Visual Communication (Graphic Design) SCQF Level 8

An in-depth practical course covering a wide range of graphic design and Illustration disciplines.


Why take this course?

This qualification is ideal for those who wish to progress to a university degree course in graphic design, illustration, new media, digital design or visual information, or those who want to pursue employment in the visual communications industry.

The course will prepare candidates for roles that require creativity, creative thinking, critical analysis, and planning and reflection skills. The qualification demands a high level of self-management and responsibility.

What you will experience

You will learn about digital imaging, typography, 2D computer animation and experimental illustration in relation to graphic design. You will also focus on key topics such as sustainable design and social media. The course involves various creative and client initiated projects, allowing for the development of important skills in preparation for further study or employment.

student standing in front of graphic design work

Key facts

Entry requirements

Typically applicants should have at least two course passes at Higher level preferably including English, Art, Graphic Communication or Product Design; or a qualification at SCQF Level 6 in a related subject area, e.g. Computer Arts & Animation or NPA in Digital Media; or have relevant work experience.

A Foundation Apprenticeship in any subject area will be considered equivalent as one unrelated Higher for entry to this course. A Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media will be considered equivalent to a subject related Higher. The additional Higher required for entry does not require to be subject related.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please view the specific English language requirements for this course.

What you will need

You must supply your own portfolio case for storing/carrying your work. You must also provide your own A3 workbooks and backup storage device.

What you need to know

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

At University

Students successfully completing this course may progress towards a number of related degree programmes at one of our associate universities.


Career opportunities include work in a range of industries, from oil and gas to work in e-learning and design consultancies. Common roles include:

  • Assistant Graphic Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Content Creator
  • Graphic Designer

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


This course is currently unavailable. Please contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.