1 Year QQI Certificate in Graphic Design

Course Description

This 1-year Certificate course in Graphic Design will introduce you to a comprehensive range of skills, knowledge and the principles of design. As industry awareness underpins our teaching at DDIyou will be given realistic briefs mirroring real-world scenarios, allowing you to experiment with techniques and processes.  

A series of design-based lectures and studio projects exploring drawing, illustration, concept development and typography will ensure that you have a working knowledge of the core skills of graphic design. You will be introduced to industry-standard software, and you will gain experience of using it to implement your design solutions.

In addition to scheduled class time, you will be able to avail of multiple one-to-one feedback sessions throughout the year.

Why study with us?
  • 25 Years experience providing design education
  • Mature student friendly
  • State accredited Institution
  • Strong industry connections
  • Design education taught by experienced design professionals
  • Part time/ full time/ in class/ online options
  • High rates of graduate employment
  • Award Winning Institute
  • Range of payment plans available
Course Content
Term 1

We start off with Design Communication module to begin the development of visual literacy in relation to design. The focus is on ideation, brainstorming, mind mapping and creative thinking to assist in generating rich design communication outcomes. The iterative nature of the design process is also highlighted to underpin future approaches to problem solving activities.

We then apply Digital applications across term 1 & 2 The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to industry standard software tools. In this module learners begin to realise their designs through the use of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

We finish off the term 1 with Image Making. The module aims to introduce the learner to a wide range of image making techniques and processes, including photography, printmaking, mark making, collage, etching, lino and mono print. The emphasis is on experimentation and testing out new techniques that assist in creative problem-solving. Both traditional and digital image-making techniques are explored to build competencies and understanding of image creation.

Term 2

Digital applications module will continue into Term 2 to expand more on your learning and knowledge of the software tools used. We then begin to look at typography. This module provides the learner with a fundamental knowledge associated with typography. The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the role of typography within graphic design practice in order to develop the learner’s understanding of, and competence in applying, the various skills associated with the use of type within design.

We will then finish Term 2 off with brief 1 of Professional Development and Contextual Studies 1. This module is designed to encourage learners to make connections between theory and practice. The module looks at careers within the design industry as well as the role of the designer within society. The module introduces soft skills such as presentation & pitching and establishes pathways into industry to provide context for the breath of design careers that exist. This module also aims to provide the theory and knowledge required to develop an understanding and appreciation for the historical development of design as a form of communication.

Term 3

Following on from term Term 2 we will continue with brief 2 of Professional Development and Contextual Studies.   We will then introduce Illustration in Term 3. The aim of the module is to allow the learner to develop drawing and sketching skills and techniques. These core skills will allow the learner to develop the creative skills necessary to generate, innovative problem-solving ideas quickly. The techniques and skills shown in this module allow the learner build creative confidence in drawing and mark-making.

We will then finish off Term 3 with studio lab. This module aims to give learners an understanding of the potential that design has to effect change.  The module equips them with skills to identify and address a variety of wider cultural and societal issues. The StudioLAB series involves engagement with industry partners who provide opportunities for learners to receive feedback via critiques.

Admissions requirements

Applicants aged under 23 must have successfully completed the Leaving Cert / comparable secondary school examination, or hold another qualification at Level 5 or higher on the National Framework for Qualifications (NFQ). Leaving Cert results should include English and Maths, at D3 Ordinary or better, or equivalent.

A portfolio should be submitted as part of this application process to the Certificate in Graphic Design. In the absence of a portfolio, applicants are required to sit an aptitude test as part of the application process.

Guidelines for portfolio preparation and submission are available for here.

Mature applications are welcome and highly valued at our Institute. We have a robust Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy in place to support our approach and acknowledge prior learning.

For more information, please contact our Admissions Team by email at admissions@dublindesign.ie or by telephone on 01 6790286.

Payment Options

DDI offer flexible payment plans for this course, which you can access here.  If you have any queries relating to course fees or our payment options please email or call on + 353 1 6790 286

Advanced Entry

Advanced Entry is where an applicant has previous work experience and/or educational achievements that are considered directly relevant to the programme they wish to apply for. In such cases, it is possible to gain module exemptions and / or entry to an advanced stage of a programme. Advanced entry is sometimes referred to as Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and a specific application form for admission through RPL is available here.

Language Requirements

We welcome international students to our courses. If English is not your first language, evidence of proficiency is required. This can be provided through a recognised English test result or qualified by experience e.g. where an individual has been working in an English speaking environment for 12 months +.


Upon successful completion, you will be awarded the QQI-accredited Certificate in Graphic Design. This award is a Level 6 qualification on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), with 60 ECTS Credits assigned. QQI is Ireland’s official state higher education awarding body.

Progression Options

This course has been structured to create and support progression pathways to further study. Upon successful completion of this course, there are options to progress to the 2nd year of our 3-year BA in Graphic Design or the final stage of the Higher Certificate in Graphic Design.

Protection of Enrolled Learners

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded

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At a Glance

Start Date w/b 25th September 2023
Duration 1 Year
Study Mode Part-Time Day (PTD)
Part-Time Evening (PTE)
Class Schedule PTD: Thursday 10am-5pm (in-class)
PTE: Monday & Thursday 6pm-9pm (in-class)
PTD & PTE: Saturday (online session)
Fees €3,350 per year
Accreditation QQI - Level 6 (60 Credits)

Student Work

Student Work