More students taking on design at university, A-Level results reveal

Research from UCAS showing this year’s university acceptance figures reveals that the number of students taking on art and design has increased since last year.

Close up of a designers working on a project

Creative art and design remains one of the subject areas most studied by university students across the UK, according to UCAS.

As of today – A-Level results day – 45,650 students have been accepted onto creative art and design subject courses starting this year, an increase of 350 students and 1% on last year.

Second highest number of students

The data also shows that art and design boasts the second highest number of accepted applicants across all subject groups, beaten to the top spot by business and administrative studies.

The total number of students studying at university across all subjects has also risen since last year by roughly 3%, up from 412,000 to 424,000.

The Creative Arts & Design subject group includes disciplines such as graphic design, typography, illustration, textiles, animation, interior, furniture, ceramic, interactive, stage and sound design.

Majority of students from England

The majority of students studying creative subjects this year in the UK are from England, where more than 36,000 students were recorded.

Students from Europe are the second highest demographic, demonstrating how European talent currently contributes to the UK’s art and design industries.

This is followed by Scotland, Wales, international students from outside of the EU then finally Northern Ireland.

EBacc could mean a drop in design students

However, this upward trend in uptake of creative subjects at university is likely to change when the GCSE English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification, first introduced in 2010, becomes compulsory this year.

The EBacc will force GCSE students to study English, Maths, Science, a humanity and a language, and has been scrutinised by politicians and creative leaders who have said the move will “devalue” art and design subjects.

Government data shows that the number of school students who chose art and design subjects at A-Level in 2016 has dropped by 26% since 2015, from 43,000 down to 32,000.

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