BA (Hons)

Why study BA Design at Goldsmiths

Design isn’t just a way of making and doing; it’s a way of understanding and engaging with the world.

  • The BA Design degree enables you to think imaginatively about the possibilities of design. Not just what design is – but what it might be. You’ll discover how design affects the environment as a whole, as you investigate its role within society and culture. You’ll learn to see design as a complex combination of systems and actions, and not just as a set of distinct practical skills.

  • We give you access to studio space and industry-standard workshops, with the latest in laser cutting and 3D modelling technology.

  • You’ll work on live briefs set by real companies. These projects allow you to develop your ideas and present to design professionals, gaining valuable experience and insight.

  • In your second year, you’ll have the chance to do a placement. Past placement hosts have included Selfridges and Alexander McQueen.

  • Our graduates have gone on to work for top London design consultancies and major international brands including Dyson, LEGO, Google and Burberry. Many have also gone on to set up their own design studios.

  • Students and graduates have also been successful in national and international competitions, winning awards including the New Designer of the Year Award, RSA Design Directions Award, the Design Museum’s ‘Design Mart’ and NESTA’s Creative Pioneer Programme.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dash MacDonald.

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655


3 years full-time, with a professional placement during Year 2


Home - full-time: £9250
International - full-time: £24620



Highly ranked
Goldsmiths is ranked 1st in London and 7th in the UK for design (Guardian University Guide 2023).
Top facilities
You'll have access to fantastic facilities including workshops and fabrication labs to use for both timetabled teaching and expanding your skills.
International reputation
Goldsmiths is 21st in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024).

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Your first year is made up of:

Studio Practice

Studio projects are formulated to allow you to develop your own ways of thinking. You will be challenged to push your ideas, and given space and support to develop an understanding of artefact, user, site and situation. Studio Practice is where the majority of practical, project-based work is delivered, discussed and assessed.

Contextual Studies

Contextual Studies provides the theoretical core of the programme. In your first year you study:

  • Histories and Theories – lectures, visits and practical exercises on the historical and theoretical context of design in the 20th century unravel the main theoretical influences on design and designing.
  • Design and Meaning – lectures and practical exercises looking at the roles that psychology and semiotics play in design. You'll examine the complex nature of design thinking and creative techniques, and the ways in which these relate to actual practice. You'll also be encouraged to explore your own personal responses to the design process.
  • Philosophy and Design – this course aims to explore an expanded sense of the ecological through philosophical politics and ethics, and design philosophy, to challenge the embedded logic systems and structures of consciousness that perpetuate ecological problems within a complex global world.

Methods and Processes

Concentrating on the techniques and processes in research, modelling and drawing, this module equips you with a set of tools for designing, looking at research methods and ways to generate and record ideas.

Technical Studies

These workshops focus on specific areas within the discipline. They'll give both a critical and technical introduction into areas such as making, still image, graphic communication and textiles.

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

How you'll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These may include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

Watch videos about your course


Design graduates go on to work in a huge variety of industries and careers. Some of our recent graduates are now employed as:

  • Creative strategists
  • Set designers
  • Studio managers
  • Product designers
  • Design teachers and lecturers

Some of our recent graduates have worked for companies such as Don't Panic London (creative content agency), Studio Raw (design agency), Urban Food Fest (pop-up events company) and Peter Millard & Partners (art centre).

Many others set up their own agencies, enterprises and businesses.

You can find out more about career options open to you after graduation on our Design careers page.


The degree encourages you to develop as an independent and reflective learner and think systematically about the role of design: now, and in the future.

You'll learn how to understand and address key concepts and issues of sustainability and how to critique and develop your design methods and processes to arrive at sensitive and meaningful conclusions.

You'll also gain the ability to:

  • Represent, communicate and manifest your ideas convincingly
  • Develop, refine and apply methods and strategies that create meaningful relationships between design and people
  • Develop your innovation and creativity skills, and personal and interpersonal skills


The Department of Design has its own dedicated practice labs, staffed by experienced and supportive tutors. Labs include: 

  • Ceramics area
  • Moulding and casting workshop
  • Wood workshop
  • Plastic fabrication lab
  • Textiles lab, with facilities for sewing, digital embroidery, screen printing and vinyl cutting
  • Metal workshop
  • Digital fabrication lab, including laser cutting, 3D printing, scanning and CNC routing/ milling machinery

You will also have studio space, where you'll be encouraged to build a studio culture of collaborative practice and peer-to-peer learning.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
UAL Extended Diploma: Merit overall
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Alternative qualifications and experience

See our full list of undergraduate entry qualifications.

You may also be able to apply if you're a mature student without formal qualifications, as long as you have relevant work experience and examples of your art and design work. If you don't have A-levels in Art and Design, but have an interest in a future career in the creative industries (this may include students with strong A-levels in the humanities and sciences), then we will also consider your application.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Selection process

After submitting your application you'll be contacted if you have been selected for interview. We interview throughout the autumn and winter, so please apply as early as possible.

Porfolio requirements

If you're invited to an interview, we'll ask you to bring along a hard copy of your portfolio. If you're an international student who can't attend an interview in person, we'll ask you to submit an electronic portfolio.

In your portfolio you should aim to include a range of work that shows the breadth of your developing skills and interests. Include only work that you can talk about. We are not looking for success stories but at how you demonstrate your working process, your motivations and learning, and if and how you have begun to develop your own identity through your practice. In addition we require you to bring a printed copy of your answers to the Pre-interview Questions that were sent to you when invited to interview.

For more information about what we would like to see at interview, please read our guidance on creating a portfolio.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the UG fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £24620

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our Careers Service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

What our students say


Jack Walker

It’s great to be surrounded by peers who are doing completely different work.

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