Guide to Studying Art & Design

What is Art & Design?

  • Yes, we just asked: what is art? What a nebulous thing to try and define. Any range or product of creative human activity can be defined as art. Most well associated are the visual arts - painting, sculpture etc.
  • The design is the preliminary planning, when the first seeds of what may become a great work of art are sown. Being taught to come up with the ideas for a great piece of art work are as important as the art creation itself.

Why Study Art & Design?

  • Facing facts, it is hard to get a job from an art course. Not impossible though. Those with the real talent stand out here more than in most degrees - everyone can draw, not everyone can draw well enough to get a job.
  • You should study art and design if you want to study art and design. If you're slugging through a course to get a well paid job that will pay your student debts, then maybe you've missed the point. Follow your dreams.
  • Art and design courses do teach you transferable skills that make you employable - good communication skills, IT literacy, flexibility, teamwork skills. Put a savvy CV together and you should have no disadvantage.
  • It's a diverse area, which can be tailored to what you want to study. History of Arts, Fine Art, Sculpture, Fashion Design, Garden Art, Exhibitions, Media Studies, Graphic Design, Musical and Theatre Art - all module options.
  • If you study art & design in the UK you will be immersed in one of the richest cultural heritages in the world. Studying Turner, Constable and Hirst is, let's face it, more exciting than reading an Economics textbook.

Coursework, Assessment and Exams

  • Art and Design is assessed primarily on coursework.
  • Any theory based modules will also be primarily essay and coursework based, although there may also be presentations and in some limited cases, exams.

What Degree Can I Get? 

  • BA Art and Design
  • BA History, Communication and Curation
  • BSc Creative Technology
  • BA Fashion

What Qualifications do I Need?

  • Students may be selected based on GCSE scores as well A levels or equivalent.
  • Art and design foundation diplomas are also a common requirement for courses in this field.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Art & Design courses.

What are the Postgraduate Opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include MAs in Advertising, Animation, Arts Journalism, Design Management, Documentary, Games Design, Graphic Branding and Media Design, Illustration, Photography and Photojournalism.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the Job Opportunities?

  • Art and Design leads to a very competitive industry, and gets a bad rap for having low graduate employment and prospects. If you have the skills and talent, however, you could make it in a very exciting industry.
  • Particular job areas include, as well as being an artist, a community worker, fashion designer, graphic designer, illustrator, textile manufacturer, advertising exec, multimedia worker, or museum curator.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Art and Design graduates, such as Arts Council England.