In 1846, the Leeds Mechanics’ Institute (which offered drawing classes) merged with the Literary Institute, creating Leeds School of Art. In 1903, it moved to the present Vernon Street building, whose radical design reflected the clean lines of the Art & Craft movement. By 1946, no less than fifteen past students had been appointed as principals of schools of art. As their reputation grew, new design departments were formed, including furniture, graphic design and printmaking. A new pottery and workshops were built, and in 1959 a new library was created. From the 1950s to the 1970s, there was a reappraisal of art education in Britain, largely based on ideas developed at Leeds, where a large team of practising artists set up the Basic Design Course. Students were now encouraged to adopt a scientific approach, enabling them to develop a capacity for constructive criticism and understanding. In 1960 they began to run courses which encouraged an open-ended, creative and flexible approach, leading to a new system of art education at Leeds and, subsequently, nationwide. It was known as Leeds College of Art and Design until 2009, and then Leeds College of Art. In August 2017, the school was granted university status and the name was changed to Leeds Arts University.
The college is one of the ever growing centres that offer various Higher Education courses. The courses are in the design region with many students from Further Education level at the college deciding to pursue their education at a higher level at the college rather than the traditional university.
- BA(Hons)Visual Communication
- BA(Hons)Graphic Design
- BA(Hons)Fine Art
- BA(Hons)Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design
- BA(Hons)Creative Advertising
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
- Extended Diploma in Art and Design
- Diploma in the Visual Arts & Access to Higher Education
- Short Courses
- Children’s Courses
Entry requirements are not constant across all courses at the Leeds College of Art, and it should be needed always check the specific criteria for the course of the students` choice.
Many courses at the Leeds College of Art will invite applicants to an interview, during which they may be asked to present a portfolio of their work.
Leeds College of Art hopes to create a lifelong relationship with their alumni. The alumni association aims to build and nurture the creative community of College alumni, staff and current students. Every student who has passed through the College, from its beginnings as Leeds School of Art, to its time as Jacob Kramer College (1968–93) and Leeds College of Art and Design, are all part of the alumni community.
National Student Survey – 80% overall satisfaction rate.
Creative Graduate Creative Futures survey 2009 (tracking career trajectories of students 5 years after graduating) – 76% employed in the Creative Industries sector 95% employed overall.
Their Fellowship Scheme provides a platform for those wishing to set up as independent or freelance artists, designers, curators or project managers. Successful applicants are provided with studio space, access to facilities and advice for a period of up to 12 months free of charge, in return for contribution of time to assist the relevant degree programme. They have found that this exchange greatly benefits current students and provides valuable experience to add to their CV. The fellows meet every term/semester to exchange ideas and hear about any current opportunities such as events, talks, workshops and employment.