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Bachelor of Arts with Honours - BA Validated Programme in Graphic Design & Media

Study Graphic Design & Media at Marbella Design Academy in sunny Spain and be awarded a UK- Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design & Media by our UK partner – The University of Bedfordshire.

Course Description: Graphic design is one of the most far-reaching creative design disciplines. Graphic designers create visual representations of ideas and messages using type, symbols, layout and images.

More than ever, within this lively and competitive sector of the design industry, professional visual communicators require the skills to present design solutions in increasingly imaginative ways. Also, creative people make a valuable contribution to society as catalysts for positive social, political and cultural change.

Marbella Design Academy’s Graphic Design & Media BA (Hons) Validated Programme, offers you the chance to explore graphic design through a variety of traditional and especially digital media. This innovative validated programme provides you with all the skills you need to succeed in your future career as a professional graphic designer and visual communicator.

Additionally, you will benefit from culturally diverse experienced tutors who will provide you with an international and wide perspective on the profession and the industry.

Why should you study Graphic Design & Media at Marbella Design Academy?

Our curriculum is based around holistic project-based teaching that emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to design practice informed by research and analysis.

You will develop skills in design thinking, design software, advertising, photography, editorial design, printing, digital publishing, packaging, video, motion graphics, UI/UX and many subjects within the context of visual communication.

Being a graphic designer is a wonderful profession full of creativity and exciting assignments. As they say: “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”.

Validations and state recognitions

After graduation from Marbella Design Academy, you are awarded your official BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design & Media, validated and awarded by the University of Bedfordshire (UK).

When awarded your official BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design & Media, you can apply for a Master’s Degree at University of Bedfordshire or any other University of your choice.

General Information

Duration: 3 years, 6 hours daily (Monday to Friday) Language: English

Credits: 360CP in the UK = 180 ECTS points

Calendar: The programme starts twice a year, in January and September

Click here to Read More about our Graphic Design & Media programme

Fees: Please see/click here for our Fee page!

 I chose Marbella Design Academy because the school is multicultural and offers a world class education in a congenial environment. Definitely the weather and live style that comes with it is great too. I have just received some job offers waiting for me when I finish, so I look forward to my future.

Hafiz Rosli, 26, Gothenburg – Sweden. Graphic Design, final year (3rd).

Marbella Design Academy is one of the top design schools in the world. Students receive excellent training, and after three years of study, have all the skills needed to graduate as outstanding professional Graphic Designers.

The employment rate among our graduates is outstanding. Nearly all enjoy a successful career within their chosen field.

When you have satisfactory completed the Graphic Design & Media programme and graduated from Marbella Design Academy you are awarded an official Bachelor of Arts – BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design & Media by University of Bedfordshire.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts Validated programme in Graphic Design & Media are fully prepared to start their career as self-employed designers, or easily gain employment in companies worldwide. Our graduates have learned all of the practical skills and contextual understanding required within this specialised field. As a graduated Graphic Designer you are able to solve any creative application to all the latest demands given by the professional graphic design industry.

Students are given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a six weeks work placement in a real world environment during the 3rd year of study.

The employment rate among our graduates is outstanding and nearly all enjoy a successful career within their chosen field.

Marbella Design Academy is an exclusive design school with a family-like atmosphere among students and staff who originate from around the world.

Computer help for students: Should you have a problem with your computer, then we can strongly recommend using WEBCOMUNICA in Monda. JJ (the owner) is a genius when it comes to fixing computer problems. JJ can help students with their PC or MAC problems for a special Marbella Design Academy student price. You can call JJ any time on: +34 686515 371 or you can pass by his shop in Monda in Calle Hospital 6, 29110 Monda.

2nd hand MAC computers can be bought via this website:

Study Plan & Materials List

Graphic Design & Media validated programme

Total – days – hours and CORE credits during the 3 years of study (Holidays are not included in this calculation).

