BA (Hons) Communication Design

The course

Delivery type
4 years (full-time)
Intake date



Communication Design is constantly evolving across a wide range of industry sectors and our BA (Hons) programme supports students to develop creative, critical and technical skills that reflect this change as well as anticipate the needs of future evolution in this sector. The programme structure allows students to undertake a cross-disciplinary path of study with a main focus on Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography.

The Communication Design programme develops three key areas of conceptual, applied and entrepreneurial forms of communicating information through a variety of media. The evolving technological components, growing ease of social media and globalisation of communication require the design and interpretation of information to transcend beyond existing industrial and capitalistic formats.

This new type of communication design deals with collaborative experiences, socially dynamic and inclusive agendas, and provides key forms for critical informational research. This programme enables studio cooperative learning within a life-centred design approach in four evolving areas: Graphic Design (inclusive illustration), photography, moving image/animation,  and interaction design (UX/UI).

This is further supported by courses in Art direction and Storytelling, Design Branding, Advanced practice and evaluation, Critical and Contextual Studies and Global Fashion Management. These courses also focus on the key element of entrepreneurship and will prepare students for a variety of roles within the design industry and beyond including film, media, and social enterprise. In the end, it promotes a new type of student for a new type of world, where the disciplinary divisions are erased to promote a transdisciplinary approach to design.

Why study Communication Design at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus?

  • To develop socially-aware creatives in entrepreneurially engaged, evidenced-based communication design.
  • To encourage critical engagement with entrepreneurial social enterprise within and with creative industries.
  • To maintain strong industry connections worldwide particularly within MENASA (Middle East North Africa South Asia) and the European Union.
  •  To promote sustainable, life-centred, socio-political communication design, development, and research.


Read more about the UAE Federal Accreditation.

Course content


Year 1

The first year focuses on initial design and visualisation skills preparing the student with the fundamentals in overall photography, visual development, design thinking, and introductions into illustration.

Year 2

The second year builds upon the fundamentals taught in the first year, by introducing specialist topics such as typography, videography, and advertising. This is supplemented with courses in creative writing, professional practice, and graphics.

Year 3

The third year involves a unique series of four themed elective specialisations in design management, fashion communication, interaction design, graphics and illustration. However, we will initially be introducing just one pathway in graphics and Illustration. These third-year courses include events management, visual merchandising and fashion styling.

Year 4

The final honours year will entail a two semester developed honours project using supervisory pedagogies, being supplemented by advanced evaluative practice and review.


  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Art / Creative Director
  • Brand Manager
  • Motion Design
  • Design consultant
  • Content Creator
  • (Photo & Video)
  • Digital creative / designer
  • Advertising

Entry requirements

Our normal entry criteria are listed below. However, please note that the final decision remains at the discretion of the course director after evaluating scores of individual relevant subjects.

Students who are eligible to be admitted directly into second year can choose to join the first year, where available.

First year entry

  • GCE A-Level - CCD (or BBBB at AS Level)  
  • CBSE/Other Indian Boards – 65% 
  • American High School Diploma/SABIS - 70% + SAT I - 1000( 500 English + 500 Math) 
  • Tawjihiyya - 80% or Elite/Advance - 75% + EmSAT (English 1400 and Math 700) 
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme - 24 points (3 HL subjects and 3 SL Subjects) 
  • BTEC Level 3 Ext Diploma - MMM 
  • FBISE or grade 12 equivalent - 70% 
  • Russian/Kazakhstan (Attestat) - Grades of 5 in every subject + IELTS 6.0  
  • French Baccalaureate - 13/20 + IELTS 6.0 
  • Lebanese Baccalaureate - 80% or 13/20 + IELTS 6.0 
  • Foundation year - Successful completion of HWU Entry Programme (Management/Design) with CCCC.
  • Compulsory subjects to include English. 

Second year entry

  •  Successful completion of first year of a recognized degree programme in related field with a strong portfolio of work. Please contact the Recruitment and Admissions Office to discuss further. 
  •  Transfer students from other universities may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To find out more about the specific entry requirements for your country, please refer to our International Entry Requirements.

To find out about the entry requirements for this programme, please send an email to

English language requirements

As our degrees are taught and assessed in English, applicants must be able to prove their level of English language ability. To know more, please refer to our English language requirements.

Fees and funding

  • AED 76045 per year*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT



Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.