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After graduating from the University of Reading with a degree in BA Graphic Communication, Emma Beckingsale is now working in user experience (UX) at the BBC.

Why Emma chose Reading

PURE TASTE recipe app designed by Emma Beckingsale as part of her BA Graphic Communication degree
"PURE TASTE" – a recipe app that Emma worked on, designed to bridge the gap between nature and food

Emma decided to study her undergraduate degree at Reading due to the unique nature of the course and its content. 

Emma was excited by the idea of learning design skills and harnessing new tools on the BA Graphic Communication course, while also gaining an understanding of typography and visual language. 

"Reading has a great reputation in the industry. Due to the skills we're taught and the projects we undertake, employers are impressed by our advanced understanding of subjects such as branding, wayfinding and information design." 

Emma was excited by the idea of learning design skills and harnessing new tools on the BA Graphic Communication course, while also gaining an understanding of typography and visual language. 

On the course, Emma learned about the importance and responsibility of creating content. She gained a theoretical understanding of the subject, and made use of skills such as research, analysis, logic and reasoning. These essential skills allowed her to analyse any design problem and create effective and long-lasting solutions.

Real design, real clients

Emma has fond memories of the Real Jobs scheme, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to discuss real design problems with real clients. 

"Through schemes like Real Jobs and internal internship opportunities, I was able to gain a better understanding of the design industry and the challenges and rewards it brings. 

"Being able to apply learning to a real-world setting helped build my confidence, develop my interpersonal skills and expand my technical knowledge." 

During the Real Jobs module, written briefs are swapped in engaging face-to-face discussions. Emma had the opportunity to ask questions and fully understand the objectives of the client and business, allowing her to build trust and a rewarding rapport with the client.

Career preparation

Emma also valued the mock interview sessions in her second year, which helped her prepare for life after university and her future career. 

"The mock interview sessions were a great way of testing interview and interpersonal skills and they allowed me to practice presenting my work in a controlled and comfortable setting. 

"I had the added advantage of being able to ask questions, and receive useful feedback, which was beneficial when interviewing for a full-time job." 

Training at the BBC

The experience of working with clients and preparing for interviews has proven invaluable for Emma, who enrolled on the BBC UX Training Scheme after graduation. 

The scheme, which is a year-long programme within the User Experience & Design department at the BBC, presented Emma with opportunities to work on a series of live projects over multiple digital platforms. 

These opportunities allowed her to further her understanding of the user-centred design process using tools such as prototyping and information architecture in order to create enjoyable user experiences.

Headshot of Emma Beckingsale, BA Graphic Communication graduate

Looking to the future

Emma's focus is now on creating design that solves problems and benefits people in the changing digital landscape. She credits her time studying at Reading as the catalyst for her ambitions as a designer. 

"My three years at Reading saw a real change in the way I understood design. Through a mixture of historical, theoretical and practical projects, I was able to fully understand how to engage with a brief and develop concepts through to a working outcome. 

"By learning through projects, essays, presentations and group work, I was able to develop the skills needed to enter the workplace with confidence in myself and my work."

Caroline Teng's story

Headshot of Caroline Teng, BA Graphic Communication graduate

Caroline made the most of every opportunity that came her way. Here she explains how she studied abroad, took part in the Real Jobs Scheme, and landed a full-time design job before she graduated.

Two students working together on a Mac computer in the corridor of the Department of Typography

Enjoy small-group teaching and dedicated 24-hour studio spaces. You'll work closely with academics on real-life practical projects.