The university was formed in 2005 as University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, through the merger of the Kent Institute of Art & Design and Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College. It was granted full university status by the Privy Council in May 2008 and adopted its current name officially in September 2008. The origin of the university lies in a number of independent public art and design colleges in the counties of Kent and Surrey, almost all of which had origins in the Victorian period. In the 1990s these merged to form multi-campus art and design institutes in their respective counties, before merging into one organisation in 2005.
In its previous forms and current form, alumni of the UCA as well as students have achieved artistic excellence with very considerable commerciality and critical merit of certain alumni’s work such as Tracey Emin, Michaël Dudok de Wit, Chris Shepherd, Zandra Rhodes, and Karen Millen.
Following the election of a Coalition government, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills introduced legislation to increase tuition fees while reducing government spending on Higher Education in real terms and the University for the Creative Arts was revealed to be the fourth most-cut university in England with a cut of 7.8% (10.2% in real terms).
The University for the Creative Arts announced in February 2011 that it was discussing designating part of its Maidstone campus for use by MidKent College. Further to this, MidKent College expressed its willingness to buy the Maidstone campus from 2012 and phase out the UCA presence at the campus by 2014.
UCA is the second largest provider of creative arts education in the UK, with around 6,000 students, and offers courses in a very wide range of architecture, art, design, fashion, media and performing arts subjects.
Courses are offered at pre-degree further education, undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral levels.
The University is organised into seven academic schools:
- Canterbury School of Architecture;
- Communication Design;
- Crafts & Design;
- Film, Media & Performing Arts;
- Fine Art & Photography;
- Further Education.
It has four research centres: Centre for Digital Scholarship, Centre for Sustainable Design, Crafts Study Centre, and International Textile Research Centre.
When you’ve decided on your course and campus, the application process is quite straightforward. However, this will vary depending on your chosen course of study – see the website for specific course application routes. As part of the UCAS application, the students need to write a personal statement.
If the student is thinking about studying one of their art, design or media courses, an impressive portfolio will help to show the students` practical and creative ability, and will give that extra edge to their application.
They specialise in subjects across the creative arts, with courses covering fashion, film, photography and animation being particularly well recognised both nationally and internationally.
A variety of their courses are professionally accredited, including Journalism (BJTC), Film Production (BKSTS) and Architecture (ARB/RIBA).
Their academic staff, sessional lecturers, and technicians are recruited with wide ranging professional experience in their fields.
Academics continue to practice in their fields, ensuring up to date industry knowledge.
The Careers & Employability Team provides a range of innovative services to support the student in planning their career effectively, including:
- Workshops and presentations on professional development.
- One-to-one confidential guidance service at every UCA campus.
- Dedicated careers library at every University Library.
- Up-to-date careers information, graduate vacancies, residencies, competitions and events on our website.
- Practical business advice and guidance to support new creative enterprises.
- On-going support to graduates for up to three years.