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Chelsea College of the Arts

UCAS Code: U65

Location: Central London Show on Map

Site: Single site on Millbank

Specialist art & design college. One of the six colleges making up the University of the Arts London.

Student Population

Total Students:1,436


Total undergraduates:1,168
Full Time:96%
Mature on Entry:28%
UK Students:64%
State school entry:92%

Teaching Staff

35 full-time, 120 part-time

Broad study areas

Art & design: art theory; communication; curating; digital arts; digital media; drawing; film & video; fine art; furniture; graphic design; interactive multimedia; interior design; knitwear; model making; new media; painting; photography; printmaking; printed textiles; sculpture; stitch/embroidery; textile design; visual design & display.


Admission Information:Applicants who expect to meet the entry requirments are invited to submit a mini portfolio (usually on cd or dvd) and then maybe attend a full portfolio review and interview. Entry requirements usually a Foundation diploma and 1 A-level, or a BTEC national diploma, or NVQ level 3, or equivalent.
Points on Entry (Mean):322
Drop Out Rate:7%
Accommodation:20% of first years housed


Founded:1891, later incorporating art departments of Regent Street Polytechnic and Hammersmith College of Arts & Crafts.
Structural features:Constituent college of Arts London (formally University of the Arts London).
Site:Single site on Millbank, next to Tate Britain.
How to get there:Pimlico tube station and buses along Millbank.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Easy access to university’s central student services; see Arts London.
Amenities:Shop for students’ materials.
Sporting facilities:No facilities on site.
Accommodation:Some students in university’s halls of residence; 2700+ rooms across 13 university halls, rents £92−£240 per week, on 42−51 week contracts (see Arts London). University accommodation service also helps find privately-rented accommodation: rent approx £75−£115 pw, excluding bills and meals.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Specialist art library: 75,000 volumes, 300 periodicals, exhibition catalogues, slide collection (120,000 images). Open-access computer suites and learning and study support. Special collections: Afro-American art, Afro-Caribbean British art, Asian British art, artists' multiples. Students also have access to the university’s central Learning Zone and to the libraries of all the other university colleges.
Other learning resources:Purpose-built workshops in metal work, woodwork, ceramics, model-mkaing and a foundry. Dedicated facilities in digital media, AV, textile design and digital print.
Study abroad:Opportunity to study abroad (for a term in year 2) on some courses.
Careers:Information and advice from university's specialist arts careers service. Strong tradition of freelance work in fine art, industrial employment in design.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £6000–£10,000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university.
Term-time work:College allows term-time work for full-time students; 30% believed to work. Job vacancies bulletin issued by university.
Financial help:See Arts London.
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degree courses. International students pay £13,300 pa.


Largest field of study:

Painting, sculpture, fine art media, textile design, interior & spatial design, design communication.

Awarding body:

University of the Arts London

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

3 years; 4 years part-time possible for home students on BA fine art.

Main subjects offered:

  • Architectural Design
  • Art
  • Ceramics
  • Curation
  • Fashion
  • Furniture Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Design
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Product Design
  • Sculpture
  • Textiles
  • Three-Dimensional Design
  • Visual Arts

Student view


Now on Millbank, on the site of the Royal Army Hospital and right next door to Tate Britain (all students get free entry to exhibitions). The move is definitely viewed positively and has been great for providing a strong identity (previously college buildings were scattered over west London). Now all students are in one self-contained space, there is very intense social cohesion. It’s one of the smallest colleges at Arts London, with some 1600 students and a reputation for being one of the most friendly and social colleges. There is masses of interaction between students on all courses, from foundation to postgraduate. Even lecturers and admin staff are often found drinking in the SU bar with the students. The strong social aspect of the college also prompts students to be pro-active about getting their portfolio on display; there are student shows running a few times a week in college studios and gallery spaces – great opportunities for networking and making new friends. All the print-rooms and darkrooms have been eradicated with the move, although the advantage is obviously the cutting edge digital facilities.


Housing: Hardly anything affordable close to college; halls limited. Students rent all over London, particularly in north and east London. Rents typically £100 per week. Eats: College refectory fairly cheap; few restaurants and little café culture in vicinity but Victoria and St James only 5–10 minutes walk. Drink: SU bar cheapest; also local pubs (some embrace students, some blatantly hostile; Spread Eagle always a safe bet). Nightlife: Arts SU puts on large parties at Heaven, Ministry of Sound, Fabric and SU bars. Also students put on nights in local bars. Locals: Extremely safe area; not remotely ‘dodgy’. Sports: Main Arts SU runs lots of different sporting and club activities. Travel: Brilliant location; Victoria Line makes it easily accessible from anywhere in London by tube; buses cheaper. Financial help: Access fund. Jobs: Loads of part-time work in college, in galleries around London. Very easy to get jobs; student services helps. Best features: Fantastic interaction betweenstudents. And worst: Slack teaching; lack of structure.

Past Students

Alexei Sayle (comedian); Steve McQueen (artist); Alan Rickman (actor); Sir Dirk Bogarde (actor); Graham Gough (gardener); Dame Elizabeth Frink, Henry Moore (sculptors); Simon Edmonson, Patrick Caulfield (painters); Sarah Jane Hoare (stylist with Harpers & Queen); John Berger (author); Anish Kapoor (sculptor, Turner prize winner) and Peter Doig (runner up, painter); Helen Chadwick, Gavin Turk, Richard Deacon, Kerry Stewart (artists).

More info?

SU President, tel 020 7514 6270 or visit www.suarts.org



Chelsea College of the Arts
16 John Islip Street


020 7514 7751





Student enquiries:

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UCAS (but direct from the website for part-time courses)

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