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Are you interested in developing your skills and knowledge across the various areas of Design?

The Foundation Year in Design provides an opportunity for you to study across a broad range of creative design elements including Communication Design, Product Design, Fashion Design and Interior Design. You will develop your knowledge and core skills in areas of practice such as drawing, making, materials, form and colour; as well as being closely guided through a rigorous academic and studio based learning experience that will build on core creative skills, enriching and enhancing your design, academic and creative abilities.

Upon successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress onto one of the following courses:

Why Choose Northumbria to study a Design Foundation Year?

  • 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.

  • 93% of students studying Design at Northumbria believed they had chance to explore ideas and concepts in depth (NSS, 2023).

Course Information


Level of Study

Mode of Study
1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Northumbria School of Design

City Campus, Northumbria University


September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Explore / Northumbria School of Design

Watch our video to give you a taste of Design at Northumbria.

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Our Students / Northumbria School of Design

Find out what a day as a Design student looks like.

Graduate Showcase / REVEAL

The end of year showcase for our Creative Programmes.

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Watch as Northumbria students showcase there work in 2022 Reveal show

Department / Northumbria School of Design

Our School of Design covers Industrial, Fashion, Communication and Innovation Design. Our design community examines design in the context of use, beauty and social and cultural contexts.

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Northumbria School of Design

Discover more

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Book an Open Day / Experience Design Foundation Year

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Design. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

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:

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

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

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:

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: £9,250

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.

EU Fee in Year 1: £18,250

International Fee in Year 1: £18,250

Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.



This is a studio-based programme where you will be expected to acquire additional tools, materials and supplies to support your studies. You will be expected to engage in enrichment trips that will incur some costs, and throughout the year you will need to pay for printing. The purchase of additional equipment is largely optional. Tools During induction week you will receive a Welcome Kit that contains some basic tools to get you started and enable you to work independently (for details see: Blackboard» Design Foundation Year» Learning Resources » Tools and Materials). Budget something in the region of £50 for additional and discretionary tools and materials. Supplies You will be working in journals or sketchbooks throughout the year. It is likely that you will need to purchase one or two of these, plus other material supplies, such as specialist papers and art pads, etc. Allow approximately £20. Enrichment Trips Two trips are planned: in semester 1 a 2-day trip to Glasgow, in semester 2 a 1-day trip to be determined. The bulk of travel and accommodation costs are covered in your tuition fees. But you will be asked to contribute a nominal sum (typically £30–50) and during the trips incur the cost of sundries such as snacks and local transportation as well as some meals. You should allow approximately £25/day. Additional Equipment Many students progress through Foundation year without owning their own laptop. The programme content is designed to account for this. However, if you do not already own a laptop, by the time you reach the end of the year you may feel the need to purchase one. The cost for these can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. If you’re unsure about what to purchase, talk to your tutors. If you start working on your own laptop, you will need to consider the cost of backing up your work, either with an external HD or Cloud Service

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

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Design Foundation Year

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below



Any Questions?

Call our clearing hotline now on +44 (0)80 0085 1085

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

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* 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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Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

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Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

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