University of the Arts London

Friday 01 August 2014 13:21 BST

Overall ranking: Came 66th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Formerly known as the London Institute, formed in 1986, University of the Arts London was formally inaugurated in May 2004.

Address: Six colleges with 14 various sites around London make up the university, from the London College of Fashion on Oxford Street to the London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle. In autumn 2004, Chelsea College of Art and Design moved to Millbank, next door to Tate Britain. In August 2006, Wimbledon School of Art joined the University as the sixth college. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design moved to a brand new state-of-the-art site in King’s Cross in 2011.

Ambience: The Chelsea site at Millbank is full of cool, art-student types; London College of Fashion is also very hip, though more worldly; ditto Central Saint Martins. London College of Communication has a flash new media school and enterprise centre. Based on an airy, spacious campus, Wimbledon is a close-knit creative community, while Camberwell is the epitome of an urban, artistic hub.

Who's the boss? Lawyer and art historian Nigel Carrington is the rector.

Prospectus: 020 7514 6000 or download one here.

UCAS code: U65

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Reasonably so, providing you're artistic. Recruitment is through one-year foundation courses, National Diploma, or an impressive portfolio of work. A-level and GCSE requirements vary. Certain colleges are more competitive. See here for more details.

Vital statistics: Just over 19,000 students across all of the colleges, studying a range of courses at all levels from foundation and undergraduate to postgraduate and research. It's the world's nerve-centre for up-and-coming art and design students, with people coming to the university from over 100 different countries worldwide. Application is to individual colleges but students have access to cross-college facilities such as libraries and bars. One of these is the new student 'hub', which has a café bar, art gallery complex and learning zone, as well as late night access to computers and a wireless internet network.

Added value: Fourteen current Royal Academicians have studied and/or taught at UAL. Students are taught by full-time leading academics and visiting lecturers, including fashion designer Giles Deacon and Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. The university owns several galleries and two theatre spaces, and opened London's largest open air gallery at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2008. The university is home to the archives of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, as well as theatre designers Jocelyn Herbert and Richard Negri. The Kubrick Archive is housed in a new purpose-built facility at the London College of Communication and contains everything from scripts and photographs to props and costumes, as well as original research and set designs.

Teaching: 114th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 105th out of 123 with 53.3 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? UAL provides thousands of places in residences in north, south, south-east and east London. Accommodation options include self catering halls and flats, en-suite or shared bathrooms, and shared kitchens or self-contained studio rooms. New build residence Will Wyatt Court opened in September 2008 close to Old Street tube station. Opal 4, a brand new student development in Tuffnell Park, opened in September 2009, close to Camden Town’s famous markets and live music venues. Prices start from £99 for a shared, twin standard room to £239 per week for a large studio.

Cheap to live there? This is London so it was never going to be cheap. Rents do vary depending on the area but don't expect to pay much less than £100 per week for a room in a shared flat, excluding utilities.

Transport links: For inner London sites, the tube is on the doorstep. For Camberwell, take the Number 12 bus from Oxford Street. Wimbledon is just 20 minutes train journey from Waterloo, or can be reached by the District Line tube.

Fees: £9,000 per year for all full-time home and EU students starting in 2014/15. See here for more information.

Bursaries: There's a whole host of awards and means-tested bursaries offered by UAL, with full details available here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Students' Union runs six bars while the centrally-based student hub boasts a café bar. The SU puts on a number of big events throughout the year, including a Christmas party, summer and graduation balls. Strong student drama scene.

Price of a pint: London pints average at £3.65 but head to one of the quirky union bars for more enticing drinks deals.

Sporting reputation: Definitely more artistic than sporty, ranked at 113th in the current BUCS league

Notable societies: Tons of arty-based groups to get involved with.

Glittering alumni: Gilbert and George; Gavin Turk, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, artists; John Galliano; Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Phoebe Philo, fashion designers; Jimmy Choo, shoe designer; Terence Conran and James Dyson, designers; John Simm and Pierce Brosnan, actors; Ed Thomas and Sarah Greenwood, TV and film production designers.

Alternative prospectus: Head to The Student Room to put any burning questions to current UAL students and chat to potential future friends.

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