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HNC Art & Design : Graphic Design

Subject Area

Graphics, Games Design & Media

Student Type

Students aged 16-18 | Adults

Study Mode

Full Time

Course Type

Higher Education

What is the course about?

The HNC in Graphic Design will enable students to develop their creative ability and technical graphic skills in order to become a visual problem solver.

The course prepares students for progression onto the HND in Graphic Design and entering the creative industries.

The programme offers students a broad overview of graphic design practice, including idea generating techniques, typography, packaging design, advertising, editorial design, contextual studies and the use of industry standard computer software (Adobe Creative Suite).

The programme can be studied full time in 1 year (attending 2 days per week) or part time over 2 years (attending 1 day per week).

Why should I choose the course?

This course is delivered by highly specialised staff who have a wealth of industrial and teaching experience. The projects you will undertake will prepare you with the skills and knowledge required to progress into industry. There will be a wealth of opportunity to develop your creative practice within a supportive learning environment. The course is delivered via a combination of practical workshops, lectures, one-to-one tutorials and field trips to galleries and museums.

What will I learn?

The HNC Graphics Design Level 4 will consist of Four Core Mandatory Units:

  • Unit 1 Professional Development
  • Unit 2 Contextual Studies
  • Unit 3 Individual Project
  • Unit 4 Techniques and Processes

Two Specialist Mandatory Units:

  • Unit 13 Typography
  • Unit 14 Graphic Design Practices

Two Optional Units:

  • Unit 31 Visual Narrative
  • Unit 22 Printmaking

Please note that modules listed are indicative and may be subject to change. We do not guarantee that a non-mandatory unit will always run in any given academic year as options may be dependent on student numbers, sector requirements and staff expertise.

As part of the course, you will be assessed through a variety of assessment tasks. These include projects, portfolios, presentations, case studies, reports and research.

The assessments are intended to provide maximum opportunities for you to demonstrate the links between theoretical knowledge and understanding and practice. The assessment process will be facilitated via consideration of work-based practical scenarios in addition to reference to your own work-related practical experience, where appropriate.

What will the course lead on to?

Successful completion of the HNC allows progression on to the HND. Following completion of the HND you can either progress on to university to complete a top-up to a BA hons degree, become a freelance designer or gain employment within the creative industries

Are there any links with industry and university?

Visiting artists and guest lecturers will deliver talks and technical demonstrations throughout the course. Working processes and techniques are in line with industry and this will be articulated throughout the programme. There will be opportunities to work on live briefs for local and national clients, allowing you to gain feedback to further improve your professional practice.

All learners will have the opportunity to exhibit their work both internally and externally from the college in order to create links with industry professionals.

What support is available?

All HE students receive termly 1:1 tutorials with their Programme Leader to support them with their progress on programme. Students also have access to an online tutorial programme which provides guidance on a wide range of topics such as mental health, managing finances, support for single parents and working online. In addition, students can access a programme of workshops throughout the year to support with topics such as study skills, academic writing and time management.

We have a team of staff dedicated to providing learning support if it is required and a welfare team that are on hand to offer guidance, support and help, when needed. All HE students have access to a designated Progress Coach who can also provide welfare support.

For further information on HE student support please visit

Additionally, eligible students can access a wide range of finance and funding support to help them during their time at college. The college offers a HE Hardship Fund that learners can apply to access.

For further information on HE funding support please visit

Why should I choose to study the course at Warrington & Vale Royal College?

The college offers a very high-quality education for HE students. HE student feedback is strong and students are highly complementary of their learning experience. HE students have access to specialist facilities and resources to support their programme of study as well as designated HE learning spaces to support independent study.

In 2020/21, 98% of HE students at Warrington & Vale Royal College successfully passed their programme of study.

In 2020/21, 98% of HE students said that they would recommend the college to a friend and 98% of HE students agreed that the quality of education was good.

What are the entry requirements?

You will typically have one of the following:

  • A BTEC level 3 or other level 3 qualification in a related subject, minimum MPP or MM
  • T Level with overall grade Pass
  • A minimum of two A-Levels (A2) with one in a related subject at grade C or above
  • Access to HE with relevant options
  • Appropriate relevant work experience – mature students who have appropriate work experience in a related sector or role and/or have professional qualifications in a related industry are welcome to apply.


  • A* to C grade and/or 9 to 4 in GCSE English (language or literature)
  • A* to C grade and/or 9 to 4 in GCSE maths is also recommended.

Non-native English speakers who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English need to demonstrate capability in English at a standard equivalent to the levels identified below. This is necessary before being recruited to the programme, as the programme is both taught and assessed in English:

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • IELTS 5.5; reading and writing must be 5.5.

All HNC/HND programmes require the completion of a personal statement prior to an admissions interview being offered. You will also be required to provide a reference from one of the following options:

  • A previous course leader/teacher (if progressing from a recently attended further or higher education course)
  • A recent or current employer
  • An appropriate professional who can provide a character reference (if you have not been in recent education or employment).

For the HNC in Graphic Design, a portfolio of recent artwork/design work is required for presentation at interview.

What are my funding options?

Students applying to study on a Higher Education course can apply for a HE student loan at

For further Finance support and enquiries please visit

Are there any additional costs associated with the course?

You will be required to purchase sketchbooks/layout pads for the duration of the course. You will also be advised to put together a collection of your own personal stationary such as fine liners & pencils. A list of desirable equipment and materials plus where to purchase these from, will be provided during induction.

In addition to materials, we run a range of local trips to local museums and galleries e.g. University of Chester, Tate Liverpool, and Manchester City Art Gallery. There is usually a cost of approximately £10 per local trip.

The college provides all students with an initial £3 print credit, for printing from our standard printers. Any further printing will incur a cost. Additionally, you may be required to print high quality imagery of your final designs for submission and presentation purposes, this will approx cost between £40-£50 per academic year.

Careers Information

Course options


33 Weeks
Class Times
09:00 - 16:15
Warrington Campus
Tue, Wed
Adult Fee
16-18 Fee
Fees Information
This course is eligible for a Higher Education Loan.

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