University of the Arts London

University of the Arts London

Infobox University
name = University of the Arts London

image_size = 200px
established = 1986
motto = A Creative Constellation
type = Public
city= London
country= England, UK
staff =
faculty =
president =
principal =
rector = Nigel Carrington
chairman = Sir John Tusa
vice_chancellor =
dean =
head_label =
head =
colours = color box|#C51B8A Purplecolor box|#FD2939 Red

color box|#FF7F00 Orange

color box|#4FAD26 Green

color box|#3771D3 Bluecolor box|#CE8E00 Gold
students = 27,970 cite web |url= |title=Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06 |work=Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics |accessdate=2007-03-31]
undergrad = 11,555
postgrad = 2,250
other = 13,130
doctoral =
The University of the Arts London, formerly known as the London Institute, is a collegiate university comprising six art, design, fashion and media colleges in London, England, UK. The University is Europe's largest provider of education in art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts.cite web |url=,,491779,00.html |title=Education Guardian |work=The Guardian online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16]



The University has its origins in six independent art, design, fashion and media colleges, which were brought together for administrative purposes to form the London Institute in 1986. The six colleges comprising the federation have origins dating back to the mid 19th Century. Under the Education Reform Act, the London Institute became a single legal entity in 1988, and the first court of governors were instated the following year in 1989. The first appointed Rector was Professor John McKenzie. The London Institute was incorporated as a higher education body in 1991 and was later granted academic degree awarding powers in 1993 by the approval of the Privy Council. Will Wyatt CBE was appointed as Chairman of Governors during the same year. Sir William Stubs was appointed as the second Rector after the retirement of Professor John McKenzie in 1996. The Coat of Arms was granted to the London Institute in 1998. Lord Stevenson was appointed in 2000 as the first Chancellor.

On the retirement of Sir William Stubs, Sir Michael Bichard was appointed as Rector in 2001 and encouraged the London Institute to apply for University status. The London Institute originally chose not to apply because the existing colleges were internationally recognized in their own right. In 2003, the London Institute receives the approval for a University title by the Privy Council and was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004.

Wimbledon School of Art joined the University as the sixth College in 2006 and was renamed Wimbledon College of Art. Sir John Tusa was appointed as the new Chairman, replacing Will Wyatt in 2007. Nigel Carrington, an international lawyer and former managing director of the McLaren Group, was appointed the new Rector in 2008, replacing Sir Michael Bichard.cite web |url= |title=University of the Arts London History |work=History online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]


The standard protocol for entry is primarily by portfolio review and interview (audition for acting courses). Each constituent College and its individual courses have their own guidelines and procedures in determining new students, and the competitiveness can vary.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is the central University office situated at 65 Davies Street (adjacent from Bond Street), which is used for administrative purposes, learning resources, support services and a students' union cafe/bar.

tudents' Union

A variety of clubs, events and activities are organized through the Students' Union.

Learning Zone

The Learning Zone is an innovative, flexible and informal space for both collaborative and private study. Students from across the six Colleges are welcome to use the facilities, including computers, laptop hire and rooms for presentations/rehearsals.

tudent Services

Student Services offer a wide range of support services to help develop professional, personal and creative potential. The service advises home and international students about financial matters, immigration, careers, counseling, health, disability, childcare, and pastoral care through the chaplaincy.

International Centre

The International Centre manages international student recruitment and its network of local representatives based across the world. The Centre and the local representatives offer specialist advice, such as course information and University services, as well as immigration, fees and practical day-to-day living. In addition to the main office at Davies Street, there are international offices situated at the six colleges.

Language Centre

At the Language Centre prospective students can study English and languages such as French, Spanish or Japanese, before and during their course. The primary aim is to enable students to reach the required level for entry onto their main courses through tutorials, workshops and proofreading services.

The Enterprise Centre

Situated at the London College of Communication, the Enterprise Centre provides information, advice and guidance on obtaining freelance work or self-employment and is available to all students/graduates from all six Colleges.

