This compares to a 7.9 per cent decline in applications across all courses, according to new figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
University fees for undergraduate courses could rise to up to £9000 a year from next year, following changes to the higher-education funding system.
The new Ucas statistics show the number of applications for university courses received by 15 October, which is the deadline for medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses as well as all Oxford and Cambridge courses. Therefore the majority of applicants surveyed are for these courses.
Creative arts and design has seen one of the biggest drops among the subject groups, with only mass communications and documentation (down 40.6 per cent) and education (down 30.4 per cent) seeing further drops.
A report earlier this month from universities representative organisation Universities UK showed that the number of UK creative art and design students had grown by nearly a quarter since 2003/4.
Meanwhile figures last month from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that more than a third of art and design graduates are still without a full-time job more than three years after graduation.
This report led industry figures to suggest measures such as integrating a year in industry into design courses to address the issue of graduate unemployment.