Art: a beautiful way to express oneself, a canvas for our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. It’s a language that transcends borders, a universal form of communication. Creativity has been woven into the fabric of human history since ancient times. Now, if you’re an aspiring artist or designer, well, UK art universities are the perfect destination for you! It is home to some of the best UK art colleges that help students develop their artistic skills, vision or theory under the guidance of teachers who are practising professionals in the industry. For you, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best art universities in the UK, perfect for any budding artist. So grab your pens and paintbrushes, and let’s explore these amazing UK art universities that will inspire your artistic journey!
Why Study Art In The UK
Let us clarify why we insist on UK art colleges for building your career as an artist! Art universities in the UK enjoy a long-standing reputation for producing acclaimed artists and designers. UK art universities indulge in a comprehensive curriculum pattern from traditional methods to cutting-edge technology. UK art colleges, coupled with the country's diverse and vibrant art scene, offer plenty of opportunities for students to immerse themselves in creative culture. It facilitates networking with industry professionals and gaining work experience through internships and exhibitions. In short, you can earn one of the best art degrees in UK while enjoying easy access to world-renowned museums and galleries, such as the Tate Modern, the British Museum, and the National Gallery. Now, if you are convinced that UK art colleges are the place for you, then you might also want to be well aware of the country`s transit system, right? Ultimate Guide To UK Transportation 2023 will answer all your questions!
Eligibility Criteria Of Art Schools In England
Before we go on to discuss the best art universities in the UK, understanding the eligibility criteria of your target university is very important to improve your chances of getting accepted into their programme. Apart from being very good at expressing through art & having deep knowledge about communication, colour theory, composition, shadow & lights, the top art universities in the UK have some general prerequisites set in line to verify if you meet the standards of UK’s education system & art industry:
1. Academic Qualifications
Most top art universities in the UK will look for students with a good academic track record. It is important to have an above-average score in your high school diploma while applying for an undergraduate degree and an excellent score with active participation in your bachelor's degree for postgraduate courses. Apart from this, another qualifying factor to consider while applying to art universities in the UK involves significant UCAS points. For a three-year degree programme in any Art & Design and Fine Art courses, a student requires anywhere around 96 or equivalent UCAS points. Students need to score around 48 UCAS points if they wish to enrol in a foundation year. Still not clear about UCAS? We have, for you, Your Ultimate Guide To UCAS Clearing. Go through and seal the deal!
Most top art universities in the UK look for students who can translate their creativity, passion, & love for art into their work and challenge themselves to push their boundaries with high standards of critical & technical thinking. One of the best ways to do this is maintaining an art portfolio; a portfolio is a creative expression of your individuality & vision towards art. Almost all the best art universities in the UK, like the Royal College of Arts, University of the Arts London, etc., have submitted portfolios as a part of their application process.
3. Personal Statement
A personal statement is a make or break for your application process. While drafting your statement, include relevant experiences like past projects, future goals, your perspective on art & role it plays in today's modern world, etc. If you want to write a stellar personal statement that will increase your chances of acceptance into the top art universities in the UK, check out our ultimate guide on how to write a personal statement for a university.
4. English Language Proficiency Test
International students are also expected to prove their English proficiency by taking standardised tests, preferably IELTS, at the top art universities in the UK. The best art universities in the UK require a minimum of 6.5 overall bands, but some courses might require a 7.0 or above. Some art universities in the UK also include written assignments & interviews as a part of their application process.
10 Best Art Universities In the UK
For centuries, the UK has had a profound influence on the “art scene” around the world. With big names like J.M.W Turner, William Hogarth, etc., the excellence of UK artists has always been well known worldwide. UK art universities are some of the best globally! Here are some of the 10 top art universities in the UK that will skyrocket your art career. Meanwhile, consider taking some time off academia and exploring these Top 5 Hiking Destinations In the UK can potentially decrease stress and anxiety. Or perhaps you are more of a trip person than a trek? Try these 20 Best Road Trips In UK, before your time in the UK ends!
