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University for the Creative Arts

United Kingdom


The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) is a top specialist creative arts university in the UK. Courses span Arts, Business, and Technology with subjects from acting and performance to virtual and immersive reality, with plenty in between.

UCA believes that creativity makes global communities more vibrant and more innovative. Which is why, for 160 years, the university has been a passionate advocate for creative education and research, developing and nurturing that creative mindset in every student.

Top reasons to study here:

  • UCA is the second largest provider of arts education in the UK- the courses are designed so students gain sought-after industry knowledge and skills.
  • The UK campuses are all within an hour's travel from London. UCA is home to a diverse and multicultural community, with students from over 90 countries.
  • Students benefit from innovative and high-quality equipment and facilities. These include animation suites, photography studios, soundstages, and much more.

UCA's programmes are acclaimed for their top teaching quality, and highly respected by creative sector employers. They also house the UK's first Business School for the Creative Industries.

UCA has campuses in Farnham, Canterbury, and Epsom, which are located in Surrey and Kent in the southeast of England. They also work with partner institutions like Maidstone Television Studios and the Institute for Creative Innovation in Xiamen, China. Each campus is well connected to Heathrow airport.

Student support

Studying abroad is a big step. Which is why UCA provides dedicated support to international students ranging from specialist immigration and visa advice to English language support and career guidance. Students can also access a free, confidential counselling service. The university offers further support for students with disabilities, as well as a learning and teaching service for those who need extra help with their studies.

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What's New

What's New

Not only does UCA welcome students from diverse backgrounds, but it is constantly innovating to provide students with new facilities and new experiences, including new courses.

As specialists in the creative arts, business, and technology fields the university regularly reviews the courses offered and makes new additions. For 2022, the newest courses offered to students at undergraduate level include art history, theory and contemporary culture, comic and concept art, as well as virtual and augmented reality.

In December 2021, UCA announced it has secured GBP 2 million in funding to invest in the new School of Games and Creative Technology at the Farnham campus.

The university often shares exciting stories of alumni and students that have achieved major success in their field. Film production alumni Kate Herron was Director and Executive Producer for the first season of Disney+ series Loki, and two international UCA students have had their artwork selected for the 12th International Fiber Art Biennale in Yunnan, China.

UCA is extremely proud to have been voted the top specialist art and design university for world-leading research outputs in the UK, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2021.

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Scholarships & funding

The university has a range of scholarships and fee discounts available to help students manage the cost of their studies. Some of these are funded by the university but many are also funded by donors including alumni of the university.

The criteria for scholarships will vary, with some open to all applicants and others only available to students from selected backgrounds or on specific courses. Selection criteria for those awarded the financial grants will sometimes be based on academic performance, whilst others will be provided to those most in financial need.

International students are also able to take advantage of these scholarships, with all courses eligible except for pre-sessional English. For the 2021/22 academic year, there were 300 scholarships offered to international students that discounted tuition fees by up to GBP 6,000. Full details of the financial awards available and the qualifying criteria are available on the university's website.

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Entry requirements

The entry requirements to study at UCA will vary depending on the chosen course and country of origin.

Academic requirements

If students do not have UK qualifications, UCA will consider equivalent qualifications from their home country for entry onto their Foundation, Bachelor's, and master's courses. International students can learn more about equivalent qualifications on the university's website.

As UCA is a creative university, a lot of the degrees don't just rely on qualifications for acceptance criteria. Students may be asked to provide a portfolio of their work or attend an interview or audition for a place on their course. Details of specific entry requirements can be found on the website and course web pages.

English language requirements

A good level of English language proficiency is necessary for admission to UCA. This can be shown through an English language test. Full details of UCA's English language requirements can be found on the website.

For students whose language skills need improving, the university also offers pre-sessional English courses that aim to prepare international students for degree programmes, develop their English language proficiency and facilitate acceptance onto degrees where a certain level of English language ability is a pre-condition.


