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HND in Graphic Design (Visual Communications)

Course Code: AGH

Duration: 2 Years


Graphic Design is broad and fascinating subject area. This highly-regarded course enables students to develop exceptional technical and visual language skills, while developing the ability to respond to a wide-range of challenging graphic design projects. Our award-winning students produce industry-ready portfolios, and upon graduation enter paid-employment in the graphic design sector or continue their studies to degree level with advanced entry.

Students will be actively encouraged to engage in a range of methods, both digital and non-digital, in response to varied and exciting briefs, and will explore the entire spectrum of graphic design practice. This will include typography, magazine design, illustration, ideas generation, corporate identity and branding, developing personal style, art direction, packaging design, motion and interactive graphic design, and graphic design history and theory.

Working to tailored in-house and live competition briefs is a key component of the course and enables students to gain valuable feedback from tutors and industry sources alike.

Ongoing talks and workshops by visiting guest lecturers enrich and inform the students’ own practice and build important and beneficial links to the world of professional graphic design.


Year 1

  • Typography
  • Graphic Design Practices
  • Techniques and Practices
  • Professional Development
  • Screen Based Practices
  • Packaging Design
  • Contextual Studies
  • Individual Project

Year 2

  • Advanced Graphic Design Studies
  • Advanced Digital Design Studies
  • Branding and Identity
  • Professional Practice
  • Applied Practice
  • Group Project
  • Web Design



View past students’ work.


Leaving Certificate/LCVP with a minimum H5 in Art and one other H5/O1 and three O6/H7 grades or equivalent or QQI level 5 award with a merit profile or BTEC National Diploma with a merit profile. The academic entry requirements may be waived for mature applicants (21+). Suitable Level 5 courses include:


HND in Visual Communications (Graphic Design)

This award is made by the UK awarding body BTEC Pearson and is not, at present, placed on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) A Higher National Diploma is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6.

QQI Comparability Statement


Please bring to the interview a professionally presented portfolio of selected recent works including:

  • Drawing showing strong use of line, tone, texture and composition. Work should be from life/observation and in a wide range of media showing a variety of subject matter.
  • Colour Work showing use of colour and tone. Work can range from painting, collage, printmaking, photography and textiles to mixed media.
  • Work of Personal Interest
  • Sketchbooks – showing development and progression of ideas and rough work demonstrating work practice and thought processes.
  • Work should be creative and conceptual.


Students complete this course with an individual and dynamic portfolio of graphic and illustrative work. Some graduates of the course go straight into industry while many more go on to further education with advanced entry to degree level in both Ireland and the UK.