1. Royal College of Art (RCA), London
- Location: Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2EU, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #1
- Average Fees: £15000 - £29000/Semester
The Royal College of Art in London earned the prestigious title of the world's best art and design university according to the 2020 QS World University ranking. It holds a prominent position among the leading art universities in the UK. Successful completion of the program with distinction opens doors for further academic pursuits, including MA or MRes programs tailored to their chosen disciplines. Well, London can`t be all studies and no fun, right? Groove away the exam tensions at these 15 Best Clubs In London while your creativity reaches new heights!
The Royal College of Art offers esteemed postgraduate courses such as an
- MA in Service Design,
- MA in Architecture,
- MA in Animation,
- MA in Design Products
- MPhil/Ph.D. in Communication.
2. University of the Arts London (UAL), London
- Location: 272 High Holborn, London, Greater London, WC1V 7EY, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #2
- Average Fees: £20,000 - £30,000/Semester
The University of the Arts London is ranked as one of the top art universities in the UK. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awarded it a silver award. This art university in the UK has nine art and design schools that offer pre-degree, undergraduate, postgraduate, and short courses in 18 subjects. Looking for the perfect postgraduate journey in London? Dive into our blog showcasing the 12 best master's programs the city has to offer. Explore a variety of fields, from business to technology, each program designed to elevate your career. As far as student living is concerned, Student Housing Guide: London 2023 will be beneficial for you.
Some of the featured undergraduate and Postgraduate courses include courses include
- BA Culture, Criticism and Curation
- BA Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance
- MA in Animation
- MA in Textile Design
- MSc in Cosmetic Science
3. The Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University), Oxford
- Location: 74 High St, Oxford OX1 4BG, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #97
- Average Fees: £9,000 - £30,000/Semester
The Ruskin School of Art is one of the top art universities in the UK. It has a three-year BFA program that focuses on studio-based learning to help students for a career as artists. Upon completing the course, students can pursue careers as art writers, art teachers, practising artists, curators in public and private galleries, or work in academia, the film industry, or architecture. It is, in fact, the Department of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, England, and therefore, a part of Oxford's Humanities Division. Getting into Oxford is a huge accomplishment, and the journey becomes even more rewarding with the opportunity of Oxford Scholarships. So here is an ultimate guide to Oxford Scholarships, its benefits, eligibility & application process, which is your key to unlocking a future filled with knowledge and possibilities.
Unlike other universities, The Ruskin School of Art has divided their courses into 3 broad types:
- The Ruskin MFA degree- an intensive one-year (three terms) studio-based programme in contemporary art practice.
- The Ruskin BFA degree- a three-year, studio-based course in which students work alongside each other in collaboratively organised studios.
- DPhil - includes two strands: the practice-led DPhil and the contemporary art history and theory DPhil (by written thesis only).
4. University College London, London
- Location: Gower St, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #49
- Average Fees: £9,000 - £25,000/semester
The fantastic Slade School of Art at University College London welcomes talented artists to enhance their skills in painting, sculpture, and various fine arts like film and photography. University College London has produced notable alumni like Mahatma Gandhi, Christopher Nolan, and Alexander Graham Bell, thus known as one of the best art universities in the UK. They offer the best art degrees in the UK for subjects like Arts and Sciences, Fine arts, and Creative Arts and Humanities. Apart from studies, Take your time off from the college premises and enjoy quiet self-time or banter with friends at these 20 Best Cafes In London. Or arrange a day picnic and explore these 15 Best parks In London.
Some of the fine art courses offered at UCL are:
- BA Fine art
- BFA Fine art
- MA Fine art
- MFA Fine art
5. Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow
- Location:167 Renfrew St, Glasgow G3 6RQ, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #11
- Average fees: £10,000 - £20,000/semester
The Glasgow School of Art is known as one of the best art universities in the UK. It's one of the top art universities in the UK that provides excellent teaching and research, helping students succeed both academically and artistically. There are also research degrees and centres where students can apply their skills and bring their artistic ideas to life. Popular courses include Interior design for undergraduates and a Master of Fine Art for postgraduates. However, if you are worried about being in an unknown city, surrounded by new faces, eager to explore but unsure where to start, that's where our Student City Guide: Glasgow 2023 comes to your rescue. It's not just a blog; it's your virtual friend, navigating you through the vibrant streets of Glasgow.
