What Qualifications do You Need to Be a Graphic Designer in UK?

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic Design is the process of creating visual content to communicate information/ messages to the masses. Considered to be a sub-set of Communication Design, Graphic Design is used to create visual content using elements such as photographs, colours, typography, illustrations, and icons.

Considered to be an art form first used around 17,000 years ago to create cave paintings, Graphic Design is now used for creating logos, design used in books, newspapers and magazines, advertising, product packaging, signage, and the likes. Graphic Designers often have enough freedom to create their content without restrictions related to programming, resolution, or speed.

Design colleges in UK

Design colleges in UK are a fast-growing sector to the UK economy that encompasses diverse careers such as fashion, film, advertising, etc. The design colleges in UK are the second most favored study abroad destination among international students to pursue design & art courses after the USA.

The UK has some of the best design colleges attracting several international students each year for their top-quality education.

As per UK prospects, the design industries in the UK contributed 101.5 billion GBP value to the economy in 2020.

A slow yet continuous 2% increase in the salary of the design employees is seen in the future years.

Design degrees at top universities in UK are among the top five programs that received the most number of university applications in 2019. There were around 215,330 applications for creative arts and design programs at UK colleges. This has resulted in an increase in student enrollment for design courses. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency UK, there were a total of 181,830 students enrolled at design colleges in UK. Among these 22,305 were non-EEA students.

The degrees offered at design colleges are as follows:

Undergraduate: BA in Graphic Design (Hons), BSc (Hons) Industrial Design, BA in Arts and Design, BA in Product Design (Hons), BA in Fashion Design (Hons).

Graduate: MA in Design, Master in Graphic Design and Art, Graduate Diploma in Architecture Design, Master of Design Administration, etc.

Doctoral/Ph.D.:  Ph.D. in Arts and Design, Ph.D. in Design.

Design Colleges in UK offering Bachelors Degree

A bachelor’s degree from design colleges in the UK is 3-4 years of duration providing the ability to make the most of your talents and creative vision.

Broadly speaking, there are the below-mentioned types of Graphic Design:

  • Visual identity graphic design
  • User interface graphic design
  • Motion graphic design
  • Publication graphic design
  • Packaging graphic design
  • Marketing & advertising graphic design
  • Environmental graphic design
  • Art and illustration

Candidates who want to make a career in Graphic Design can pursue a course in this design specialisation at the undergraduate or the postgraduate level. Some of the top colleges that offer Graphic Design courses to aspirants include the National Institute of Design (NID), Pearl Academy, etc.

On completion of a Graphic Design course, one can secure a job as a Graphic Designer, Picture Editor, Design Manager, Teacher/ Lecturer, etc.

  • Popular Design Specialisations
  • Interior Design Apparel Design
  • Jewelry Design Product Design
  • Graphic Design Entrance Exams

In order to get shortlisted for admission in graphic design courses offered at popular colleges in India, aspirants need to appear for an entrance exam. Some of the popular entrance exams conducted to select aspirants for admission in graphic design courses are listed below:

  • NID Entrance Exam
  • Pearl Academy Entrance Exam
  • TDV Entrance Exam

Graphic Design Eligibility Criteria

Aspirants who have cleared their 10+2 from any stream (Science/ Commerce/ Arts) can pursue a Graphic Design course at the graduation level. However, most popular colleges allow candidates to take part in their admission process only if they have completed their schooling from a recognised board.

On the other hand, to pursue a Graphic Design course at the PG level, aspirants should possess a bachelor’s degree in design.

Eligibility for Bachelors in Design in UK

The basic eligibility criteria for pursuing a bachelors degree in design from UK universities are as follows:-

  • 78-88% in XII standard examination
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL (iBT) – 92
  • PTE – 62

Required Skillset for Graphic Design

In order to become a graphic designer, aspirants need to possess the below-mentioned skillset:


  • Creativity
  • Knowledge of Software
  • Knowledge of Programming Languages
  • Time Management
  • Visualisation
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Ability to Work in a Team
  • Ability to work with detail
  • Skill in visual design
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work long hour
  • Ability to Work in Strict Deadlines
  • Knowledge of Typography
  • Knowledge of Colour theory

Syllabus for Graphic Design

Graphic Design course curriculum varies from college to college as well as course to course. Candidates aspiring to pursue a Graphic Design course are informed that they would be studying some or all of the below-mentioned topics in their course.

  • Introduction to Graphic Designing
  • Shaping, Design & Illustration
  • Typography
  • Graphic Designing Softwares & Tools
  • Image Layout & Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Corel Draw
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • HTML/ Javascript
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Audition
  • Computer Fundamentals
  • Art & Visual Perception
  • Vector Graphics for Designers


Graphic Design Job Profiles & Top Recruiters

After pursuing a graphic design course aspirants are mostly hired by any of the below-mentioned firms:


  • Print & publishing houses (like newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • Advertising agencies
  • Graphic design studios
  • TV & Multimedia production houses
  • Website development studios
  • E-learning companies
  • Web Design Studios

Popular job profiles in which aspirants are hired after pursuing a graphics design course are as follows:

  • Flash Animator
  • Layout Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Developer
  • SEO Consultant
  • Content Management System specialist

To summarize, design colleges in the UK are at the forefront with many departments conducting endless opportunities. Increasing demand for skilled professionals in the arts & design domain has resulted in a rise of students pursuing these programs. The UK is one of the best destinations with a number of options for international students.

Thus, studying in the UK for a design course proves to be the best of both worlds for international students – a fun-filled with a top-quality education.

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