University for the Creative Arts
TypePublic
Established1856; 168 years ago (1856)
2005 (as the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester)[1]
ChancellorMagdalene Odundo
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Jane Roscoe
Students9,430 (2021-22)
Undergraduates7,685 (2021-22)
Postgraduates1,745 (2021-22)
Other students
1,129 FE (2015–16)[2]
Location,
AffiliationsGuildHE
Websiteuca.ac.uk

The University for the Creative Arts is a specialist art and design university in the south of England.

It was formed in 2005 as University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester when the Kent Institute of Art and Design was merged into the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, which already had degree-awarding status;[3] both constituent schools had been formed by merging the local art schools, in Kent and Surrey respectively. It was granted university status in 2008, and the name changed to the present one.[4]

History

The origin of the University for the Creative Arts lies in the establishment of various small art schools in the English counties of Kent and Surrey in the nineteenth century. In Kent the first of these was Maidstone College of Art, founded in 1867, and in Surrey the Guildford School of Art, founded in 1856. During the second half of the twentieth century many of these small art schools merged, eventually forming Kent Institute of Art & Design in 1987, and Surrey Institute of Art & Design in 1995. These two organisations joined forces in 2005 to become the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. In May 2008, the University College for the Creative Arts was granted full university status by the Privy Council, and adopted its current name, the University for the Creative Arts, officially in September 2008.[5] In 2016, it merged with the Open College of the Arts.[4]

Timeline

Campuses

University for the Creative Arts, Epsom campus

UCA has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom and Farnham, plus a teaching base at The Maidstone Studios,[21] and a project and exhibition space in Folkestone Creative Quarter.[22]

It previously had a campus in Maidstone (closed in 2014) and another in Rochester (closed in 2023).[23][24]

The university also validates provision at, or co-delivers courses with, a number of other educational institutions and arts organisations in the UK: Farnham Maltings, London College of Contemporary Arts, London College of Creative Media, London School of Design & Marketing, and London Studio Centre.[25]

UCA works in partnership with several institutions globally, validating courses for: Berlin School Business & Innovation (Germany), Cyprus Academy of Arts (Cyprus), Hong Kong Management Associations (Hong Kong), The Millennium Universal College (Pakistan), and UK Creative Art and Design Centre (South Korea).[26]

In 2019, UCA and Xiamen University partnered to establish the Institute of Creativity and Innovation, with the Institute opening its doors in September 2020.[27]

UCA Canterbury

UCA Canterbury is home to architecture, interior design, automotive design, industrial and product design, fine art and visual communications courses. Students have on-campus halls of residence in Ian Dury House and off-campus accommodation in the Riverside Student Quarter.[28]

The UCA Doctoral College for creative PhD study is located close to UCA Canterbury at Rochester House.[29]

UCA Epsom

Creative business, fashion and textiles courses are run from the UCA Epsom campus. Four different accommodation blocks  - Bradford House, Wilberforce Court, Crossways House and Worple Road – are located either next to campus or a ten-minute walk away.[30]

UCA Farnham

Farnham is the largest of UCA’s campuses. Film, media, visual effects, performing arts, music, fine art, photography, animation, crafts, graphic design, illustration, creative technology, and games courses are taught there. It has two large on-campus halls of residence housing 600 students, called University Walk and Student Village.[31]

In June 2022, UCA Farnham became the headquarters for ISEA International.[32]

Organisation and academic life

UCA is the third largest provider of design, and creative and performing arts higher education in the UK, with around 5,845 students.[33] It offers courses in a very wide range of architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, media and performing arts subjects.[34]

Courses are offered at pre-degree further education, undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral levels.[35]

The University is organised into ten academic schools: Business School for the Creative Industries, Canterbury School of Architecture & Design, School of Communications, School of Fashion & Textiles, School of Film, Media & Performing Arts, School of Fine Art, Crafts & Photography, School of Games & Creative Technology, UCA Doctoral College, UCA International College (UCAIC), and Institute of Creativity and Innovation (ICI).[36]

It has eight research centres: Centre for Sustainable Design, Crafts Study Centre, Animation Research Centre, International Textile Research Centre, Audio Research Cluster, Cluster for Cinema/Affect/Place (CCAP), Conflict and the Creative Arts Research Centre, and UCA Innovation Hub.[37]

The UK's first Business School for the Creative Industries is based at UCA Epsom.[38]

Rankings and reputation

Rankings
National rankings
Complete (2024)[39]87
Guardian (2024)[40]71
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[41]63

Chancellor

Pro-Chancellors / Chairs of the Board of Governors

Vice-Chancellors

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

UCA submitted 115 research outputs to be considered by the expert panel for Art and Design in REF 2021, as well as four impact case studies. REF 2021 ranked 78% of UCA’s research as world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) for its originality, significance and rigour.[52]

Notable alumni

Further information: Category:Alumni of the University for the Creative Arts

TV, Film & Entertainment

Art and Photography

Fashion and Interior Design

Writing and Poetry

Music

Architecture

Animation

Student life

The Students’ Union at the University of the Creative Arts (UCASU) is open to all students, and has over 50 clubs and societies.[54]

UCASU offers student advice and support, and runs identity communities for those who self-define one or more of the following groups: BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicities), LGBTQ+, Disabled and Women.[55]

UCASU runs year-round events at all campuses and club nights at the Glasshouse on the Farnham campus.

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [s.n.] (2007). University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester Archived 20 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. ISBN 9781844828029.
  4. ^ a b University for the Creative Arts Archived 20 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Accessed January 2018.
  5. ^ See David Haste, The Art Schools of Kent (London: Werther Press, 2013)
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