Welcome to our list of the top 10 best art universities in the UK! You're in the right place if you're an artist or designer looking for a place to nurture your creative talents. From the historic streets of London to the picturesque countryside of Scotland, the UK is home to some of the world's top art schools. So without further ado, let's dive into our list of the top 10 art universities in the UK. Get your pens and paintbrushes ready because these schools are sure to inspire your inner artist!
1. Royal College of Art (RCA)
QS Ranking: #1
Average Fees: 15000-29000
The Royal College of Art in London was ranked the number one art and design university in the world by QS World University ranking in 2020. It is a postgraduate public research university that offers postgraduate degrees in art and design. Students can enroll in the Art and Design Graduate Diploma program and specialize in areas such as fine art, fashion and textiles, or design. Those who pass the program with distinction can go on to pursue an MA or MRes program in their chosen area of study. The Graduate Diploma program has two intakes per year in January and July. The Royal College of Art, the oldest and most influential postgraduate art and design university in the UK, is made up of four schools: the School of Arts and Humanities, the School of Design, the School of Communication, and the School of Architecture.
2. University of the Arts London (UAL)
QS Ranking: #2
Average Fees: 20,000 - 30,000
The University of the Arts London is ranked as the second-best art and design university in the world and tenth in the UK. It was awarded a silver award by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This art university in the UK has nine art and design schools that offer pre-degree, undergraduate, postgraduate, and short courses in 18 subjects. The nine schools are Chelsea College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Camberwell College of Arts, Wimbledon College of Arts, London College of Fashion, London College of Communication, UAL Creative Computing Institute, UAL Social Design Institute, and UAL Decolonising Arts Institute.
3. The Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University)
QS Ranking: ###
Average Fees: 9,000 - 30,000
The Ruskin School of Art is one of the top art and design universities in the UK and is the first art and design college in the country. It has excellent teaching standards and offers a three-year studio-based BFA course that prepares students to become artists. Upon completing the course, students can pursue careers as art writers, art teachers, practicing artists, curators in public and private galleries, or work in academia, the film industry, or architecture. The school also offers a 9-month MFA in fine arts and a 3- or 4-year DPhil in fine arts to further develop students' research, theoretical, and practical skills.
Check out our Oxford University Admission: Requirements, Deadlines, FAQs blog to get a better picture about the application processes.
4. University College London
QS Ranking: #48
Average Fees: 9,000 - 25,000
University College London's Slade School of Art invites talented artists to improve their skills and knowledge in painting, sculpture, and fine art media such as film, photography, etc. At UCL, students will receive a personal tutor with a diverse background in the arts who will assess and guide their education throughout the course. This art university in the UK is located in the heart of London, providing easy access to museums, art galleries, and theaters for a more hands-on artistic education.
5. Glasgow School of Art
QS Ranking: #11
Average fees: 10,000 - 20,000
The Glasgow School of Art is widely considered one of the best art schools in the world. This internationally-recognized art university in the UK offers high-quality teaching and research that helps students succeed and excel academically and artistically. The school offers various courses in different art disciplines, including Sculptural and Environmental Art, Fashion Design, Fine Art Photography, Textile Design, and Painting and Printmaking, among others. Additionally, a number of research degrees and centers are available, allowing students to put their skills into practice and turn their artistic visions into reality.
6. Goldsmiths, University of London
QS Ranking: #18
Average fees: 12,000 - 18,000
The University of Goldsmiths in London is home to a renowned Department of Art that is well-known for its diverse student body, which is composed of skilled artists from all around the world. The supportive and nurturing learning environment at this art university in the UK enables students to thrive and engage in their studies. The professors at the University of Goldsmiths are highly skilled in the art field and their work is often featured in renowned galleries and museums. At the undergraduate level, the Department of Art offers courses such as Fine Art (BA), Fine Art & History of Art (BA), and a course called "Year 0" specifically designed for overseas students. At the postgraduate level, the department offers MFA Degrees in Fine Art, Curating, and Art Writing.
7. Newcastle University
QS Ranking: #151-200
Average fees: 9,000 - 15,000
Newcastle University's School of Art and Culture is one of the top art universities in the UK, with some of the highest-ranked programs and degrees. In particular, the BA Fine Arts degree at Newcastle University is ranked 2nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2022, 3rd in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2022, and 3rd in the UK in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022. The school is known for its cutting-edge practice and research that allows students to fully develop and express their artistic abilities. The university values creativity, encourages students to think outside the box, cross boundaries, and make their mark in the contemporary art world.
8. Loughborough University
QS Ranking: #27
Average tuition fees: 8,000 - 30,000
Loughborough University's School of Arts, English, and Drama is a top-ranked art university in the UK that offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Its modern, diverse, and inclusive learning environment allows students to showcase their artistic talent and work at various hubs and centers. It is an excellent art university in the UK for students planning to study art or design. Check out our Loughborough University: Courses, Rankings, Eligibility, Fees blog to get a better picture about the application processes.
9. Lancaster University
QS Ranking: #51-100
Average tuition fees: 8,000 - 30,000
At the University of Lancaster's Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, students can study a variety of courses including Art, Theatre, Design, and Film. The Art program at this art university in the UK covers a range of art disciplines such as painting, drawing, digital art, and sculpture, which can be studied individually or in an interdisciplinary program. The institute's approach to education combines studio work, professional practice, and theory. Students at this art university in the UK can be confident in receiving top-quality education from professors and academics who are active artists with nationally and internationally recognized work.
10. Edinburgh College of Art
QS Ranking: #51-100
Average tuition fees: 13,000-30,000
Edinburgh University is one of the top-ranked art universities in the UK with an internationally recognized reputation. Its Edinburgh College of Arts (ECA) is particularly renowned, attracting students from around the world to its community of diverse and active artists. ECA offers a range of art courses, including Fine Art – MA (Hons), Intermedia – BA (Hons), Painting – BA (Hons), Photography – BA (Hons), and Sculpture – BA (Hons). These courses combine art studio work, personal tutoring, lectures, seminars, and discussions, and the college also hosts external courses and events featuring famous artists from around the globe.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about these amazing institutions and the fantastic opportunities they offer for aspiring artists and designers. Whether you're looking to study in a bustling city or a peaceful countryside setting, the UK has something for everyone. So why wait? Start your journey towards a career in the arts today by applying to one of these top-ranked schools. Who knows, you could be the next Vincent van Gogh or Banksy, making a name for yourself as a world-renowned artist. Good luck and happy creating!
If you are planning to study in the UK, check out our Everything About Studying In The UK Blog to know more about education in the UK.