Considering a career in the creative arts industries? Come along to our Create your future event to discover hundreds of creative courses, traineeships, and careers – all under one roof.
145,330 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.
77.2% of graduates went directly into employment.
Top five graduate destinations:
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation
- Professional, scientific, and technical
- Accommodation and food service
Universities, colleges, and conservatoires are offering courses in the following subject areas:
- fine art
- design studies
- cinematics and photography
- creative/imaginative writing
The field has a strong vocational link with many courses designed to provide a route to a related career.
You can study music, dance, drama, musical theatre, film, and production courses at both universities and conservatoires. Conservatoire courses are more performance-based, whereas university courses focus more on academic study.
Subject combinations and available course options include:
- single, joint, and multiple subject combinations
- full-time, part-time, and flexible study options as well as a few courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
- qualifications ranging from BA (Hons) degrees, through to HND, HNC, and Foundation Certificates
A levels – To get on to a related degree, you will usually need a minimum of two A levels. Entry requirements range from CDD to ABB, with providers most commonly asking for BBC. In addition, you normally require five GCSEs at grade C or above including maths and English. However, many courses do not have specific A level requirements:
- Performing arts – English, performing arts, or another essay-based humanities subject is useful. Applicants taking a performance music course will often be expected to have achieved a minimum of grade 7 ABRSM (or equivalent) in their main instrument or voice.
- Design, fine art, and photography – many courses require, or prefer, an art and design A level or Scottish Higher. It can also advantageous to have a foundation diploma in art and design.
- Creative writing – English or a related A level or Scottish Higher is required for many courses.
Scottish Highers – Entry requirements for Highers (the most common qualification) range from CCCC to BBBBC, with universities or colleges most frequently requiring ABBB. Occasionally, universities ask for Advanced Highers to supplement Highers. If Advanced Highers are requested, universities or colleges typically ask for BB.
Vocational courses – Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Art and Design, Performing Arts, SVQ Creative and Cultural Skills (SCQF Level 6)) may be accepted as an alternative to A levels/Highers by some providers. It’s essential that you check alternative entry requirements with providers.
Competition for some courses can be intense, and different selection methods are used to ensure applicants have the appropriate talent and aptitude.
Fine art, art and design, and photography – prospective students are required to present a portfolio of their work and will often be asked to talk this through at interview. Entry requirements may be relaxed based on the strength of the art portfolio offered.
Performing arts – applicants will be invited to take part in an audition, which may include individual and group performances. Again, previous experience and a strong audition may mean entry requirements are relaxed for some courses.
Creative writing – applicants may be asked to submit a written piece of work that demonstrates their skills.
Personal statements form an essential part of the selection process and in general, admissions tutors are looking for:
- a sense of what drives your interest and passion for the subject
- evidence that you have a real enthusiasm and are highly motivated, which could be demonstrated by:
- relevant work experience/shadowing or voluntary work
- additional reading, research, training, and qualifications
- membership of related societies/clubs
- a well written statement that shows you have something to contribute to the university or college
- the ability to work collaboratively and share ideas with others
If you want to combine work and study while earning a salary, you could consider an apprenticeship. Which apprenticeships are available, and how you apply, depends on where you live.
Each apprenticeship sets out occupational standards for specific job roles, designed by employers. The standards outline the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to demonstrate that an apprentice is fully competent in the job role.
Higher apprenticeships (Level 4)
- Assistant technical director (visual effects)
- Cultural heritage conservation technician
- Historic environment advice assistant
- Junior 2D artist (visual effects)
- Post-production technical operator
Degree apprenticeships (Levels 5 – 7)
Visit the following website find out more about courses and careers in creative arts and design.