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3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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Application deadline: 26 January 2022

Program description

BA (Hons) Design

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

Why study BA Design at Goldsmiths?

  • 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 life 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.

Admission requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

  • A-level: BBB
  • International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • 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

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.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website

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Program content

Year 1

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.

Year 2 ;

Studio Practice

You'll explore ways that the contemporary designer can negotiate a changing social, cultural, ecological and political terrain. You'll be encouraged to adopt a personal, ethical and ideological stance in tackling projects concerning the social, cultural, environmental and political domain.

In the spring term, you'll work on ‘industry-based projects’, the briefings for which come from the commercial sector. These projects allow you to present to design professionals, gaining valuable experience and insight. The projects are set by a broad range of design professional and commercial sectors, such as Imagination, Pentagram, Hive, Raw Nerve and Lewisham Council.

Contextual Studies

Society and Culture ;- This one-week intensive course investigates ideology and design in the context of society and culture. It examines a number of socio-cultural influences on designers, design processes, systems, and architectures. The course introduces various readings of society and culture so as to give a sense of the ideological context of design, but also to show how design creates ideology itself.

Material Culture ;- ;This course investigates design in the context of what has become known as Material Culture. The course explores various attitudes to cultural production, examines notions of consumption and taste, and investigates the various processes and practices that have been built around these notions. Though a series of lectures, practical exercises and self-directed learning students will be encouraged to explore the ways in which their own designs are framed by material (and immaterial) culture

Design Politics and Ethics ;- From national level parliamentary enquiries to the founding of design-led policy labs and the realisation of new design-led government departments like the Government’s Digital Services, Design has emerged as a significant practice in the shaping and realising of our political and moral landscape. But how has design practice responded to this opportunity?

Methods and Processes – Professional Practice

This ;module asks you to engage in design as a professional practice and prepares you for workplace environments. It opens up the extensive nature of the design industry, in order to increase your understanding of the role of a practising designer.

Technical Studies

These sessions cover a range of skills, which build upon the previous year. We offer workshops such as interactive design, moving image, electronics, object manufacture, rapid prototyping/CAD and graphic communication.

Professional Practice

During the summer term, you are expected to secure and undertake a placement of at least six weeks in duration. At the beginning of Year 3, you will be assessed on a presentation based on your work placement.

Year 3

Studio Practice

You develop your own projects in Year 3, supported by an individual ‘mentor’. Workshops enable you to formulate, develop and realise a project. Major projects must have a strong conceptual underpinning and be well-founded and reasoned.

The final stage of Year 3 is the presentation and exhibition of design practice project work. This is an important part of the educational experience – calling for teamwork, organisation, management and design, developing a range of skills critical to future careers.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fee for local students is £9250
  • Tuition fee for International students is £21380

Career opportunities

The programme 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 and develop your innovation and creativity skills, and personal and interpersonal skills.

Most of our BA Design graduates find employment in the creative and cultural industries, with many setting up their own businesses. ;

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About this institute

Goldsmiths, University of London

With an academic legacy dating back to 1891, Goldsmiths has a rich heritage in the arts and creative disciplines and offers degrees in subjects from the humanities and social sciences to computing and law. Students at Goldsmiths are encouraged to...

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Why study at Goldsmiths, University of London

At Goldsmiths we're constantly exploring, questioning and reshaping the world. You can challenge yourself through our innovative degrees and world-leading academics that will inspire you to see the world differently.

At Goldsmiths you’ll change how you think and be inspired to develop fresh ideas and new approaches to your studies. We champion degrees that provoke thought and stretch the imagination. That’s why so many of our former students are leading the way in reshaping the sociocultural landscape on a global scale.

Contact info

Goldsmiths, University of London

8 Lewisham Way
SE14 6NW London
United Kingdom

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Contact school

Want to know more about BA (Hons) Design? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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