This is an outstandingly strategic and creative course that nurtures individuality through collaboration. It is designed to produce ‘Ideas That Work’ from a new wave of creative leaders in advertising. We’ve developed exceptional links with leading international names such as BBH, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, The Gate, JWT, M&C Saatchi, McCann Erickson, Mother, Ogilvy & Mather, CreativeRace, Uniform, TBWA, Brass, plus many more ‘must-work for’ agencies.

With the BA (Hons) Creative Advertising course running alongside the BA (Hons) Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Comic & Concept Art, BA (Hons) Animation and BA (Hons) Illustration courses there are exciting opportunities to collaborate with creatives from other disciplines and with different skills to your own.

A crucial aspect of this course is its close links with top agencies: you’ll have many opportunities to get involved with some of the world’s most senior creative minds to maximise your exposure to industry practice. It also has a strong academic and theoretical background, which will solidly underpin your creative practice.

Creativity sits at the core of our proposition and feeds a common desire for originality and innovative thinking. You will study in a vibrant environment in which passion drives creativity. Our ‘Actively Creative’ philosophy requires you to take on first hand intellectual and creative challenges which are developed both in-house and through our industry contacts.

By the time you graduate you will be thinking like a creative director, at which point a remarkable 90% of our students have usually secured internships or employment.

Our tutors have considerable industry experience spanning art direction, copywriting and branding, working with some of the world’s leading agencies. In addition they continue to excel in academic research and writing to inform our curriculum.

Our tutors will show you how to deconstruct and critique some of the world’s best advertising, using what you discover to problem-solve and to inform and develop your own work. As Sir John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director at BBH, put it: “They’re a great bunch, led by some very bright tutors.”

Top agencies have offered coaching, mentoring, work critiques, live briefs, London workshops, competition briefs and work experience possibilities (in places like Brussels and New York). Students regularly win work experience opportunities with big agencies; many are offered graduate employment with agencies they’ve had contact with.

You’ll also have the opportunity to enter prestigious international competitions like D&AD Student Awards, Young Ones Competition, AdVenture, whilst having an opportunity to pursue European study exchanges either during term or over the summer.

You will graduate with your own completed portfolio of work to show potential employers or take forward to postgraduate study.

The BA (Hons) Creative Advertising degree has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry quality mark, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. 

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course details

What You'll Study

Year One — Exposure, Exploration & Creativity. You’ll research creative-thinking models and learn how to think by questioning, and then question your thinking. You’ll also be exposed to studio practice and the roles of art director and copywriter, in addition to the legacy and historical context of the discipline.

Year Two — Creative Strategy, Pragmatism & Realisation. You’ll further develop your copywriting and art direction skills, whilst working within a creative team. As you develop your own skills and strategies, you’ll explore a range of academic theories and start to consider how they impact on creative practice.

Year Three — Professionalism, Creativity Development & Reflection. You’ll enhance your strategic thinking by operating as managers, not just doers. You will write a dissertation and develop a series of creative outcomes to contextualise your practice, furthermore you will learn how to present your work in a professional manner.

Work Experience

Alongside your core study you are encouraged to negotiate work experience, industrial research and studio visits, to suit your particular interests or specialisms which will enhance your overall experience. There are many opportunities to negotiate or win experience in agencies in the UK, Europe and beyond.


Students have won countless awards including D&AD, Student Book Awards, Chip Shop Awards, and even Global Cannes Lions (Young Lions’ Gold and Silver).

Course Specification

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Destination Careers

Graduates usually find employment within agencies, working as art directors, copywriters, creative directors, brand planners and account handlers. Some prefer to start their own businesses or work as freelancers.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

We are aware that some students will be from a more literary background and may not have the traditional portfolio (book).

For those who have a traditional portfolio please see our top 10 tips on compiling a portfolio.

We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a member of the course team and shown around the University.

This course is slightly different from other specialist areas in art and design. Whilst we will look at your portfolio, it is far more important how you articulate your ideas, interests and commitment to the advertising industry.

You will then have up to 15 minutes individual interview with the course leader.

If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time. 


This is identified from one or more of the following:

The ability to communicate effectively.

  • Interview

The ability to generate and develop a range of creative ideas in response to briefs.

  • Samples of work (where appropriate)*

Skill and inventiveness in the use of a variety of media and techniques.

  • Samples of work (where appropriate)*

A good understanding and use of visual and verbal language.

  • Samples of work (where appropriate)*
  • Interview

A commitment to the subject area and ambition to succeed in the industry.

  • Personal statement
  • Interview

*We are aware that some students will be from a more literary background and may not have the traditional portfolio (book).

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs:

Equipment & Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year) equipment and printing approximately £80
  • Level 5 (Second Year) equipment and printing approximately £120
  • Level 6 (Third Year) equipment and printing approximately £150

We recommend an Apple Macbook, this is desirable but not essential for the start of the programme. One can be purchased during the academic year, and you will be advised at induction week which is the appropriate model. (approx. £600 - £900) We are an Apple Mac centric institution. If buying a computer students may want to consider waiting until they have enrolled as educational discount is available through the Apple educational portal. Students will need to consider purchasing the licence for Adobe Creative Cloud software which students can get at a discount on once they have enrolled on to the programme. 


As experiential learning plays a pivotal role in your creative development, regional visits and overseas trips are built into the academic year. Regional visits are linked to specific modules and are usually subsidised by the programme, with an approximate cost to the student of £10.

A typical spend for a residential visit can range between £300-£400 for a European destination and £700-£900 for destinations further afield, including accommodation and flights. There may be more than one residential visit a year depending upon students’ interests and demand, all residential visits are optional and open to all three year levels.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this programme click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University


BA (Hons) Creative Advertising

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"It's very rare to see such intelligent strategic thinking on advertising courses - one of the things which makes the Leeds approach special."
Trevor Beattie
Beattie McGuinness Bungay