Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Graphic Design (Teach out)

The Higher National Diploma is designed to provide an educational foundation for a range of graphic design.


Beacon International College is a BTEC Approved Centre for the above programme.

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The Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma Level 5 in Graphic Design is designed to meeting the following aims:

  • to provide an educational foundation for a range of careers in graphic design
  • to provide specialised studies directly relevant to individual vocations and professions in which students are working or intend to seek employment
  • to enable students to make an immediate contribution in employment
  • to provide opportunities for students to focus on the development of higher-level skills in a graphic design context
  • to develop knowledge, understanding and skills of students in the field of graphic design
  • to develop students’ ability in business & finance through effective use and combination of the knowledge and skills gained in different parts of the programme
  • to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life
Course Syllabus/Content

The Higher National Diploma course comprises of sixteen subject units of study and seven areas of common skills.

The subject units are as follows:

Mandatory Core Units

Visual Communication in Art and Design

This unit aims to develop the necessary skills for artists, designers and craftworkers to communicate their ideas across specialist applications, both traditional and alternative.

The aim of this unit is to explore meanings, messages and information that are communicated in design work. Learners will explore professionals’ work to develop understanding of how they use visual language to communicate with an intended audience, purchaser or user. Learners will apply their skill and understanding of visual language to create effective work.

Ideas Generation and Development in Art and Design

Creative thinking and the ability to generate free flowing ideas are vital skills for all artists and designers. This unit aims to develop skills in generating and communicating ideas visually.

This unit introduces a number of idea-generating techniques to demonstrate that creative thinking is a skill that can be continually developed. Learners will originate ideas which fulfil graphic communication objectives. Learners will also be required to use mark-making techniques to express their ideas on paper and they will be able to identify the cultural contexts in which their ideas work.

Contextual and Cultural Referencing in Art and Design

The aim of this unit is to encourage an understanding of the social, psychological, cutural, historical and commercial factors which underpin all visual arts theory and practice across the spectrum of subject specialisms.

Professional Practice in Art and Design

The aim of this unit is to extend the learners’ knowledge of professional practices within their specialist area and to relate these to personal goals and career opportunities.

Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation

To develop learners’ skills of independent enquiry by undertaking a sustained investigation of direct relevance to their vocational, academic and professional development.

Specialist Units Group A

Design Principles

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop knowledge and understanding of the issues that have informed deabte on the purposes and processes of design.In this unit learners will develop an understanding of how attitudes of designers influence the appearance and function of graphics products. These attitudes involve the ethics of commerce, and the changing values of society which determine the context within which the graphic designer operates.

The unit establishes principles and encourages learners to develop their own distinctive approach to design. Work produced for this unit should be in the learners’ chosen design specialism.

Advertising Campaigns

This unit aims to develop learners’ understanding of the function of graphic design within advertising campaigns and to develop skills in using graphic design as a part of an advertising campaign.

This unit is about the production of advertising. Learners will study the operations and functions of advertising agencies, learn how advertising objectives are defined and gain an understanding of what goes into developing advertising strategies. By devising advertisements in response to advertising briefs, learners will develop an understanding of how advertising campaigns work.

Advanced Typographic Design

The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ skills and understanding in applying typographic knowledge to the sensitive integration of words and images.

Corporate Identity in Graphic Design

This unit aims to progress understanding about the underlying social and cultural nature of coporate identity and to develop graphic design skills in its commercial projection.

In this unit learners apply design to corporate identity through an understanding of the historical origins, philosophy and contexts in which corporate identity has evolved. Learners will also gain practical experience in developing and applying creative and effective solutions through logotypes, symbols and styles of presenting the corporate message.

Packaging in Graphic Design

This unit aims to develop learners’ skills and understanding in developing solution-focused approaches and innovative and creative packaging outcomes in graphic design.

In this unit learners examine packaging as a starting point for gaining knowledge and confidence in producing new and radical packaging solutions. Consideration of practical, cosmetic and environmental issues will be combined with awareness of the needs of current technology in packaging manufacturing and a creative and practical exploration of materials and processes.

Advertising Photography

This unit aims to develop learners’ skills and understanding through the creative application of photographic techniques and media for advertising.

Digital Image Creation and Development

This unit aims to develop skills and understanding in sourcing, creating, developing and managing digital images for specific purposes.

Drawing Techniques and Processes in Art and Design

This unit aims to develop and extend learners’ technical and creative skills through drawing and their understanding of drawing media, materials and techniques.

In this unit learners will be encouraged to develop visual thinking and creativity as fundamental to all design work. It will enable learners to experiment with drawing approaches and techniques in order to broaden their experience and understanding of visual language. Learners will need to use materials and media which are specific to design, as well as unusual materials and media which will extend their visual language and creativity.

