“In the latest 2013 Unistats poll, the award winning BA Graphics course at CSAD has a whopping 97% approval rating from its students!”
UCAS Code: W210
Subject Leader: Olwen Moseley
Minimum Tariff: 300 UCAS tariff points from at least two A-levels (or equivalent), plus portfolio
Admissions Tutor: Ray Nicklin
Meet the Team
Read Olwen’s full staff profile…
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About the course
At Cardiff we believe that Graphic Communication can be described as ‘what human beings leave behind to communicate when they are no longer there in person‘ or ‘Words, Images and sometimes sounds used to communicate meaning to a specific audience in order to elicit a pre-determined response, to inform, persuade, provoke or entertain‘.
We know that technical skills are only part of the picture; an emphasis on strong ideas is what makes our course award-winning. Our students have the support of industry mentors and an enviable network of employers and past graduates leading the field in companies locally and internationally.
It’s a broad course that leaves room for each student to be challenged by new ways of thinking and also to tailor their particular route by the choices they make.
• Supportive studio culture
• Broad and varied curriculum
• Opportunities for cross-discipline work
• Workshops and facilities
• Competitions and live briefs
• Working with industry mentors
• Visiting speakers
• Home of Cardiff Design Festival
• International study and exchange programme
• Work experience
• Network of graduates and employers
• Excellent employment rates
• D&AD membership
• Postgraduate opportunities
The first year (Level 4) of the Graphic Communication programme contains three modules:
• Graphic Communication – an in-depth introduction
• Field – an opportunity to work alongside others from different disciplines
• Constellation – looking at the bigger picture, lectures and study skills seminars
in the Beginning
On the ‘In the Beginning’ website you can read interviews with Graphic Communication students, talking about their experiences in their first year of Undergraduate study here at CSAD.
In the 1st year we concentrate on Graphic (or visual) language, built from words and images, the synthesis of which creates meaning. A series of creative workshops and briefs will issue challenges, problems and experiments which will encourage you to explore visual language through an introduction to:
• typography and image making,
• formats and media,
• print and digital,
• storytelling and narrative,
• audiences, meanings and messages,
• creative thinking methodologies, processes and idea generation.
You will explore the role of words, images, schema as visual vocabulary; ultimately applying what you’ve learned to a creative outcome.
This is the first opportunity you will have in which to experience something of the unique experience, ethos and ambition of the CSAD Undergraduate Scheme. Whereas the ‘Subject’ module focuses on your specific discipline and providing you with the confidence to work within that discipline, this module is designed to further create and generate in you a sense of yourself as being part of a wider creative field of approaches to ideas, problems and concerns extends across all of the Subject disciplines.
You will be asked to make the ordinary extraordinary, to persuade people to think differently
Accordingly, you will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with other students from across Subject disciplines. The module does this by presenting every student in Level 4 with an identical set of concerns in the form of a common project. You will be assigned to a small collaborative group whose members reflect on their response to the brief. The members of the group will be drawn from across the subject range of the school, this response will lead to a range of outcomes.
Being a ‘World explorer’ students work from their subject to answer a brief which asks them to make the ordinary extraordinary, to persuade people to think differently about or to see an every day site in a different way, using words, images, maps and other schema in any format. They work with a multidisciplinary group, looking at the similarities and differences in ideas and practices.
Constellation (star gazing)
Making sense, through a series of seminars and lectures, of the bigger picture and how everything is inter-related. This module introduces you to a series of diverse historical and theoretical concepts and debates and also to a range of academic tools that will enable you to engage discursively with one another and the wider academic community.
You will be introduced to academic skills and research through forms of interdisciplinary working
Constellation will begin with a series of Keynote lectures from the whole of the Constellation Team, to which the entire student year cohort will attend. The purpose of this is to introduce you to the staff and their areas of interest and expertise, and to introduce students to academic skills and academic research through forms of interdisciplinary working. Concepts introduced will include, modernism, post-modernism, identity, globalisation, post colonialism, technology and embodiment.
You will work closely with a Constellation member in a Seminar group. Within the Seminar Options, you will be introduced to a diverse range of theories which you will be encouraged to consider in relation to your Subject. Academic skills, including critical thinking will be embedded within the Seminar Options.
Working within the Seminar group and with a Constellation member you will produce a reflective journal of your learning, a PDP, and a written assignment based on knowledge of academic skills and appreciation of theory, which you will also present. You will be required to use the PDP as a means by which to chart your progression and knowledge gained through attendance, reflecting on your learning and progression in the Seminar groups and the way in which your knowledge impacts on your Subject.
The 2nd year brings opportunities to work on briefs with real clients and consider target audiences, to address the question of ‘who is the designer’ in society. The relationship between designers, clients and the audience is examined and an understanding gained of the role of the ‘brief’. We look at branding and campaigns using a broad range of media and formats.
Extending the multi disciplinary ethos, there’s a choice of projects from an extensive list, working alongside students from other disciplines on a brief which could involve work experience, travel abroad, experimental investigations or sustainable design.
In year 2 after further seminar options you will begin dissertation preparation.
In the final year the Graphic Communication studios become a hub of ‘real-world’ activity as students are expected to replicate a professional environment for meeting clients, mentors and specialist tutors. They begin by responding to a real world challenge, set by a client, where self-confidence, cultural and market awareness, relationships and project management become crucial factors in the success of the design. The relationship with professional designers is maintained throughout as students engage in individually negotiated briefs and competitions that amplify their aspirations and interests. The development of the portfolio is continuous, exemplifying their individuality and enabling them to make decisions about their exit strategy, where they want to work, or plan to go on to postgraduate study.
Professional practice and final exhibition preparation. Each student produces a body of individual work or portfolio and prepares to exhibit as a group, which includes thinking about promotion and curation.
The work in Constellation leads to the completion of a dissertation in year 3.
/ More about CSAD
The School is based on two campuses, Llandaff and Howard Gardens. In Autumn 2014 our new School building on the Llandaff campus will be completed, and all School of Art & Design programmes will be based in the new building from this date. For more information on the new building, visit this page.
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Undergraduate Open Days
Saturday 15th March 2014
Visit the Open Day web page for more information.
Undergraduate Interview Days
21st March 2014
Visit the undergraduate Interview Day web page for more information.
For full contact details including addresses, maps, phone and fax numbers, visit the contact page here.
Download a prospectus
Click here to visit our Prospectus page with links to pdf prospectuses for the range of subjects covered at CSAD, along with links to the websites for each subject.
Full details of current tuition fees at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level can be found on the Cardiff Metropolitan University tuition fees web pages.