Norwich University of the Arts: What it's really like
Learn all about life at NUA
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If you’re looking for a creative, innovative arts education in one of the UK’s most livable cities, Norwich University of the Arts might be just the place for you.
Norwich University of the Arts at a glance:
Founded as the Norwich School of Design in 1845 and received full university status in 2013
3 years or 4 years for an undergraduate degree
Offers 19 undergraduate courses
Creative and driven students looking to seriously pursue their artistic practise
Students looking for a large university experience, or degree programmes outside of creative interests
Tom Rollett, Schools and Outreach Officer at Norwich University of the Arts, explains what makes Norwich University of the Arts a dynamic place to study - and how to put together a strong application.
What is Norwich University of the Arts?
Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) began life in the 19th century out of the ‘Norwich School’ of Painters, but now has a wide range of courses related to careers in the creative industries.
The campus is in the city centre of Norwich. Norwich itself is a dynamic, creative hub of a city. It is known for being a green and eco-friendly place to live - being the only city in England that’s inside a national park probably helps! - and has been named one of the best cities to live in for 2021.
Why apply to NUA?
NUA provides a perfect environment for curious creatives. The campus offers a really unique blend of historic environment and cutting-edge facilities.
NUA also offers award-winning courses. For example, the World Brand Design Society rated NUA the second in the world for design skills, and the Creative Media and Entertainment courses have been ranked in the top fifty in the world. Students have a tendency to win awards while studying at NUA, too!
Speaking of students… those who begin at NUA tend to finish there. NUA has the highest retention rate in the entire UK, which means students are clearly finding what they need to succeed on campus.
Who isn’t the right fit for NUA?
NUA is a small university with a small campus. This is a good thing if you’re looking for a personalised education experience where your tutors will definitely know your name, but also means that you aren’t going to get the classic big university experience. NUA is also very integrated into the city of Norwich, so it’s a more urban environment, rather than an isolated campus.
NUA doesn’t just offer courses relating to fine arts: you’ll be able to study User Experience Design, Architecture, or Interior Design, for example. But the university’s focus is on arts, design, and the creative industries, so if you’re looking to study Chemistry or Chinese, NUA probably won’t be the place for you.
Any application tips?
First off, do your research. Make sure that you’re applying to a course that’s right for you, both in terms of the subject itself and the overall environment of the university. Check out university websites, attend open days, and chat to students and staff members. If you’re able, go to visit the campus, just to get a feel for what it’s like.
You’ll need a portfolio to apply to NUA and many other universities that offer creative subjects. There are three things that NUA is looking for: your making skills, your ideas development (how you develop an initial brief to a final outcome), and the artistic influences on your practise. NUA’s website offers more specific guidance on putting together a portfolio, or you can attend an open day, where you can get in-person advice about what the portfolio for a specific course should include.