The BA (Hons) Digital Design & Advertising programme encourages distinctive voices in digital communication. Alongside our sister programme, Graphic Design, our projects and programme ethos goes far beyond the atheistic of digital production. To be a designer from The Northern, is to be a digital communicator, a visionary and digital specialist. The world and the way we understand, inhabit and navigate it, are changing and it’s the very nature of this that requires our students to rethink, question and constantly challenge the purpose digital communication serves in society. Our programme, promotes changemakers, we rethink what we know, we question what we do, and we challenge the world as we know it, through cutting edge design, through expansive experimentation, through new ideas and through our community. Collectively, as a design studio from the moment our students arrive, we make work that matters.
This course gives students with skills applicable to all spectrums of the industry including digital design, visual communication, creative advertising, strategy, user experience, app & web creation and account management. Developed directly with industry to ignite the mind of the true creative thinker. If you’re looking for an advanced digital design degree with a commercial focus, that will set you on course for a career in online media, our BA (Hons) Digital Design & Advertising degree is for you.

You will develop and refine your skills as a digital designer through branding, digital advertising, campaign and social media marketing, animation & motion graphics, app development and product enterprise. Paired with problem solving, consumer driven strategy, digital campaigns and social media platforms, you will explore the full life cycle of a product or service from concept through to market. As graduates you will leave us primed as innovative practitioners. Developed and working closely alongside our Graphic Design degree, this Digital Design & Advertising course offers digital design, campaign and commercially focused briefs through shared modules

Awards: Design Impact Award 2021.





Student Voice

Watch now to find out more about what it's like to be a student on this degree programme.


Faculty Leader Olivia joined The Northern School of Art at the beginning of 2017, after working in industry for over ten years. Olivia’s career began working with a number of leading graphic design & advertising agencies and clients. Her most recent roles in the industry focused on internationalising a design and fitout company. Olivia led the brand campaign in the Middle East, managing a design team alongside leading international design projects for the hospitality industry. Operating on a freelance basis, Olivia developed an online design business to promote local and emerging design practitioners, winning a number of national and entrepreneurial awards. She is a regular guest speaker at Digital Leaders and Woman in Digital and had worked as an enterprise mentor. Olivia’s own practice has a digital focus. She is interested in digital and motion graphics .Olivia’s expertise is in research driven, commercially orientated design. Her keen interest is in the area where design meets business. Olivia’s skills lie in developing the student’s ability to design commercially aware graphic and digital solutions. Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, (Studying PhD), CIM, FHEA
Lecturer Paul Clay joined The Northern School of Art 2009 after working in industry for over ten years. Paul is currently a senior lecturer, working across both the Graphic Design and Digital Design & Advertising programmes. Prior to joining The Northern, Paul worked for a wide range of design agencies and high profile clients as an in-house senior graphic designer across the North East, bringing with him a wealth of experience upon joining The Northern School of Art. Paul’s current work is occupied with design research and practice, focusing on community history and design for social good. Paul develops his portfolio working with local charities, in both raising awareness and proceeds to challenge social issues and promoting design for change. Qualifications: BA (Hons) PGCE, FHEA
=""]Technician/Demonstrator Kathryn Bell is an artist and print technician working in the North East of England, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art. Kathryn is an experienced print technician who demonstrates print techniques to students in Graphic Design, Illustration and across the school. Her own work mostly includes relief, screen print and cyanotype, often combing a mixture of these processes to create hybrid prints. Kathryn is active in keeping up to date with printmaking trends and opportunities and uses this information to support students to access exciting opportunities. Kathryn is a member of People of Print, a community of printmakers, illustrators and graphic designers who are outstanding in their field. She regularly exhibits and sells her work around the UK and permanently in a store in Durham City. Kathryn is a featured printmaker with Green Door Printmaking Studio (International Print Exchange) and regularly participates in the Cascade Print Exchange (USA). Qualifications: BA (Hons)
Lecturer Matthew joined The Northern School of Art in 2021. As an established illustrator and designer, Matthew has worked in the publishing and design industry for 15 years, predominantly in editorial illustration and graphic design. His early freelance career explored the film and TV industries working with NBC Universal, creating key art for TV productions, documentaries and commercials. Since 2011 Matthew has worked in the publishing industry with a number of key publishing houses. For over a decade Matthew has worked with Move Press as in house illustrator for their huge range of publications and digital content. Move Press, based in California USA, is renown for their high end publications, films and branded content. During this time Matthew has also collaborated with, Walz and Pactimo, creating a range of cycle wear and apparel. Recent work includes his collaboration in a series of books, working with high profile companies which include Team Sky, Rapha, ASO ‘Tour De France’ and Team EF Pro Cycling. Matthew’s freelance practice is often tied to his interest in the sports industry and has created a niche portfolio of clients within the sector. Matthew’s freelance clients range across the globe from the USA to Taiwan. Matthew’s is currently pursuing his MA and continues his own practice and freelance business. His skills range from analogue illustration and to print making to digital art and design. Matthew is currently exploring the realm of digital 3D and motion design. BA (Hons), MA, PGCE[/
Lecturer Alice graduated from an MA in Illustration and Design in 2013 and since has worked in higher education whilst developing personal work for a range of regional exhibitions including; The Northern Festival of Illustration in 2019, Emanation at ThoughtFoundation 2018, Hamsterley: Unearthed 2018 in Hamsterley Forest, and the Drawing Parallels and Drawing the Line series at Gala Gallery and Holy Biscuit gallery. This has built a wealth of experience working with varied teams to plan and curate exhibitions. Alice has worked on a range of illustration commissions for clients such as Bernicia Festival, Lake Poets, Narc Magazine, The Customs House theatre, and Tiny Lights Recordings and Kittle PR. Alice continues to work on private illustration and design commissions alongside lecturing. Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, FHEA
Lecturer Kirsti is an illustrator and children’s book author based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. You’ll often find her working on current projects in her studio in the outskirts of the city or floating around coffee shops nearby drinking too much coffee. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2016 and moving back to the North East, Kirsti began to work as a freelance illustrator. Her life long love of reading and narrative imagery motivated her to apply to the Picture Hooks scheme in a hope to focus on writing and illustrating children’s books. She was awarded ‘Picture Hooks Illustrator of the Year’ in 2017 and has worked on multiple books since with Scholastic (Alison Green Books), Little Tiger(Stripes), Usborne Publishing, Childs Play Publishing, Hachette, Quarto Publishing, Macmillan Publishing, Chicken House Books amongst others. In 2020 she was longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize for her debut picture book “The Mist Monster”(2019) and has had her other works shortlisted forthe Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2020, and included in BookTrust’s Great Books Guide 2020, EmpathyLab – Read For Empathy Collection 2021 to name a few. Kirsti joined The Bright Agency in late 2019 and continues to work closely with them on projects in publishing, editorial and advertising divisions


This degree is for you if you wish to have a career in:



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