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Design at ECA is driven by change: we create new generations of designers and design researchers that tackle real-world problems. 

We encourage all our students to value the importance of sustainable, ethical, and considerate design interventions. We will prioritise your employability and ongoing professional and research development, informed by future industry, societal, and academic needs. You will become adaptable and independent, with the ability to respond positively to changing needs in uncertain futures. 

Subject area video

Introducing Design at Edinburgh College of Art

Mal Burkinshaw, the former Head of Design, gives an overview of the subject area at Edinburgh College of Art.


147 Members of staff
945 Students
17 Programmes
6633 Alumni

Why choose us?


You’ll join a passionate community of designers, with the opportunity to focus on your particular design field, as well as to collaborate across a broad range of disciplines.


Taught by leading practitioners and theorists, you’ll be supported in responding to live briefs, showcasing your work, and entering high-profile competitions.


Our city is a world-leading centre of knowledge in science, engineering and innovation. We are at the heart of this network, working closely with key partners.


You’ll be able to take courses from across the University of Edinburgh, using both traditional and digital facilities, and world-class libraries, museums and collections.


We are educating not only problem-solvers, but opportunity-seekers. Our students become the designers / thinkers / makers who positively shape the world we inhabit.

A collection of materials and tools on a desk, including rolled up paper, pieces of wood, tape, cutting tools and a plastic box Credit: Joseph Wilson

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We have a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on offer.

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Related news

A photo of Orinoco from the Wombles costume on stage at the Performance Costume Show 2023, led by designer Biz Sutton Image: Mihaela Bodlovic

Graduate designer Biz Sutton recognised with prestigious stage prize as ‘Orinoco’ heads to Wombles HQ

Biz Sutton, 2023 graduate of the BA (Hons) Performance Costume, and designer of the popular Wombles climate crisis project and ‘Orinoco’ costume at the 2023 Edinburgh College of Art Graduate Show, has been selected for the prestigious Linbury Prize for Stage Design, receiving a £5,000 bursary and a design placement.

A photo of the final poster design on a wall outside ECA. The poster features Aner's illustration and the information about the competition. Image: ECA

Winning illustration promotes book collecting competition across the University

Congratulations to Edinburgh College of Art BA (Hons) Illustration student Aner Wang, whose illustration has been selected to appear on promotional materials for a University-wide book collecting competition.

A photo of the red Chalmers glasses design by Holly Munro against a white background Image: Cubitts

Stormy Edinburgh weather provides inspiration for Jewellery student's winning glasses design

Third-year ECA Jewellery and Silversmithing student Holly Munro was selected to design a unique pair of glasses inspired by the city of Edinburgh for spectacle brand, Cubitts. Her winning frame design, inspired by a stormy day in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, is now on sale in Cubitts’ Edinburgh Old Town store.

Two people stood next to each other Image: University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Professors to lead AHRC Programme on AI

Professors Shannon Vallor and Ewa Luger are to direct the £3.5 million programme ‘Enabling a Responsible AI Ecosystem’ in collaboration with the Ada Lovelace Institute.

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