10 Best Art Universities in UK | Fees & Details

An art education might just be what you need to develop your potential and going to an art school is the right place to develop yourself. Find some of the best art universities in UK in this post and select the one that meets your interest to begin your journey in the arts.

The United Kingdom has one of the best education systems in the world, from its primary up to its higher education level. It took the first spot of Best Countries for Education in 2019 according to the US News & World Report. Its higher education is recognized by students from other parts of the world and thousands flock here annually to get a degree in one academic discipline or the other. Any degree you get from the UK is internationally recognized.

Prestigious universities in the world like the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and King’s College London are all in the UK and some of them offer quality art degree programs that can help you kick start your career and maintain an awesome position in the world of arts.

Art has a broad scope, including digital arts, theater arts, fashion design, fine arts or visual arts, studio arts, and so much more. I am sure that by now, you already know which one you are going for and the need to get an art degree from a prestigious art school cannot be over-emphasized. This will set you up among the elites in the art community and the world at large and earn respect from your colleagues.

To this effect, I have prepared this post on the best art schools in UK. These schools hold national and international recognition both in teaching and practical, as well as, in the degrees they confer to graduates. But bear in mind that admission to the art schools in UK is highly competitive, therefore, you need to possess academic excellence to be above the competition.

For readers who are interested in pursuing an art degree in Canada, my post on the best art schools in Canada with scholarships can help you get started. And if you are still a newbie in the whole art thing and want to gain some amount of experience before going to an art school, our post on free online art classes for beginners should serve you quite well.

We’ve also published quite a several posts that can help make the cost of your education in the UK affordable, especially for international students since they are charged more compared to domestic students. Our post on full-tuition scholarships for international students in UK can help you find a scholarship you can apply to your art education in the UK.

Also, since the best art universities in UK are bound to be expensive for international students then you should check our list of cheapest universities in the UK for international students. Some of them offer art degree programs. You can also find, on our site, a huge number of free online courses in different study fields offered by popular online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, edX, etc.

What Is The Best Art School In UK?

The best art school in the UK is the Royal College of Art.

How Do I Get Into Art School UK?

To get into an art school in UK, you need to have foundational knowledge in art and design. That is, in high school, take art subjects to prepare you for entry into one of the art schools in UK to pursue a degree in arts. After meeting these, there are several requirements that you need to meet to be accepted into an art program in the UK.

These requirements are requested for every prospective art student to satisfy to be considered for admission. It will be used by the admissions board to evaluate your academic performance, these requirements are:

  • Typical international baccalaureate requirements: minimum 34 points
  • A-level requirements: ABB and a portfolio of work
  • IELTS with a score of 6.5 for international students whose native language is not English.

While most art universities in UK will not specify what subjects you should have studied at secondary school but they want you to possess academic excellence in an art-related subject. It is recommended that you study art and the history of art and have a personal portfolio of your work.

Check out this guide on how to apply to universities in UK for more guidelines on how to get into art universities in UK.

Cost of Art School in UK

The cost of art school in the UK varies from school to school, program type, and the residency of the student with international students paying more. According to ZoomAbroad, the tuition for undergraduate art programs ranges from £18,000 to £35,000 per year while postgraduate programs cost between £20,000 and £25,000 per year.

The fee at the Glasgow School of Art is £16,800 per year and at the Leeds Arts University, tuition for undergraduates is £9,250 per year while international students pay £16,000 to £17,100 per year and postgraduate (domestic) pay between £8,450 to £9,450 and international students pay between £14,250 to £17,300 per year.

So, you can see that tuition in art schools in UK is all different. Fortunately, I also included the cost of all the best art universities in UK discussed below.

art universities in UK

Best Art Universities in UK and their Fees

Art consists of a wide variety of study fields and not just fine arts alone, giving you the benefit of being able to find countless job opportunities when you graduate. Some of the best art universities in the world like the Glasgow School of Arts can be found in the UK which attracts many students from all walks of life.

