We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences.

What qualifications do you need to study art and design?

Unsure what qualifications will impress admissions tutors? Check out our art and design essentials to help you decide...

Many universities or art colleges will be looking for you to have an art foundation qualification under your belt – a one-year course usually taken after A-levels – before progressing on to an art and design degree course.

Art and design essentials

  • Many courses require a diploma in foundation art and design, or a BTEC National Diploma in general art and design (or equivalent). This will help you to build up the portfolio you need when applying to creative arts degree courses.
  • Art A-level or a design-related subject.

Useful A-levels (or equivalent)

  • Design technology.
  • Photography.
  • History of art.

Other typical A-levels taken by current art and design students

  • English literature.
Take a look at individual creative arts courses on Which? University to find out the most popular subjects students studied before attending - plus check out which universities and colleges students ranked highly for their creative environment in our student survey.


Search Which? University

Find further advice or search for information on a course or university

Expert tips for uni - straight to your inbox
Free to students, teachers and parents
Sign me up