Norwich University College of the Arts

Norwich University College of the Arts
Norwich University College of the Arts
Established 1845
Type Public
Principal Professor John Last
Location Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Nickname NUCA

Norwich University College of the Arts (commonly NUCA) is a higher education specialist art, design and media university college, based on a single site in the centre of Norwich, in the United Kingdom.



The history of Norwich University College of the Arts dates back to 1845 when the Norwich School of Design was established to provide designers for local industries. Its founders were the artists and followers of the 'Norwich School of Painters', the only provincial British group to establish an international reputation for landscape painting.

Degree-level provision has been offered since 1965, when it was approved to offer the Diploma in Art and Design, validated by the National Council for Diplomas in Art and Design (NCDAD). After 1965 the School of Art made its own mark on the national art and design scene when twin strengths in Painting and Graphic Design emerged under a group of exceptional practitioners and teachers.

From 1975, after NCDAD's merger with the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA), the School offered its first BA Honours degree courses in Fine Art and Graphic Design, validated by CNAA.

In 1989 the School merged with Great Yarmouth College of Art to form the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (NIAD). In 1991 Norfolk Institute of Art and Design become an Associate College of the new Anglia Polytechnic with the polytechnic assuming validation responsibilities from CNAA from September 1992. This agreement extended to postgraduate provision, with the first MA course being introduced in 1993 (MA Fine Art) and the first research degree student being registered in 1995.

In 1994 NIAD was incorporated as a Higher Education Institution (HEI), re-named as Norwich School of Art and Design and re-launched with a new corporate identity.

In November 2007 the School was granted the power to award its own degrees up to Masters level and was re-named Norwich University College of the Arts.

Current courses include

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

  • MA Communication Design
  • MA Curation
  • MA Fashion
  • MA Fine Art
  • MA Moving Image and Sound
  • MA Textile Design
  • MPhil/PhDs


NUCA entered the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1996 with funding awarded to develop capability.

In the 2008 RAE submission 35% of NUCA’s submitted research was confirmed to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ and the Times Higher RAE ‘league table’ placed NUCA joint 34th out of 72 HEIs.

The RAE report complimented NUCA’s ‘good regional context for research’ and ‘the significant impact of international initiatives’. Additionally it noted NUCA's national contribution evidenced by ‘the programming of major festivals and exhibitions’, ‘addresses to, and chairs of, major conferences’ and ‘influence evidenced through Editorial Board and committee membership’.

Staff research groups are focused in five areas:


The University College is located in Norwich city centre.

Francis House which is located on Redwell Street is the main reception for NUCA, while the academic buildings are a 2 minute walk from this point which offering a large Mac and Windows suite, A1 style printing rooms, animation studios, professional sound booths and academic studios.

There are 2 areas of accommodation for first year students: the Beechcroft complex off Sprowston Road; and Harvard Court.

University College status

In August 2008 Norwich School of Art and Design became Norwich University College of the Arts. This is by Order of the Privy Council, to reflect the granting of Taught Degree Awarding powers in November 2007. All students starting after September 2008 receive degrees from Norwich University College of the Arts.[1]


Notable alumni


  • William Stewart (1845–48)
  • George Stewart (1848–51)
  • John Wilkin Heaviside (1851–54)
  • Claude Lorraine Richard Wilson Nursey (1854–59)
  • Robert Cochrane (1859–84)
  • Joseph Woodhouse Stubbs (1884–87)
  • Walter Scott (1888–1919)
  • Charles Hobbis (1919–46)
  • Noel Spencer (1946–63)


  • Noel Spencer (1963–64)
  • John Brinkley (1964–68)
  • Robert Fox (1968–72)
  • Bill English (1972–88)
  • Professor Bruce Black (1988–2001)
  • Susan Tuckett (2001–08)
  • Professor John Last (since January 2009)

External links

Notes and references

  1. ^ NSAD Website (May 22, 2008), University College, new name from 1st August, NSAD Website,, retrieved 2008-07-12 

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