Courses at Ayrshire College

HNC Visual Communication (Graphics and illustration)

Campus Attendance Start Date
17: Full Time 28-Aug-2017 Apply

SCQF Level

Level 7


Full-time, one year

Campus/Course Availability


Start Here

We’re looking for you to have two relevant Highers at grade C or above or a pass in a relevant NC course at SCQF level 6 or equivalent. Applicants with appropriate experience or other training may be accepted without formal qualifications. A place on the course is subject to an interview process and a portfolio of artwork is required.

What's Involved

Look about you. Everything you see is a form of visual communication: from logo design, branding, the illustration of book covers and posters, to digital media, photography, web design and animation. To become a Graphic Designer and Illustrator you need the interchangeable skills required to cover all these disciplines and this course has been designed with this in mind. Subjects may include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • An Introduction to Visual Communication
  • Web Design
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Digital Imaging
  • Working in the Field of Visual Communication

There may be the opportunity to work with clients on live briefs in this course.

Go Anywhere

If you successfully complete this course, here are some of the courses you can move on to:

Ayrshire College

  • HND Visual Communication


  • Digital Art

Glasgow School of Art

  • Communication Design
  • Product Design

Edinburgh School of Art

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Product Design

Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Product Design

Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen

  • Communication Design

Edinburgh Napier University

  • Graphic Design
  • Product Design

Perth College

  • Visual Design and Communication

Possible Careers you can explore

  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Printmaker
  • Photographer
  • Production Designer

Related News

Arts, Fashion, Music, Sound, Media, Photography and Performance

Art and Design

In the UK, over 277,000 people are employed in music, performing and the visual arts. With a turnover of over £12 billion, Art and Design is one of the most creative and varied fields out there. Careers can involve traditional artistic methods such as drawing and painting, or cutting edge computer programs used in 3D modelling and animation. Arts and culture play an important role in supporting the UK’s wider commercial creative industries, such as film production, advertising, design and crafts, and showcasing the country’s creative talent overseas.


Fashion and Retail

The fashion industry covers everything from the design, production, manufacturing, marketing and retailing of clothing. From high street fashions to the catwalk, the fashion industry is worth £26 billion to the UK’s economy according to the British Fashion Council. With London’s position as one of the fashion capitals of the world, many world-class international design houses are based in the UK, offering a range of employment opportunities to students.

Our Fashion department will prepare you for an exciting and varied career, offering broad courses that give you the practical experience and knowledge you need to work in different areas of the industry. Students can expect to study a variety of subjects including fashion styling, sewing machine skills, digital photography, corset making and visual merchandising.

In fashion retailing you will find careers such as Sales Managers, Merchandisers or Buyers. Fabric and garment suppliers employ Designers, Pattern Cutters and Production Technologists. The main roles in fashion media are Fashion Journalists, Stylists, Forecasters, Illustrators and Event Organisers.

Media Communications 

Media is one of the most fast-paced and exciting industries to work in, but also one of the most difficult and competitive to enter. Media covers a wide range of industries including interactive media, animation, web design, digital photography, broadcast media and film.

Media professionals are a unique and valued breed. Technological and human interaction skills are a neces­sity. High levels of self-confidence and the ability to capture the attention of others are attributes which will make you stand out from the crowd, and thus have bet­ter success in this highly competitive industry.

Using the most up-to-date technology, our courses aim to equip you with the skills you need to succeed in your field. You will be given creative briefs for live projects that will allow you to build up your portfolio and achieve progression onto university or employment. Projects will incorporate elements of writing, radio, television, journalism, both papers and magazines, as well as social media and finished film.

Performing Arts 

Acting or performing, like teaching perhaps, is a job that reflects a real passion or calling. It sounds clichéd but most actors instinctively know they want to be actors. Others discover that they have a love of performing and display a talent for entertaining people and slowly realise that performing is the job they would like to do.

Many performers are self-employed, working at festivals, corporate events, cabaret and theatre. The jobs are either sourced by the actors themselves, or through friends or an agency. Having been slow to realise the benefits of technology, the industry is now slowly catching on, so you can search for auditions online. It is also possible to use the medium to market yourself.

The Performing Arts department offers exciting and dynamic courses across a variety of subjects. We will help you develop your creative flair and develop the skills you need. Performing is not the only way to get into the theatre or the media. There are many jobs behind the scenes of a technical or administrative nature that can be just as rewarding. In fact actors at festivals are often required to ‘muck in' and move sets and props, or perhaps do some marketing, so the line between the two is not always distinct. Again, it is vital to try to get some experience as early as possible.

