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Core curriculum

Digital Media

Experiment with the full bandwidth of digital media (from coding to open source software) and learn the skills how to integrate this in your design approach.

Design Research

Experiment with various methodologies from other disciplines (sociology, anthropology, ethnography etc. but also various digital methods) to organize and/or create your own content (as opposed to the content that is given to you in an assignment situation), experiment with relatively new subdisciplines such as speculative design and design fiction.


The fundamental course of graphic design where you learn how to deal with the organization of (text-based) information through macro- and micro typography, create (complex) layouts and grid systems, stylesheets, screen-based typography and much more.

Media Theory

Get familiar with fundamental concepts and ideas that have shaped the graphic design discipline until now (historically, technologically, conceptually), learn how to build a theoretical framework around your own work and position yourself as a designer.

Open Lab

Differentiate your study through collaborative projects with fellow students from years 1-3 on self-initiated projects.

Winter Sessions

Commons Club

Make a visible contribution to the department and the community around it and earn ECT’s for this.


Once every semester we schedule a sprint week (usually feb/oct). During this week, (guest)teachers give workshops on one particular topic. The goal of the sprint week is to [1] introduce you to different approaches than are offered in the regular curriculum, and [2] add dynamic to the curriculum.

Year 1: Foundation Phase

In the first year, you will learn the basics of graphic design. Along with your fellow classmates, you will follow the four basic subjects typography, design research, digital media and media & design theory. You will also follow subjects such as visual language, prototyping, computer skills and spatial design. In addition, you will take part in courses in, for example, screen printing, bookbinding, metal and woodworking and ceramics.

Core +


Spatial design

Visual language

Computer skills

Think Workgroup

Think Lecture

Year 2: Research + Experimentation

The course curriculum in the second year of the bachelor Graphic Design Arnhem is in-depth and research-oriented. The emphasis is on experimentation. Besides the four basic subjects, you will take subjects such as Open Lab, time-based media (audiovisual) and lens-based media (photography). Alongside the regular programme, you will attend a series of lectures on media theory. We also encourage you to get to know the cultural life and professional field outside the academy as much as possible; in this way, you will build a network for your future career during the course. Students who make a visible contribution to the culture within (and outside!) the department receive credits for that

Core +

Time-based Media

Lens- based Media

Year 3: Developing Your Own Vision

The education in the third year is all about developing personal design methods. Besides the four basic subjects mentioned above, you will work on complex projects such as large book projects (over 300 pages) with many layers of information, footnotes, captions, and so on, using IT in smart ways and learning to think systemically. Such projects help you to develop your personal perspective on the design profession.

Core +

Research Lab

In the Research Lab, we challenge you to work based on your own research or design question. As a result, you will be well prepared for your final exam. For example, one student made a series of images of fictitious minerals originating from future disasters (design fiction), while an experimental writing method resulted in a bizarre story. That story was translated to a website in chunks, where visitors can take in the story bit by bit.


In the second semester of Third Year you will have to start thinking and securing an internship for fourth year, this includes researching studios you like, finalising your portfolio and discussing with the internship advisor.

Year 4: Internship + Graduation

The fourth academic year is all about graduation. You no longer take classes but do an internship in the Netherlands or abroad or go on an exchange. You will write a thesis (which you will also design) and carry out a practical assignment. In addition, you will set up a personal research project. In your fourth year, you will be supervised by a team of lecturers. This supervision consists of one-on-one conversations, supplemented by short workshops such as: ‘How do I pitch my project?’ Meetings to discuss work take place by appointment.



Internship Report

Graduation Project