Graphic Design Level 5

Certificate in Graphic Design QQI Level 5 (Award 5M1995)

Course Description

Our foundation course in graphic design is one year, and our students will learn a wide range of visual communication skills with an emphasis on creative problem solving for graphic design. The course has been designed to offer students an opportunity to develop core skills required for continued study in the areas of graphic design, visual communications, digital media, photography, and illustration. We use the latest graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects.

We continually encourage our students to experiment and take risks with their design projects. Our working environment creates a positive design culture that encourages creative thinking and innovation. A team of experienced art & design tutors are there to help students refine their ideas and learn how to present work to a professional level. Students will finish year one with a creative portfolio that showcase a broad spectrum of graphic design skills.

Course Content

  • Graphic Design
  • Design Skills
  • Drawing
  • Typography
  • Computer Illustrated Graphics
  • Digital Photography
  • Appreciation of Art
  • Work Experience
  • Communications

*Course content is subject to change

Students will engage in professional workshops in areas of Printmaking, bookbinding, illustration techniques and other area so students can explore and experiment with different skills.

Museum visits, exhibitions, and class excursions play an integral part of the course experience.

Professional Software

Graphic design students work in a design studio which is equipped with Mac computers and have access to industry standard software. Colour printing and course materials are provided.

Adobe suite is included in course fees and students will learn to be proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and receive an introduction to motion graphics software.

Studio Virtual Tour

Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate, Leaving Cert Applied, Mature students are welcome to apply.

Applicants will be required to meet with the course team, to learn more about the course and to present a small sample of creative work – for example: drawings, sculpture, collage, 3D work, technical drawing, poster design, photography etc. – to ensure this course is a good fit.

You will be notified in advance with a date and time to meet with the course team. This meeting will be held on our Raheny Campus.


Graphic Design QQI level 5 – Award Graphic design 5M1995

Progression Routes

Students who complete the full level 5 award will automatically gain entry to our level 6 Graphic design & Illustration course. Student can also apply to other QQI level 6 or Higher National Diplomas courses such as animation, fine art, photography, media and film.

Students can apply through CAO and submit a digital portfolio* to any of our national art colleges and Universities to gain entry to year 1 of level 7 & 8 degree programmes.

National Collage of Art & Design, TU Dublin, IADT, LSAD and ITs (Institutes of Technology) Sligo IT, Crawford College of Art + Design, LSAD (Limerick School of Art + Design), TUS (Technological University of the Shannon), and IT Carlow; University in the UK and mainland Europe.

*All institutions have their own entry requirements and criteria may each year. It is important to review the most recent admissions information provided at each individual institution. Portfolio submission dates vary each year but are usually in early February.

Work Placement

We encourage students to complete work experience within a design company or as part of a real live project where they can gain experience working on a project from inception to completion.

Each year some of our students have joined the Erasmus programme to complete a three-week work placement in a European city. The students are selected via an interview process and accompanied by a tutor for the first week of work placement. This is an exciting opportunity for our design students and the programme is fully funded.

Career Opportunities

Graphic design, UI/UX, marketing and publishing studios, freelance design and illustration work, web design and development companies, branding, and advertising agencies, print companies and large multinationals in Ireland and abroad. Illustration, book design, motion graphics, film, and media.


1 year Full time course

Course Charges

Year 1: €50

Applicants in receipt of a Social Welfare payment will keep their payment whilst studying on the course under the Back to Education Allowance scheme.

Social Media

Follow our Instagram page: artanddesignatcd


Hi there, I’m Corrine. I am a recent graduate of QQI level 6 in Graphic Design from Coláiste Dhúlaigh. This place is not only a community but a family that welcomes everyone without judgement. From students to staff, you will find help, friendship, and guidance throughout your time here. You will find and make forever friends. During my time here I evolved from bewildered computer Adobe suite novice to the person everyone comes to I owe all these new skills to the Design Department staff. These people work tirelessly for their students because they genuinely care about each person’s future.” Each tutor has played a role in my development as a person. They were encouraging throughout my time here. With this encouragement, I am now doing a masters at TU Dublin in Graphic Design. I know without this college I would not have had the courage to reach this goal. Coláiste Dhúlaigh Help me find my passion, and I hope it helps you find yours. – Corrine Richards-Scully