Visual Communication HND

UCAS 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

Access routes

Direct entry to year 2 may be possible with HNC Visual Communications

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?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We continue to review government guidance 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. In semester one, September 2020, 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 will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. We hope to have some practical sessions in semester one, however the majority are likely to be in semester two (from January 2021), where this is not possible alternative options will be available.
  • 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, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Note: The Scottish Government set this fee which has not yet been confirmed for 2021-22 so may be subject to change.

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:

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?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Visual Communication HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

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.