Select Page

Design Course

Ballyfermot College FET Campus

Get your graphic design career off to the perfect start at Ballyfermot College FET Campus (BCFE). Our award winning two year Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design, has been producing skilled industry professionals for nearly quarter of a century.

About the Course

Our award winning two year Higher National Diploma in graphic design course at BCFE, has been producing skilled industry professionals for well over twenty years. This highly-regarded programme enables students to develop industry level technical and visual language skills. As a result our graduates are much sought after in industry.

Our award-winning students (OFFSET Future Illustrator 2019ICAD UPSTARTS 2023Young Lions 2024) produce industry-ready portfolios so they can move straight into a graphic design career. Graduates can also choose to continue their studies to degree level with advanced entry if they wish, though this isn’t needed to get a design job after finishing the programme at BCFE.

For more information on the entry requirements for the HND in Graphic Design at BCFE go to the Application Page.

What do we teach?

We teach a wide range of design and digital skills on our programme, that are essential to securing a career in graphic design. With the assumption that students have limited or no experience with design technology or principals, we start with the basics and systematically build up student skills to a professional standard. Below are just some of the key areas we develop of the two years.

Photo Composite for Wind in the Willows by Caoimhe O'Reilly

Photo Compositing

Learn how to create beautiful photographic composites from scratch. Seamlessly combine different images with perfect lighting and colour to produce innovative and exciting design solutions. To see more examples of student photo composite work please go to the gallery page.

Corporate Identity

Corporate Identity (branding) is probably the thing most associated with graphic design. A well-crafted and refined brand design can be a very powerful visual asset, learn how create well designed and impactful branding. To see more examples of student Corporate Identity work please go to the gallery page.

UX Design

Screen based design differs from print design in so many ways, this is where user experience (UX) input becomes so important. Learn how to create and enhance your screen based design work with user focused methodologies. To see more examples of student UX design work please go to the gallery page.

Editorial Image for Vertigo by Jean Brennan

Editorial Design

One aspect of graphic design that people constantly underestimate, is the skill and finesse required to effectively handle type. Whether it is large amounts of body copy or just titles and captions, the skill required to handle this well cannot be understated. To see more examples of students editorial design work please go to the gallery page.

digital painting for the crucible by Orlaith O'Reilly

Digital Illustration

On our programme we teach students a wide range of digital illustration techniques, from vector styles to digital painting. We have had many graduates go on to be both successful graphic designers and commercial illustrators. To see more examples of student digital illustration design work please go to the gallery page.

Packaging Image for Protein balls called Kracken by Julie Smyth

Packaging Design

Packaging design is a multi-disciplinary endeavour, requiring advanced illustration, typographic and three dimensional skills. Our programme helps students to consistently produce innovative and beautifully designed packaging solutions. To see more examples of students packaging design work please go to the gallery page.

From Our Graduates

Our graduates have gone on to successful graphic design careers all over the world. Many winning design awards and other accolades with ICAD, YCN & Cannes Young Lions.

“It was immediately clear to me when I began studying in BCFE that this course was exactly what I needed. My tutors were hugely dedicated. They were invested in the success of each student and provided an incredible level of individual support. The course was hard work, satisfying and I learned so much. Having completed my Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design, my skillset has been transformed and I have more employment and career opportunities than I had ever anticipated. Two years very well spent.”

Helen O'Higgins

Art Director, In the Company of Huskies, Dublin

“Hands down the best educational experience I’ve ever had. The dedicated teaching staff have a seemingly endless source of practical experience that they are always eager to share. Thanks to them, just five days after finishing the course I got my first design job. Since then I have been lucky enough to design everything from websites and books, to print and branding for exclusive national events. Right from the start I had the tools and abilities to tackle every challenge that came my way. The staff and course at Ballyfermot made that possible.” 

Ciaran McIlwee

Graphic Designer, Guaranteed Irish, Dublin

“I have always had a keen interest in visual communication. This is why I enrolled in the HND course in Graphic Design at BCFE. This two-year course gave me practical tools and covered all the most important aspects of graphic design – such as typography, illustration, editorial design, web design, animation and so on. I really enjoyed the two years in Ballyfermot College and I feel the course gave me what I needed to work in the field of Graphic Design. I would totally recommend it!”

