Careers in design

Careers in design

Looking to get into commercial design?

Bear in mind the following before considering the careers and postgraduate routes below:

  • Some courses invite applications from a range of art and design disciplines. Others are aimed more at practising designers or graduates with specific degrees.
  • Your portfolio may need to demonstrate an interest or trend towards your chosen specialism or evidence of skills relevant to commercial design, e.g. group project work
  • Postgraduate study is not a guaranteed passport to employment; the key is how you use opportunities on your course to enhance your employability, such as gaining a working knowledge of industry standard software, accessing work experience and networking opportunities, as well as developing your portfolio.

Graphic Design/Illustration

Graphic Design is a diverse area and can include advertising, publishing, websites, computer games, packaging, exhibitions and branding for companies and organisations. Some courses consider applicants from a wide range of degrees, including fine art. Many reflect the cross over between design and media, and include transferable skills such as motion graphics.

Animation/Games Design

Computer generated animation is used in films, TV, the internet and the computer games industry. The University of Bournemouth offer a MA 3D Computer Animation; computer knowledge is not required for entry and admissions tutors are more interested in your aesthetic or technical abilities. Bear in mind however more technical MSc courses may require a computing degree for entry.

Interactive Media/Multimedia Design

Currently there is a demand for graduates with multimedia skills, combining design, media and IT, to design websites, mobile phone apps, interactive learning for exhibitions and computer games. Study in this area will give you transferable skills for a range of digital media applications.

Exhibition Design

Designing exhibitions and display stands for events, trade shows, galleries and museums requires a mix of skills to create designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing and communicate a message. Look for courses in 3D, interior or spatial design that include exhibition design. If you are interested in communicating an educational message or interactive learning, the universities of Lincoln and Salford offer courses in museum exhibition design.

Interior/Spatial Design

This involves the design and renovation of internal spaces, including structural alterations, furnishings, fixtures and fittings, lighting and colour schemes for commercial or domestic properties. Designers are concerned with the functional use of space as well as aesthetics. Some courses welcome general design graduates, others may require a 3D design degree for entry.

Fashion/Textile Design/Surface Pattern Design

It is possible as a non fashion degree graduate to apply for courses but you will need work experience in fashion design or retail and a portfolio which shows a strong leaning towards this type of work. Textile design provides options to work with fabrics for interiors or clothing.

Production Design/Set Design

Kingston University offer one of the few courses in this area, MA Production Design for Film and Television, and consider applications from fine art graduates.