UCA: What it's really like
Learn all about University for the Creative Arts
Seeking a career in the creative industries? Want to experiment and create alongside like-minded peers? The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) may be the place for you!
UCA at a glance:
|Founded||Constituent colleges were founded in the 19th century, received university status in its current form in 2008|
|Locations||Multiple locations in Surrey and Kent, and a campus in China|
|Length||Three years for an undergraduate degree, plus options to add an Integrated Foundation Year and/or Professional Practice Year|
|Courses||Offers undergraduate courses in more than 20 disciplines, plus postgraduate (taught) courses, PhDs, and integrated foundation years for UK and international students|
|Great for||Students who want to develop their creative talents and tailor their learning to their personal interests|
|Not for||Students with academic interests outside the creative industries, like the sciences, politics, finance, or linguistics|
Savannah Moray, Senior Recruitment Officer at UCA, explains what makes UCA an exciting place to study - and how to put together a strong application.
What is UCA?
UCA has a history of advocating for the arts for over 160 years. We’re a specialist creative university, offering courses in fields like architecture, fashion, film, performing arts, and creative business, to name a few.
UCA has campuses in Farnham and Epsom in Surrey, and Canterbury in Kent – all within an hour’s journey of London – as well as overseas in Xiamen, China.
UCA also works with partner institutions like the Royal School of Needlework and Maidstone Television Studios, giving students the skills to build professional and creative partnerships that will serve them throughout their careers.
Why apply to UCA?
If you decide to join UCA, you’ll be joining a diverse and yet close-knit community of creative people from around the globe.
You’ll work with creative experts, use your talent to make a positive impact on the world around you, and build a professional network that stays with you throughout your career.
Across our campuses you’ll find state-of-the-art facilities, from our virtual production studio in our Film & Media Centre, to our tracklab for architecture students, and specialist kilns and hot shops for traditional ceramics and silversmithing.
And you’ll have access to a range of experiences that will help set you up for the future – from industry placements to guest lectures from leading names within your chosen field, to live industry briefs and competitions. So, by the time you graduate, you’ll have the skills and connections you need to take on a career in the arts.
Who isn’t the right fit for UCA?
At UCA, we welcome people from around the world and all walks of life, with a wide range of interests and talents.
That being said, if your dream is to be an economist, a barrister, or a doctor, UCA probably doesn't offer the course you're looking for.
The campuses also provide a quiet place to really focus on your work. While UCA’s campuses are all within a short distance of cities, if you’re looking to study in a busy city centre, you won’t find that experience at UCA’s campuses.
Any application tips?
UCA believes that, while good grades are welcome, they often don't paint the whole picture. The university takes a holistic approach to applications, so your portfolio is a vital tool in showcasing your talents and personality. From audition tapes to sketchbooks, photographs to fashion samples, UCA is keen to see what you have to offer.
It would also be worthwhile for you to visit UCA on an open day. Beforehand, look at the courses available and find out which campuses they are based at – then you’ll know where to book your open day place.
Finally, do your research so you understand the small differences between different institutions, campuses, and degree courses. Then you’ll be ready to answer questions in your interview and know that you’re making the right choice. For example, UCA offers multiple graphic design courses, but they all have distinct differences – so do your reading, and make sure you’re applying for the course that suits you best.
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