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[UK] Best British art schools

Posted by | January 11, 2015 | Art Schools, United Kingdom

Best British art schools

There are plenty of places to study art, but how do you know which one is right for you?
We profile the top ten British art schools.

Camberwell College of Art, London

Founded more than 100 years ago, Camberwell has long been regarded as one of the country’s leading art and design colleges. Filmmaker Mike Leigh, musician Humphrey Lyttleton and artists Gillian Ayres, Terry Frost, Howard Hodgkin and Richard Long all studied here. Art courses include Art and Design, Book Arts, Ceramics, Digital Arts, Drawing, Fine Art, Illustration, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles.

Camberwell is also famous for its Conservation course. In 2004 a post-graduate student was awarded the Pilgrim Trust Student Conservator of the Year Award.

Camberwell College of Art
Peckham Road, London SE5 8UF



Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London

Central Saint Martins builds on the distinctive traditions of its four founding colleges: St Martin’s School of Art, Central School of Art and Design, Drama Centre London and Byam Shaw School of Art. In terms of art courses, The College provides specialist education in fine art, media arts, and interdisciplinary art and design. Alumni include Lucien Freud and Frank Auerbach, who studied fine art at St Martin’s in the middle of the 20th century.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP



Chelsea College, London

Since January 2005, when Chelsea College of Art and Design relocated to Millbank, next to Tate Britain, all the disciplines are united on one site, giving students and staff the opportunity to mix and exchange ideas. Alumni of Chelsea College of Art and Design include several Turner prize nominees and winners: Anish Kapoor, Richard Deacon, Patrick Caulfield, Helen Chadwick, Shirazeh Houshiary, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing, Steve McQueen and Chris Ofili. Courses offered include art and design, digital arts, drawing, fine art, painting, photography, printmaking and others.

Chelsea College of Art and Design
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU



The Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art is internationally recognized as one of Britain’s foremost higher education institutions for the study and advancement of fine art, design and architecture. It is a small, specialist and highly focused international community which thrives a long way from the capital. The Glasgow art scene is extremely close-knit and provides a nurturing environment which enables artists to remain in the city after studying to develop their careers and practice outside of the over-subscribed London scene.

Glasgow School of Art
167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ



University of London, Goldsmiths College

Although not primarily an art school, Goldsmith’s fine art and textile courses are world renowned. The department of art specialises in producing, curating and writing on contemporary art practice across a range of media. They currently support fine art, textiles and curating programmes alongside fine art and history of art offered in conjunction with the department of visual cultures.

Significant numbers of graduate students from the department over the last several decades have achieved international success. Goldsmiths has produced five Turner Prize winners, while others have picked up the Becks Futures Prize, the John Moores Painting Prize and Paul Hamlyn Awards.

Department of Art, Goldsmiths
University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW



Royal College of Art

The RCA is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university institution of art and design, offering MA, MPhil and PhD. Over its lifetime, the College has led many of the UK’s foremost creative movements – from its early, distinctive Arts and Crafts philosophy and as the birthplace of New Sculpture (with alumni including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth), to Pop Art (David Hockney and Peter Blake). More recently, YBAs including Tracey Emin and Jake and Dinos Chapman have passed through.

Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU


UCL, Slade School of Fine Art

The Slade School of Fine Art is concerned with contemporary art and the practice, history and theories that inform it. It approaches the study and practice of art in an investigative, experimental way and offers courses in painting, sculpture and fine art.

The Slade’s foundation in 1871 was the result of a bequest from Felix Slade who envisaged a school where fine art would be studied within a liberal arts university. Slade’s belief in fine art as a subject worthy of study in its own right and belonging within a humanist liberal arts tradition was radical at a time when almost all British art schools existed to service the needs of industry. The School’s location in the centre of London, close to many important galleries, museums, libraries and theatres, provides excellent opportunities for students to access a wide range of learning resources and research opportunities.

The Slade School of Fine Art
UCL, Gower Street London WC1E 6BT



Wimbledon College

Wimbledon has a close-knit community where students develop their own work with the support of staff from the fine art profession. Drawing is a central part of the curriculum. The Centre for Drawing arranges events, exhibitions and publications. The School has an ongoing programme of Drawing Fellowships and hosts the national Jerwood Drawing Prize. Wimbledon is international in outlook, with students from around the world contributing to and studying at every academic level. Courses include animation, curation and criticism, drawing, fine art, painting, printmaking, sculpture and sonic arts.

Wimbledon College of Art
Main Building, Merton Hall Road, London SW19 3QA



University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art

The Ruskin is the tiny fine art department of the University of Oxford; it attracts students who are serious and engaged with their subject. Art is taught as a living element of contemporary culture with a broad range of historical and theoretical references. Each year only 20 students are admitted. Ruskin students are members of Oxford colleges that provide additional working relationships and support. Through the elaborate collegiate system, Ruskin students develop friendships covering many other subjects, allowing them to gain a unique balance between their close-knit department and the rich variety of viewpoints offered by a wider college community.

The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art
74 High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG



Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

Situated in one of Europe’s most striking cities, Edinburgh College of Art has an international reputation as one of the most successful independent art colleges in the UK. The staff are practicing artists, designers, architects, curators and writers, many with international reputations. Courses include art and design, architecture, landscape architecture, fine art, and visual culture.

Edinburgh College of Art
Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF


Author:  Nathasa Lennard


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