About us

Introducing the University for the Creative Arts



  • We’ve been providing creative education for 160 years
  • We’re the 2nd largest provider of creative education in Europe
  • Based in scenic Surrey and Kent, we have campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham and Rochester
  • We provide pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate education to the next generation of creatives
  • Our Business School for the Creative Industries is the first of its kind in the UK.

At the heart of the creative industries



As a specialist arts institution, we are 100% creative. Our students develop their skills and thinking in environments that replicate the studios found within the creative industries, alongside peers on courses spanning arts, business and technology.

Oscar-winning film makers and animators, world-renowned fashion designers, television presenters and Turner-Prize nominees are just some of UCA's high-profile graduates who have enriched the world with their creative talents. Taught and guided by our experienced, industry-connected academic staff, our students reap the benefits of studying at the highest-ranked creative specialist in the UK.

Our reputation



  • We’re the highest placed specialist creative university in the Complete University Guide and The Guardian's 2021 league table.
  • Ranked 25th in the THE ‘Table of Tables’ which identifies the top thirty UK institutions based on an average ranking across multiple league tables.
  • We’re the highest placed specialist creative university in the Complete University Guide and The Guardian's 2021 league table.
  • Ranked seventh across all universities for business in The Guardian's 2021 league table.
  • We’re the UK’s No.1 specialist creative university for employability in the most recent Destinations of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) 2018. 96.9% of our graduates are either in employment or further study within six months of graduation.
  • The Complete University Guide has placed us second among all modern universities and our overall ranking has risen to 44th overall for 2020.
  • The Office for Student has recognised the quality of our teaching and awarded us ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
  • We were named Modern University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2019.
  • Our students regularly win awards across the creative subjects. In the past year our students have won prestigious awards in creative sectors including architecture, graphic design, fine art, photography, film, animation and crafts.
  • The latest Research Exercise Framework (REF 2014) confirms our position as one of the top ten research communities in art and design, with 93% of our research designated as internationally recognised for quality, and 64% of our research submissions classed as world leading and internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and thoroughness.

Chancellor - Professor Dame Magdalene Odundo DBE

Professor Dame Magdalene Odundo is an internationally-renowned ceramicist whose work is in public and private collections worldwide. She became UCA’s second Chancellor in June 2018, succeeding Dame Zandra Rhodes who becomes Chancellor Emerita.

After graduating from UCA’s Farnham campus, then known as West Surrey College of Art & Design, Dame Magdalene developed the technique with which she builds her pieces, drawing on traditional Ugandan practice and other sources including Mexican pottery and Greek Cycladic sculpture.

Dame Magdalene was Professor of Ceramics at UCA Farnham from 2001 to 2016 before being inaugurated as a Professor Emerita, and has received honours from cultural and educational institutions in the UK, Africa and USA.

Chancellor Emerita - Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE RDI

Dame Zandra Rhodes is UCA’s Chancellor Emerita, having formerly served as our first Chancellor from 2010 to 2018.

Dame Zandra is one of the world's most recognisable, distinguished and exciting fashion designers. She has built her career upon the foundations of hard work and determination which we believe will help inspire and motivate our students to succeed in their chosen careers.

Dame Zandra has a special relationship with UCA, having attended one of our founder institutions, The Medway College of Design. Her mother was also a lecturer at the college.

Discover more about Zandra Rhodes

UCA Leadership Team

Professor Bashir Makhoul

President & Vice-Chancellor

Professor Catherine Harper

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Matt Higgins

Chief Operating Officer

Simon Macklin

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Portfolio Development & Global Engagement)

Angela Fisher

Director of Human Resources

Professor Terry Perk

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

More information


Many of our students and alumni have achieved artistic excellence and commercial success.

Strategic vision

To be recognised as a global authority on creative arts, creative technologies and business for the creative industries.


How we are governed ensures we are effective, accountable and have direction.


We engage in a variety of collaborative activity and work with a number of partner institutions, both locally and overseas.


We are working to reduce the environmental impact of our activities and promote sustainability through our teaching, research and operations.

Charitable status

View the University for the Creative Arts' charitable status online

Financial information for students

View the University’s Financial Statements

Student Charter

Our Student Charter has been drafted jointly by the Students’ Union and the University, summarising what students can expect to receive from UCA and what is expected of them in return.

Technician Commitment

UCA was the first specialist arts university to become a signatory of the Technician Commitment, a sector wide initiative that aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technician working in higher education and research.