Art and design

The university has a range of art and design degrees, from fine art, working with textiles, visual communication and design to interactive media.

The creative industries sector is one of Scotland’s most diverse and fast growing sectors.

Jordan McNeilage, BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology

“ There are many different routes to success. If, for whatever reason, you don't follow the 'standard route' you can still get there in the end, and you might just gain more experience along the way! I currently work for a local architect firm alongside my studies, which suits me well as I'm building up work contacts and experience. ”

Leah Davis, BA (Hons) Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice

“ This degree concentrates on art in the public sphere and how to practice as an artist in the real world, not just focusing on art alone. I was extremely lucky to be able to organise a placement with one of my favourite artists, Michael Forbes. It gave me such confidence and developed my understanding of what it takes to be an artist. I would never have thought I would have had a solo show and be exhibiting internationally before I had even completed the course. ”

Tomas Toth, BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles

“ I am from Slovakia and I relocated specifically to study in Scotland, on the beautiful Shetland Islands. This course is about creating fabrics from scratch, choosing fibres, learning techniques and making designs, which is all a journey. What is more, creating something out of nothing is really beautiful to me. I really admire how this university supports students across the Highlands and Islands, providing us with opportunities, activities and support. I am delighted to be part of this. ”

Kayleigh Kellas, BA (Hons) Fine Art

“ I was attracted to study here as I preferred the more personal and nurturing approach to teaching made possible by fewer students and a smaller campus. The drive to university is so green and picturesque; I never begrudge doing it. This course allows me to study a subject I'm passionate about at a pace that allows me to truly enjoy the process of creating artwork. There are lots of extra activities - talks, meet-ups, gallery socials - which are always well advertised and beneficial. ”

Charlie Dear, BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design

“ I wanted to do something art related but was unsure what course to do after school. I didn’t want to leave home for a university course in a big city when I wasn’t sure if that was the course for me. This course offered the study of a range of techniques which allowed me to try different creative practices and see what appealed to me. I currently work as a Graphic Designer where I deliver graphic, digital and print services. I also work as a freelance designer/illustrator creating artwork for a variety of clients, including children’s book illustration. In 2017, I was shortlisted for the Kelpies Design and Illustration Prize and last summer I was a commissioned artist for Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.”

The University of the Highlands and Islands is the only university based in our region – Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. We provide access to undergraduate and postgraduate study and research opportunities through our network of colleges and research centres, offering students a natural, supportive environment during their university studies.

Many of our undergraduate courses are developed in partnership with industry professionals to ensure that our graduates have the skills and experience required by employers. Others capitalise on the unique assets of our region, such as the environment, culture and heritage, and offer progression to research opportunities in these internationally important fields.


With locations spread across the Highlands and Islands, students can choose the university campus that suits. It might be close to home, or offer a course of interest, or there might be something special about a specific location. Students can also choose to create their own campus by studying online, when and where it suits them.

In 2017, 97% of the university’s graduates, who studied with us on a full time basis, entered work or further study (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey).

View our full range of courses.