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Arts London

UCAS Code: U65

Location: Mostly in central London Show on Map

Site: Six constituent art colleges across London

Europe’s largest university for the creative arts, a federation of six prestigious London art colleges. Member of the UKADIA group of universities.

Student Population

Total Students:22,315
FE Students:22%


Total undergraduates:13,925
Full Time:95%
Mature on Entry:24%
UK Students:62%
State school entry:96%

Teaching Staff

Nearly 3000 (including 2000 associate lecturers)

Broad study areas

Art, design, fashion, media, communications, performing arts.


Points on Entry (Mean):322
Drop Out Rate:5%
Accommodation:Most first years housed in university halls.


Founded:1986 as London Institute; university status in 2004. The colleges' histories date back to the nineteenth century.
Structural features:Europe’s largest university for the arts, bringing together six celebrated colleges of art, design, fashion, performance and communication. The colleges all have their own strong traditions and distinctive character, and each admits its own students. All students benefit from access to university resources and services. You can look up college profiles separately: Camberwell College of Arts; Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design; Chelsea College of Art & Design; London College of Communication; London College of Fashion; Wimbledon College of Art. Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon (CCW) co-operate in delivering one foundation course and also have a joint graduate school.
Site:Numerous sites across London, from Oxford Street, to King's Cross, Hackney, Wimbledon and Southwark.
Special features:The centrally-located Arts Gallery (open to the public) hosts a programme of work by university alumni; also 2 SU-run galleries showcase current students' work and another 2 planned; large open-air gallery, the Rootstein Hopins Parade Ground, at Chelsea College has rolling installations and hosts the college's annual degree shows. Students collaborate with major brands as part of their studies, giving them them contacts and experience, eg working on live briefs for eg ASOS, Adidas and Louis Vuitton. London College of Fashion students collaborated on a new beauty collection with The Body Shop; Chelsea College students have worked on live briefs for eg Nokia, Channel 4, Alexander McQueen; Central Saint Martins students work with L'Oreal on hairstyling at catwalk shows.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student services provide advice and guidance about accommodation, careers and finance plus advice for students with disabilities and counselling. Also chaplaincy and prayer rooms.
Amenities:College shops sell art and design materials. Central social and learning space for all university students in the Student Hub. Discounted access to many sporting, social and cultural facilities (including 200+ galleries and museums). SU runs sports clubs and societies (martial arts to ballroom dancing), a number of college bars and organises events and parties, including pathfinding week; also helps students with academic and accomodation issues, complaints and general advice.
Sporting facilities:Central student activities studio. Student discounts at gyms and sports centres across London.
Accommodation:2768 places in 13 residences across London. Rents £92−£240 per week, including internet access; contracts 42 or 51 weeks (depending on residence). Privately-rented accommodation available at £90−£350 pw plus bills.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:6 libraries, with 470,000+ titles, 15,000 journals and periodicals (of which 7700 e-journals), 25,000 videos and DVDs; 175+ databases and 885 electronic books. Information provision: £47 pa spent for each student (FTE). Ratio 1:6 workstations to students; circa 12,000 internet access points, including 422 wifi points. IT help in open access areas and drop-in support sessions for electronic resources. Library and IT induction for all new students and IT skills courses available. Centrally located Learning Zone for students across the uUniversity, combines traditional and modern learning facilities including open-access computing, key texts, wi-fi, laptops, projectors, whiteboards and light-boxes, in a flexible and informal space.
Other learning resources:Public theatre; multi-media workshops and specialist equipment both traditional and digital; newsrooms, TV and broadcast studios. Over 50 unique collections including the Diaghilev Costume Collection (at Camberwell), 800+ paper dressmaking patterns (at London College of Fashion), Stanley Kubrick film archive and Comic Book Collection (at London College of Communication).
Study abroad:Increasing numbers of students complete part of their course abroad.
Careers:Student enterprise & employability service (SEE) aims to help students, graduates and alumni develop their practice, products, innovative ideas and knowledge and intellectual capital. It provides enterprise and employability advice, one to one and targeted support, information and opportunities.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £6000–£10,000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university.
Term-time work:No official university policy on term-time work. Students are encouraged to be aware of study needs and, if work is necessary, to seek work related to their course of study; careers service helps and provides some jobs within the university.
Financial help:309 scholarships of £3000 in Year 1 (£1000 pa thereafter), open to English students whose family income is up to £25k pa (priority given where it is up to £16k pa); bursaries of £1000 for students eligible for, but not awarded one of these scholarships. Also, a range of privately-funded scholarships, ranging from £500 to £25,000.
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degree courses. International students pay £13,300 pa


Academic features:

The university offers a distinctive education in art, fashion, design, communication and performance. Learning is practice-based, creative and strongly linked with the creative arts through live briefs, placements, exhibitions and performances. It forges strong links with the creative industries by employing nearly 2000 practicing professionals as associate lecturers, all leading practitioners in their fields. Courses range from access and first diploma to PhD. Students often progress from a foundation course at one college to a degree course at another. New Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon graduate school offers large range of postgraduate courses in the art and design sector.

Awarding body:

University of the Arts London

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

3 years; foundation degree 2 years

Student view

Benedict Butterworth (Interior and Spacial Design), Union Activities and Volunteering Officer


What's it like as a place to live?

Thrilling; why wouldn't it be when you are in the most exciting and diverse city in the UK!

How's the student accommodation?

There aren't any grotty halls left. All of them are en suite and large proportion of them have double beds. A lot of them are in prime locations for the place you study/ nightlife and have amazing panoramic views of London.

What's the student population like?

UAL has a very diverse student population. I now have friends in all sorts of lines of work, ages and around the world.

How do students and locals get on?

Give it a week and the students are locals themselves.


What's it like as a place to study?

The courses are some of the most flexible and untraditional in the UK. They are being developed to suit the needs of the 21st century student. Some of the workshops are little dated, yet quaint, though most of them have just been rebuilt in the last 5 years. Chelsea College also has the largest student workshop in London. Studios can be a real mixture of shapes and sizes, some courses are very fortunate indeed, so it's up to you to make the best you can of your allocated space.

What are the teaching staff like?

Almost all of the tutors and lecturers are practising artists and designers who are very well respected in their field. Most of them do not teach as a job, but rather for passion and this shows in their teaching styles and enthusiasm.


What are student societies like?

Students societies are very diverse. There are not many large ones which spread across all the colleges, though you will often find college or course groups.

What's a typical night out?

Whatever you want it to be!! It's London... anything is possible.

... And how much does it cost?

Depends on the above, anything from £0-100+

How can you get home safely?

Go home as a group, then you can afford a taxi.


Is it an expensive place to live?

Yes. But there are ways of saving money.

Average price of a pint?


And the price of a takeaway?


What's the part-time work situation? 

It's London, there are loads of part-time jobs available in bars, retail, galleries and more.


What's the best feature about the place?

So much awesome stuff.

And the worst?

Too much awesome stuff.

And to sum it all up?

It's an amazing university rivalled by none in excellence.

Past Students

Trevor McDonald (broadcaster), Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan (fashion designers), Amish Kapoor (sculptor), Shonagh Marshall (fashion buyer); Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik (shoe designers); Peter Blake (artist), Pierce Brosnan (actor).

More info?

Contact SU President on tel 020 7514 6270, email president@su.arts.ac.uk or check out website www.suarts.org.



University of the Arts London
272 High Holborn


020 7514 6000





Student enquiries:

By phone or through website


To the individual colleges through UCAS.

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