Are you the type of person who has a high attention to detail? Wherever you go, do you notice even the smallest things, like perhaps the design of the clothes, logos of different brands, intricate details of artwork, and design of product containers? Do you have overflowing creativity and imagination in you that you need an outlet to let those come into life? Well, let me say that if you are passionate about these things, you can actually make a career out of it and spend the rest of your life doing the thing that you love.

Getting a degree in design lets you develop or awaken that sense of creativity within you. The world constantly evolves and changes, and along with it is also the field of arts and design. With the growing influence of digital and media nowadays, it is without a doubt that the need for creative and talented people to work with design is steadily increasing.

Employers in the design and media industries value a wide range of abilities acquired through design degrees. Whether you study game design or product design, you’ll discover that many of the skills you’ll learn on your degree are highly transferable to other fields. That is why it is vital to choose a good university for this degree. Below is a list of some of the best design schools in Europe according to the 2022 QS World University Rankings:

Top Design Schools in Europe

1. Royal College of Art

Taking this number one spot is the Royal College of Art which is located in South Kensington, London. The Royal College of Art is the world’s most prestigious art and design postgraduate institution. This institution offers a wide range of courses across the art and design discipline as Graduate Diploma, Master’s, and PhD programs. It does not offer a Bachelor’s degree since it is regarded as a postgraduate institution for arts and design. Still, it is considered to be one of Europe’s best design schools.

They offer a variety of courses related to Design such as Fine Arts, Design, Experience Design, Industrial Design, Product Design, Fashion, Illustration, Contemporary Art, etc. Students in this field will certainly learn a lot because of the school’s impressive outside collaborations. The RCA collaborates closely with local organizations, people, schools, and companies to generate collaborative projects that improve the social and cultural fabric of one of their local communities in Battersea, White City, and Kensington. The school also has a list of start-up companies in different field designs, and these start-up companies can definitely provide students with a good learning experience.

2. University of Arts London

Also located in London, England, this famous university specializes in programs such as arts, design, fashion, and the performing arts. The University of Arts London offers pre-degree, undergraduate, and graduate courses in design with several specializations. It offers courses in photography, interior design, product design, media, graphics, fine arts, and performance arts. Since 2019, they have been consistently in the top 2 of the QS World University Rankings for arts and design, thus it is a good choice of school for aspiring students.

This institution has produced several individuals who excelled in the field of arts and design. More than half of all Turner Prize finalists, more than half of the designers awarded British Designer of the Year, more than a third of the 40 artists recognized in the Catlin Guide’s most promising graduate artists, and 12 Jerwood Photography Award winners are among their accomplishments. Aside from that, this university currently houses six colleges, all solely focused on the different aspects of design and art. For most students, this school is probably included in their dream choices.

3. Polytechnic University of Milan

With approximately 45,000 students, the Polytechnic University of Milan is one of Europe’s best technical colleges and the largest Italian university in Engineering, Architecture, and Design. This is a renowned university known for its pedagogy of research and innovation, and it really shows especially in its Engineering department. However, this method of teaching also benefits the Department of Design just as much as the other departments.

The design courses it offers under the Bachelor’s degree are Architectural Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, and Product Design. For Master’s programs, this top design school in Europe also offers several design courses. This school has also been awarded as the “Art Patrons of the XXI Century” and held an outstanding exhibition with some of the pieces coming from the university itself made by the students and alumni.

4. Aalto University

Aalto University is located in Espoo, Finland, and is one of the best universities in the country. This university offers over 90 degree programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the fields of art, design and architecture, technology, and business. For over 138 years, Finland’s School of Arts, Design, and Architecture has been a leader in art and design education, making it a perfect school to learn all about design. Some of the courses they offer in this field are fine arts, design, new media, art education, visual culture, motion picture, and production design.

Another good thing about this school is that it has a long history of successfully partnering with external partners or companies on projects and courses, and maintains close working connections with a variety of businesses and government agencies. Companies, organizations, and government agencies routinely approach Aalto University, the Nordic region’s preeminent design school, to collaborate with students on real-world societal issues and business prospects.

5. The Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art is a higher education art school in Glasgow, Scotland, that offers undergraduate degrees, postgraduate certificates, and PhDs in architecture, fine art, and design. This institution has been constantly remaining among the top schools for art and design in Europe. They offer a lot of courses in arts and design at all levels. The school also does long-term collaborations with some companies to enrich students’ learning. They have strong ties to important digital media industries like engineering firms, motion graphics companies, and interactive media agencies, as well as a diverse group of international visiting lecturers and guest speakers. This network of partners also helps students find internships and work experience, making the Glasgow School of Art one of Europe’s best design schools.

