Graphic Design (Portfolio Preparation)

Graphic Design is the art of explaining and communicating through visual image. We see the work of Graphic Designers in countless ways, including the products we buy, the images we see and the way we interact with objects and printed material. Graphic Designers use their talents to influence how the world sees and engages with such concepts, through developing imaginative visual imagery into working design solutions applicable to real-world contexts.

You will explore the Graphic Designer’s role in the context of branding, marketing, advertising and communication and develop practical skills in visual language, drawing, mixed media, illustration, design and image making. Using our professional standard iMac suite, you will create projects to develop your skills within logo design, concept development, image creation, photography, product placement and much more. You will build on these practical creative skills and generate and evolve ideas to finished projects. In addition, you will produce a portfolio of work for progression to Higher Education and your future career, becoming proficient in the Adobe suite of software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more), building on these skills for real live projects and your art portfolio.

What Makes This Course Special

  • Build your art portfolio
  • Talented artists on our staff
  • Projects with professionals & VISUAL Carlow
  • Professional art studios to develop your work
  • Digital arts suites with Apple Macs using the Adobe suite of software
  • Excellent progression routes

Course Content

  • Graphic Design Skills
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Design Skills
  • Digital Photography
  • Combined Materials
  • Drawing
  • Communications
  • Work Experience

Progress to further study and careers including:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Typography
  • Exhibition and Event Display
  • Editorial Design Creative
  • Technical and Illustration
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Web Designer


Returning to education, I completed a Level 5 Certificate in Graphic Design with Distinctions with Carlow Institute.

I have really enjoyed learning how to design collateral through branding projects in Graphic Design. Using various mediums in my work has expanded my skillsets further, drawing my ideas out, to digitally composing them. This has made me curious to explore more ideas through thinking and designing creative concepts for products and future projects in design. I am currently studying Healthcare with Carlow Institute and hope to get into Art Therapy and continue my love of painting through imagination, colour and vivid style.

I recently unveiled a new body of work for our new Campus here in Carlow Institute, taking four months to complete, my signature imaginative style is heavily influenced by the work of Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to bring a selection of recent artwork to interview in addition to the standard entry requirements.


  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Graphic Design 5M1995


  • All course fees, from registration to exams and awarding body fees as well as course materials and equipment are covered.
    (see costs, fees and finance)

Additional Costs

  • Students need to have access to a digital SLR camera

Garda Vetting
See the Garda Vetting details on the Entry Requirements Page

PLSS Code: 415426

Coordinator: Susan Murphy

Course is subject to minimum enrolment. The programme content shown is indicative and is subject to change according to Awarding Body requirements as well as enrolment and resources.