Students can apply for a student visa to study in the UK when they have received acceptance from UCA. International students can find out more about visas and immigration on the university's website.

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Teaching Quality

Teaching Quality

To provide the highest quality creative education, the University for the Creative Arts works with the best experts who have a wide range of experience and industry connections in the creative sector which informs their teaching.

Courses are tailored to provide a great mix of hands-on practical learning and theory, weaving career strategy throughout the degree so that students are fully prepared to step into their field of work upon completion of their studies.


The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide ranks the university as number one for teaching quality of their courses in communications & media and in business and management, while architecture courses are ranked third.

Furthermore, the university stands out for its research excellence. UCA was voted the top specialist art and design university for world-leading research outputs in the UK, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).


UCA alumni spans across all creative industries. Graduates have won numerous awards of national and international repute including Oscar Awards, BAFTA Awards, Turner Prize, and Stirling Prize.

Notable alumni include Arnold Schwartzman (Film director), Zandra Rhodes (Fashion designer), William McGregor (Screenwriter), and Tracey Emin (Artist).

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Department structure

Department structure

UCA offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as an integrated international foundation year.

There are approximately 130 courses available to study at UCA and these are grouped together into 21 different subject areas:

  • Advertising – including digital marketing, global marketing, and brand management
  • Animation – including visual effects, augmented reality, and games animation
  • Architecture – including interior design and interior architecture
  • Business & Management – including various business courses by creative discipline
  • Communication & Media – including television & media production, and graphic design
  • Computer Arts – including comic art, games design, and games development
  • Crafts – including ceramics, jewellery, and textiles courses
  • Fashion – including fashion photography, fashion design, and fashion branding
  • Film – including acting & performance, screen studies, and film production
  • Fine Art & Digital Art – including fine art, art theory, and contemporary culture
  • Games – including studio practice and games design
  • Graphic Design – including visual communication and graphic design
  • Illustration – including concept art and illustration
  • Interior Design – including product & furniture design and design for theatre & screen
  • Marketing – including various marketing courses by creative discipline
  • Music – including composition for screen and international music management
  • Performing Arts – including writing for screen, screen acting, and design
  • Photography – including photography and fashion photography
  • Product Design – including silversmithing and industrial design
  • TV – including television production and acting & performance
  • Textiles – including printed fashion textiles for fashion and interiors

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Being a specialist creative university, UCA provides access to innovative, high-tech, and quality facilities and resources. These include animation suites, photography studios, digital media suites, darkrooms, soundstages, and so much more.

Students are able to learn and express themselves using the latest tools and equipment, preparing them for a career working with state-of-the-art technologies and techniques. Skilled technicians dedicated to each area of study are available to support and guide students with their work.

Students can also use the university's extensive indoor and outdoor sports facilities, which include dance/fitness studios, artificial pitches, and tennis courts.


With over 280,000 print and e-books and exhibition catalogues, 500m of archival material and a wide range of broadcast materials, UCA's libraries hold a wealth of information that will enhance student's studies. The largest library, located on the Farnham campus, includes comfortable study pods and socialising space for group study.


Each campus has a diverse range of shops, supermarkets, restaurants and nightlife, ensuring that students have easy access to everything they need.

Student bars can be found on the Farnham and Canterbury campuses. All campuses have exhibition spaces displaying work by students and external artists.

There are numerous clubs and societies available to students, covering a wide range of interests from K-pop dance and yoga to animation and martial arts, meaning there is something for everyone.


Halls of residence are available on each of the university's campuses. Some are on campus, while others are just a short walk away. University accommodation is guaranteed for all new international students who apply before the deadline.

Private accommodation is also an option, and there is plenty of it in and around each campus area. If students wish to rent privately, UCA's housing staff will gladly provide them with relevant contacts and information.

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International students

Average cost of living in United Kingdom

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UCA students
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Students at UCA
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Games design studio

Total average cost: £1355

  • £474
  • £559
  • £88
    Daily life
  • £234
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