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Art Schools in the UK - Resources for Artists

Updated on January 20, 2015
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Katherine is a well known art blogger who has been writing extensively on art on 'Making A Mark' for the last 10 years.

An Introduction to Art Schools in the UK

  • Are you interested in doing a fine art course?
  • Are you trying to decide which art school to apply to?
  • Do you know what your choice is if you want to do an undergraduate degree or postgraduate course in art and/or design?

This site brings together links to various art schools around the UK. It focuses purely on art schools which offer degrees and courses at an undergraduate level and/or postgraduate level.

If you know an art school which should be included here please leave a comment.

Why go to Art School?

Art School offers formal education in different aspects of art and design. How that education is offered depends on the type of art school and its basic philosophy of how to teach art.What is an Art School?An educational institution which primarily offers an education in art - specifically the Visual Arts - is called an Art School.In the UK , the term Art School typically only applies to institutions with undergraduate, or graduate or postgraduate programs in the visual arts (ie part of tertiary education). They are places which people go after they leave school to do a fine art degree or similar.Art Schools can be part of a bigger University or can be standalone institutions. Typically they are the former rather than the latter. In London there is a University which covers several different Art Schools based in London.There are also Art Schools to which only postgraduates can apply - notably the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools in the UKWhat gets taught at an Art School?Visual Arts covers drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design, illustration, photography, installation art and commercial art.Art History might be taught as part of a History faculty

Image: Glasgow School of Art - designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

All About Art Schools and Colleges - Includes evaluation of education and courses offering art and design

Guardian provides an in-depth guide to universities each year and below you can find links to the current relevant pages. There are also books which evaluate different courses and institutions

Heap 2014: University Degree Course Offers - by "the guru of university choice" Brian Heap

An independent guide to help you find the courses at different universities and choose the right one for you. This is the 45th annual edition of this well known and well respected guide.

Postgraduate Art Schools - in London - postgraduate courses ONLY

Entrance to the Royal Academy Schools by Dave Fergusson [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are two very eminent art schools in London which are for post-graduates students only. They always look good on a CV!In addition Sotheby's offers Masters degree courses validated by the University of Manchester

Royal College of Art

Royal College of Art from Hyde Park
Royal College of Art from Hyde Park | Source
A markerRoyal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU -
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2EU, UK
get directions

Undergraduate Art Schools in London - plus some postgraduate courses

The University of the Arts in London (Arts London) is Europe's largest university for art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts. It's made up of a number of the art schools in London - but not all.There are also a number of other Art Schools which offer Diplomas and other courses which fall short of a degree.Many of these art schools also have evening classes or vacation courses for adult learners

Other London Art Schools

There are Art Schools in London which don't offer a full undergraduate or postgraduate programme of courses. However they offer a more specialised course of study and the standard of tuition is still very good

Art Schools in the South of England

The south of England offers a wide choice of art schools

BOOKS: Choosing a University Course - books on Amazon

Choosing Your Degree Course & University
Choosing Your Degree Course & University

Brian Heap, the guru of higher educationhelps you decide what and where you want to study at university, so when the time comes to fill in your UCAS application you are fully prepared. Detailing all the major university degree courses in the UK, he helps you narrow down your options and build a shortlist of your ideal subjects, courses and universities.Publication Date: May 18, 2012


Art Schools in the Midlands

In the Midlands you have a choice of Birmingham or Leicester

How to Complete Your UCAS Application Form 2013 entry includes advice on:- Course choices and where to apply- Creating your personal statement- Higher education and if it's right for you- What do do if you miss the grades needed for entry- Non-standard applications including medical schools and Oxbridge

How to Complete Your UCAS Application 2013 entry, 24th Edition
How to Complete Your UCAS Application 2013 entry, 24th Edition

Paperback: 160 pagesPublisher: Trotman; 24 edition (8 May 2012)


Personal Statements: How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

Amazon reviewers rated this 5.0 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews) Like (8)

Art Schools in the North of England

Three centres for art education at a degree level in the North East - in Leeds, Newcastle and Cleveland

Art Schools in Wales

Three centres for art education in Wales - at Aberystwyth , Cardiff and Wrexham

Art Schools in Scotland

Centres for higher education in art and design in Scotland include: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee

Location of the Glasgow School of Art

A markerThe Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ Scotland -
The Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Glasgow City G3 6RQ, UK
get directions

The Glasgow School of Art includes the Charles Macintosh Building

Open University

The Open University is an art education option for students living anywhere in the UK

Funding Art Education

Higher education is not cheap these days. Below you'll find links to various routes to finding out more about the funding options for student finance

Art Education - across the pond - MFA Courses and Residencies in the USA

For those thinking about travelling to the USA to round off their art educationCheck out the fees!

Art Schools of the Past

Some well regarded art schools are no more but their history and influence over artists remains interesting

Fine Art and the Masters Degree

Why pursue a Masters Degree in Fine Art? Joanne Mattera has some thoughts and insights from others as to whether or not an MFA is of any practical use to you if you want to develop your career as a full-time professional artist

Making A Mark - on Art Education - posts from Making A Mark - ranked as #3 in the top 25 art blogs in the UK

I write periodically about the topic of developing your art education, art knowledge and skills - within formal or informal frameworks - on my blog Making A Mark.

Here's a couple of posts by way of example - and do also read the comments

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    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 4 years ago from London

      @Colin323: Very useful comments - thanks

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      Colin323 4 years ago

      Very helpful lens. My two children studied for their degrees in ceramics at Glasgow School of Art: a very stimulating environment, and with the advantage of small classes so they had plenty of individual attention. Glasgow is a great student city too, with plenty going on.

    • leesholden profile image

      Lee 4 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      Really useful lens - if only I was looking for an Art School :)

    • daisychainsaw lm profile image

      daisychainsaw lm 4 years ago

      what a brilliant lens! Its useful to have all this information in one place, I`ll be returning to this lens again and again, thanks!

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 5 years ago from London

      @anonymous: Not so far as I am aware

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      are there ant primary schools with a heavy art focus?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @makingamark: Hello,Can you recommend any schools in the UK that offer post-grads through distance learning? I am an art and design educator in Canada and would like to study whilst staying at my current job.Congrats on such a comprehensive and succinct collection of resources for artists!Many thanks,Melanie

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 6 years ago from London

      To those people trying to drop links to art schools in other areas of the world please note:1) This site is about the UK2) spam is not published. I investigate all links left and only relevant and good quality links are published.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 7 years ago from London

      @anonymous: Purely because I forgot! Now included.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I wonder why you haven't included Heatherley's School of Art in your London list? It seems to me to be on a par with the Princes Drawing School offering similar courses and having a similar attitude to traditional drawing and painting skills and an emphasis on teaching them.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 8 years ago from London

      I started with the organisations which are art schools in their own right but am now adding in universities which have faculties or schools of art and designI've also updated the lens since it was published- sections for the Midlands and Wales have now been added (I've added in De Montfort University)- I've deleted the Distance Learning to make this site purely devoted to institutions offering undergraduate degrees and/or postgraduate courses

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      with apologies - I've just reread the bit about 'institutions with a primary focus'. DMU doesn't qualify... David

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      anonymous 8 years ago

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