Visual Communication HND

Course code 312W

What is special about this course?

The HND Visual Communication is a practical, skills-based course. It provides the opportunity to explore a broad range of creative tools and techniques relevant to graphic design, photography, moving image and illustration.

This student-centred course will encourage you to develop your individual skills ad interests. Through a thorough understanding of the creative process you will learn to apply your evolving skill set to a range of design projects and professional opportunities.

Special features

  • Introduction to a breadth of visual communication tools and techniques
  • The course focuses on the creative process and student-centred learning
  • State-of-the-art software and printmaking facilities
  • Dynamic project briefs aligned to industry standard skills development
  • You will undertake live project work in liaison with the industry to generate employment opportunities
  • Opportunities for national and international trips to enhance your experience
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal and professional circumstances


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade D or above
  • Alternatively, NC Art and Design
  • You will be required to submit a portfolio of your work and may be asked to attend an interview
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply
  • HNC Visual Communications may allow direct entry to year 2

Year 1 - HNC

Year 1 of this course is HNC Visual Communication.

Year 2 - HND

Mandatory units are:

  • Creative project for artists and designers
  • Digital imaging project
  • Design production
  • Working in creative inudstries 2 
  • Preparing for a role in the field of visual communication 
  • Visual communication: graded unit 2

Option units may include:

  • Client initiated design project
  • Creative arts project: development and production
  • Mixed media portfolio
  • Photography: advertising
  • Work experience 
  • Photography: image editing 1 
  • New media project

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. From September , where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, where this is not possible alternative options will be available. The theory elements will be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online induction at the start of the course. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)

You will study by way of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical work in the classroom and design studio.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 2 years (HNC+ HND)
  • Part-time: approx 4 years (HNC+ HND)

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

Additional costs

Students are expected to fund the materials required for the production of projects, they should allow starting budget of £150 per year for this.

Optional course trips are available in some campuses at a fee of between £300 – £600, dependent upon selected destination.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you might like to consider careers in art, digital media, design, broadcast, graphics or illustration.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion, you can progress to the BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Visual Communication HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.