Art and Design BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and a Pass in the Access to Leeds module.
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Student work BA Art and Design

Choosing to study art and design will have you intellectually and creatively challenged. Through a combination of making, reading, and writing, you'll become a more critical and creative thinker and practitioner.

By understanding historical and contemporary thought, you'll gain a solid theoretical basis to inform your creative practice throughout your studies.

You'll gain skills and knowledge in a range of disciplines, including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture and 2D/3D design construction
  • Photography
  • Moving image
  • Printmaking
  • Design history
  • Design Research

You'll also learn how sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and employability are essential factors to consider within each discipline.

Live briefs, guest speakers, and an optional Year in Industry are additional features that will make your course a rich environment for learning and discovery. By the time you complete this course, you'll be equipped with the necessary skills you'll need to enter the world of creative industries.

Specialist facilities and support

Take a virtual tour of our facilities.

The School of Design offers excellent facilities and technical support for developing your creative skills. We have dedicated practice studios, workshops and specialist facilities: 3D Art & Design Studio; 2D Art & Design studios; Fashion Design studios; Knit and Weave studio; Graphic and Visual Communication studio; Photography and Film studio; Digital print studio; Laser cut studio; traditional printing studio; Design workshop; 3D workshop with 3D printing; computer clusters.

The School also provides a range of other support to enhance the student experience and prepare students for the workplace: essential learning materials; essential studio and workshop materials; dedicated software (Adobe CC; PointCarre, Solid Works, Cinema 4D, Lectra, etc.); cameras and video recorder on loan; free entry to Inside/Out lecture series; compulsory field trips part of assessment; part of curriculum subscriptions (eg LSN, Special journals and periodicals); costs of Degree Show (infrastructure, course catalogue and exhibition set-up); external promotion (eg New Designer, AD&D, Graduate Fashion Week); Yorkshire Fashion Archive and Membership to the ASBCI (Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing students); Visiting Speakers, who are well known figures from industry or other institutions around the world.

Course details

We believe that the best designers and artists develop their creative expertise by critically engaging with real-life ideas and problems and developing essential research and analysis skills.

The context that underpins creativity is considered very important by our students and staff. Together we like to push ideas, skills, and understanding to the limit. 

You'll learn about the history, culture, and technologies of art and design in your first year. You'll explore a wide range of art and design practices, and the knowledge and skills you gain here you can then explore through studio work.

In your second year, you'll be taught about professional standards within art and design. From the academic knowledge you've built so far, you'll write a critical analysis and evaluation and expand your portfolio further with practical work.

Additionally, you'll gain an understanding of design business and marketing and about more advanced means of conducting art and design research.

The skills you've developed during your course will prepare you for your final year. You'll need to apply all of your practical and academic understanding to produce and showcase works at the degree show exhibition. You'll also be required to write a separate, high-quality dissertation.

From your first year through to your third, you can tailor your degree experience by choosing from a wide range of exciting options that suit your interests.

Throughout the course, you'll also have the opportunity to choose optional modules from within the School of Design in various related subjects. You can also select Discovery modules from across the university to give you the chance to experience something completely different. 

The School of Design offers all students the opportunity to participate in the Study Abroad scheme during the second or third year or choose to work for a year on placement through Year in Industry. Many students like to do the placement year as it provides the perfect opportunity to experience the reality of the creative arts industry.

Discover School of Design facilities with our online 360 tour.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Art and Design BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Creative Practice 1A 30
Creative Practice 1B 30
Visual Communication for the Creative Industries 20
Design History, Design Futures 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Introduction to Photography (Digital) 10
Colour in the Design Process 10
Drawing beyond itself 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research Methods 20
Marketing Creativity and Innovation 20
Creative Practice 2A 30
Creative Practice 2B 30

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Design for Sustainability 20
Introduction to consumer behaviour and neuromarketing 20
Photography 10
Colour: Art and Science 10
Book Arts 10
Collage Culture 20
Contemporary Illustration 20
20th Century Fashion History 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Studio Practice 3A 30
Studio Practice 3B 30
Independent Study (Dissertation) 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Time and the Image in Contemporary Art 20
Fashion Styling and Photography 20
Collaborative Marketing and Promotion 20
Information Design 20
Contemporary Advertising 20
Brand Communications 20

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Depending on the modules you choose to study, learning and teaching can take a variety of forms, however, both theoretical and studio modules combine lectures, seminars and tutorials. There is also technical support available in our workshops and the University Library offers comprehensive training programmes to support your academic learning. Independent study is an important part of the mix, as you’ll spend much of your time in the studios and libraries – but help is on hand from our tutors and technical staff.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Much of your degree will be assessed through submission of coursework; this might be through a portfolio of studio work or through essays, and there are some written exams depending on your choice of modules. Each project you complete will test your critical and creative abilities and ensure you have the technical skills to implement your ideas.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB including an Art/Design subject. Excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking

If you have not studied art/design at A level, we may also consider your application based on a high grade at GCSE along with a portfolio of recent and relevant work. Please contact us for more information about portfolio submission.

GCSE: 5/6 A-C (or 4+) including English

Other course specific tests:

If predicted A in a relevant EPQ, alternative offer of A in EPQ plus BBB.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.


DDM in art/design.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 including M1 art/design.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 5 in Visual Arts and 4 in English.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 including art/design.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers.

