• Code: DA (Year One); DB (Year Two)
  • Certification: BTEC Higher National Certificate in Art & Design - Graphic Design Level 6+                                                         equivalence on the NFQ achieved after year 1                                                                                                             BTEC Higher National Diploma in Art & Design - Graphic Design Level 6+                                                             equivalence on the NFQ achieved after year 2 (603/0909/X)
  • Duration: Two Years


This course prepares learners for a rewarding career in the creative industries. All learners have access to computer design facilities using industry standard software from Adobe Creative Cloud- Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects and Dreamweaver. Learners study a range of project-based modules, learn design principles and develop creative problem solving skills. Final year learners will exhibit their work at our end-of-year exhibition in the Institute.

Programme of Study

HNC - Year One

  • Professional Development 
  • Contextual Studies 
  • Techniques and Processes 
  • Ideas Generation 
  • Typography 
  • Digital Graphics 
  • Print Graphics 
  • Printmaking 
  • Photography 

HND - Year Two

  • Professional Practice 
  • Advanced Contextual Studies 
  • Packaging Design 
  • Editorial Design 
  • Web Design 
  • Branding and Identity 
  • Digital Animation 

Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

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

Learners should be computer literate.

Career Opportunities
  • Freelance Graphic Design
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Branding 
  • Infographics 
  • Advertising 
  • Web Design 
  • Motion Graphics  
  • Editorial Design 
  • Packaging Design 
  • Illustration
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:

UK and Northern Ireland Universities:

Final year of an Honours Degree in Graphic Design (Apply through UCAS system)

Irish Universities & ITs:

Learners may proceed via advanced entry to Honours Degree courses eg:


  • Visual Communications Design Level 8 (DL826) (Year 2/3/4)

 TUS Technological University of the Shannon (Athlone Campus):

  • Graphic Design Level 7 (US700) (Year 2)
  • Graphic & Digital Design (US803) Level 8

TU Dublin:

  • Design – Visual Communication (TU973) (Year 2/3/4)
  • Product Design (TU811) (Years2/3/4)

 SETU - South East Technological University (Wexford Campus):

  • Visual Communications & Design (SE204)

SETU - South East Technological University (Waterford Campus):

  • Design(Visual Communications) (SE201)

MTU - Munster Technological University (Cork Campus):

  • Visual Communications (MT823)


*Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Co-Ordinator

Emma Deering

Where are they now?

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

marisa garrido martinez"I was so lucky to have the opportunity to study at BIFE and spend the last two years learning and acquiring knowledge in Graphic Design. It was not only what I have learned but the environment that made me grow as a person and as a professional. My teachers and classmates created a wonderful environment where we worked as a close team. I will be always grateful for the opportunity I found at BIFE to follow my dream to become a professional in Graphic Design. I currently work as a graphic designer in a signage company."  - Marisa Garrido Martínez


 "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

"My interest in design came from my teens when I wanted to make movie posters and design for games. After studying Game Design at Level 5 for two years I decided a career in Graphic Design was the one for me. I chose to go to BIFE, the course forced me to explore design avenues I had not considered before and made me aware of how limited I was with my visual understanding and skills.

Since attending BIFE I have become far more adept at understanding how design works and how to deal with the business of Graphic Design in the real world. I made good friends with students from all walks of life and we had the opportunity to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other. The teachers changed my perspective

and gave me a good all round appreciation for design. I am now working in a start-up company as their head designer, and I am very content in the path that BIFE set me on." - Daniel Skorka

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