Course introduction

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.

- 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.

Please note the BA Design only accepts applications for first year entry.

Course modules

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 - provides the theoretical core of the programme. In your first year you study:
Histories and Theories
Design and Meaning
Philosophy and Design

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
Material Culture
Design Politics and Ethics

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 and Contextual Report.
You develop your own projects , 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.

Contextual Report - This major piece of writing presents the contextual and theoretical framework for your major project. This 6,000-word report develops alongside your project and is a personal piece of work.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Start date


Tuitions and fees

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 Years - full-time Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £0 Other Fees

Qualifications required

  • IELTS (Academic): 6.0 -- With a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5