develop ideas for a project driven by a client brief, developing ideas and conducting qualitative and quantitative research and producing sketchbooks and written summaries. Learners will then produce a final piece for the work which responds to the brief.
What you'll study in year 2
The most successful professionals working in the design industry are those who adopt unconventional approaches to product design and allow their design journey to be influenced by experimentation. This module will introduce learners to existing designers whose work has transformed thinking around what constitutes effective graphic design.
Learners will embark on their own design journey, researching and exploring unconventional approaches and engaging in their own experimental approach. Learners will critically analyse the results of initial experimentation and make judgements about the most effective processes and techniques and apply these to a self-directed project. Learners will plan strategically and systematically, organising work so it can be understood easily by others.
The world of 3D and interactivity has transformed the potential that Graphics and Digital Design has in conveying visual information to a variety of global audiences. In this module learners will explore the use of 3D and interactive design, including installation and educational platforms as well as interactive advertising.
Learners will initially produce a series of experiments using a variety of technology and processes, focussing on 3D and interactive design. Learners will explore possibilities associated including problem solving issues and produce a basic concept in response to a brief and experiment with visual outcomes before finally producing professional interactive design work that has social and cultural relevance.
From politics to public policy to culture wars, design has been front and centre in the fight to sway public opinion. This module will allow learners to explore the social and political impact that graphic design has had, and continues to have.
Learners will research design in a cultural, economic and political context, exploring its wider impact and interplay between design and audience/client/market. Learners will then choose a theme to explore creatively, e.g. satire, promotion, and social change. The module will allow students to produce a body of work that allows for rich idea development, exploration of wider themes and problem solving.
During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.
The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources. Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy. This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.
On this course you'll study in Confetti HQ - our £9.1million digital media hub. You’ll have access to:
- Industry Spec Workstation PCs
- Bookable Green Screen studio space
- Motion capture studio
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Autodesk suite
Every year we welcome family, friends and industry professionals to watch, listen, test and play the fantastic work of our degree students.
At Confetti, we offer students the chance to ‘Do It For Real’ – to get out into real industries and experience working in various roles that will add to your professional portfolio.
Our Talent Development team work closely with Course Leaders to link students with opportunities across the graphic and digital design industry.
In a thriving city, students will have the chance to work with a wide range of organisations, big and small. Check out this recent blog on how a leading Nottingham creative agency is providing work experience and job opportunities for Confetti students.
We offer lots of opportunities to our students throughout the year, but we really dial it up with our annual Industry Week. Like no other, we go off timetable for a week, inviting some of the biggest names the creative industries to deliver talks, workshops and masterclasses for our students. We organise these types of events to enrich our students' education with real world experiences.
Check our our past Industry Week guests on our OnDemand service here.
Top-up to a full honours degree
After finishing your foundation degree, you may decide to go straight into industry or top-up to a full honours degree.
If you achieve a Commendation or higher grade, you'll be able to progress onto the Level 6 (Final Year) of the popular BA (Hons) Graphic Design at NTU course.
For those completing their foundation degree with a Pass, you'll have the opportunity to progress onto Level 5 (Year Two) of the course.
If you choose to progress onto the full honours degree at NTU, you'll be invited to a transition tutorial with the Graphic Design course team at NTU. The aim of the tutorial is for you to meet the course team; present your work; and for the team to ensure any appropriate support (if necessary) is made available to you before you progress.
You can also move straight into your career, in areas which might include:
- Graphic designer
- Website designer