The Erasmus Exchange

The program has exchange agreements with 40 partnered European Universities and specialist institutions. Students can study abroad for a minimum of three months to a maximum of one full academic year.

International affiliations include but are not limited to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and Parsons The New School for Design in New York, USA and the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Japan, where students have the opportunity to study abroad via exchange.

Young at Art

The scheme provides the opportunity for University students, who are interested in working with young people, a range of opportunities for paid and volunteer positions as mentors, ambassadors, assistants and more. The scheme is designed to help school children and teachers develop their creativity, and to gain experience of life at Art College through short courses, professional development, competitions and summer schools.

The Alumni Association

Students are part of the University's Alumni Association upon graduation. With more than 175,000 former students and staff, the association has access to a unique community of creative people with a wide range of interests in art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts.

The Emerging Artists' Program

This scheme supports up-and-coming practitioners to gain exposure to galleries, agents, collectors and journalists through independent and group exhibitions as well as acquisitions and commissions. The University's Art Collection comprises work from the students' degree shows and by alumni.



Many honours and awards have been received by students, staff and alumni across the six Colleges of the university. These include the BAFTA Award, BP Portrait Prize, British Fashion Designer of the Year, D&AD Student Award, Fujifilm Award, Jerwood Drawing Prize, Prince Philip Designers Prize, Saatchi Scholarship, Sunday Times Award and the Turner Prize.cite web |url= |title=University of the Arts London Success |work=Success online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]

Queen's Anniversary Prize

The Queen's Anniversary Prize was awarded to Camberwell College of Arts for the conservation of 'works of art on paper' in 1996. The prize has also been awarded to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design for its contributions to the British fashion industry in 1998.cite web |url= |title=University of the Arts London History |work=History online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30] Most recently, Cordwainers College of London College of Fashion was awarded the prize for its continued excellence in shoe and accessory design, development and teaching practice in 2008.cite web |url= |title=Cordwainers - Queen Anniversary Prize |work=Queen's Anniversary Prize online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

In the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) results in 2004, Camberwell College of Arts and London College of Communication were awarded 23 out of 24 for art and design; Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Chelsea College of Art and Design awarded 22; London College of Fashion awarded 21.cite web |url= |title=The Complete University Guide |work=The Complete University Guide online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]

Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) published results in 2001 by subject area and point scale from 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5 and 5*, the University achieved a 5 rating. In 2006-07, this rating will equate to a QR grant of £8.6 million.cite web |url= |title=University of the Arts London RAE |work=RAE online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]

killset Media Academy

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the London College of Communication have been awarded Skillset Media Academy status, recognizing the achievements in the area of media, interactive design and film respectively.cite web |url= |title=Skillset Academy Status |work=Skillet online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]


Chelsea College of Art and Design and the London College of Fashion share the 'Creative Learning in Practice Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning' (CLIP CETL). The Centre is funded by the British government in recognition of the two College's excellent results in developing student learning.cite web |url= |title=University of the Arts London Success |work=CLIP CETL online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]


BusinessWeek formed a panel of experienced consultants, academics, and executives to select the best art and design schools around the world, which featured Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the London College of Communication.cite web |url= |title=BusinessWeek: The Best Design Schools in the World |work=RAE online statistics |accessdate=2008-07-30]

League Tables

The Guardian

The University received a 60.50 overall average teaching score in the The Guardian's University Guide for 2009cite web |url= |title=Education Guardian |work=The Guardian online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16] , rising up the table despite disappointing student satisfaction results that hindered the university's score across British league tables in earlier years. This is a positive rise as students studying arts subjects have averagely shown to express more disgruntled views than any other subject in Britain during the National Student Surveys (NSS).

The Times

The Times 'Good University Guide' for 2008 places the University at 75th of 113, dropping considerably from the previous year at 59th in 2007 due to the recent inclusion of low student satisfaction results for the University.cite web |url= |title=The Times Good University Guide |work=The Times Good University Guide online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16] To address this, the University is currently undergoing significant change with the newly appointed Rector Nigel Carrington employing further staff while improving the facilities across the six colleges. The Sunday Times places the University at 67th of 123.

