BA (Hons) Advertising Design


This degree is based at USW’s purpose-built campus, in the creative centre of Cardiff.

This Advertising Design degree is one of only a few specialist advertising courses in the UK. We focus on creative ideas, technical skills, and understanding contemporary digital culture.

You’ll explore the areas of art direction, copywriting and strategic development, as well as how to design campaigns for all forms of advertising, including via social media, motion and traditional print-based designs.

Your studies will help you gain creative and technical skills, as well as the confidence to work in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of the advertising industry.

We have strong links with the creative industry and you’ll work with creative professionals through ‘live’ projects. Recent projects have included companies such as Brains Beer, Cadburys, Welsh Water, Fanta, Ben & Jerry's, Nike, Google, Eurostar and Chanel.

We’re also actively involved in the D&AD New Blood (Design & Art Direction) and YCN education schemes, which provides the students opportunities to showcase their work to advertising agencies.

Past graduates have gone on to work for Cardiff / Bristol based agencies S3 and Epoch Design, as well as global agencies such  Digitas LBi, Adam & Eve, Revolt, Cult Ldn, Isobar, Ogilvy, Havas Hellas and MullenLowe London.

Top five in the UK for standard of teaching and student satisfaction in Design and Crafts. (Guardian League Table 2022)

Follow USW Advertising on Instagram and Twitter.

View our work! Take a look at Advertising Design Grad Show 2021

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
392A Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
392A Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

Year one develops your ability to generate new ideas and concepts, and to solve communication problems.

In year two, you’ll ‘work’ for real clients and agencies, and understand professional expectations. This year also offers the opportunity for a European exchange through the Erasmus programme, or work experience.

Your final year is regarded as a professional year. You’ll tackle national and international design competitions and have further opportunities to meet professional designers.

Year One: Advertising Design degree

  • The Creative Process
  • Advertising for Print
  • Advertising Fundamentals
  • Advertising for Audio and Video
  • Copywriting
  • The Advertising Industry

Year Two: Advertising Design degree

  • Customers and Consumers
  • Advertising for Digital and Experience
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Building Brands with Advertising
  • The Agency
  • Emerging Technologies: Opportunities and Trends

Year Three: Advertising Design degree

  • Professional Project
  • Compete for Success
  • Advertising Collaboration
  • Case Study
  • International Advertising


Advertising Design is centred on creative ideas, technical skills, and an understanding of contemporary culture.

You will work in an exciting and constantly changing area of design, exploring the areas of art direction, copywriting and strategy development, as well as designing campaigns for all forms of traditional and new media advertising.

Our partnerships with design industry leaders provide you with an inspiring programme of visiting guest lecturers developing your professional practice with live and competition briefs alongside workshops with practicing designers.


Throughout the Advertising Design course you will be assessed on both practice-based modules and written assignments. You will receive clear and detailed feedback that will help you reflect on, and further develop your strengths.


We recognise the power of connections, and throughout your three years with us, you’ll have numerous opportunities to engage with creative agencies, both locally and in London.

This may be in the form of a live brief, an industry visit or a guest speaker. Some of our recent briefs have been for clients such as Snow + Rock, Cadbury’s, BBC Worldwide, Clarins and Exterion Media.

You'll have the chance to apply for an internship programmes with Epoch Design Bristol, Golley Slater Cardiff plus a vary of agencies across UK and Europe.

You’ll also have the opportunity to enter industry competitions including D&AD New Blood Awards and YCN Awards and follow in the footsteps of our many award-winning students.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

 Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and attendance at an interview with successful outcome. You may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work prior to attending interview where your course requires this, and full details of what is required will be provided once your application has been processed.

Applicants outside the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course


August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International:  £13700 

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £150
Materials. Per year
Field Trips £500
Field trip to Europe.
Other: Printing & Exhibition Costs £150
Year 3

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement

The dynamic nature of the Advertising Design course allows graduates to have excellent opportunities throughout a range of advertising, design and creative careers. Graduates can also progress to postgraduate study.

Recent graduates of the Advertising Design course have gone into roles such as:

  • Creative Director
  • Copywriter
  • Motion Artist
  • Account Handler
  • Researcher
  • Planner
  • Media buyer
  • Digital Marketer
  • Creative Technologist
  • PR
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Brand Manager
  • Ad Director
  • Advertising Creative
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Art Director
  • Advertising Account Executive

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.