BA Media Design - BMED

Short description

Bachelor of Arts in Media Design is a professionally focused degree programme in graphic design (also known as visual communication, graphic communication or communication design). The practice-based programme deals with print media, interactive digital media, as well as signage and wayfinding systems for the built and outdoor environment. BA in Media Design can be described as a hybrid between a traditional graphic design programme and a modern information design programme.

A strong and committed emphasis is placed on theory and history particularly relevant to the practice of design. This is coupled with essay writing aided by formative feedback throughout the three years of study. The programme also puts an emphasis on craft knowledge (especially typography), technical skills (e.g. colour management) and process skills (e.g. project management). The mission is to educate the students to become professional designers who can balance practical skills and formgiving ability with analytical capacity and conceptual creativity.

Further studies

This design programme, with its academic profile and emphasis on advancing the students’ writing skills, makes the students particularly well equipped for master’s degree studies in design (in Norway and abroad). This also applies for the MA in User Centered Media Design at Gjøvik University College.

Job prospects

On completion of the study programme the student will be qualified to work as a graphic designer or to take up a similar occupation. For example in a wide variety of graphic design studios, business and technology service companies and consultancies which deliver solutions for web and interactive media, advertising agencies, communication and public relations agencies, publishing companies, newspapers, technical documentation services, museums and other cultural sector organisations, broadcasting, and design and prepress departments in the printing industry. And ever more often, for private enterprises and public sector bodies that employ in-house designers or personnel with design expertise. Many designers establish their own practice after having gained some years of experience as employees or freelancers in the design industry. Completion of the study programme will also contribute towards qualifying for teaching positions in secondary school, in vocational colleges or in higher education.


3 years
180 ECTS credits
Undergraduate programme leading to a Bachelor's degree.
The study programme is offered by the Departement of Computer Science and Media Technology.

Expected learning outcomes

After completion, the candidate will have acquired a broad and useful design related competence within visual communication. This includes theoretical knowledge, practical and technical skills, design skills and the ability to work conceptually and analytically.
The candidate:

  • will have good knowledge about typography and information design
  • will have knowledge about essential topics from the history of writing and typography, the history of graphic design, history of photography and image communication, history and theory of information graphics, and history of media and theory of text
  • will have knowledge about project management
  • will have knowledge about contemporary methods applied within strategic design and user-centered design
  • will have relevant knowledge about production methods within the media industry
  • will have relevant knowledge about marketing and media law (including copyright, patents, trademarks, design law and intellectual property)
  • will be aware of relevant and current international design literature and have some knowledge of research and development within the core topics of the programme


  • will be able to initiate the use of, and apply, design methods and tools for project management
  • will have a basic and wide set of graphical means, norms and solutions for a range of printed genres and digital media
  • will have solid craft skills (to effectively handle software for design and page layout and for proficient handling of detail in typography)
  • will have relevant technical skills (especially application-based colour management)
  • in a professional manner – on her/his own or as part of a team – handle a wide range of design tasks within visual communication. Ranging from analysis and ideation to design and page layout to technical implementation. For example within genres like book, magazine and newspaper design, information architecture for the web, business promotion and design for wayfinding and signage for built environments

General competences

  • will be able to work independently and also cooperate with professionals from different fields and be assertive in multi disciplinary projects
  • will have a wide and analytical comprehension of design history and visual culture within society and be able to reflect upon his/her own professional practice, including legal and ethical concerns
  • have a solid grounding for a career in design and be able to keep updated and develop further within the field and in accordance with a changing job market and developments within publishing media.


The courses are normally taught in Norwegian. There are possibilities to undertake the autumn semester of the third year abroad at a university with which Gjøvik University College has an exchange agreement.

Admission Criteria

General matriculation requirement.

Course Structure

The study programme covers:

  • Graphic design, with an emphasis on typography and editorial design, and some emphasis on strategic design.
  • Information design, with its emphasis on mundane but complex graphical user interfaces (in a wide sense and in any media), the application of user centered design methods, and the aim of designing for the public good.

The students typically do projects on book design, journal design, newspaper design, packaging design, information graphics, design for the web, tablet computers and smartphones, design of signage and wayfinding systems for the built and outdoor environment, branding and corporate identity, as well as calligraphy and typeface design. The design projects are to a large extent run and supervised by members of the academic staff who are also practising designers.

A study trip to Rome in the third semester («The classical lettering tradition in Rome») and a study trip to London in the fifth semester (visiting media companies, design studios, universities, museums, special collection libraries and archives) are included as an integral part of the study programme.

The study programme offers training in essay writing and study technique, introductory courses in software such as InDesign and Photoshop and in web standards such as HTML and CSS. The laboratories dedicated to the media design students are well equipped with large screen Mac computers, up to date software and an extensive typeface library. The university college library offers an extensive collection of books, journals and e-media on design matters. The campus bookshop carries a good selection of books on design and media technology.

Language: Lectures are mainly held in Norwegian. However, occasional guest lecturers and visiting workshop instructors are often English speaking. All members of the academic staff speak English, and quite a number of them have studied or worked in English speaking countries. A substantial number of the items on the compulsory and recommended reading lists, as well as the majority of books and journals in the library, are in the English language.

The programme is based on lectures, essay writing, laboratory exercises, and most importantly practical design assignments based on extensive formative-iterative evaluation. Study trips to Rome (3rd semester; in order to study classical and neo-classical inscriptional lettering) and London (5th semester; in order to visit some major design studios, major design schools and design museums) are usually part of the programme (the students must cover their own costs).

Introductory courses in essay writing and software like InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive and Flash, are offered in addition to the courses listed below.

The students will find themselves in an interesting multidisciplinary study environment with access to well equipped laboratories for paper-based and electronic publishing, studios and laboratories for multimedia production, digital video, digital sound, digital photography, colour science, colour phenomenology, telepresence and usability studies.

Table of subjects

Bachelor in Media Design 2010-2013, 1st study year

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
IMT1101 Typography C 10          
IMT1112 History of photography & pictorial communication C 10          
IMT1401 Information and publishing technology C 5          
IMT1412 Practical photography C 5          
IMT1051 Information graphics C   10        
IMT1451 Print production C   10        
IMT3950-1 Superstructure projects I (Bachelor of media design) C   5        
IMT3950-2 Superstructure projects II (Bachelor of media design) C   5        
Sum: 30 30 0 0 0 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Bachelor in Media Design 2010-2013, 2nd study year

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
IMT2072 Ergonomics in digital media C     10      
IMT2312 History of typography C     10      
IMT3950002 Copy-editing and typography C     5      
IMT3950003 Superstructure projects III (Bachelor of media design) C     5      
IMT2342 Design history and design theory C       10    
IMT2411 Colour management C       5    
IMT3950-3 Superstructure projects VII (Bachelor of media design) C       5    
IMT3950004 Strategic design C       5    
IMT3950005 Superstructure projects IV (Bachelor of media design) C       5    
Sum: 0 0 30 30 0 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Bachelor in Media Design 2010-2013, 3rd study year

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
IMT3950006 Information architecture C         5  
IMT1161 Media law C         5  
SMF1202 Introduction to Project Management C         5  
IMT2651 Introduction to media science: Theory and method C         10  
IMT3950007 Superstructure projects V (Bachelor of media design) C         5  
IMT3950-6 Superstructure Projects VIII (Bachelor of Media Design) C           5
IMT3950009 Superstructure projects VI (Bachelor of media design) C           5
IMT3950-4 Superstructure projects IX (Bachelor of media design) C           5
IMT3950008 Wayfinding C           5
IMT3950-7 Superstructure projects X (Bachelor of media design) C           5
SMF2062 Marketing C           5
Sum: 0 0 0 0 30 30
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course