Expand your skills, knowledge and understanding of graphic design with this exciting and comprehensive higher education programme. This is a one year programme, delivered through a blended learning model, meaning teaching and learning will occur both on site in the classroom and remotely via a virtual learning environment.

Meet our students Abi Hull

Abi Hull

I have learnt so many valuable techniques and skills to broaden my creative repertoire during my time on this course. My visual language has been challenged and expanded by the wide range of subjects and projects covered across the board. I have learnt invaluable lessons throughout my time at UCN and I will carry these skills with me throughout my career in the Creative Industries.

HNC in Graphic Design

Meet our students Anna Bayliss

Anna Bayliss

The practical work and the chance to use the computer software in a more in-depth programme was the reason I chose the study at Newbury College. I enjoy being able to be creative in my learning.

Creative Media Level 3

Meet our students Jake Lambourn

Jake Lambourn

I chose Newbury College because it provided me with the right course in the specific area of IT I wanted to pursue. As an apprentice, the on-the-job training allowed me to fully immerse myself in the career I wanted and a work environment which taught me the skills I still use today. Since leaving the College I have worked for various companies around the South East including design agencies, print and digital marketing companies, start-ups and charities. I am delighted to currently be using my skills to support the local community at Apple Print Creative and Design as a Web Developer.

Apprenticeship in IT

Meet our students Thea Clarke

Thea Clarke

In undertaking the HNC Graphic Design course I feel that I have been able to develop both my skills and knowledge to a level which would be required in the commercial environment. It has been a lot of work, but totally worth the end result. I have designed a logo which will be used by Newbury College which was a great opportunity for anyone starting out; I have a client who I am working with to create illustrations for a book; and I am starting to sell my own work commercially. UCN provides a great option to anyone who is interested in going to university but would like the option of staying at home, and paying lower fees.

HNC in Graphic Design

Meet our students Zoe Bulsara

Zoe Bulsara

The HNC in Graphic Design course has given me an excellent understanding of the creative industry, the skills and techniques required including Adobe software ready to take forward with confidence into my career aspiration of becoming an Illustrator. All the lecturers have been very supportive whilst, pushing me to fulfil my full potential.

Creative Media Level 3

  • Description

    Designed for those looking to gain employment in the creative industries through working towards building a solid foundation of knowledge in Graphic Design, this course will support and guide you through all the aspects of contemporary graphic design practice, enabling you to build up confidence and develop new skills.

    Following successful completion of the Level 4 Higher National Certificate, you can progress onto the Level 5 Higher National Diploma.

    Unlike traditional higher education programmes, the HNC is vocationally focussed and therefore can lead straight on to a career. You will gain knowledge of industry practices and use industry standard computing software, including Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, to create and adapt work.

    The course has been recognised for the excellent links with a variety of design agencies and industry professionals who contribute to the programme delivery and invaluable work experience opportunities.

    Other advantages include:

    • The course is cost effective, in comparison to University
    • There is a small cohort of students enabling targeted individual support and guidance, with workshops to build software knowledge
    • Tuition in understanding of print design and print production
    • Work experience opportunities and work placements running alongside the course programme
    • Live client briefs and projects encouraging and supporting professional practice
    • Visiting speakers and relevant trips to speak to professionals in Industry
    • Lecturers all have experience of working in Industry and continue to maintain professional working practices and have been awarded Certificates of Excellence in the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2020.

    During the course you will study the following units:

    • Professional Practice
    • Pearson set topic and collaborative working
    • Graphic Design Techniques, Processes and Practices
    • Advanced Graphic Design Practices
    • Typography Exploration
    • Printmaking Exploration
    • Photographic Practices
    • Web Design
    • Digital Animation

    This course operates using a blended learning approach where part of some units may be delivered online via Microsoft Teams. To participate in this programme you will need a suitable computer and/or device with sufficient internet access. Specific requirements and information on the support available to borrow or purchase equipment can be discussed at interview.

  • Entry Requirements

    You will need either a diploma in Art & Design Foundation Studies, a National Diploma in an Art & Design subject, an equivalent Level 3 qualification, or relevant professional experience. Applicants from A-Level programmes displaying high levels of creativity will also be considered, as will mature students, who will be considered individually on experience rather than qualifications. Entry will also be subject to a successful interview, where you will be asked to present a portfolio of your creative work, including developmental worksheets or sketchbooks.

    You will need to be comfortable with basic computer functions such as navigating the desktop; opening, saving and transferring files; and accessing online resources. We recommend that students are familiar with both Windows and Mac operating systems, however, you will receive training on using these platforms.

    This is a creative programme and you will be expected to work imaginatively to generate and develop creative ideas in response to a wide range of briefs. You should show willingness to collaborate and discuss your work, reflect critically, demonstrate intellectual inquiry and be open to embracing new ways of thinking.

  • Qualification

    Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Art and Design

  • Progression

    After completing the HNC Level 4, you can progress to the HND Level 5 in Art and Design.

  • Assessment

    Project briefs are set for each assignment and you are encouraged to develop a personal response to each task. You will complete research and develop your own ideas, recording your own progress along the way. All activities are supported through one-to-one tutorials and group discussions to inform personal progress and aid assessment. Assessment is continuous throughout the course, with assignments being graded at the end of each brief/unit.

  • Home Study

    You will complete research and set work on a regular basis in order to build up knowledge and confidence within the creative industries. It is expected that you will need to spend approximately 6-10 hours a week on your course work outside of the normal class time.

  • Work Placement

    You will be expected to complete approximately 10 days of related work experience. This will help you to understand the types of roles available in industry and the skills required to gain employment in the sector.

  • Fees and Additional Costs

    The tuition fees for this programme are £ 6,000 per year. There is an awarding body registration fee (set by the awarding body) and an annual student association registration fee of £15.

    You may be offered the opportunity to visit exhibitions and shows and these visits may require you to pay for or contribute towards entrance fees and travel costs. You may also benefit from purchasing text books, details will be provided at interview or enrolment.

Code Start Fees*
GRAPHICSHNC 232401 September 2023 Fee Information

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* Terms and conditions apply. The fees stated on this website are for guidance purposes only and should be checked before enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, fees shown are for tuition only, over one term (Community Learning courses) or one academic year. Where a course is longer than one academic year, the fees stated are for the first year, and the cost of the second or subsequent years will be discussed at interview. For details of fee remission for students over 19 click here. If you think you may be entitled to a concession or fee remission, or you would like more information on the additional costs associated with your chosen course, please contact us on 01635 845000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fee information

16 - 18 year olds

In most cases, students aged 16-18 on a full-time study programme (including T Levels) will not be required to pay fees, and the College will fund most course-specific equipment and materials. This excludes stationary, non-curriculum trips and a £15 College Subscription.

19 years and over

Students aged 19 years and over may be required to pay fees. Our Fees, Funding and Financial Support page has details on financial support, fee remissions and loans. Please note that some courses may have additional registration, examination and/or materials fees. Where we have been unable to provide these additional costs in this information, they will be discussed with you before enrolment.

Funded programmes

Where course fees are fully funded (for example Maths, English and Essential Digital Skills), the course is free of charge to students, subject to eligibility.

Skills Bootcamps

Skills Bootcamps are fully funded and free of charge to learners. Employers who want to use Skills Bootcamps to train their existing employees contribute to the cost of training. See the Fees and Additional Costs for more information.