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Study graphic design abroad

An in-depth guide to studying graphic design as an international student.

Explore graphic design programs abroad

See other programs in graphic design

Graphic design degrees abroad

Graphic design is the study of how information is conveyed through visual content.

As a graphic design student, you’ll explore how different design mediums, such as illustration, typography, iconography, and photography, can be used to communicate messages. You’ll develop your design skills to create visual content that meets specific project briefs and optimizes user experience.

Studying graphic design abroad is a great way to combine your education with your desire to travel the world. In a field that’s ever-changing, with new concepts and trends always on the horizon, you’ll build an internationally-inspired portfolio. You’ll observe first-hand how cultural contexts shape the visual content produced by other countries, and your new surroundings will spark your own creativity.

Graphic design program structure

There are plenty of ways to study graphic design. Some universities offer short, intensive graphic design courses that typically require around three months of full-time study. These don’t usually require any previous experience and will provide you with a basic understanding of the field.

The most popular way to study graphic design is to complete a BA over three or four years. If you’re interested in getting a postgraduate qualification, a master’s degree can be studied over one or two years, followed by a PhD which takes five years on average to finish.

Graphic design programs are heavily structured around your practical work. As such, you’ll likely have more workshops and seminars than lectures. This means you’ll have more opportunities to think and design creatively with the guidance and support of faculty. You’ll probably be assessed through a mixture of design portfolios, essays, reports, and presentations.

Graphic design is a flexible course with a wide range of elective modules to choose from. While the precise content of graphic design programs will vary between institutions, there are some core areas of study, including:

  • Typography
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Principles of visual communication
  • Design for online and print
  • Cultural, historical and contemporary influences on graphic design
  • Graphic design theory

Types of graphic design degrees

How to study graphic design abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Speak to a personal advisor (free service)

Graphic design study abroad programs

Graphic design undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in graphic design

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    Advertising/Graphic Design - BA Concord University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,185 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - BDes Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,134 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - BDes University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - BA/BFA University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,000 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Studio Art/Graphic Design - BFA Louisiana State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,700 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in graphic design

Diploma in graphic design

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    Graphic Design - UGDip Institute of Technology Development of Canada, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    18,850 CAD
    Start date
    January, April, July, October
    Show program overview about
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    Advertising & Graphic Design - UGDip Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,412 CAD
    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - OCADip Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    16,531 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - OCADip Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,825 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate diplomas in graphic design

Associate in graphic design

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    Graphic Design - AA RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    21,250 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - ASc Santiago Canyon College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,304 USD
    Start date
    February, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Computer Technology: Technical Computer Graphics - AASc Southeast Missouri State University, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,155 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Communication: Graphic Design - AASc Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - AASc St. Charles Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    5,520 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all associate degrees in graphic design

Pathway in graphic design

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    Graphic Design (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate pathways in graphic design

Graphic design graduate programs

Master's in graphic design

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    Graphic Design - MA University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    7,750 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Computer Graphic Design - MCGD University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Tuition fees per year
    33,670 NZD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
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    Digital Art and Design – Concentration: Graphic Design - MA University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Tuition fees per year
    6,840 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - MDes University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,250 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Graphic Design - MA Yasar University, Turkey

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,500 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in graphic design

Diploma in graphic design

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    Graphic Design - OCDip Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    20 months
    Tuition fees per year
    16,686 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all postgraduate diplomas in graphic design

Future graphic design careers

As a graphic design graduate, you’ll have a range of creative career paths open to you. Your ability to produce original and memorable visual content will help you succeed in any of the following roles:

  • Graphic designer
  • Brand designer
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Concept artist
  • Printmaker
  • Creative director
  • VFX artist

One of the best ways to gather experience, network with professionals, and improve your employability is to complete an internship with a design agency. Speak to your university’s career service to see if they have any partnerships with companies who might be able to offer you a placement.