1st Year, 1200 hours incl: lectures, direct, independent study – 120 CORE CREDITS

2nd Year, 1200 hours incl: lectures, direct, independent study – 120 CORE CREDITS

3rd Year, 1200 hours incl: lectures, direct, independent study – 120 CORE CREDITS

In total for all 3 years of study: Approx. 3.600 hours incl. lectures, direct and independent study:

360 CORE CREDITS (UK) = 180 ECTS Points (60 ECTS points per academic year)



BA Validated Graphic Design Programme

120 Credits = 60 ECTS points. In total for all 3 years of study: 360 CORE CREDITS (UK) = 180 ECTS Points (60 ECTS points per academic year)



This module will introduce students to the fundamental principles and historical evolution of visual communications.

Students will be encouraged to experiment with the basic structural elements of graphic design such as point, line, plane, texture, colour and type, and to compose them based on principles such as scale, position, contrast, rhythm, balance, direction, movement, repetition and modularity.

Through observation, research and experimentation, students will learn to identify the formal, conceptual and historical features that have defined some of the most influential art and design movements.


This module will introduce students to the fundamental principles of expressive visual narratives. Through the use of design semiotics and suggestive devices such as metaphor, juxtaposition, hyperbole, foreshadowing, allegory, simile, sarcasm and irony, students will learn how to engage a specific audience through effective storytelling.

Students will be encouraged to apply the principles of targeted storytelling to the development of a variety of design applications such as brand visual communication and systems, publishing or entertainment.

Through observation, research, user testing and iteration, students will learn how to formulate powerful narratives that inform, persuade, educate and entertain.

In this module, students will further incorporate the use of industry-related digital applications to their skillset.


This module is made up of two projects. This projects also recognise, compare and apply the knowledge acquired during the term (visual communication design process that has been introduced in module GRA41, and use of design applications introduced in GRA42)

  • Visual language
  • Creating memorable and effective communication
  • Generating, testing and evaluating ideas
  • Cultural influences and trends
  • Conceptual thinking and problem solving
  • Questions around identity, values, class, race, geopolitics, globalisation, sustainability, technology, materials and creativity included in the respective units.

Additionally, this module will further immerse students into the practical management of multidisciplinary design projects. Students will get introduces to the soft skills such as communicative clarity, self-confidence, respect, empathy and active listening that will allow them to better integrate their unique talents and perspectives into a collaborative working environment. Furthermore, students will gain a better understanding of their role within a professional team. Working in a team environment and interlacing skills from their specialities will give the students the capability of managing a team and delegating tasks and roles within a group.

Knowledge, subject skills and understanding are progressively and cumulatively acquired, refined and consolidated, demonstrated by application within projects. The combined uses of these skills are meant to produce a creative solution to a specific design challenge and equip the student with resources to accomplish a professionally presented project.


In the Final Project I you will be asked to communicate ideas and concepts using the appropriate knowledge and skills for each part of the design phases, practice presentational skills and create concepts that relate to specific design directions.

The range of projects included in this module cover different areas as:

  • Research, analysis and explanations in essays over theoretical matters.
  • Production of layout systems for publishing.
  • Iconographic, symbolism and concept work over creative ideas.
  • Graphic composition and advertising models.
  • Visual identity and communication.
  • Art conceptualization over the design practice.
  • Graphic production for promotions and campaigns.

In this module, students will further explore production techniques, all while delving deeper into the ethical dimension of the design practice and its role in shaping our culture.



BA Validated Graphic Design Programme

120 Credits = 60 ECTS points. In total for all 3 years of study: 360 CORE CREDITS (UK) = 180 ECTS Points (60 ECTS points per academic year)

  • LEVEL 5GRAPHIC EXPRESSIONThis module consolidates your knowledge of specific areas of graphic design, but from the perspective of the application off the field of design into the actual needs of the industry and the market. You will consolidate specific fields of communication such as: packaging, advertising, editorial design, motion graphics and digital interface design, along with the acquisition of advanced techniques in composition, and use of design resources.You will be introduced to pre-press and pre-flight processes, print production and document management systems, and their relationship to modern printing processes. You will look at types of paper, paper-making, inks and proofing. You will overlook the history of printing and its different techniques and study the range of print making processes used in the industry and available in the market.

