University of the Arts London offers an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. Our graduates go on to work in and shape the creative industries worldwide. UAL is ranked second in the world for Art and Design in the 2021 QS World University Rankings®. The University has a world-class reputation and is made up of 6 equally renowned Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts.University of the Arts London is a collegiate university in London, England, specialising in arts, design, fashion and the performing arts. It is a federation of six arts colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, the London College of Communication, the London College of Fashion, and the Wimbledon College of Arts. It was established as a university in 2003, and took its present name in 2004.The university has its origins in seven previously independent art, design, fashion and media colleges, which were brought together for administrative purposes to form the London Institute in 1986. They were: Saint Martin's School of Art; Chelsea School of Art; the London College of Printing; the Central School of Art and Design; Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts; the College for Distributive Trades; and the London College of Fashion. The colleges were originally established between about 1850 and the early twentieth century. Under the Education Reform Act of 1988, the London Institute became a single legal entity, and the first court of governors was instated in the following year, 1989. The first appointed rector was John McKenzie. The institute was granted degree-awarding powers in 1993 by the Privy Council. Sir William Stubbs was appointed rector after the retirement of McKenzie in 1996. A coat of arms was granted to the institute in 1998. Will Wyatt was appointed chairman of governors in 1999, and Lord Stevenson of Coddenham was installed as the first chancellor in 2000.On the retirement of William Stubbs as rector in 2001, Sir Michael Bichard was appointed and encouraged the London Institute to apply for university status. The London Institute originally chose not to apply because its individual colleges were internationally recognised in their own right. In 2003, the London Institute received Privy Council approval for university status; it was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004. Wimbledon School of Art joined the university as a sixth college in 2006, and was renamed Wimbledon College of Arts. Sir John Tusa was appointed chairman, replacing Will Wyatt, in 2007. Nigel Carrington was appointed rector in 2008, replacing Michael Bichard. From 2008 to 2010, staff were made redundant and courses closed. At the London College of Communication, where 16 of the 19 courses were discontinued in 2009, staff resigned and students demonstrated and staged a sit-in in protest at the cuts in budget and staff numbers. Central Saint Martins moved to a purpose-built complex in King's Cross in June 2011. In 2015 Grayson Perry was appointed to succeed Kwame Kwei-Armah as chancellor of the university. James Purnell was appointed Vice Chancellor and President, replacing Nigel Carrington from March 2021.UAL has a dedicated focus on careers and employability and we offer high quality external engagement experiences for students as part of our taught courses. We actively support our students to win opportunities in the creative industries and we have numerous strategic partnerships across industry, business and the community. UAL was recently ranked in the top 15 in the UK for industry connections. After graduation, students automatically join the UAL Alumni Association – this has grown to a global network with over 200,000 members. We are proud to have produced some of the most influential talents in art, design, fashion, communication and performance.Leaders in creative knowledge and educationIn 2015 we launched an ambitious 7 year strategy with 4 key areas that will focus on ensuring UAL maintains its reputation as a world-class place of learning.Learn more about our 4 strategic areas:Transformative EducationWorld-leading Research and EnterpriseCommunication and CollaborationBuilding an Inspirational EnvironmentOur teaching quality is reflected in our distinctive style and we have a set of principles which students and practitioners use to develop their creativity. Read a summary of our TEF Year Two provider submission and find out how we give students the skills and experience to flourish in their chosen career.Students are drawn to UAL because we help them become successful artists, designers, and professionals in related disciplines such as media and business across the creative economy, and because we:Place curiosity, making, critical questioning and rigour at the heart of our curriculum.Use teaching methods based on the best creative practices, and work-based and research informed learning, to equip students for their future careers.Engage with our students to develop flexible modes of teaching delivery, taking into account the characteristics of a London education and advances in digital technologies.Ensure diversity and inclusivity are at the core of recruitment and education for staff and students.From the start, students learn within a high trust and progressively more independent learning environment. This is a different teaching paradigm to many mainstream subjects that place greater emphasis on direction and knowledge transfer. We explicitly teach our students that developing creativity is about taking risks to produce innovation. This is deliberately uncomfortable for them, especially so in their final year, which we consider a further factor in our NSS scores and in the negative flags in our TEF metrics. The NSS does not in our view measure the effectiveness of our teaching and learning, but rather satisfaction at a point before our students fully appreciate the value of their experience.Teaching excellenceWe reward excellence through the UAL Teaching Scholar Scheme. In 3 years, 10 members of staff have achieved UAL Teaching Scholar status. Staff receive an increment and £5,000 to support and disseminate teaching excellence and to apply one must be a HEA Fellow and progress to Senior Fellowship within 2 years. UAL leads the specialist sector in pedagogic scholarship. In January 2016 we launched SPARK, our open-access multimedia journal to share excellent and innovative teaching and learning. UAL makes a vital contribution to the ongoing health of the specialist sector through the provision of pre-degree creative arts qualifications through our Ofqual approved awarding body. UAL Awarding Body awards specialist qualifications to 37,000 students a year from 170 FE colleges, 6th form colleges, schools and universities across the UK. It is the second biggest provider of Applied General qualifications in England, and the biggest provider of both the 1-year Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and the 2-year Extended Diploma in Art & Design. All UAL Awarding Body qualifications retain the dedication to enquiry-based learning to which UAL is committed.We developed the UAL Creative Attributes Framework following a successful 2015 bid to the HEA Embedding Employability in the Curriculum Strategic Enhancement Programme. It expresses our knowledge of what makes our students and graduates enterprising and employable. Rapidly adopted since becoming policy in June 2016, the framework has been used in 37 curriculum development and college strategic development meetings. It is being illustrated by a number of recent graduates for an exhibition, Attributes Illustrated, in February 2017, and will be widely publicised as part of UAL’s determination to make our approach to teach transparent. The framework is showcased on the HEA website and the attributes are:Making things happen (Proactivity, Enterprise, Agility)Showcasing abilities and accomplishments to others (Communication, Connectivity, Storytelling)Life-wide learning (Curiosity, Self-efficacy, Resilience)Many of UAL’s professional courses are accredited by national bodies. Our Fashion Business School is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and rose 41 places from 91st to 50th out of 127 business schools in the Complete University Guides Business and Management Studies league table 2016. Nine other national bodies accredit UAL undergraduate courses, including RIBA and the British Psychological Society. Assessment and learning are integrated at UAL and projects are carefully designed to encourage students to take control of their work, and require outputs in the form of artefacts, journals and essays that can be assessed against the learning outcomes of the unit. Our vast experience at designing projects feeds into this with assessment requirements that stretch students to demonstrate their learning in their work.
Watch the videos to learn about the student life-cycle and the teaching environment at the University.
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