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

Mode of study
Where you can study
2 Years

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.

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

You can progress to university upon successful completion of this course. Full information is available in the course specification PDF.


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.

For more information about job opportunities, salaries and employment rates in this industry, visit the Career Coach website.

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


Aberdeen City Campus

STARTS Duration Code
August 2019
2 Years
Apply Online

Online applications

You can apply for a place on this course by completing an online application form, which you can access using the 'Apply Online' button. Once completed, this will be received by our Admissions Team who will then process your application.

Paper applications

You may submit a paper application form, and return it to us completed and signed.

All completed paper applications should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330

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.