Design Colleges in UK

    Sonal Vaid's profile photo

    Sonal Vaid

    Content Curator

    Design colleges in UK are a fast-growing sector to the UK economy that encompasses diverse careers such as fashion, film, advertising, etc. The design colleges in UK are the second most favored study abroad destination among international students to pursue design & art courses after the USA.

    • The UK has some of the best design colleges attracting several international students each year for their top-quality education.
    • As per UK prospects, the design industries in the UK contributed 101.5 billion GBP value to the economy in 2017.
    • A slow yet continuous 2% increase in the salary of the design employees is seen in the future years.

    Design degrees at top universities in UK are among the top five programs that received the most number of university applications in 2019. There were around 215,330 applications for creative arts and design programs at UK colleges. This has resulted in an increase in student enrollment for design courses. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency UK, there were a total of 181,830 students enrolled at design colleges in UK. Among these 22,305 were non-EEA students.

    Student Enrollment at design colleges in UK

    Top Design Colleges in UK

    According to QS, UK is home to over 70 universities that offer art and design programs. According to QS Art and Design Rankings 2020, there are 7 design colleges in UK that rank among the top 50 global design universities in the world.

    Universities QS Art & Design Rankings 2020 Programs Offered
    Royal College of Art 1 9 Masters, 1 Doctoral 
    University of the Arts London 2 15 Bachelors, 21 Masters, 1 Doctoral 
    The Glasgow School of Art 8 8 Bachelors, 8 Masters, 1Doctoral 
    Goldsmiths, University of London 14 1 Bachelors, 5 Masters, 1 Doctoral 
    Loughborough University 24 3 Bachelors, 9 Masters, 2 Doctoral 
    Oxford University 30 1 Bachelors, 1 Masters, 1 Doctoral 
    UCL 46 3 Bachelors, 17 Masters, 2 Doctoral 

    Design Colleges in UK – Specialization

    Degree studies offered by top design colleges in UK prepare professionals for careers in Multimedia, Advertising, Fashion Design, Interior Design, etc. Studies in UK involving design and art are an evolving subject and have quite a few specializations as mentioned underneath.

    Graphic Design Architecture Design
    Product Design Interior Design
    Fashion Design Animation Design
    Landscape Design Industrial Design
    Jewelry Design Multimedia Design
    Photograph Furniture Design

    The degrees offered at design colleges are as follows:

    • Undergraduate: BA in Graphic Design (Hons), BSc (Hons) Industrial Design, BA in Arts and Design, BA in Product Design (Hons), BA in Fashion Design (Hons).
    • Graduate: MA in Design, Master in Graphic Design and Art, Graduate Diploma in Architecture Design, Master of Design Administration, etc.
    • Doctoral/Ph.D.:  Ph.D. in Arts and Design, Ph.D. in Design.

    Design Colleges in UK offering Bachelors Degree

    A bachelor’s degree from design colleges in the UK is 3-4 years of duration providing the ability to make the most of your talents and creative vision.

    The top design colleges in UK for bachelors degree are as follows:

    University Program offered Course Duration Annual Fees (in GBP)
    Goldsmith University of London BA (Honors) Design 3 years 20,550
    National Design Academy BA (Honors) in Interior Design 3 years 22,950
    University of Leeds BA in Art and Design 3 years 20,750
    Loughborough University BA (Honors) in Industrial Design 4 years 23,100
    Coventry University Graphic Design BA (Honors) 3 years 16,400

    Eligibility for Bachelors in Design in UK

    The basic eligibility criteria for pursuing a bachelors degree in design from UK universities are as follows:-

    • 78-88% in XII standard examination
    • IELTS – 6.5
    • TOEFL (iBT) – 92
    • PTE - 62

    Documents Required

    The documents required while applying for admissions at top design colleges in UK are as follows:-

    • Online Application Form
    • Certificate/ transcripts of Higher Secondary and Secondary Examination with their English translations
    • Letter of Recommendation
    • Copy of Passport
    • English Proficiency scores
    • A design portfolio

    Fees and Funding for Bachelors in design in UK

    The tuition fees spent on pursuing a bachelor’s design degree are 16,000 GBP to 24,000 GBP per year. Apart from these, students are required to pay for living expenses.

    Studying in the UK gets exciting because there are a number of financial support options such as international scholarships to study in UK for undergraduate students, loans, etc.