Other Qualifications

Art Foundation course: Whilst we welcome art foundation students, this is not a formal requirement for entry and doesn’t usually count towards entry requirements.
In exceptional cases, we may make you an offer conditional on achieving an Art Foundation qualification: we may consider your application if you’re taking a validated Art Foundation course and have ABB or above at A-level not including Art or Design.
If you’re taking the EPQ, we may make you an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. In this case that would be BBB, plus EPQ grade A.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and a Pass in the Access to Leeds module.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We also accept a range of international qualifications. Please visit our international equivalencies page for more details on recognised qualifications from your region.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,000 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There are additional costs of study that students need to cover. We estimate that these additional costs could be as described below, but this amount may vary depending on how you decide to respond to university briefs and the range of materials and techniques you decide to adopt.

Equipment and material costs

Students need to cover the cost of printing their work during the course, including specialist print workshop costs. Students also need to cover costs of copying and supplying their own basic materials (eg pens, pencils, cutting tools, paper, ruler, etc.) and more course specific materials (eg sketchbooks, specialist papers, specialist fabrics, sculpting materials, specialist tools, etc.), as well as print portfolios.

The approximate cost of these items in recent years has been:

• Level 1 – £100 - £150
• Level 2 – £100 - £200
• Level 3 – £150 - £350

Computers and digital equipment

To ensure you can make the most of your studies at Leeds, you’ll need to make sure your laptop meets the system requirements for your course.

Our course requires the development of work using Adobe Creative and other relevant software. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conference using a computer or mobile device (eg laptop, tablet, smartphone). Costs for a laptop will vary depending on the exact specification. You should expect to pay between £500 - £2,500. You might also consider buying an external drive to back-up your work on a regular basis, which may incur another additional £50 - £150. Alternatively you can choose to store your work using cloud storage or your personal M:Drive, provided by the University.

If you’re buying a new laptop for your studies, then we recommend that you wait until you’re registered as a student so that you take advantage of discounts given to university students (eg Apple, Adobe Creative, etc.). Delaying purchasing also allows you to find out from your programme leader what you need and what you do not need. Depending on your circumstances you can benefit from a laptop loan or further support from our Financial Assistance Fund.

You’ll also have access to further digital equipment in our studios and using our loan scheme. But, you may decide to purchase your own equipment (from Year 1 or as your studies progress) which will result in additional costs. Examples are: Drawing tablet (£50 - £500); Digital camera (£200 - £1500); etc.

Study and field trips

The School of Design pays for all compulsory field trips that are part of the curriculum and/or assessment. There may also be opportunity for optional study trips and the need for individual field-based projects / trips. Costs will depend on the project / courses undertaken, and on the nature and location of each trip, and can therefore range between £100 and £750.

Degree show, extra exhibitions, and competitions costs

Your Degree Show will require extra production costs, which will vary according to individual projects. If you’re given the opportunity to showcase your work outside the School of Design, this will require additional production costs, as well as travelling, accommodation and subsistence costs.

You might also have opportunities to submit to competitions and may want to subscribe to online networks, which may cost up to an additional £100 per year.

Reading materials

You’ll have access to a good supply of books, academic journals, periodicals, etc., that are available in the University libraries. You’ll also have online access to an extensive range of reading resources. You might decide, however, to purchase required books that are recommended on your course.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Documents and information you’ll need

If you don’t have an A-level in a related art or design subject, you’ll need to submit a portfolio of recent and relevant art/design work. Please email at least six images of recent work to at the time of your application to UCAS – the email subject line should include your name and UCAS ID number.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Design

Contact us

School of Design Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

Our Art and Design degree will equip you with a wide range of skills. As well as specialist art and design practice skills, you’ll develop sound professional awareness and be able to research different topics independently.

Our graduates have pursued a wide range of careers. Many continue with their own practice as either artists or designers, and a selection of exhibitions by recent graduates include the London Original Print Fair – Royal Academy of Art, Baltic Gallery, Jerwood Drawing Prize, Saatchi’s New Sensations, Arts at Trinity Leeds and Art in Unusual Places, Leeds.

Others have gone into careers related to art and design in a variety of roles including art gallery manager, fabricator, illustrator, editorial assistant, graphic designer, journalist, theatre staging design, lecturer, learning support worker, artist in residence and study centre assistant. Graduates have worked for a wide range of companies and institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Penguin Random House, National Portrait Gallery, Arts Council Collection, Pinewood Studios, Cath Kidston and Channel 4 to name a few.

Some graduates have decided to move onto postgraduate studies in disciplines such as fine art, design, material futures, art and science, environmentalism, advertising, landscape architecture, illustration, set design, scenic arts, museum studies and curating while others have entered teacher training. Yet more go into completely different careers in accounting, law, marketing, journalism, medicine and retail.

Careers support

We fully support you to prepare for your future throughout your degree. We run regular workshops with employers and have a popular visiting speaker programme which involves established artists and researchers from the field presenting their experience which is a great opportunity to gain an insight into possible career options that may be available to you.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Year in industry

Our optional Year in Industry is a fantastic opportunity for your personal and professional development, and some students have even been offered permanent roles at their placement companies.

Our Art and Design students have successfully gained placements in a range of roles including graphic design, illustration, creative marketing, events and production.

Find out more about our Year in Industry in the School of Design.

Student profile: Abigail Egwunyenga

As an Art and Design student, you had access to so much from the laser cutter, print studios, the workshops and students of other design backgrounds that could give room for collaborations.
Find out more about Abigail Egwunyenga's time at Leeds