    You will further examine the ideas of information hierarchy, visual language, creative morphology, the use of typography in the commercial world and the changes in the way we access information in the digital world.

    Exploring the different graphic expression techniques gives a critical analysis of digital packages, and assesses visual vocabulary and creative expression with investigation in mixed media techniques and current innovations in the graphic design field.

    Interactive Design focuses on how users and technology communicate with each other through web and mobile applications, user experience and user interface (UX/ UI), and the communication of information and ideas through visual language.

    Motion Graphics introduces video creation from pre to post production, including camera and lighting techniques and will involve group work.

    Packaging Design investigates the visual language, creative morphology and idea of design as part of a brand or product range and explores the relationship between graphic design and technical trades.


    This module is made up of five components and further develops some of the skills and knowledge gained in module GRA42. It explores how the design applications facilitate more efficiency and speed in the organisation of work, and develops discernment in the choice of applications for any given brief.

    In the freehand drawing component, you will further develop your skills and knowledge of freehand drawing and will consider how freehand drawing can be effective in creating storyboards, layout and design roughs and as a tool for the visualisation of creative ideas.

    In Illustrator II you will learn advanced features and tools to better create more complex illustrations. You will consider how the application can stimulate creative possibilities.

    In Photo-shop II you will further develop your understanding of Adobe Photoshop and it´s integration with other Adobe applications.

    The photography component looks at the photography industry, the creative process of developing a personal style or signature and will evaluate visual story telling techniques in press photography.

    In Design II looks in depth at typesetting and typographic rules, advanced pre-press output.


    The two components of this module are project based, which are largely carried out through “live” briefs in collaboration with either local or regional companies, or participating in international contests.

    Project II

    As an introduction to professional levels of practice, you will learn how to approach and solve design problems, communicating information imaginatively and effectively according to the brief. You will look at all aspects of a professional brief, focussing on target audience analysis, market situation, position of the company, assessment of market trends, creative strategy definition. Strong focus on Typography and Lay-out.

    This project will be competition based when possible.

    Collaborative Multidisciplinary Practice II

    Team working will be actively encouraged through the interdisciplinary nature of the group project and you will experiment with modes of group participation. This module will encourage students to communicate with their fellow peers and across other creative design areas where ideas can be shared and exploited to their full potential to deliver the best results.


    The Final Project gives you the opportunity to show how the skills and knowledge you have acquired throughout the programme can be applied more professionally to a graphic design project. You will develop project management skills, print and media design, target market analysis, position of the company, and assessment of market trends, creative strategy definition. You will produce a research portfolio including an essay (2,500 words) as well as a complete corporate identity manual for a given company including analysis of rebranding, stationary and an advertising campaign.

    Where possible a real-life client or real-life client simulated situation will be implement


BA Validated Graphic Design Programme

120 Credits = 60 ECTS points. In total for all 3 years of study: 360 CORE CREDITS (UK) = 180 ECTS Points (60 ECTS points per academic year)

  • LEVEL 6GRAPHIC DESIGN PRACTICEYou will further develop your advertising, editorial and typographical skills and techniques to an advanced level, and use these techniques and tools to design for a target audience. You will use motion graphics techniques and 3d modelling tools as supporting tools, and they will form an integrated part of media projects.You will have developed a broader range of communicative tools and a greater understanding of the analytical processes that come with designing and communicating with different target audiences and be proficient in organizing the graphic production process for future projects.

    Using branding, advertising, motion graphics, print media and 3D modelling you will demonstrate the process of transmission of information to society through persuasive communication.

    In the Theory of Publicity components, you will gain an overview of the history of Advertising and the development of a sales strategy through marketing campaigns.

    Editorial Design addresses the use of typography and the application within magazines, newspapers, internet, etc. The work of various contemporary editorial designers will be studied.