6. Design Academy Eindhoven

Design Academy Eindhoven is a higher learning institution based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, set up in 1955. The institution is multidisciplinary and offers degree courses in industrial design, arts, fashion design, architecture, and graphic design, making it one of the top design schools in Europe. Students have the privilege of shifting from one department to another. Upon successful completion, all students graduate with a design degree.

Moreover, this top institution offers contextual Design, Geo-Design, Social Design, and information design Master’s programs. Additionally, DAE offers a foundation program where potential students have the opportunity to explore more about design before applying for a Bachelor’s program. DAE graduates participate in the DAE Graduation Show, an annual event in Dutch Design Week. Students acquire top design skills from DAE thanks to the institution’s Readership program, which involves collaborations with government organizations.

7. Delft University of Technology

The Delft University of Technology is the largest and the most ancient Dutch university found in Delft, Netherlands. This institution teaches a three-year degree course in Industrial Design Engineering. The university continues to top the charts of top design schools thanks to the fantastic designs developed by the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Some designs include games to help patients suffering from dementia, India’s sanitary facilities, and top water battles.

Students in the IDE faculty are free to participate in the most extensive study associations in the university. The association organizes activities to ensure students gather all the necessary design skills.

8. Goldsmiths, University of London

The prestigious Goldsmith is a University of London constituent college famous for high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate education in design, arts, social sciences, and humanities. The institution is in New Cross.

The university continues to stamp its authority as a top design institution in Europe through collaborations that help students network hence finding jobs and internships

9. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is among the world’s most ancient design universities. It is a public university set up in 1745 and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. A bachelor’s degree in design is a combination of academic and artistic research as well as professional practice.

This dream university contains world-class laboratories and workshops where students sharpen their skills. The ratio of students to tutors during experiments is 1:1. For these reasons, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is surely among the best design universities in Europe.

10. Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design

Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design is the largest arts and design university in Sweden. It is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and was set up in 1844. The university’s undergraduate level is three years, where students are awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts upon successful completion. A student can choose the following programs at this level: Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Fine Art, Textiles, and Interior Architecture and Design.

The university offers Master’s programs in Craft, Design, Design Ecologies, Fine Art, and Visual Communication. In addition, the university offers a doctoral program in Art, Technology, and Design in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology. The best thing about Konstfack is that it contains state-of-the-art workshops that help students acquire the best skills through experiments.

11. Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a public institution based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. Since its inception, the university’s College of Art and Design has been offering high-quality education, making it among the top design schools in Europe.

Its School of Creative Arts and Design offers top-notch teaching and industry-standard training. The best thing about the institution is that it provides a chance for students to participate in nationwide and international competitions where they can showcase their design skills.

The institution also hosts various shows, including degree shows and new designers. Additionally, all final-year undergraduate students pursuing design, including product design, graphic design, and book design, represent the institution in an exhibition in London where they establish connections.

12. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD)

  • Study Program
  • Location: Switzerland | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

ENSAD also makes it to the list of top design universities in Europe. It is a higher learning institution founded in 1766 in Paris, France. The institution offers undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in arts and design.

ENSAD has over 140 partnerships with cultural institutions, top universities, and innovative businesses worldwide, making it among the best in arts and design. The best thing about ENSAD is a compulsory professional internship in the fourth year of the five-year degree. Students also develop a thesis in the fourth year, which acts as a basis for the “Grand Project” in the fifth year. All these ensure that students gather essential skills that help them succeed in their careers.

13. Zurich University of the Arts

  • Study Program
  • Location: Switzerland | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

With approximately 2,800 students, Zurich University of the Arts is the largest arts university in Switzerland based in Zurich. The university offers Bachelor’s courses and Master’s programs in the arts and design.

14. Berlin University of the Arts

Berlin University of the Arts or Universität der Künste Berlin in German is the largest school of arts and among the top design universities in Europe. It is located in Berlin, Germany. The university offers over 70 courses in fine arts, music and performing arts, and design faculties.

15. École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle

  • Study Program
  • Location: France | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

L’École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (L’ENSCi) Les Ateliers is a public design institution based in Paris, France, founded on 8th November 1982. It is the only university in France that teaches advanced courses in design. The university is open all day, and students learn based on their schedules. The university has many partnerships with the government and other organizations. As a result of interaction, students network and can quickly get job opportunities.

FAQS About Studying Design

Which Country Has the Best Design Schools?

When it comes to Europe, there are multiple countries that are recognized for their quality regarding their design courses, but some of the best universities for this course can be found in the United Kingdom, as they have one of the most advanced teaching systems in the region. There are other countries that offer great opportunities for this course, and they are Italy and Turkey, from which students can gain tremendous experience and cultural benefits. If you plan on studying in Europe aside from design courses, you can check our list of all the available Europe courses on our website, as they can serve as a guide for you.


We hope that you found this article on the best design schools in Europe informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out Available Design Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee