University for the Creative Arts (UCA)
Tuesday 23 July 2013
Overall ranking: Came 86th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.
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: Five campuses: three in Kent (Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester) and two in Surrey (Farnham and Epsom), 30 miles apart.
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 260 UCAS points (or equivalent), for undergraduate courses. The majority of applicants are interviewed. A portfolio will be required for some 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 five sites.
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 this year, Hannah Williams won the prestigious womenswear award.
Teaching: 116th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.
Research: 93rd out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise, but in the top 10 for art and design.
Graduate prospects: 118th out of 124 with 47.3 per cent finding graduate level employment.
Any accommodation? A wide range of options across all campuses. Prices range from around £90 to £125 per week.
Cheap to live there? Not very, it was around £93 per week for a room in a private flat last year.
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.
Bursaries: Students starting in 2013/14 from families with a household income of less than£25,000 will be able to apply for one of 306 non-repayable National Scholarship Programme awards. 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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