Popular courses under the Fine Arts Department include both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the following genres:
- Environmental Art/Sculpture
- Design Innovation and Interaction Design
- Interior Design
- Product Design
- Fashion Designing
- Graphics Illustration Photography
6. Goldsmiths University of London, London
- Location: 8 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6NW, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #18
- Average fees: £12,000 - £18,000/Semester
The University of Goldsmiths in London is home to a renowned Department of Art, known for being one of the top art universities in the UK. The supportive and nurturing learning environment at this art university in the UK enables students to thrive and engage in their studies. The Department of Art offers courses such as Fine Art (BA), Fine Art & History of Art (BA), and a course called 'Year 0' for overseas students. The department offers MFA Degrees in Fine Art, Curating, and Art Writing at the postgraduate level. And while you are in London, don`t miss out on these 25 Best Restaurants In London for experiencing the best of London student life!
Some of the popular undergraduate courses are:
- BA Fine Art
- BA Fine Art & History of Art
- BA Fine Art (Extension Degree)
- BSc Digital Arts Computing
7. Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
- Location: Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #151-200
- Average fees: £9,000 - £15,000/Semester
Newcastle University's School of Art and Culture is known as one of the best art universities in the UK. They offer highly-ranked programs and degrees, such as the BA Fine Arts degree. It is known as the 2nd best in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2022, the 3rd best by the Complete University Guide 2022, and the 3rd best by the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
The school offers popular courses like
- Contemporary and Popular Music
- Film and Media BA Honours, Journalism
- Media and Culture
8. Loughborough University, Loughborough
- Location: Epinal Way, Loughborough LE11 3TU, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #27
- Average tuition fees: £8,000 - £30,000/Semester
Loughborough University's School of Arts, English, and Drama is one of the top art universities in the UK. This UK art university offers a wide range of courses. Its modern, diverse, and inclusive learning environment allows students to showcase their artistic talent and work at various hubs and centres.
Popular courses include
- Animation for Health and Wellbeing
- Drama BA (Hons) degree
- English and Drama BA (Hons)
- MSc in Digital Creative Media.
9. Lancaster University, Lancaster
- Location: Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #51-100
- Average tuition fees: £8,000 - £30,000/Semester
This university is one of the best art universities in the UK. It provides different courses like Art, Theatre, Design, and Film. In the Art program, students learn about various art forms like painting, drawing, digital art, and sculpture. The professors and academics are not just teachers but also active artists with recognised work globally. The university ensures top-notch education.
Some favourite courses are
- MA, Arts Management
- MA, Film Studies
- MA, Design Management
10. Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
- Location: 74 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9DF, United Kingdom
- QS Ranking: #51-100
- Average tuition fees: £13,000 - £30,000/Semester
Edinburgh University is one of the best art universities in the UK. People from all over the world come to join its community of diverse and active artists. This UK art university provides some of the best art degrees in the UK and courses, which include art studio work, personal tutoring, lectures, seminars, and discussions. The college also organises external courses and events with well-known artists from around the world.
The popular courses are:
- Fine Art – MA (Hons)
- Intermedia – BA (Hons)
- Painting – BA (Hons)
- Sculpture – BA (Hons).
Pursuing art and design degrees in the UK exposes talent to rich cultural traditions fused with boundary-pushing innovation. Students refine their creative skills while being surrounded by world-famous museums, galleries and studios in cities steeped in history. Famous artists like Anish Kapoor and activists like Amanda Gorman graduated from universities abroad before making their mark on the global stage. There are many notable Harvard graduates who have mastered the art skills and have excelled in their career.
We hope you liked discovering these awesome schools and the great chances they give to people who want to be artists or designers. So, don't wait! Begin your path to an art career today by applying to one of the best art universities in the UK. Who knows, you might become the next famous artist like Vincent van Gogh or Banksy, known all around the world. In case of any lingering questions in your mind, head over to our blog, Everything About Studying In The UK. Good luck, and enjoy creating! While the UK is one of the top student destinations for higher education, it has a lot to offer in terms of adventure, entertainment and culture.