• Code: DA (Year One); DB (Year Two)
  • Certification: BTEC Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design Level 6+ equivalence on NFQ
  • Duration: Two Years


Learners undertake a two year Higher National Diploma course which qualifies them to work in this industry. This course will enable learners to explore modern graphic design procedures and develop problem-solving skills. All learners have access to the most up to date computer design facilities using industry standard software such as Adobe suite - Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and Dreamweaver, internet access, a modern design studio and a well-stocked library of art and design texts. Final year learners will exhibit their work at our end-of-year exhibition in the Institute.

Programme of Study

HNC - Year One

  • Visual Communications in Art & Design
  • Ideas Generation & Development in Art & Design
  • Contextual & Cultural Referencing in Art & Design
  • Professional Practice in Art & Design
  • Corporate Identity in Graphic Design
  • Interactive Media Web Authoring
  • 3D Computer Modelling and Animation
  • Digital Image Creation & Development

HND - Year Two

  • Project Design, Implementation & Evaluation
  • Typographic Skills
  • Editorial Design
  • Packaging in Graphic Design
  • Ideas in Context
  • Visual Language Photography
  • Business Practice in Art & Design
  • Critical Study in Art & Design

 Components subject to change

Entry Requirements
  • Leaving Certificate or equivalent with some higher papers
  • QQI Level 5 award in a related discipline
  • Mature Applicants – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following a successful interview. Learners should be computer literate. Applicants must bring a portfolio/collection of work to the interview.

Career Opportunities
  • Design
  • Web and Graphics
  • Page Design and Layout
  • Interactive Media
  • Packaging
Higher Education Progression*

UK and Northern Ireland Universities:

  • Final year of an Honours Degree in Graphic Design (Apply through UCAS system)
  • Irish Universities & IT’s: Learners may proceed via advanced entry to Honours Degree courses for eg:


  • Visual Communications Design Level 8 (DL826) (Year 3)

IT Tallaght

  • Advertising & Marketing Communications  (Year 2)

Carlow IT (Wexford Campus)

  • Visual Communications & Design Level 8(CW088) Year2


  • Product Design (DT001) Year 2/3;
  • Visual & Critical Studies (DT533) Year 3;
  • Design – Visual Communications (DT545);
  • Print & Digital Media Technology Management (DT596) Year 3;
  •  Visual Merchandising and Display (DT598) Year 3;
Course Co-Ordinator

Louise Fortune

Where are they now?

 Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

"My background in school was always technical so deciding to  study graphic design in BIFE was a big step but from the initial interview to the graduation I was always shown that I would have the creative freedom to explore the subjects with a personal approach. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 years at BIFE, students are like a small family in there.

The best part of all of this was that the graduation in graphic design opened many doors and even before I graduated I was able to secure a Web Designer position with a Silicon Valley ISP. I feel that I'm still learning every day and that for me is one of the most important aspects of this profession, it never gets boring. ." - Rodrigo Cunha

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