Number of art and design students on the rise in the UK

UCAS figures revealed the day after A-Level results day show that there are currently 1,330 more accepted applicants on to UK art and design courses than this point last year, with this figure expected to increase.


© Steve Debenport
© Steve Debenport

The number of students entering undergraduate courses in art and design has risen by 3% since last year, an early UCAS report indicates.

The figures collected on 14 August – one day after A-Level results day – show that there are currently 46,410 students accepted onto September 2015 UK courses in the Creative Arts & Design bracket.

This is an increase of 1,330 applicants since the same time last year.

Figures expected to rise

The figures are expected to rise, as they do not take into considerations students who are yet to accept places on to courses and those who may achieve places through clearing in the coming weeks.

The data also reveals that Creative Arts & Design is the subject group with the second most achieved places, with Business & Administrative Studies coming out top with just under 50,000.

England shows the highest number of art and design placed applicants, at 37,190. There are 1,990 from Scotland, 1,960 from Wales, 980 from Northern Ireland and 1,890 from outside of the EU.

Record numbers of accepted applicants

This year’s A-Level results day saw the highest recorded number of applicants accepted on to courses across all subjects, with 409,000 on the day alone, 362,000 of which were accepted for their first choice of university course.

The number of EU students accepted on to courses is up 11%, while international students being accepted is up 6%. UCAS says the number of students from the least advantaged backgrounds has also risen by 4%, while 27,000 more UK women than men will be undertaking courses.

Updated acceptance figures will be published in October, which will take into consideration students accepted through clearing in the coming month.


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  • Patrick Gottelier August 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Is this a good thing? Simple question really, when you look at the market for designers in the UK (I accept that fine art students are not expecting to get jobs as fine artists) many of the indicators suggest that we already have a case of graduate supply exceeding demand. We are also firmly entrenched in a political phase which undervalues design and is very keen to see Higher Education expand numbers through what it describes as ‘market forces’. In this case I am quite sure the current interpretation of market forces means demand for places and not demand for graduates. So we have (and I quote) ‘the perfect storm’ supply exceeding demand, negative political landscape and cost cutting in education. Oh and please don’t mention transferable skills.

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