Cardiff School of Art & Design>Courses>International Design - BA/BSc (Hons) Degree

BA / BSc International Design

The BA/BSc International Design programme is a one year Level 6 award that allows students from anywhere in the world to convert their diploma into an honours degree. We invite students from any field of design to join us in the creative and thoughtful development of novel design solutions and outcomes and to become a designer with a truly global outlook.

This programme offers you the opportunity to create and learn alongside people from another part of the world and to extend your skills as a strategic designer with an international focus. It will also prepare you for further postgraduate study, doctoral research and publishing if that is your ambition.

The International Design programme builds upon your individual strengths and experiences as an emerging professional designer. It will build your self-confidence and self-development by teaching you how to think strategically and to creatively confront new challenges. The programme is designed around you and is supported by expert tutors who will encourage you to decide upon your own direction and strategies.
The programme welcomes students from any design background including Graphic Design, Fashion or Textile Design, Interior Design, Product Design, User Experience Design or Craft Design. You will work together within in an interdisciplinary design environment strengthening your existing skills and practices within an international context. You will generate a body of work that has international scope and awareness and will make you highly employable and comfortable with diverse International clients.

The world needs creative and flexible designers who can take a broad and creative view of design and welcome new and unfamiliar ideas and techniques. You will join other students many of whom speak and write English as a second language, and are studying abroad as a learning adventure.  Although most of our students are from the UK, Cardiff School of Art & Design is home to creative students from every continent. You will have the chance to work with and alongside these students and to make friends and future colleagues around the world. Some previous experience or knowledge of European design would be useful to you but is not essential.

Course information on this page relates to September 2018 entry.

​Course Content​

​​​The focus of the programme is to not only support and develop your skills as a practicing designer, but to provide you with the skills and flexibility to continually position your work within unfamiliar international contexts.

Through a combination of seminars, workshops, and studio-based practice, you will be supported by a dedicated team of academics, practitioners and experts to develop a range of interdisciplinary skills to creatively adapt to the demands of an international design environment. These include;

  • Knowledge of how to shape design for particular social, cultural and economic contexts and market circumstances;
  • Advanced design skills as well as the skills of international design negotiation and promotion;
  • Knowledge of how to act as global citizens and problem solvers, and to negotiate complex cultural nuances through design practice;
  • The Development of nuanced visual thinking and visual communication skills to communicate within an international, interdisciplinary context.
  • An awareness of emerging global issues of concern and also the barriers to creative design.


Subject: Orientation

Is design really global? Or do designers unwittingly reinforce their own economic, historic, social and cultural models. This module will teach you how to play with ideas that question and develop your design practice. You will explore how designers might think in parts of the world with which you are not familiar, or know only from what you have seen in films or on TV. You will develop a deeper understanding of how your own practice has economic, historic, social and cultural practices embedded in it that you might not realise and which seem foreign to others who do not share that context. 

As a part of your subject module you will also explore visual thinking and visual communication strategies that will help you to creatively explore unfamiliar international contexts and communicate your ideas amidst a diverse range of language abilities.

Field: Exposure 
Built around a major project and an exhibition brief, the module will give you the chance to develop a professional presentation of your design strategies and solutions. This presentation will be the culmination of your work on the International Design programme and should provide you with a substantial basis on which to build your future career as an International Designer

Constellation: Contribution
Your Constellation module will support you in the development of a deeper understanding of how to map and position the international historical, socio-cultural, economic and theoretical context of your subject work. We recognise that English may not be your first language and so the programme tutors will work closely with you to help you write a dissertation, a technical report or to present your project verbally and visually.

Learning & Teaching

The programme is taught through lectures and seminars in a studio environment in a fully equipped Art & Design School.

You will receive very close supervision and guidance from academic and subject staff that is designed to support and guide the development of your ideas and to help you successfully realise these ideas in the form of a major practice based project.

Each student can expect to receive between 9 and 14 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.

You will take part in interdisciplinary seminars and workshops designed to support the development of your work in an international design context, as well as lectures and seminars, lead by members of the academic staff to help shape its theoretical understanding. Throughout the programme you will also receive individual support in smaller seminars to meet more individual intellectual and practical demands.


All assessment is by project or written work or by presentation. There are no formal exams.

Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at Cardiff School of Art & Design:

The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.

Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes philosophical, scientific, artistic, historical, theoretical and economic, social issues.

Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas that will be explored through your assignments, as well as being evident in your practical progress.

Employability & Careers​

The International Design programme is designed to provide you with the skills to be a flexible, agile and capable designer who can quickly and creatively adapt to new and unfamiliar international contexts.

The emphasis is placed upon the flexibility of your design strategies, both creatively and academically, that will support you in undertaking industry placements, live briefs, as well as identifying new and creative opportunities for business ventures anywhere in the world.

The programme will also help you prepare for a career within commercial design practice and strategy, buying and consultancy, marketing and advertising, business strategy, brand development, or teaching. It will also prepare you for further postgraduate study, doctoral research and publishing.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

The major criteria for selection of candidates is that they must demonstrate they are capable of succeeding on a degree programme.

The normal minimum entry requirement for BA/BSc (Hons) International Design is 240 UK Credits equivalent to a Diploma Level (5) Qualification.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Students will not normally be required to attend for an interview but will be expected to provide evidence of their practice by means of an online portfolio together with a reference from a suitably qualified referee.

The admission process is controlled by Cardiff Metropolitan University International Admissions in consultation with the Programme Director.

The programme welcomes applications from students from all backgrounds. Those applying with non-standard entry profiles will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants who do not possess normal minimum entry qualifications are considered on an individual basis by members of the course team.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3

If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.

Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to

Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD 


CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing. 

In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use. 

For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit

Field trips and visits 

Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Subject Leader and Admissions Tutor, Gareth Barham

Key Course Information

UCAS Codes:

BSc: 2H64​

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
One year full-time.

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting