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Entry Requirements

We consider all applications on an individual basis and welcome applications from those with non-standard qualifications and from a variety of backgrounds. If you are returning to education, you’re committed to studying and are determined to succeed, we want to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

BA (Hons)

All applicants – creative work

We like to see evidence of previous study within art and design or visual evidence of art and design experience. Here is some advice about the kind of creative work that you could show us in support of your application.

UK applicants

You will normally require either 96 UCAS points from GCE A Levels (or equivalent) including art related subjects, and English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above (grade C and D or above if prior to 2015), or a relevant level of equivalent skills and experience.

(UCAS have introduced a new points tariff for 2017, you can find out more and calculate your own UCAS points here.)

International applicants

You will normally have completed either a pre-degree course in visual arts, which may be a Foundation or equivalent course leading to a BTEC National Diploma/Certificate or equivalent international qualification.

English language

All applicants from non-majority English speaking countries need to provide proof of English language proficiency. One of the following qualifications (or equivalent) is required:

  • GCSE English Language grade A-C
  • IELTS 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any band)

Contact us for more details.

Advanced entry

If you have prior higher education or equivalent work experience, it may be possible for this to be taken into account and enable advanced entry onto Level 5 or 6 of your chosen programme through our APL process. This means that if you have an HND or equivalent qualification and professional experience, you may be able to study a ‘top-up’ to an honours degree in as little as two years. Ask your Admissions Advisor if you think this applies to you.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) is the process for accessing and recognising prior experiential learning or prior certificated learning for academic purposes. This recognition gives the learning a credit value and allows it to be counted towards the completion of a degree or other award.

Credit is the common currency of university programmes. Each course module has a credit value and these credits are accumulated towards the full award. For example, an honours degree requires 120 credits at each of Levels 4, 5 and 6.

The APL process is intended to stop learners repeating learning that they have already achieved.

This programme is subject to the university’s Principles, Policies, Regulations and Procedures for the Admission of Students to Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Programmes and will take account of university policy and guidelines for assessing APL.

There are two types of APL:

Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) is learning that has been recognised previously by an education provider, evidenced by formal certification, and assessed and recognised for the award of credit.

If you have previously studied a course that has broadly the same learning outcomes as ones on an IDI programme, then you can apply to have these credited against your degree. However, if a qualification or credit is more than five years old, it could be considered out of date and may not be used towards a degree.

If you have international qualifications, we may ask you to provide an official document that states how your international qualification compares to UK qualifications. You are likely to have to pay for this service.


Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is learning that has been achieved through experiences outside the formal education and training systems, normally associated with a working environment, which has been assessed and recognised for the award of credit by the University. It is different from formal learning, as it is often unstructured and can be more personal and individualised.

APEL applicants can develop skills, strengths and knowledge from a range of experiential learning. Please be aware that learning must be at an equivalent level to that on the modules offered on our programmes and you must be able to evidence it. This is typically done by means of a portfolio. It is usual for this to involve some sort of reflective writing about your learning, but it might involve many other forms of evidence too.

It is important to remember that it is the learning from experience rather than the learning itself that is assessed for credit and so you will need to be able to articulate this.

Postgraduate Programme

All applicants

To be eligible to enter a Postgraduate Programme in Art and Design, you would normally have an honours degree (2:2 or above) in a field relevant to the award you want to study. If you do not have a degree, you will need to show you have appropriate professional experience and skills to benefit from the course.

We may also be able to take into account Accredited Prior Learning (APL). If your degree is in a different field, you will need appropriate knowledge, skills or experience in the field you wish to study, or be able to show that you are prepared for intensive new learning.

In all cases you will need to demonstrate, through a portfolio and personal statement, your preparedness for study at postgraduate level.

English language

For those whose first language is not English, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required. Contact us for further details.

This programme is subject to the university’s Principles, Policies, Regulations and Procedures for the Admission of Students to Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Programmes and will take account of university policy and guidelines for assessing the two types of APL – Accredited Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

Foundation Diploma (Art, Design and Media)

All applicants

We like to see evidence of previous study within art and design or visual evidence of art and design experience. Here is some advice about the kind of creative work that you could show us in support of your application. If you need further information don’t hesitate to contact our admissions team.

UK applicants

UK applicants normally require three GCSE passes at grade C or above, and at least one GCE A2 Level at grade E or above.

International applicants

International applicants would normally have completed 12 years of school education and have a Certificate of Secondary Education or equivalent from a vocational school or college.

English language

For those whose first language is not English, IELTS 5.5 or equivalent is required. Contact us for further details.

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