    Design Colleges in UK offering Masters Degree

    UK is famous for its quality of teaching and a master’s degree that provides fantastic opportunities to engage in a multicultural environment. A master’s in design from the UK is usually a one year program offering a number of study options.

    The top design colleges in UK offering master degrees are as follows:

    University Program offered Course Duration Annual Fees (in GBP)
    University of Leeds MA in Design 1 year 20,000
    University of Plymouth  MA in Design 1 year 14,800
    University of Lincoln MA in Design 1 year 16,000
    Middlesex University London MA in Graphic Design  1 year 14,000
    University of Wolver Hampton  MA in Design 1 year 13,350

    Eligibility for Masters in Design in UK

    The eligibility criteria needed to pursue a master’s degree in design from the UK vary for different universities and schools. The basic requirements and exams required to study in the UK are as follows:-

    • An undergraduate degree with a minimum of 70%.
    • IELTS – 6.0
    • PTE – 58
    • TOEFL iBT – 90
    • CAE (Cambridge English Advanced) – 165

    Documents Required

    Along with their admission applications, international students must make sure to submit the following documents for admissions:

    • Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended
    • Evidence of English language proficiency score
    • Copy of passport
    • A personal statement
    • An electronic link or pdf to your digital portfolio.

    Fees and Fundings for Masters in Design in UK

    The tuition fees spent in pursuing a master’s degree in design from UK colleges are 13,000 GBP to 20,000 GBP per year. The additional costs that are to be paid by students include the pre-arrival expenses, cost of living in UK, and other required expenses.

    UK Universities are a global education attraction and provide numerous graduate international scholarships in UK, thus helping with the overall cost of attendance.

    Design Colleges in UK offering Diploma Degree

    Not only does the UK offer a bachelor’s or graduate degree in design, but there are also a number of diplomas and graduate diplomas offered to students looking for short term programs. The diploma in design course provides you with the necessary skills you need to design your own project or enter a new career.

    Below are the design colleges in UK providing diploma degrees:

    University Program offered Course Duration Annual Fees (in GBP)
    Royal College of Art  Graduate Diploma in Art and Design 9 months 18,800
    Chelsea College of Arts Graduate Diploma in Graphic Design 1 year 22,920
    Goldsmith University of London Graduate Diploma in Design 1 year 14,880
    Coventry University Diploma in Art & Design 1 year 13,900
    De Montfort University Leicester Certificate in Art & Design  1 year 8,470

    Design Colleges in UK offering Ph.D. Degree

    A Ph.D. degree from a design college in the UK demonstrates that students have made a meaningful contribution to their respective fields. UK helps international students to grow culturally and academically after pursuing a Ph.D. course.

    The top design colleges in UK for a Ph.D. degree are as follows:

    University Program offered Course Duration Annual Fees (in GBP)
    Brunel University London Ph.D. Design  3 years 19,280
    Lancaster University Ph.D. in Design 3 years 16,095
    University of Edinburgh Ph.D. Design 3 years 20,100
    Birmingham City University Ph.D. in Arts & Design 3-4 years 12,800
    University of Lincoln Ph.D. in Design 2-4 years 16,100

    Eligibility for Ph.D. in Design in UK

    The eligibility criteria for doctoral admissions in design courses for international students are stated below:

    • Academic profile: 3.0 GPA in an undergraduate course and a minimum of 65-70% in masters degree in a relevant subject
    • English Language requirements: Minimum of IELTS -7.0, TOEFL (iBT) – 100, PTE – 67, CAE and CPE – 185

    Documents Required

    • Academic transcripts and certificates with their English translations
    • Valid ID Proofs, passport & passport-sized photographs.
    • Language proficiency scores
    • Work experience along with letters of recommendation
    • Update resume
    • Statement of Intent
    • Design portfolio
    • Research proposal

    Fees and Funding for Ph.D. in Design in UK

    With tremendous opportunities for research being offered in the UK, pursuing a doctorate degree will be worth its cost. Although doctorate courses cost between 12,000 GBP to 22,000 GBP per year, there is plenty of financial support available to complete the course without any hassle. These include international doctoral scholarships, research stipends, etc.