The Headmaster's Survey, conducted by The Times, comprises 1,000 of Britain’s most academically successful state and independent schools, rated the university at 16th of 119 in 2007cite web |url= |title=Headteacher's Survey |work=The Times online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16] , and top in its specialist areas of Art and Design, Performing Arts and Fashion.cite web |url= |title=Headteacher's Survey Subject Areas |work=The Times online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16] Headteachers were asked to cite only those institutions and subjects with which they felt comfortable, from their own and former students' personal experiences. More than 3,500 opinions were expressed.

The Independent

The Independent's Main League Table for 2009 places the University at 56th of the 113 ranked universities in the UK.cite web |url= |title=Independent League Table |work=The Independent online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16]

The Complete University Guide

The Complete University Guide places the University at 55th overall for 2009 and 10th in the area of Art and Design.cite web |url= |title=The Complete University Guide |work=The Complete University Guide online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16]


The six colleges all exceed in student applications each year with a 9 per cent rise at the beginning of 2008. This was one of the few significant increases for any University in the UK.cite web |url=,,491779,00.html |title=Education Guardian |work=The Guardian online statistics |accessdate=2007-12-16]


Less Common More Sense

The Student Union publishes "Less Common More Sense", a magazine that serves to showcase student's work from all six colleges.

Arts London News

The University also publishes "Arts London News", a weekly newspaper distributed throughout two terms of the year, which is produced and maintained by journalism students. The paper is published in conjunction with Rupert Murdoch's News International.

Galleries and Collections

The University houses various archives and collections across the six colleges. These include the Stanley Kubrick Archive, Tom Eckersley Collection, Thorold Dickinson Collection and the John Schlesinger Library. In addition, there is a large poster collection circa 1900s to the beginning of the 21st century.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design has registered museum status, which includes historical and contemporary collections by students, staff and alumni of the college. The Cochrane Theatre provides venues for theatre productions, exhibitions and presentations. The Lethaby Gallery and the Window Gallery is used for exhibitions by practicising professionals and for past and present students from the college.

Chelsea College of Art and Design has two on-site exhibition spaces. Chelsea Space is an international and interdisciplinary platform for professional practitioners to exhibit experimental curatorial projects and releases regular publications from participating authors, artists and designers. The Parade Ground, situated within the college, has been transformed into London's largest open-air gallery hosting events from film screenings to large scale installations. The exhibition ground had previously been used for students and professionals as an open area platform, notably artist Chris Burden's 'A Flying Steamroller' in 2006.

Recent Developments

Initiated in May 2007, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design will relocate to a purpose built arts college situated in Kings Cross in 2011.



The University has recently developed a successful new system for exhibiting graduate's work online to compliment the 2008 degree shows across the six colleges. Recent graduates are given the opportunity to create a free account using their personal student number and upload their own images to a personal gallery interface with a unique URL. The public can then view the work from the gallery in a similar way to the Flickr or GFXartist format.


Blackboard is the University's chosen Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A VLE is an online electronic course management system which supports and extends communication between students and staff. It also creates new opportunities for innovative and interactive methods of learning and teaching. Introduced to the University by the IT Research and Development Unit (ITRDU) in 2001, Blackboard currently hosts more than 340 sites across the University and is in use for course administration and communication purposes.

International Students

The University is the most popular institution in the United Kingdom for international students specializing on courses in the creative arts and has consequently become one of highest institutions in the country for an international student population, with students from over 100 countries currently studying across the six colleges.

Halls of Residence

The University has 11 residences, from traditional halls of residence to executive apartments, with 1,750 rooms available. Accommodation is not guaranteed to all first year students due to oversubscription. This is despite having multiple residences situated across London. The prices range between £100 GBP to £190 GBP and students would be required to apply early.

