Share your creative talent with the world, and make money while doing it.

What is art and design?

Covering a vast range of skills and talents, art and design is a diverse subject that will help you turn your creative passion into a money-making career. Whether you want to be the next Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin, or you want to play a role in what the next Ferrari looks like, this subject will help you improve your talents and pursue your dream.

Art and design graduates are highly entrepreneurial and self-motivated, both traits that you learn in your journey to becoming an artist. A degree in art and design isn’t all about pencils and pictures, it also teaches you the business and management side of the industry, which is vital to succeeding in a very competitive job market. 

Art and design course entry requirements

As it’s such a broad subject, you have a lot of options when it comes to applying for an art and design degree. Obviously the most useful subjects to have studied would be art, design, or design and technology. But you can also show your creativity with other subjects like photography, fine art, and product design. Portfolios are also very important for art and design applicants.

Good art and design students are inquisitive, creative, driven and open-minded – be sure to show these skills in your personal statement. Depending on your specialism, you may also want to show specific skills for your chosen branch of art and design. For example, if you’re leaning more towards the design route, you will want to show your talent with computer-aided design, technology and physical materials.

What you will need to do
  • Apply by 15 January
  • Write a personal statement
  • Submit a portfolio
  • Attend an interview
What you won’t need to do
  • Audition for a place
  • Pass an entry test
  • Show work experience

Can I study art and design if I’m not good at drawing?

Yes, absolutely. Drawing is only a very small part of art and design, and for many specialisations it’s not involved at all. You should be able to sketch and express your ideas, but talent with a pencil or paintbrush is far from necessary.

Why study art and design at university?

Art and design is a very passionate subject, so you should have an instinct as to whether you want to spend three years studying it.

Some branches of the subject will give you good employment opportunities, but compared to many degrees it doesn’t have the best job prospects. However, it will give you the skills, talents and abilities to turn your hobby and passion into a career that will make you money.

An art and design degree will teach you to think outside the box, which will help you in your assignments and portfolio, but also your job search. Creatives can find themselves working in the most amazing places – ranging from festivals, exhibitions and events, to celebrity functions, and royal parades.

Carving out a place for your individual talents is important in this industry, and you will soon become in-demand if you focus on what makes you special. An art and design degree will help you do this, as you find yourself under the tutelage of experienced artists and surrounded by like-minded peers.

You will also develop a network in the art and design industry, an important advantage in such a fast-moving environment. Whether it’s with classmates, teachers, alumni, or business during your placements, connections are extremely important, and there’s no better place to make them than at university.

Some modules you may study are:

  • History of art
  • Reflection and analysis             
  • Art, technology, and the internet
  • Art and business
  • Studio practice
  • Typographical skills
  • Professional skills in art and design
  • Objects and experiences

Is it hard to find a job in art and design?

There’s no denying that the art and design industry is competitive, but the UK’s creative sector is internationally famous and there are lots of opportunities to prove your worth.

Many art and design graduates also make their living on a freelance or self-employed basis, giving you the freedom to choose your hours and projects.

What can you do with an art and design degree?

A degree in art and design will open the door to many jobs, with the most common being:

And many more options:

What’s it like to study art and design?

There aren’t many degrees as varied as art and design. The objective of the course is to give you all of the creative, technical and management skills needed to be successful in the creative industry, so as you can imagine this means a lot of variety.

Studying art and design will take you from the studio to the darkroom, from the computer lab to the performance hall, and back to the lecture theatre and exam rooms. You’ll learn the basics of many different types of art and design, before choosing to specialise in the later years of your course.

In your first year, you might be working with students whose dreams range from car design, to sculpture, to fashion, to architecture. You’ll develop a rounded view of the creative industry and learn as much from your friends as you will from your tutors, so be prepared to keep your mind open and look for opportunities where you can.

You’ll improve your natural curiosity and creativity, turning them into money-making talents for when you graduate. You’ll also develop your confidence and criticism, along with your teamwork abilities, patience, analysis, and research. Most art and design subjects last three years and result in a BA degree, but many offer a year in industry which will extend the time it takes to complete your degree, but give you a much needed edge in the job market.

When you graduate, you’ll be in one of the most competitive job markets out there. Only nursing graduates are greater in number than art and design, so be prepared to carve your own path, follow your dreams, and fight for your career. It’ll be worth it.

Art and design undergraduates can expect the following tasks during their studies:

  • writing reports and essays
  • practical and creative projects
  • attending lectures and seminars
  • hearing from industry speakers
  • placements and industry experience
  • project and teamwork

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