    Design Colleges in UK Scholarships

    The UK Government has come up with numerous financial aid options for international students that include scholarships, private loans, and other types of financial aid. Some well-known scholarships for international students to study in top design colleges in UK are:

    Scholarships Program offered Award value (GBP)
    International Excellence Scholarship Undergraduate 8,000
    Dean Scholarship 2020/21 intake Master 5,000
    Chevening partnership scholarship Master Full free waiver
    Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships PhD Full tuition off 
    Country Scholarship 2019/20 Academic Year PhD  12,000
    Vice-Chancellor Scholarship Undergraduate 50% of the tuition fee
    Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships Master Full tuition fee waiver
    Professional Experience Scholarship Master 4,000
    GREAT Scholarship Undergraduate 10,000
    Irene Hallinan Scholarships  Master and Doctoral 4,900

    Design Colleges in UK Scope and Job Opportunities

    According to UK Prospects, more than two million people work in the creative industries in the UK since 2011.

    • As per UK prospects, seven of the top ten jobs held by graduates employed are related to design where 82.3% are employed.
    • The average design engineer salary in the UK is 21,000 GBP to 41,000 GBP per year.
    • Professionals in the creative industry with a Ph.D. degree earn 23% more than a master’s degree.

    Some of the top-rated employers of design graduates in the UK are tabulated below:

    Graduates Employing Companies
    Advertising AMV BBDO, Grey UK, Leo Burnett, McCann
    Cultural heritage English Heritage, National Trust, National Museum Wales, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Galleries of Scotland
    Design Jaguar Land Rover, Harrods, AKQA, Big Active
    Fashion Arcadia, ASOS, Burberry, John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Next
    Film/TV Ealing Studios, Endemol Shine UK, Pinewood Studios, Sony Pictures, ITV, BBC, Channel 4
    Music Opera North, Sony Music UK, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group
    Publishing Bloomsbury, HarperCollins UK, Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House
    Video games Rockstar North, Codemasters, Sports Interactive, Creative Assembly

    Design graduates can look for a number of job opportunities in the UK or can even be self-employed. Here’s a detailed account of various job roles and salary packages after graduating froma design college in UK:

    Job Titles Annual Salary (GBP)
    Director of Graphic Design 110,000 – 120,000
    Creative Designer 115,000 – 125,000
    Art Director 120,000 – 130,000
    Assistant Art Director 90,000 – 92,000
    Commercial and Industrial Designer 92,000 – 94,000
    Graphic Artist 115,000 – 120,000
    Graphics Design Supervisor 100,000 – 105,000
    Interaction Designer 80,000 – 90,000
    Sketch Artist  82,000 – 85,400
    UX Designer 80,000 – 88,100

    To summarize, design colleges in the UK are at the forefront with many departments conducting endless opportunities. Increasing demand for skilled professionals in the arts & design domain has resulted in a rise of students pursuing these programs. The UK is one of the best destinations with a number of options for international students.

    Thus, studying in the UK for a design course proves to be the best of both worlds for international students - a fun-filled with a top-quality education.


    9.0 /10

    One of my mother's friend suggested this college to me. As my mom was discussing with her about me that I want to pursue my further studies from abroad. I explored this university online and applied for admission via the application portal.

    Fees :

    I have to pay a sum of ·13,800 per year as the fee for my course. Along with that ·, 1200 is also spent by me on various needs and personal expenses.

    9.0 /10

    My father is in a link with a consultancy service. They suggested to me this college on the basis of my choices, demands, and previous academic performances. I applied to the university online via the official application portal and also paid around £20 as the application fee.

    Fees :

    As an international student, I have to pay around £20000 for the course which includes all the fee and facilities excluding the accommodation.

    9.0 /10

    Once I went to visit this college with one of my cousins when I was there living with my relatives. I got attracted to the infrastructure and other facilities. I decided to stay there and pursue my bachelor's from here only. I applied to the university through UCAS by paying an application fee of £13.

    Fees :

    ·15000 was the amount paid by me as the fee for the course. I think I have paid an average amount for my studies.

    8.8 /10

    I got to know about this university through my career counselor. She suggested to me this college on the basis of my choices and my previous academic reports. I virtually visited the university and applied to it online through the UCAS.

    Fees :

    I spent around £20000 on my course in which £18000 were for the fee and the remaining was for the other day to day needs.

    Top Colleges

    Sort ByPopularityAdmin RatingHighest FeesLowest Fees
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    Scotland, uk
    Wales, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    England, uk
    Scotland, uk