University for the Creative Arts (UCA)



Overall ranking: Came 62nd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: The University for the Creative Arts was born in 2008. It is the result of many mergers, the university was created when the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and the Kent Institute of Art and Design merged in 2005. Surrey's roots go back to Farnham School of Art (1866) and Guildford School of Art (1870), which merged to make West Surrey College of Art and Design. That merged with Epsom School of Art in 1994. Kent was the product of a merger between art colleges in Canterbury, Rochester and Maidstone, which date back to the middle of the 19th century.

Address: Four campuses: two in Kent (Canterbury and Rochester) and two in Surrey (Farnham and Epsom), 30 miles apart. The Maidstone Campus closed earlier this year.

Ambience: Depends on the campus although, given the nature of the university, there's a distinct trendy, artsy vibe. Farnham is the biggest site, housing about a third of the students. The university's campuses are set in the home counties, meaning both London and the countryside are not far away.

Who's the boss? Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr, former executive dean of art, design and architecture at Kingston University, is vice-chancellor. Former student Zandra Rhodes is the chancellor.

Prospectus: 01252 892 883 or order/download one here.

UCAS code: C93

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Between 220 and 320 UCAS points (or equivalent) for undergraduate courses. The majority of applicants are interviewed. A portfolio will be required for the majority of courses.

Vital statistics: With around 7,000 students, the university has strengths in fashion, graphics, animation, design, media, fine art and architecture. There are galleries, learning resources centres and further education provision on all four sites. The university is expanding the Maidstone TV Studios and offering new media degree courses there, and the Farnham Campus library is being reopened as the Elaine Thomas Library after a complete refurbishment. There is also a new Linear Gallery at UCA Farnham. New courses on offer too, including MRes crafts; BA (Hons) television production; BA (Hons) interactive media design; BA (Hons) media and creative writing; and BA (Hons) journalism and creative writing. 

Added value: Most academic staff are still working within the industry to make sure students are trained and ready to work straight after graduating. They bring in big-names from the industry and help provide high profile internships and work experience for students. Students both win industry awards and show off their work at national and international festivals. In 2009, the university won the coveted gold award at Graduate Fashion Week and last year, Hannah Williams won the prestigious womenswear award.

Teaching: 120th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 116th out of 123 with 51 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? A wide range of options across all campuses, with rooms available for over 900 students. See here for more information.

Cheap to live there? Not very, prices start from £90 upwards for a room in a private houseshare.

Transport links: London is 20 minutes by train to Epsom, 45 minutes from Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, 90 minutes from Canterbury.

Fees: £9,000 for UK and EU undergraduates on full-time degree courses. International students pay £11,490, or £11,030 if they pay tuitions in advance.

Bursaries: Students starting in 2014/15 for students with a household income of less than £25,000 will be able to apply for scholarships offering £2,000 cash bursaries. For more details, click here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Students' Union bar at Farnham puts on regular club nights. Other campuses host freshers' balls and graduation balls.

Price of a pint: Varies across the sites, but London and the home counties aren't cheap. Head to one of the Union bars for better value drinks.

Sporting reputation: Not entered into the BUCS league- known for arts, not sport.

Notable societies: A range at all campuses, with strong student media in the form of Glue magazine and radio.

Glittering alumni: Those from the former institutions include Tracey Emin, artist; Karen Millen, Zandra Rhodes and Owen Gaster, fashion designers; Tony Hart, TV personality and artist; Suzie Templeton, Daniel Greaves and Michael Dudok de Wit, Oscar-winning animators; Martin Lambie-Nairn, graphic designer; Humphrey Ocean, photographer; Dick Powell, product designer and founder of Seymourpowell; the creators of Where's Wally?, Peppa Pig, Compare the Meerkat and Rupert the Bear, plus four Oscar winners.

Alternative prospectus: Read more about life at UCA and join in discussions with other students on The Student Room here.


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