Art and Design

  • Pursue your passion

    Unleash your creativity with our arts courses. At least 75% of your study will be hands-on, practical work

  • Excellent facilities

    Our arts campus at Brampton Road features spacious, fully-equipped art, design, illustration and photography studios.

  • Prepare for your career

    Develop your professional knowledge and skills so you can forge a successful career in the arts

Do you love drawing, painting, designing or taking pictures? You've come to the right place. Welcome home.


Close to the city centre of Carlisle in a beautiful, leafy setting, the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Arts has everything you need to inspire your creativity. Studying here you will be part of a creative community of over 1,000 other artists and performers. 


Our students are taught by experts with a wealth of experience and industry connections. They also benefit from national and international research trips; visiting artists and residencies; enviable bespoke studio, darkroom and life room facilities; regularly updated software and hardware; and visits to industry events including The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival. More importantly, our students have the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their work through our Degree Show and MA Show, as well as Free Range Festival and New Blood Festival in London, which aim to showcase the talent graduating from our Institute of Arts.


Our graduates are commercial artists, photographers, graphic designer, picture editors, curators who work in national and international galleries and museums. Some have gone on to work for Time Out, MTV, Conde Nast, BBC, The Daily Telegraph, Hallmark and Scoop Magazine to name only a few. Others have won awards, such as Harry G Ward winner of a BBC Fan Art Competition or received honorary mentions, like Joe Hardcastle whose architectural photography was mentioned at the Chromatic Awards

Your Career with an Art and Design Degree

From the outset, you will be encouraged to find your artistic voice or style and our aim is to develop your professional knowledge and skills in order for you to forge a career in relevant industries. We also have a strong focus on helping students to acquire the skills required to pursue a freelance, portfolio career.


Many of our students become practitioners, designers and photographers. Some work as freelance artists while others find careers with national and international organisations. Our graduates can be found working in a wide range of industries from galleries and museums, across the media, to their own studios and companies. They are curators, art therapists, illustrators, animators, photographers, stylists and picture editors (to name only a few). Their work has featured in books, magazines, galleries, advertising campaigns, websites and film and TV title sequences.

Working with Industry Professionals

Our experienced staff have professional backgrounds in relevant areas and maintain their own practice. We have strong connections with the industry to maximise opportunities for students to be taught by visiting professionals and take part in innovative live projects or work placements.


Some of our students have been head-hunted by major publishing houses such as Future Publishing and Condé Nast. One of our current students was runner-up in the prestigious ‘Book Illustration Competition’, beating other entries from 27 countries to make the shortlist.


Meet the Team

Partners & Memberships

Why study Art and Design at the University of Cumbria

We think our campus and courses are pretty special but don't take our word for it. Here is what Fine Art Graduate and Cumbria Young Artis of the Year Poppy Cookson had to say about her Art & Design course:

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Our courses are very active through social media and other online presences. Why not follow them for more information and to see what happens at our Institute of Arts?



Fine Art  The Vallum Gallery



Institute of Arts  Graphic Design  Illustration

Photography  Fine Art



Institute of Arts  The Vallum Gallery

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