UK art and design grads shows 2018: Dates & locations

Art and design graduate degree shows (or 'summer' shows) across the UK are almost underway, so we've put together the time and place of each grad show that's worth heading to this summer to spot fresh creative talent.


It’s the time of year when creative university students show off their best work in the areas of graphic and interaction design, illustration, visual communication and photography to recruiters and creative agencies in the hope of landing potential job offers. There’s a lot of pressure at these shows, but there’s also a lot of support and celebration of talent. Successful illustrators such as David Doran, Mr Doodle and Thomas Moore were once spotted by Digital Arts – and many others – at their respective grad shows.

Check out our feature on how to nail your grad show, with relevant tips and advice from two university lecturers on business cards, your portfolio and how to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re planning to head along to a grad show this year (or a few), here’s a list of the top ones across the UK. We start off with the group shows in London, which bring together students from up to 100 different creative courses and institutions, so you can check out work from around the UK without having take an extended road-trip

London – Multi-institution Shows


D&AD New Blood Festival
July 12 – 14
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
The most prestigious – and smallest – of the group shows, the ad industry body’s grad showcase also features portfolio clinics and talks by industry leaders for the grads. Take a look at what we saw at last year’s festival

New Designers Week 2
July 4 – 7
Business Design Centre, Angel
The second week of the New Designers is where you’ll find graphic design, branding, illustration and animation (plus a lot of product design). Larger than New Blood, it gives you to check out a wider selection of work from more new talent. Take a look at what we saw at last year’s show

Free Range
June 14 – July 16
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
This month-long series of art, design, fashion, illustration and photography grad shows are roughly assembled into themed weeks in a series of spaces around the Old Truman Brewery. Design Week features shows from Middlesex and Brighton Universities.

London – Single Institution Shows

London College of Communication
Show 2: Design School and Screen School
art direction, illustration, visual media, graphic branding & identity, animation
June 21 – 23
London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle

Central Saint Martins (UAL)
Degree Show Two: Design
June 20 – 24
Granary Square, King’s Cross

Royal College of Art
Animation, design, visual communication, contemporary art
June 23 – July 1
Royal College of Art, Battersea and Kensington sites

Kingston School of Art
Art, design, illustration, animation
June 2 – 8
Knights Park, River House, Middle Mill campuses, Surrey

Goldsmiths, University of London
June 8 – 11
Bussey Building, Peckham
Animation, photography (Media and Communication)
June 15 – 18
Goldsmiths, SE14 6NW

Middlesex University
Animation, graphic design, illustration and photography
June 16 – 18
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane (as part of Free Range)

Ravensbourne (university sector college)
Design, animation
June 20 – 22
Ravensbourne, Greenwich

Westminster School of Media, Arts & Design
Animation June 8
Illustration May 23 – 24
Various campuses


Nottingham Trent University
Art and Design
June 2 – 10
City Campus, Nottingham
Graphic Design
June 6
City Campus, Nottingham

Writtle University College
Art and Design
May 17-20
Various campuses


Sheffield Hallam University
Animation, design, graphic and illustration
June 10 – 23
Various venues across Sheffield Hallam University

Leeds Arts University
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Animation, advertising, graphic design, illustration, visual communication
May 18 – 23
Vernon Street building

Liverpool School of Art & Design
Graphic design, illustration
May 25 – June 8
John Lennon Art and Design Building

Manchester School of Art
June 9 – 20
Benzie, Grosvenor and Chatham Buildings on the Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints Campus

South East

University of Brighton
Graphic design, illustration
June 2 – 10
University Galleries, Edward Street

University for the Creative Arts Canterbury
Art, design
June 16 – 29
UCA Canterbury, Kent
There are also UCA graduation shows in Farnham, Rochester and Epsom.

University of Portsmouth
Graphic design, illustration, animation, VFX
June 4 – 8
Elon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue

University of Hertfordshire
Art, Design, Film, Media and Art Therapy
June 4 – 8
College Lane Campus, Hatfield, Hertfordshire

South West

Arts University Bournemouth
Graphic design, illustration, animation and photography
June 7 – 16
AUB campus, Dorset

University of Falmouth
Communication design, art
May 19-24
Falmouth Campus, Cornwall

Plymouth College of Art
Graphic design, illustration, animation, creative advertising & brand, commercial photography
June 8 – 21
Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place campus, Studio 11


Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
Art, design, animation, illustration, digital interaction design
May 19 – 27
Matthew Gallery

Edinburgh College of Art
Art, design
June 2 – 10
Various buildings, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place

Glasgow School of Art
Interaction and communication design
June 2 – 8
Bourdon Building and Reid Building, Renfrew St


Cardiff School of Art and Design
Graphic communication, illustration
May 26 – June 1
Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue

Swansea College of Art (UWTSD)
Graphic design, advertising and brand design
May 18 – June 1
Arts Wing, Swansea Grand Theatre