BA (Hons) Advertising Design

100% of our BA (Hons) Advertising Design students were satisfied with their course National Student Survey 2022

This Advertising Design degree is one of only a few specialist advertising courses in the UK. It is based at USW’s purpose-built campus, in the creative centre of Cardiff. 

We focus on creative ideas, technical skills and understanding contemporary digital culture. 

You’ll explore areas such art direction, copywriting, marketing, consumer behaviour and strategic campaign development as well as how to create integrated campaigns for all forms of advertising including the latest social media platforms, motion design and traditional print-based media such as out of home and retail spaces and radio and TV ads. 

Your studies will help you gain both creative and technical skills  as well as the confidence to work in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of the advertising industry either as a creative or a client side career pathway such as an account planner or media buyer. 

We have incredible links with the advertising and marketing  industry and you’ll work with creative professionals through real world  ‘live’ projects from the beginning to the end of the course. Recent projects have enabled our students to work with brands including Chanel, Nike, Google, Foster’s Lager, Cadburys, Welsh Water, Fanta, Asahi Beer, Ben & Jerry's and Eurostar. 

We’re also actively involved in the D&AD New Blood (Design & Art Direction) and YCN education schemes, which provides students with opportunities to showcase their work to high profile advertising agencies across the UK.  
Our industry network includes local, national and international agencies. Our latest work can be viewed on Instagram

Our graduates have progressed to careers within Cardiff/Bristol based agencies including Blue Egg, Ubiquity, Populate, Burning Red and Epoch Design, as well as global agencies including Digitas LBi, Adam & Eve, Revolt, Cult Ldn, Isobar, Ogilvy, Havas Hellas and MullenLowe London. 

As part of the course, students have the opportunity to attend trips to Bristol, Manchester and London as well as annual overseas visits to places such as Toyko, New York, Berlin and Copenhagen. 

Check out our motion content via our YouTube Channel

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

View our work! Take a look at 2022 USW Advertising Design Showreel

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 
How to innovate using the creative process, research techniques, design methods, strategic thinking and producing campaign concepts. 
Advertising for Print 
Introducing you to the Adobe Suite software in order to create traditional print based campaigns via copy and graphic design elements. 
Advertising Fundamentals 
Introducing you to the very fundamentals of advertising such as target audience, advertising techniques and engaging with consumers. 
Advertising for Audio and Video 
How to produce audio/video content by idea generation, storyboarding, filming and editing motion content for social media ads. 
Introducing you to using all types of copy in an advertising context, from social media handles to traditional print ads. 
The Advertising Industry 
Introducing you to the broad range of job roles within the industry, both creative and client side, as well as looking at working at all types of agencies. 

Year Two: Advertising Design degree

Customers and Consumers 
Understanding consumer behaviour, lifestyles and how to target key audiences via research and customer insight. 
Advertising for Digital and Experience 
Looking at new interactive, digital media platforms and the experience of the consumer. 
Marketing Strategy 
Understanding all types of marketing techniques, both traditional and digital social media platforms, and how brands engage with their audience.  
Building Brands with Advertising 
How brands are created and maintained via graphic elements, their choice of media platforms, brand values and their brand DNA.  
The Agency 
Working in a group on a real world brief provided by an agency, whereby you create a campaign within a budget and timeline. 
Emerging Technologies: Opportunities and Trends 
Researching the latest technologies and social media trends to create a campaign across a variety of media platforms. 

Year Three: Advertising Design degree

Competitive Advertising  
Working on a real world brief provided by an agency that addresses a social cause and producing outcomes on media platforms of your choice. 
Advertising Collaboration 
Creating a short motion ad for a selected real world brand, while developing your film and editing skills,  

Case Study 
Researching and writing about a topic that relates to the industry.  
Creative Advertising 
Developing your professional digital portfolio, skill-set and launching yourself into the industry alongside the support of the USW Careers Team, so you’ll be ready to respond to working in this demanding industry. 
Professional Project 
Creating a self written, self-directed piece of content using integrated media platforms to head up your portfolio as your flagship project upon graduation. 


Advertising Design is centred on creative ideas, technical skills, and an understanding of contemporary digital culture such as consumer behaviour and the latest social media platform. 

You will work in an exciting and constantly changing area of design and marketing, exploring the areas of art direction, copywriting and strategic development, as well as creating 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 practising industry specialists. 


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.


At USW Advertising Design we prepare you for your future career from day one of the course, you'll work with the creative industry throughout your degree, and we'll support you to gain valuable experience through internships, work experience and placements. 

We have amazing links with industry partners that offer opportunities for work experience. Many of these are right on our doorstep in Cardiff and Bristol, ensuring you make the most of your time in this creative capital city. 

Advertising is a global industry, and our links with international brands connect USW students to opportunities anywhere in the world. Many of our students have undertaken placements in Year 1 and 2 prior to their Year 3 internships. You'll also compete in national and international design competitions, which will showcase your work on a global stage. 


As part of our central Cardiff campus, advertising students benefit from a whole campus dedicated to creating ad content. 

These facilities include two design studios with city and Bay views. All spaces are designed to inspire you to consider the fantastic location of a capital city in all the work that you do. 

Specialist facilities include photography studios, green screen and filming studios, laser cutting and 3D printing facilities, as well as a fully equipped production workshop and access to University-wide facilities and equipment. The advertising area also features a creative space where students can meet to collaborate, work, host meetings, network and relax. 


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 reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2023. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. Entry criteria for September 2024 is changing and will be published on from 8th May 2023. Entry criteria for September 2024 will be updated on our website from the end of October 2023.

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.  

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here


 Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria you may also be required to attend an interview to help us assess your suitability for the course.


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 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 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14100 

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

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

At USW, we help you start your career before you graduate with relevant industry placements and Year 3 internships  that are 100% focused on what employers need in the future. The teaching environment at USW offers an unparalleled experience when it comes to developing the advertising industry leaders of tomorrow. 

Our graduates have an extensive portfolio of skills that cover all aspects of the advertising and marketing industry. They are rounded, focused and confident professionals, who are ready to begin a successful career. Most importantly, they make a difference through their work, using advertising to address real issues, such as disability, politics, racial inequality, garment workers’ rights, and the environment. 

Many USW advertising alumni have gone on to work for industry leaders on a national and international stage, across all aspects of the creative and marketing  industries. The list includes: 

  • Golley Slater 
  • Populate 
  • Epoch Design 
  • Digitas LBi 
  • Ogilvy and Mather  
  • Mullenlowe 
  • Isobar London 
  • Revolt Copenhagen 
  • FST 
  • The Cowshed 
  • Ubiquity Group 
  • Hevas Hallas 
  • Wunderman 
  • Wasted London 

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.