About us

What makes UCA the Modern University of the Year 2019?*

*The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

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 can now reap the benefits of studying in a top 35 UK university (see latest league table results below). 

With more than 6,000 students studying over 110 creative courses across four campuses, we generate unique communities of artists, designers, makers, writers and researchers. 

As a specialist arts institution, we are 100% creative. Our distinctiveness against larger multi-disciplinary universities comes from focusing on provision through our creative campuses, which are not compromised by sharing facilities with other subjects or disciplines. 

Discover more about UCA and find out how we create extraordinary.

Successes & league table rankings

Over the past year, we have received recognition and awards which offer strong evidence that we're now one of the top creative universities in the UK:

  • We have been named Modern University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
  • We’re also the highest placed specialist creative university and in the top 35 of all UK universities in The Times and Sunday Times league table.
  • The National Student Survey 2018 places us in the top 10 universities in the UK for teaching quality.
  • 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.
  • We’re the second largest provider of creative education in Europe.
  • We have a 160-year history of providing creative education.
  • Our Business School for the Creative Industries is the first of its kind in the UK.
  • Our students regularly win awards across the creative subjects. At Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) in 2018 Evelyne Babin won the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award and Jamie Windust won the ASOS Future Talent Communications Award. Our students have also won prestigious awards in creative sectors including graphic design, fine art, photography, film, animation and crafts.
  • Our talented team of academics and technicians are active practitioners, making them experts in their specialist creative field. Several have also won awards and are internationally renowned for their work.
  • Our Students’ Union, UCASU, was named the best specialist Students’ Union in the country at the 2016 National Union of Students (NUS) Awards.
  • UCASU was also named HE Students’ Union of the Year at the NUS Disabled Students Awards 2017.
  • 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.

University Chancellor - Professor Magdalene Odundo OBE

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, 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.

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

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

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.

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


Professor Alan Cooke

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Corporate Resources

Professor Roni Brown

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, and Professor of Visual & Educational Cultures

Professor John Pymm

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global Engagement & Portfolio Development

Marion Wilks

University Secretary

More information


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

Strategic vision

We will maintain and strengthen our reputation as an internationally recognised creative arts university, known for the extraordinary individual and collective achievements of our students and staff.


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.