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Your learning experience

Our undergraduate course is demanding; you'll always be working on an engaging project or assignment. We push you so that you'll graduate ready to begin a career in the fast-paced, ever-evolving design industry. 

To ensure you succeed on our course, we'll give you a supportive and interactive learning experience through our small-group, collaborative teaching approach.

Undergraduate students standing in Department in conversation

Our teaching methods

Our academic staff are ready to support your learning in the ways that best suit your individual needs and strengths. They have backgrounds in creative practice, design history, typeface research, and more. 

We also invite leading designers to teach and share their work with us.

Small group workshops

Undergraduate student presenting poster to other students

We run a series of workshops to equip you with the technical skills you'll need for your projects, so you can begin every design challenge on the right footing. 

Topics include Adobe Photoshop, presentation skills, animation and book-binding.

One-to-one tutorials

Academic tutor and undergraduate student in one to one tutorial looking at laptop

Our close-knit academic community will support you through creative blocks, advise on which design routes have most potential, and help you resolve technical issues you may be experiencing. 

You'll have regular one-to-one discussions with your tutors throughout the course, and you’ll be assigned dedicated tutorial support for your dissertation and self-directed projects.

Industry professionals

Professional designers giving a talk to undergraduate students

Industry professionals regularly come and give talks in the Department. They'll often be available to provide additional advice on pursuing a design career and give feedback on portfolio work. Recent visitors include Lauren TownerJoan Zalacain and Zofia Szostkiewicz, and David Pearson. 

We also make visits to studios, print workshops, marketing departments and more to give you a first-hand look at how professional design works.

Peer-to-peer learning

Two undergraduate students looking at a tablet standing in the Department of Typography

Peer-to-peer learning is an important part of our teaching. The diversity we welcome in our students brings a wide range of perspectives to the Reading experience. 

Collaboration enables you to challenge yourself and others, enriching the experience for everyone.

Interactive seminars

Group of students discussing design work on tablets

In groups of seven or eight students, you'll discuss the books you've read in the past week. 

You'll engage with design literature throughout your studies with us, and the chance to share ideas in weekly seminars will help you add theoretical and historical richness to your practical work.


Stand-up lectures

Professor Gerry Leonidas talking to students about design of book he is holding

Whether it’s core history classes or visits from guest speakers from across the design spectrum, the visual nature of our subjects means that these lectures are highly stimulating. 

You'll have the chance to hear and debate different perspectives on topics that will shape your future.

Learn through professional practice

The best design is inherently a collaborative process. We offer opportunities for you to work with professional designers and real clients to gain experience of working as part of a team.  

You’ll work on practical projects across digital and print media, and learn about design principles and how to respond to user needs.  

Real Jobs

University of Reading exhibition stand at UK UCAS fair

With our Real Jobs scheme you'll gain experience by carrying out design work for real clients. It introduces you to the opportunities and responsibilities of working as a professional designer.   

Thanks to this scheme, every student leaves university with professional work for their portfolio. 

Find out more about Real Jobs

Industry placements

Young giraffe facing the camera with another giraffe standing behind them

We encourage you to seek out work placement opportunities, especially between academic terms. Eden Sinclair helped Marwell Zoo improve its recycling when he completed the IBM Internship Programme. 

Each year a group of students undertakes paid internships at the University’s design studio.

Year in industry

Headshot of James Ollig, BA Graphic Communication graduate. Image supplied by Right Angle Creative

You may be looking for a longer and more intensive experience of professional practice during your degree. If so, you can opt for a Professional Placement Year between your second and third year of study. James Ollig spent a year working at Right Angle Creative. 

When you return for your final year you’ll be able to apply your newfound experience to your undergraduate studies. You can also use the placement as a starting point for a specific career direction. 

Image supplied by Right Angle Creative

My course is everything I hoped it would be, and better. I love the mixture of theoretical and practical projects, it does a great job at preparing you for the real world. The teaching is so diverse, each member of staff brings a different area of expertise and skills. They're all fantastic, and I have learned something different from each of them.

Sigrid Dalland

BA Graphic Communication graduate 

Research-led teaching

Close up of undergraduate students looking through design books

Our research excellence informs both what we teach and how we teach. In your learning, you'll benefit from new ideas and knowledge that the Department's research brings to our teaching, and develop a research-based process of working. 

Learn more about our research

Collections-based learning

Undergraduate student and academic examine design large poster

Our internationally significant graphic design, printing and lettering collection is an inspiring resource for both written and practical work.  

You'll have opportunities to study real artefacts up close as part of your course. 

Learn more about our collections and archives