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Graphic Design BTEC HND (with BA Hons degree pathway option) (full-time)

  • HE

This full-time qualification is designed to equip you with the knowledge, flexibility and skills required for a successful career within an 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, editorial design, typography, digital design, and animation.

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 and 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

Agency experience

In December 2017 all of our HND Graphic students presented to World of initials (a London creative agency) their proposals for a UK launch of a major US brand. As a result of this work, six of our students were selected by WOI to undertake paid work experience during March/April 2018. Our students are now attending WOI's offices and working on a range of client projects.

Agency students

Bridge logo

From 11 January – 2 February 2018, Bedford College’s award-winning Graphic Design HND students traded as Bridge, inviting local businesses and individuals to employ them for the design of logos, adverts, leaflets and any other small print items. These live fee income assignments were completed to generate income for our London exhibitions and to provide our learners with valuable commercial experience. The projects were:

  1. BEDFORD FLEA – new identity for a Bedford Flea market which is due to start May 2018.
  2. Attimi Di Tempo – wine label for Italian wine producer to be sold in 5th Avenue NYC. The title translates as a moment in time.
  3. Frances Tosdevin – series of illustrations for the website of a children's book author.
  4. Brooks Hair & Beauty Show – poster for an event at Bedford Corn Exchange.

Bridge 2018 work

Brooks Hair & Beauty Show

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

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 32-48 UCAS points with some art, design and media element OR
  • Art & Design BTEC Level 3 Diploma OR
  • Art & Design Foundation Diploma (Pre-Degree) OR
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualification

Entry is subject to a successful interview, where you will be asked to bring along a portfolio of your existing work. Applicants from A-Level courses displaying high levels of creativity will also be considered. We welcome applications from mature students who will considered individually on experience rather than qualifications.

You will be suited to this course if you can evidence 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

To achieve HND status you will have studied the following modules
(Year 1 HNC study modules are marked HNC):

  • Professional Development (HNC)
  • Individual Project (HNC)
  • Contextual Studies (HNC)
  • Techniques and Processes (HNC)
  • Typography (HNC)
  • Graphic Design Practices (HNC)
  • Professional Practice
  • Applied Practice Collaborative Project
  • Advanced Graphic Design Studies
  • Communication in Art & Design (HNC)
  • Surface Design (HNC)
  • Branding & Identity
  • Conceptual Practice
  • Art Direction

You will also be introduced to web design and motion graphics in the second year.

Assessment methods

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

Further study and career options

On successful completion of the HND you can move directly into employment within the design or advertising industry, or alternatively top-up the qualification to a full Bachelor’s degree at Bedford College or elsewhere.

Upon successful completion graduates are employed as graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, web and digital designers throughout the UK with some entering Europe and the USA. Alternatively, you could continue your studies with a Master of Arts (MA) qualification at University.

Additional information
Earlier this year, Bedford based brewer Charles Wells challenged students to come up with branding design ideas for its new multi-million investment brewhouse and visitor destination, due to open to the public in early 2020. 20 students will soon have the opportunity to pitch their individual creative design ideas. Read more.

Additional costs

  • Basic art & design equipment such as layout pads, pens, scalpel, ruler, and external hard drive as per materials list.
  • Resource fee of £150 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 item's approx. £100, and occasional visits by train to London.

To enrol on this course you must apply through the University & Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) using the institution code B23 and the course code 012W. Visit or call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 7 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Please note: You will be required to attend college 12 hours per week (Days to be confirmed).

Course Information & How to Apply

You will need to complete a UCAS online application form to apply for this course, available at The codes needed are located in the 'Additional information' section above. Please call the College on 01234 291000 if you have any queries about your application.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 27/09/2021 £5895 Cauldwell Street BBL132

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

Shuttleworth College Enquiry Form


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.