Jewellery, Accessories and Body Adornment

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to explore the decorative and aesthetic potential of jewellery, accessories and body adornment to inform innovative outcomes.

Light Metals in Art and Design

This unit aims to develop learners’ practical skills and understanding when working with light metals and in translating designs into 3D outcomes.

Specialist Units Group B

Critical Study in Art and Design

The aim of this unit is to extend knowledge and understanding of the research, analysis and application of historical and contextual skills to a selected field of study.This unit provides the learner with knowledge, understanding and skills to define and research a historical context and relate it to the present. It also provides an opportunity for learners to evaluate these references within the context of their chosen specialism.

The aim of the unit is for the learner to have developed an independent view of one area of design context that relates closely to their own work.

Ideas in Context

This unit aims to develop learners’ personal creative potential for generating ideas in a relevant specialist discipline within the visual arts.

This unit extends and develops ideas generation. Learners are required to generate ideas to fulfil complex graphic communication objectives involving commercial constraints. Learners will adapt ideas to suit a range of different applications, and work with others in generating and developing ideas. Learners must also prepare ideas for professional presentation.

Personal and Professional Development

This unit aims to help the learner become an effective and confident self-directed employee. This helps the learner become more confident in managing their own personal and professional skills to achieve personal and career goals.

Work-based Experience *

This unit aims to enable learners to experience the scope and depth of learning which may take place in a work- based context by planning, monitoring and evaluating the work experience.

Employability Skills

This unit provides learners with the opportunity to acquire honed employability skills required for effective employment.

Communication with Images in Art and Design

The aim of this unit is to extend learners’ understanding of the potential of visual imagery as a means of communication, including the codes used in different cultures.

Interactive Media Design and Prototyping

This unit will enable learners to develop skills and understanding in designing and evaluating a prototype interactive media system using an interactive approach.

Interactive Media Web Authoring

This unit aims to develop learners’ skills in producing web pages containing effective interactive media content.

Animation Techniques for Interactivity in Art and Design

This unit aims to develop learners’ skills and understanding in a variety of interactive animation techniques for use in art and design.

This unit aims to provide the learner with an introduction to a variety of animation techniques used in multimedia and video. The unit will equip the learner with the knowledge and skills needed to select the technique most suitable for meeting production requirements.

Managing a Creative Business

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to manage a small business in the creative arts sector by examining the personal and professional skills required.

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Synthesis of a range of concepts, knowledge and skills relating to Graphic Design
  2. Application of complex theories to practical, realistic work situations in the Graphic Design sector
  3. Independence of approach to study and the generation of Graphic Design evidence
  4. Ability to engage with complex and/or unpredictable situations in the Graphic Design contexts
  5. Ability to take responsibility to manage and direct their own and others’ activities
  6. Insight and judgement in relation to the margins and consequences of error
  7. Research and investigative skills
  8. Responsiveness to change and ability to multi-task
  9. Ability to innovate and work in a creative way
  10. Demonstrate the ability to work independently as well as effectively as a member of a team.
Course Information

Teacher-Student Ratio

Beacon maintains a maximum teacher-student ratio as follows:

Tutorial – 1:40

Lecture – 1:72


To be awarded the Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma, the student must meet the criteria below:

The Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Graphic Design is a 240-credit qualification that consist five (5) mandatory units plus specialist units that provide for a combined total of 240 credits. The rules for combination for this qualification are as specified as follows:

  1. Qualification credit value: a minimum of 240 credits.
  2. Minimum credits to be achieved at the level of the qualification (level 5): 125 credits.
  3. Mandatory core units: 80 credits.
  4. Specialist units: 160 credits.

Course Schedule

This Award takes approximately 960 hours excluding the development and implementation of coursework.

Total Duration:18 months (full-time),30 months (part-time)
Total Course Hours:960 hours

Entry Requirements

  • Diploma
  • Chinese Senior Secondary Year 3
  • SMU 3
  • GCE ‘A’ Levels – at least two (2) Grade E
  • ITE Higher NITEC 2.5
  • STPM – 2 passes
  • Vietnam Grade 12
  • Any other equivalent qualification
  • Applicants with foreign qualifications equivalent to the above may be admitted provided they are proficient in the English Language, and possess

    1. IELTS 5.5 or equivalent qualifications (wef July 2016 intake) OR
    2. a Pass in English Placement Test determined by the college.

    * Those without IELTS 5.5 are required to attend an English Course at a fee.

    The Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications are accredited on the QCF for learners aged 18 and above.

    More mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience of paid and/or unpaid employment and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.

Course details


The course is modular in nature, the units may be delivered in any sequence.

The course is mainly conducted in the classroom via face-to-face learning which encourages student-teacher interaction. Students are encouraged to attend field trips organised by the school to encourage experiential learning.


In-course assessments will be conducted only. In-course assessments may include report, design journal, oral presentation, drawings, models and project work etc.

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