Higher National Certificate Home Study

Attain advanced entry to the second year of a degree with a fully accredited Higher National Certificate or acquire the basic skills for entry-level positions in the graphic design industry.

Start Date

Can be started at any time


£2,095 (Easy-pay plan available)


Approximately 9-18 months

Work Placement

Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement with a graphic design company. All placements are made in the greater London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh areas.

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Study Option
Home Study
Course Level
Level 4 on the RQF
Entry Requirements
18 years old or over
Note: If English is not your first language, we recommend you have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
You will be graded on 4 summative assessments in this course. At key points in your learning journey, you will receive formative feedback for assignments you complete. Each assignment is designed to track your comprehension of essential content and the development of your graphic design practice.
The British Academy of Graphic Design has partnered with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC courses to our students. These courses are a recognised route to university, leading to the final year of a degree course or progression on to other professional qualifications.

Completing this course will enable you to develop a wide range of graphic design knowledge linked to practical skills gained through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. You will be involved in vocational learning, designed around assignment briefs at will help you to develop transferable skills such as communication, collaboration, research and analysis, which are highly valued in higher education and in the workplace.

As a home study student, you will have full access to our student area, the Online Learning Centre, which contains course material created by industry experts including instructional videos, written content, learning activities and assessments.

Our tutors provide all the support, knowledge and in-depth feedback you need to progress through your course and are always contactable through the Online Learning Centre.

A student studying 15 hours per week can complete the course in 18 months. A student studying 30 hours per week can complete the course in 9 months.

*Completion times is calculated based on the required 1200 hours of study. Students have up to three years to complete the course.

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The Higher National Certificate consists of one module, “Process & Practice.” You will complete two units within this module, "Concept and Development" (85 credits) and the "Creative Project" (35 credits). Each unit is designed to teach essential content while enabling you to develop your graphic design practice.

    • Essential Content

    Your learning journey will cover the social, technological, economic, political and geographic factors influencing the development of graphic design. It will also cover historical developments, the disciplines that inform the practice today, and cultural theories and principles for interpreting the subject.

    You will learn how to analyse a brief, conduct research, generate ideas and solve creative problems through testing, critique and reflection. As graphic design is all about communication, you will learn how to best communicate a range of information to a variety of audiences and be able to select the most appropriate communication methods.

    You will develop knowledge and skill in core graphic design subjects such as; typography, editorial, layout, book arts and mass publishing, information visualisation, image creation, manipulation and illustration, photography, print, packaging, the management of projects and quality assurance.

    In preparing you for a future career in the graphic design industry you will also be given the opportunity to understand the variety of roles, relationships and collaborations that are required of a graphic designer, including how to shape your own professional development, health, safety and wellbeing.

    • Course Specification


Our tutor community includes hundreds of talented professionals with both local and international credentials. Here is a sample to illustrate the depth of creative experience that Academy students benefit from:

The British Academy of Graphic Design

The British Academy of Graphic Design is part of a network of creative design education brands that offers courses in Interior Design, Garden Design, Fashion Design, Photography and Digital Marketing. Our philosophy is to make high-quality education accessible to all by empowering people to do what they love. Through the power of online and blended learning, our students are able to harness their creativity and practically apply it to succeed in their chosen careers.

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Choosing the right course

We offer a range of graphic design courses to suit your goals.

Why not contact our experienced staff for advice, or browse to our other courses.

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