About us

What makes UCA a top 25 UK university?

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 25 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.

Creative Update Issue 16

View our 150th Year, special edition of The Creative Update magazine.

Download now

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 are the highest placed creative university, the second highest modern university and are in the top 25 of all UK universities in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • The Guardian also placed us in the top 10 for our Architecture, Fashion & Textiles and Film Production & Photography courses for 2018.
  • We are ranked the top specialist university for the creative industries by the Complete University Guide 2018.
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 places us in the top 15 for teaching quality.
  • We have been named as one of the top 30 best-performing universities across all three of the UK’s major league tables, after entering the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) Table of Tables for the first time. We are also the only specialist creative arts university to be featured in the table.
  • We were praised for our achievements at Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) 2017, with three student collections named among the ‘Best of GFW’, and Rochester graduate Yingi Goma winning the People’s Choice Award.
  • 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

Marion Wilks

University Secretary

More information

150 Years of UCA

The rich history and heritage of our founding colleges has given us the unique qualities we have today. 


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.