Notable Alumni

Alumni of Camberwell College of Arts include:

*Maggi Hambling (Painter)
*Howard Hodgkin (Painter and Printmaker)
*Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Designer)
*Richard Long (Sculptor)
*Peter Kindersley (Publisher, Founder of the Dorling Kindersley Publishing Group)
*Tim Roth (Actor)

Alumni of Chelsea College of Art and Design include:

*Quentin Blake (Illustrator and Author)
*Ralph Fiennes (Film and Stage Actor)
*Anish Kapoor (Sculptor)
*Steve McQueen (Artist)
*Chris Ofili (Artist)
*Alan Rickman (Film and Stage Actor)
*Alexei Sayle (Comedian)
*Gavin Turk (Sculptor)

Alumni of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design include:

*Terence Conran (Designer, Retailer and Restaurateur)
*Lucian Freud (Painter)
*Gilbert & George (Artists)
*John Galliano (Fashion Designer)
*Antony Gormley (Sculptor)
*John Hurt (Actor)
*Dylan Jones (Editor GQ Magazine)
*Sophia Kokosalaki (Fashion Designer)
*Stella McCartney (Fashion Designer)
*Alexander McQueen (Fashion Designer)
*Juan Muñoz (Artist)
*Mike Leigh (Director)
*Matthew Williamson (Fashion Designer)
*Wright and Teague (Jeweler)
*David E. Carter (Graphic Designer)

Alumni of Byam Shaw School of Art, part of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design include:

*Matthew Collings (Art Critic and Television Presenter)
*James Dyson (Industrial Designer, founder of Dyson)
*Mona Hatoum (Video and Installation Artist)

Alumni of Drama Centre London, part of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design include:

*Paul Bettany (Actor)
*Pierce Brosnan (Actor)
*Simon Callow (Actor)
*Colin Firth (Actor)
*Tara Fitzgerald (Actress)
*Helen McCrory (Actress)
*John Simm (Actor)
*Penelope Wilton (Actress)

Alumni of London College of Communication include:

*Neville Brody (Typographer)
*Molly Dineen (Documentary Film Maker)
*Craig Doyle (TV Presenter)
*Jefferson Hack (Editorial Director and co-founder of Dazed and Confused)
*Rut Blees Luxemburg (Photographer)
*Rankin (Fashion Photographer)
*Charles Saatchi (Advertising Executive)
*Paul Anderson (Journalist and Author)
*Jane Root (BBC2 Controller)
*Rebekah Wade (Editor)

Alumni of London College of Fashion include:

*Erin O'Connor (Model)
*Mich Dulce (Fashion Designer)
*Kirsty Gallacher (Sports Presenter)
*Bibi Russell (Fashion Designer)
*Chris Liu (Fashion Designer)
*Patrick Cox (Footwear Designer)
*Rachel Stevens (Popstar)
*Alek Wek (Model)

Alumni of Cordwainers College, part of London College of Fashion include:

*Jimmy Choo (Shoe Designer)
*Patrick Cox (Shoe Designer)
*Beatrix Ong (Shoe Designer)

Alumni of Wimbledon College of Art include:

*James Acheson (Three-Times Oscar Winning Costume Designer)
*Jeff Beck (Musician and former member of the Yardbirds)
*Raymond Briggs (Author and Illustrator, including The Snowman)
*Tony Cragg (Sculptor, Turner Prize Winner)
*Peter Doig (Artist, Turner Prize Nominee and John Moores Winner)
*Sarah Greenwood (Production Designer and Oscar Nominee for Pride and Prejudice)
*Richard Hudson (Set Designer, Olivier Award Winner and Designer for The Lion King on Broadway)
*Charles Knode (Costume Designer for Film, including Braveheart and Blade Runner)
*Phoebe Philo (Fashion Designer, former Head Designer for fashion label Chloe)
*John Scott (TV Presenter)
*Mark Tildesley (Production Designer for Film and Theatre, including The Constant Gardener and 28 Days Later)
*Anthony Ward (Theatre Designer, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and My Fair Lady)


External links

* [ University of the Arts London]
* [ University of the Arts London - Showtime (Online Degree Shows)]
* [ University of the Arts London - Students' Union]

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