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Graphic Design BTEC HNC (part-time) (leading to HND pathway option)

This part-time creative qualification is designed to equip you with the knowledge, flexibility and skills required for a successful career within this exciting and ever-widening industry.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio, covering branding, corporate identity, design for print, advertising, illustration, typography and digital design.

You will regularly engage with leading UK design professionals through ‘live projects’ and talks, and benefit from our impressive track record for both gaining employment and winning national competitions. The course is an active member of British Design & Art Direction (D&AD), and has forged strong industrial links with both local and national designers. At the end of the year you will exhibit your work both in Bedford and at a major London venue as part of D&AD’s New Blood exhibition. Work experience opportunities will also be made available to you in the latter stages of the course. A list of visiting contacts and speakers is available on request.

Award-winning students

Alberto Speziali, a first year HND Graphic Design student has won a YCN Award for his entry to an
international competition set by the Fedrigoni paper company. The brief to 'design a highly coveted Christmas gift using paper from the Constellation range', was answered with a unique 'Lyra Music Box' (inspired by the Lyra star constellation) containing 38 hole punched strips printed on the Constellation range of papers which each play Christmas music linked to the paper range. Alberto will be invited to an awards night at the Barbican, London in September to receive his award and will see his work published in the YCN's Design Annual.

This is the eighth year running, students studying Graphic Design at Bedford College have won awards from the YCN competition which is entered by colleges and universities worldwide.

» View Alberto's work / Listen to Alberto's work

» View work by previous Bedford College YCN award winners

DanielleHear from former Graphic Design HND student Danielle Harrington

“I really enjoyed the two years I spent on the course. I learnt so much which has prepared me for working life within the design industry.”

» Read full article

Full-timeD&AD New Blood 2015D&AD New Blood 2016


“When I finished my Foundation Degree course I had the option to go to university but I specifically chose to stay at Bedford College and do a HND.  The main reason why I chose this route was because I had spoken to the teachers and students on the HND course and realised how good it was.  It was also a much cheaper option than university because I could live at home.”

“The course was designed to provide as much professional exposure and experience as possible, and that was why so many students went on to great success. We undertook live projects and each one focused on a different area of graphic design such as advertising, magazine layout, corporate identity and web design.  For each area we learnt how to use the latest industry software including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.”

“The teachers were brilliant.  They each had their individual talents and industry knowledge that helped to enhance what they taught us in the classroom.  For example our graphics teacher also worked as a designer at Bonfire design agency and he arranged for our class to have a portfolio assessment with one of his colleagues.  I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why I got my current job as a designer for an events company so quickly.”

“Overall, I had an amazing time at College – they taught me everything I needed to know for a successful career in design.”

Lauren - Graphic Design HND

Entry requirements

To start this course you will need a diploma in Art & Design Foundation Studies, or a National Diploma in an Art & Design subject, or 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 be suited to this course if you have the ability and/or potential to:

  • Work imaginatively in graphic and visual media
  • Generate and develop creative ideas in response to a wide range of briefs
  • Articulate and communicate your creative intentions clearly
  • Show willingness to collaborate and discuss your work in group situations
  • Reflect critically on your activities and learning, and demonstrate intellectual inquiry
  • Embrace new ways of thinking and exploit digital technologies.

Course content

During the course you will study the following modules:

  • Professional Development
  • Contextual Studies
  • Contextual and cultural referencing
  • Individual Project
  • Techniques and Processes
  • Typography
  • Graphic Design Practices
  • Communication in Art & Design
  • Surface Design

You will be taught how to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign in term 1.

Assessment methods

During the course you will work with a range of specialist lecturers (including practicing designers) in well-equipped studios and workshops. Project briefs will be set for each assignment and you will be encouraged to develop a personal response to each task. All activities will be are supported through one-to-one tutorials and group discussions to inform personal progress and aid assessment. Assessment will be continuous, with assignments graded at the end of each task.

Further study and career options

On successful completion of the HNC you can automatically progress on to further study with our HND or choose to enter employment.

Additional information

You will need to study six hours per week, Thu-Fri 9.15am-4.30pm. The days and times will depend upon the units you choose study.

Additional costs

  • Basic art & design equipment such as layout pads, pens, scalpel, ruler, and external hard drive as per materials list.
  • Resource fee of £75 to cover all in-studio colour laser printing, use of specialist studio materials, papers and adhesives, provision of studio journals, two key texts, visiting speakers’ travel expenses and for completing students a contribution towards exhibiting at a major London venue.
  • Developing a personal portfolio (completing students) and self-promotional items approx. £100, and occasional visits by train to London.

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)Fee per unitLocationCourse Code
2 years 27/09/2018 Thu, Fri 9.15 am - 4.30 pm £750 Cauldwell Street L1318 Apply

Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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