    In Motion Graphics you will employ video editing techniques as a presentational tool in the assembly of a presentational video for portfolio or graduation purposes.

    Combining equal parts of an area of knowledge that incorporates new theoretical subjects such as advanced application of design to the world of media, advertising and corporate communications, and the acquisition of new skills focused on design tools.

    Studio Management reflects on the organization of agencies and studios, and appraises the role that human resources management has on the effective running of organisations.


    This module consists of one project. You have the challenge to construct and undertake your personal action plan of in-depth critical research, to postulate and present a coherent visual and written argument and related practical investigation based on analysis, evaluation and theory, presented in the form of a professional formal study, related practice-based research and a detailed design proposal.

    In Project students will demonstrate the skills and knowledge acquired during this level.


    The Final Major Project enables final year students to apply their personal approach to graphic design, developed during the whole academic program.

    The challenge for you is to synthesise graphic design practice, combining those elements of previous learning, the personal and individual sense of creative direction in a complete design project. You will apply a range of intellectual, creative and practical skills in the context of a personal project, on the development of your self-direction and ability to project manage, along with the application of problem solving and meaningful, critical thinking to the self-directed evaluation of your own creative, visual/object based/oral/aural/written work.

    You will write your own project brief, to give you the challenge to approach to design problems under your own criteria, with tutor support.

    From an initial proposal, through rigorous appropriate research and creative development during the main body of the project to the final outcome, you will complete this unit by producing a significant design outcome.

    The Portfolio of Work will demonstrate your advanced use of skills of visual/oral/tactile research using primary and secondary sources, in the form of sketches, drawing, photographs or digitally generated imagery, the development of ideas in either visual, oral, tactile or written form and your level of experimentation with technical methods and processes which are linked to the research and ideas development documented elsewhere in the portfolio.

    Through Work Experience, you’ll have the challenge to demonstrate your skills and knowledge inside a guided practice in a company, assisted by experts inside the graphic and multimedia industry based on the area and under the revision of your tutor.

    In Educational & Vocational Orientation you will synthesise your professional and contextual research, skills and creative intentions with their understanding of professional practice and career ambitions. The component will enable you to position yourself at a professional level for progression to employment, self-employment or post-graduate study, reflected in the construction of a complete professional C

Laptop (portable computer), PC or MAC book Pro

  • We recommend you to buy a Lap Top with sufficient RAM memory (at least 8 MB) and a powerful graphic card. We recommend a 15” screen.

Computer Programmes. Please make sure you get the programmes in the same format as your laptop (for example a Mac formatted program will not work on a PC).

  • Adobe Creative Cloud – student version
  • Microsoft Office – student version

Other Materials. You can purchase them all at Marbella Design Academy piece by piece as you need them or all at once.

  • Freehand drawing pencils. 2H, HB and 2B.
  • 1 eraser
  • 1 Set of coloured pencils
  • 1 A3 Sketch pad

Alberto Leonardo

Head of our 3 year Bachelor of Arts validated programme in Graphic Design & Media at Marbella Design Academy.

Marbella Crea

Marbella Design Academy was chosen to collaborate with the Marbella´s Town Hall, youth department to design the new identity for the contest Marbella Crea, which every year, offers the opportunity for young talented artist and designers to show their work.

The Graphic Design students designed 3 proposals and these were presented to the youth department and the councellor Manuel García Rodriguez, who together with his team picked the best work, Raquel Beck, who is currently studying 2nd year Graphic Design at Marbella Design Academy. Below, click the link to see her amazing designs for Marbella Crea.

Tuition Language: English
We have two intakes per year.
Next coming intakes are:
2023 Starting on:
25th September 2023
2024 Starting on:
08th January 2024
Duration: 3 Years
6 Hours daily (Monday to Friday)
From 09:00 to 16:00
Tuition Fees: Click Here
Entry Requirements: Click Here
International Students: Click Here
Accommodation: Click Here