Our founder colleges in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester opened their doors in Victorian times. Each of these colleges made it their mission to serve local people in the communities in which they were based, and to offer education irrespective of social class.
Since then, the curriculum and buildings may have changed, but the passion for creativity and education remains and influences everything we do.
After a series of mergers, the University for the Creative Arts achieved full university title in 2008. This was wonderful news for staff, students and alumni alike, as the creation of a specialist creative arts university acknowledged the growing importance of the subjects we teach. The appointment of Zandra Rhodes as our very first Chancellor in May 2010 completed this process for us.
Below are some key dates in the University for the Creative Arts’ history:
1866 Farnham School of Art founded
1867 Maidstone College of Art founded
1870 Guildford School of Art founded
1882 Canterbury School of Art founded
1886 Medway College of Design founded
1896 Epsom & Ewell School of Art founded
1948 Canterbury School of Architecture founded
1969 Guildford School of Art and Farnham School of Art merged to form West Surrey College of Art and Design(WSCAD)
1970 To accommodate the rapidly growing West Surrey College of Art and Design, a new purpose-built campus is constructed in Falkner Road, Farnham
1987 Kent Institute of Art & Design formed through the amalgamation of three art colleges in Kent (Maidstone College of Art, Medway College of Design and Canterbury Art College) and the Canterbury School of Architecture
1989 The Education Reform Act of 1988 is legislated and incorporated The West Surrey College of Art and Design along with the Kent Institute of Art & Design
1992 Kent Institute of Art & Design is granted accreditation by the University of Kent giving it the power to award its own degrees
1992 The West Surrey College of Art and Design is granted accreditation by the Privy Council, giving it the power to award its own degrees
1995 The newly merged West Surrey College of Art and Design changed its name to The Surrey Institute of Art & Design
1999 The Privy Council granted The Surrey Institute ‘University College’ title, reflecting its taught degree awarding powers
2005 The University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester established through the merger of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design and the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD)
2008 After being granted university title by the Privy Council, the new name of University for the Creative Arts is adopted
2010 Zandra Rhodes is installed as the University’s very first Chancellor
As a specialist institution, the University for the Creative Arts gives you plenty of opportunity to be completely immersed in your chosen subject area. We offer a range of courses in art, architecture, communications, design and media across five campuses in the South East of England.
We’ve been providing specialist art and design education through our founding colleges for almost 150 years and this experience has taught us a thing or two about creativity. We aim to build on our prestigious history, developing courses and nurturing graduates to shape the next 150 years.
Our campus communities are very important to us. Each one reflects the subject areas studied there, creating unique communities of artists, designers, makers, writers and researchers. You’ll be surrounded by people with the same passions and interests as you.
The supportive environment at UCA encourages you to achieve the highest standards and reach your potential. Our course teams can really help you develop and push your creative boundaries.
Our courses allow you essential time to explore your subject area and to find your own style.
UCA is all about exploration and this means our facilities take pride of place.
You have access to extensive resources to support all of your study needs including:
To view the facilities available on each campus please use the left hand navigation. To find out about course-specific facilities please visit our course pages.
In addition to course-specific facilities you also have access to the University Library on each campus. Collectively the libraries provide one of the most comprehensive visual arts resources in the region with:
Each library has a dedicated subject support team to help you use the facilities and services. There is also a Study Advisor at each library to help you get the most out of your lectures and seminars, improve your academic writing skills and develop a better understanding of academic practices and methods.
Our campus galleries host a unique and varied exhibition programme to enrich and engage our own network of staff and students and the wider community.
Students review about the university can be found at :