Chiara Tallarini

Digital Designer, Foleon, Amsterdam

“The effectiveness of the course, in my opinion, comes down to the programme being taught by passionate tutors who are really into what they are teaching. They didn’t just cover the basics; they gave us inside tips and tricks and guided us in terms of breaking into the industry. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and it ignited a real passion for graphic design in me. Thanks to this course, I landed my dream job as an art director. If you’re thinking about getting into graphic design, I can’t recommend the Graphic Design course at BCFE enough.”

Kevin Flynn

Junior Art Director , BBDO, Dublin

Facts about the Course 

The HND in Graphic Design course at BCFE has been operating for nearly a quarter of a century, with hundreds of graduates going on to extraordinary careers in an incredible diverse range of graphic design disciplines, including motion graphics for television, packaging design, advertising, UX design, web design, print, photography, sportswear design, info graphics and commercial illustration to name just some. We’ve always said that our course is a course designed to get graduates a design job, not a course to do another course.

Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the course are listed below.

Number of Places

Cost of course

Years duration

First Year Modules

Second Year Modules

Tuition Hours Per Week

Some examples of first year photo composite work for 'The Wind in the Willows'. Students develop a range of advanced Photoshop techniques and skills to create innovative and beautiful design solutions. 
There are a limited number of places still available on BCFE’s Award Winning 2 year Higher National Diploma Graphic Design Course 2024-2025.
Apply now at
You can also apply and view more student design work on our course website at
#bcfe #graphicsbcfe #cdv #irishdesign #badger #mole #toad #kennethgrahame #thewindinthewillows #photoshop #photocomposite #graphicdesign #editorialdesign #design #compositing #illustration #typography #web #webdesign #packaging #art #show #exhibition #course #designcourse #Award #icad #icadupstart#dublin #ireland
There are a limited number of places still available on BCFE’s Award Winning 2 year Higher National Diploma Graphic Design Course.
Apply now at
You can also apply and view more student design work on our course website at
#bcfe #graphicsbcfe #graphicdesign #editorialdesign #design #compositing #illustration #typography #web #webdesign #packaging #art #show #exhibition #course #designcourse #Award #icad #icadupstart#dublin #ireland
Sample the of Graphic Design graduate work 2023.
BCFE's Graduate show for Animation, Graphic Design & Illustration. Smock Alley, Temple Bar.

This course is for you!

Whether you are a young creative looking to get into design, or a working professional looking for a change of career, this course is for you. We teach all the key skills required to successfully transition into the design industry. As part of the City of Dublin FET, BCFE college is committed to quality, affordable and accessible education and training. Our graphic design course has been successfully helping graduates fulfil their design ambitions for nearly quarter of a century.


Our course is ideal for both undergraduates and postgraduates who are looking to acquire the full skill set needed to become a graphic designer. We have developed the course to get people into paid design work after just two years. As a result the course is intense and challenging, but very rewarding.

Career Change

If you are looking to change career and have always thought about becoming a graphic designer, then this is the course for you. As a result of completing the Graphic Design Course at BCFE we have helped people from all types of careers to successfully make that transition.

Graphic Design Employment

Our graduates can move directly into graphic design work without the need for further training, thanks to the skill set they have acquired on our programme. Students learn all the fundamentals of good graphic design, from developing sound concepts through to the subtle details of good typography.

Advanced Entry to 3rd Level

Graduates of the Graphic Design course can gain advanced entry to second and third year of Vis-Com BA QQI Level 8 programmes in both Ireland and the UK. The year of advanced entry is subject to the quality of the graduates portfolio.

Latest Student Work

Students learn an extensive range of design processes and techniques as well as the software required to fully realise their design solutions. Each student graduates the programme with a unique industry standard portfolio that clearly demonstrates a mastery of a full range of design skills. Below are some samples of current student work from this years first and second year groups.

Have you any questions?
Just Email!

Hopefully this page has given you all the information you need about our 2-year Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design at BCFE. However, if you do have any questions, please feel free to make contact through the college website or using the contact form below.