HND Graphic Design (Visual Communications)

Award: BTEC HND Graphic Design (Visual Communications) Level 6+

Duration: Two Years

Why study for a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design?

The BTEC HND course in Graphic Design (visual communications) is based in our Raheny Campus, which has easy access by train or bus. Our facilities include a full Apple Mac Graphic Studio, library, art rooms. Students have access to colour laser copier printer and photocopier up to A3 and a full size inkjet plotter printer that prints double A1 size.  We also have a great student canteen.

Students who complete the BTEC HND progress to Visual Communications Degree level courses in all the major Art & Design Colleges, entering at year two or year three.  The course is also aimed at students who want after successfully completing their BTEC HND to go directly into employment in the design Industry.  Our students have worked in a variety of graphic design jobs to date in areas such as Branding, Design Agencies, Advertising, Publishing, Animation, User Interface  Design, Web Design, Illustration, Packaging Design.

What will I study?

We like new ideas, new ways of doing things, new ways of exploring. 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.

You will develop visual communication skills with an emphasis on creative problem solving for design. We use the latest graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Online software such as, LinkedIn is also used.

A team of experienced Art & Design tutors will work with you, who will help you to refine your ideas. The areas that you will cover are Visual Communications, Design Principles, Graphic Design Practices, Professional Development, Typography, Design History, Digital Animation, Packaging, UI Design, web Design

Students have a busy schedule all year with regular trips to Galleries, Museums, design conferences. Regular lectures and workshops are also run by visiting lectures in areas such as typography, printmaking, book binding, professional development.

We continually encourage students to enter design competitions. In Year two the course concludes with a negotiated major project and group exhibition in a professional gallery space.


Course Content

Year One – 8 units

Graphic Design Practices, Techniques & Practices, Typography, Screen-based Practices, Contextual Studies, Visual Narratives, Individual Project , Professional Development

Year Two – 6 units

Advanced Graphic Design Studies, Branding & Identity, Web Design, Digital Animation, Applied Practice Collaborative Project, Professional Practice


Entry Requirements

We recognise the unique individuality of our students. We think this is particularly important for a Visual Communications HND course where creative thinking is at the core of contemporary design thinking.  In your online application and in your portfolio, we look for evidence that you will benefit from this course.  We accept students with the following qualifications:

  • Students who have successfully achieved a QQI Level 5 after studying one of the following courses: Graphic Design, Illustration, Art & Design Portfolio, Design, Architecture, Interior Design, Photography, Media, Animation, Digital Media.  You need a minimum of four merits, complete an interview with a portfolio of recent work.
  • Mature Students with relevant Art/Design work experience.
  • Postgraduate Students who wish to develop a portfolio to pursue a design career.

What type of work should I include in my portfolio when I attend for interview?

Include a range of work demonstrating your particular areas of interest especially the work that you have just completed if progressing from a QQI Level 5 or 6 Course. Don’t be over selective, we will assess your potential and take into account what you have achieved so far.  A large part of the Graphic Design Course involves visual presentation so, neatly present your work to your best possible advantage.


Course Charges

Year One: €848*

Year Two: €693*

*Includes €200 Goverment Charge