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

Over the past year, we have consolidated our position as the highest-ranked creative specialist in the UK:

  • We have been named Modern University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
  • The Guardian League Table 2020 positions us as 13th out of all UK universities.
  • We’re the highest placed specialist creative university in all three UK league tables (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the Guardian League Table, and the Complete University Guide).
  • 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 Office for Student has recognised the quality of our teaching and awarded us ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
  • 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.

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.


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.