Sound Production and Music 

The music industry sells compositions, recordings and performances of music. Among the many individuals and organisations that operate within the industry are the musicians who compose and perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell re­corded music (e.g., music publishers, producers, studios, engineers, record labels, retail and online music stores, performance rights organisations); those that present live music performances (booking agents, promoters, music venues, road crew); professionals who assist musicians with their careers (talent managers, business managers, entertainment lawyers); those who broadcast music (sat­ellite and broadcast radio); journalists; educators; musical instrument manufacturers; as well as many others.

The job prospects are good although many people working in the music industry are self-employed. This means you are self-reliant in terms of finding your own employment and will need a huge amount of self-motivation and commitment. Careers within the industry include Musician, Live Sound Engineer, Studio Engineer, Production Manager and Publisher.

Ayrshire College has top of the range technology that offers communication, sound production and music performance. Through our impressive industry links you will learn to make contacts and network, perhaps become self-employed, or be inspired to continue your learning through to university. Some of our students have started their own businesses, and become successful recording artists and producers. We have Industry certification status with AVID, Ableton, McDSP and Sonnox as well as offering NC level students their own “Audio Recording Pack” including high end recorders, software, mics and headphones to own.


Our latest videos/ Pictures can be viewed on :

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Latest Creative Videos:


Ayrshire College's Creative department end of year show took place at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday 28 May 2015.


Ayrshire College's Creative department end of year show took place at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday 28 May 2015.

Carrie Donnolly

Make-Up Artistry Lecturer Carrie Donnolly tells us how proud she is of her students and how much they have achieved.



You can read more Student Stories from Arts, Fashion, Music, Sound, Media, Photography and Performance by clicking here


Suzanne - Smoke Free

"Coming back to education at 27 years of age was strange at first but age does not really matter. We have a lot of group projects so you get used to working with a diverse range of people. What’s more important is drive. You need personal drive and motivation to be successful in this course. You must want to learn and be prepared to put in the hours practicing."
Read more about Suzanne's story here

Suzanne Penman, HND Graphic Design 


I initially studied fashion at the Ayr campus and there was a little bit of photography in the course. I knew I wanted to do fashion, but I soon realised I wanted to do fashion photography, and that’s why I changed. 
Read more about Shelbie's story here

Shelbie Walker, HNC Photography 


"I’ve been to college before and got an HNC in Accounting & Finance. I knew I would have to then get a degree to get further up the ladder and I wasn’t really happy to do that. Doing this, I thought I would change industry into something that I enjoy a bit." |
Read more about James' story here. 

James McLaughlin, HNC Sound Production 



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  "Be prepared to work hard, sometimes with unsociable hours to suit your customer’s needs. If you are self-motivated, prepared to put the work in and believe in yourself and most of all passionate about what you do then I would absolutely urge you to give it a go."
Read Linda's blog here

Linda McKay, Soft Furnishings


“I don’t think I would have ever thought about going to London if I didn’t come to Ayrshire College. I would never have done anything like this. I feel like in the last three years I’ve grown up an awful lot and it’s made me ready. I feel like my time here has built me up and got me ready for it – I feel like I can go and smash it.”
Read Linda's blog here

Naomi Halliday, HND Fashion 



"I was bored stiff in a job that I did not like when I read an article called “New Year New Career” and I thought – why not? It was time for a career change and I was going to do something just for me – a present to myself!"
Read Linda's blog here


At Ayrshire College we understanding how important the creative industries sector is to the UK economy.  Our short course programmes are designed to support the training needs of the sector by enhancing the trainee’s skills and knowledge to enable them to implement their learning into their day to day practices. 

Short Course Range

  •        Beginners Digital Photography
  •        Photography : Portraiture Skills
  •        Soft Furnishings
  •        Protools 101
  •        Introduction to Retail/Visual Merchandising
  •       Introduction to Sibelius
  •        Corporate Identity for Small Businesses
  •        Digital DJ Workshop
  •        Song Writing
  •        Maximising the commercial potential of your music Art Skills for Nursery Staff
  •        Art Skills for Primary School Teachers
  •        Organising an Art Show
  •        Organising a Fashion Show

We also offer a wide range of other short courses and evening classes that may be of interest to you.  Please visit our Business Centre page for more information.

Our Arts, Fashion, Music, Sound, Photography and Performance short courses are offered throughout our Ayrshire Campuses however we are happy to deliver these on your premises or customise the content for you.  Call our Business Solutions Team on 0300 303 0303 option 4 to discuss your training requirements.