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Course
Information

UCAS Code

W275

Level of Study

Undergraduate

Mode of Study

1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department

Northumbria School of Design

Location

City Campus, Northumbria University

City

Newcastle

Start

September 2025

Fees

Overview

Please note: our Design courses are currently being updated therefore this course is subject to validation. First entry to this course is September 2025, for September 2024 entry, please visit Design Foundation Year.

 

Overview

If you're interested in exploring various creative design fields while gaining the knowledge and skills needed to enter a design degree program, this course is perfect for you. The one-year Design Foundation course at Northumbria offers a solid introduction to university-level education, welcoming students from all backgrounds.

At Northumbria, you'll benefit from modern and innovative teaching informed by research and practice. This approach helps you develop your skills, knowledge, and creativity, setting you up for success as an undergraduate student and eventually as a Northumbria graduate.

The course builds essential academic skills and confidence across multiple design disciplines. With experienced tutors and strong industry connections, it prepares you for advanced studies and aligns with various career paths in the design industry. This blend of academic learning and practical application enhances your future employability.

You'll learn from a diverse group of design practitioners, technicians, and academics with extensive backgrounds in design practice, teaching, and research. Their expertise and the supportive, research-rich environment will provide you with a well-rounded education, encouraging you to continue your studies in your chosen design field.

This course is an excellent first step towards a career in the creative design sector.

Please note: our Design courses are currently being updated therefore this course is subject to validation. First entry to this course is September 2025, for September 2024 entry, please visit Design Foundation Year.

 

Overview

If you're interested in exploring various creative design fields while gaining the knowledge and skills needed to enter a design degree program, this course is perfect for you. The one-year Design Foundation course at Northumbria offers a solid introduction to university-level education, welcoming students from all backgrounds.

At Northumbria, you'll benefit from modern and innovative teaching informed by research and practice. This approach helps you develop your skills, knowledge, and creativity, setting you up for success as an undergraduate student and eventually as a Northumbria graduate.

The course builds essential academic skills and confidence across multiple design disciplines. With experienced tutors and strong industry connections, it prepares you for advanced studies and aligns with various career paths in the design industry. This blend of academic learning and practical application enhances your future employability.

You'll learn from a diverse group of design practitioners, technicians, and academics with extensive backgrounds in design practice, teaching, and research. Their expertise and the supportive, research-rich environment will provide you with a well-rounded education, encouraging you to continue your studies in your chosen design field.

This course is an excellent first step towards a career in the creative design sector.

Northumbria is ranked 6th in the UK for Product Design studies (Guardian University League Table, 2024).

Art and Design at Northumbria is ranked 4th in the UK for research power (REF, 2021). This is a rise of 6 places compared to 2014.

Product Design at Northumbria is ranked 6th in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Guardian University Guide, 2024). This is because 87% of our graduates are in highly skilled employment or further study 15 months after graduation.

Over 95% of Students studying Design at Northumbria believed their course positively challenged them to achieve their best work (NSS, 2024).

Course
Information

UCAS Code

W275

Level of Study

Undergraduate

Mode of Study

1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department

Northumbria School of Design

Location

City Campus, Northumbria University

City

Newcastle

Start

September 2025

Fees

Entry Requirements 2025/26

Standard Entry

80 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2025/26 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1*: TBC

* Government has yet to announce 25/26 tuition fee levels. As a guide, 24/25 fees were £9,250 per year. 



EU Fee in Year 1: **TBC


International Fee in Year 1: TBC

ADDITIONAL COSTS

TBC

Modules

Look out for module specifics coming soon. Please keep checking this web page for updated information.

The Design Foundation course is delivered over one year and broken down into 3 blocks that will allow you to study from a broad choice of creative design disciplines and equip you with the subject knowledge and essential skills that will be required for your entry into a degree program in design: 

Block 1: Contemporary Portfolio Skills 

Through a set of lively design projects and lectures, you will experience a range of specialist design skills and explore how historical and contemporary thinking influences design. (Skills include for example: fashion and textiles and textile craft, painting, sculpture, 4D photography and time-based media and drawing and conceptual practice, graphic design, illustration, fashion communication and film and animation, architecture and spatial design, jewellery, footwear, and fashion accessories, product design and ceramics and design for theatre screen and performance.) 

Block 2: Design Specialisms: 

Through a range of short projects, you will rotate through the 4 different design specialisms of communication design, product design, fashion design and interior design to explore these subject’s areas in more detail. 

Block 3: Major Design Project and Exhibition 

You culminate your studies on the course giving you the opportunity to showcase your confidence, skills and knowledge through a self-directed design project in a design specialism of your choice, the module will include a field trip. The skills and knowledge that you have acquired is curated and presented into a portfolio that is supported with a public exhibition of all your work undertaken over the academic year.

Your Future

Embarking on the Design Foundation Year is just the beginning of your creative journey. This foundation year is designed to immerse you in the principles of design, spark your creativity, and equip you with essential skills. Once you complete this year, a range of specialised courses awaits you, allowing you to pursue your passion and carve out a niche in the design world.  

Find out more about the exciting design courses you can pursue after the Foundation Year below:

 

Student Work

From the start of the course, you'll be encouraged to develop both independent and group learning and research skills. 

We emphasise transferable skills, especially in communication and presentation. You'll also build your confidence and abilities as a university learner through a detailed induction, lectures, seminars, and creative skills workshops. 

The course is designed to be flexible, allowing you to explore different avenues of design and find your strengths. You’ll work on scrapbook presentations, concept visualisations, 2D and 3D design projects, essays, and presentations. You’ll end your course by compiling a portfolio of your design work and we celebrate the conclusion of your year by holding a design show and exhibition.

 

Staff

You will be taught by a breadth of internationally leading design practitioners, researchers and educators.

Their expertise includes visual communication, UX/UI design, data visualisation, digital arts, publishing and social innovation. By sharing their design expertise, they will help you shape your own design future through the course. 

 

Facilities

Our course is predominantly delivered in purpose-made design studios, which provide space for formal teaching but also are open for independent study. Alongside the studios you have access to a comprehensive range of technical facilities, workshops, creative technology, photography studios, dedicated computer aided design lab, and large format printing. You will also have easy access to a wealth of knowledge through Northumbria University’s award winning library. 

  

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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