After in-depth research on the art schools in UK I came up with 10 of the best art universities in the UK and I ranked them using the following methodologies:

  1. Popular for their past and present successes and contribution to the art world
  2. Equipped with cutting-edge labs complete with modern and ancient resources and materials for students to explore and develop their artistic potential through hands-on practice.
  3. They evolve with the changes in the art world
  4. Offer a wide range of academic art programs to meet the demands of students and fulfill careers
  5. They possess national and international recognition in art education and their reputation is standard.
  6. Some of the greatest artists in the world, past and present, have passed through the schools.
  7. You’ll meet professors that have contributed to the art world and also meet intelligent students like yourself to share experience and knowledge, and connect with them.
  8. Standard professional development of their students to prepare them for the next phase of their life.

With these methodologies, you can rest assured that I have picked the best art universities in UK for you, the ball is now in your court by meeting up with the academic requirements to get into the school and beat the competition. As I mentioned earlier, they are highly competitive and their requirements can be tough.

Without any further ado, let us get into the best art universities in UK…

1.     The Glasgow School of Arts

The Glasgow School of Arts is recognized among the best art schools in the world and it stands at the No.1 spot for best art schools in UK. Part of what makes this school outstanding is its wide offering of courses in different art disciplines leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Programs include but are not limited to Product Design, Engineering with Architecture, Fine Art Photography, Textile Design, Interior Design, Communication Design, and Fashion & Textiles.

Glasgow School of Arts is also one of the best schools for interior design in the UK. Ph.D. programs are also offered to graduates who are looking to be part of an international research community. International students are accepted into all of its degree programs as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Tuition here is £1,820 for domestic students and £10,920 for international students, although this could vary by program type and students’ residence, click here to see a breakdown of the fees.

Finally, scholarships and financial aid opportunities are offered to students from all walks of life.

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2.     Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art is a prestigious public research university in London that offers only postgraduate art and design degrees in the whole UK. There are about 2,300 students here from more than 60 countries and you too can apply if you have completed a bachelor’s degree in arts and looking to further your studies. It is one of the best art schools in UK with campuses in South Kensington, Battersea, and White City.

At RCA, postgraduate students can find varieties of opportunities employed to improve their art and design practice from postgraduate taught and research degrees to courses tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and organizations.

There are over 18 programs which include Business, Communication, Architecture, Applied Arts, Product Design, Moving Image, Humanities, Contemporary Art, Fashion, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and Textiles.

The tuition fees at RCA depend on your fee status and program of study, find your specific program and the tuition cost here, as well as, how you can pay.

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3.     University of the Arts London

The University of the Arts London is one of the best art universities in UK. It ranks top 2 in the world by the QS World University Rankings and is also the largest specialist university in Europe for arts, design, fashion, and the performing arts. It was established in 1986 as London Institute and currently offers a wide range of programs to undergraduates and postgraduates from different parts of the world.

The University of the Arts London is not a singular art school rather it is a collegiate university with a federation of six art colleges:

  • Camberwell College of Arts
  • Central Saint Marting
  • Chelsea College of Arts
  • The London College of Communication
  • The London College of Fashion and
  • The Wimbledon College of Arts

So, it’s six colleges in one university and if you’ll be applying, you will apply for one of them.

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4.     Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh College of Art is a school within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. It was established over 250 years ago and is shrouded with hundreds of years of experience in art education and research. Although ancient, Edinburgh College of Art keeps evolving to meet the demands of the ever-changing art world and offer innovative art education to keep up.

The college has five (5) schools within it that offer programs in undergraduate and postgraduate study levels. These schools are the Reid School of Music, History of Art, School of Design, School of Art, and Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. International students are accepted and scholarships and bursaries are available for those who are eligible.

Undergraduate tuition here is £1,820 for domestic students and £11,200 for international students.

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5.     Slade School of Fine Art

Slade School of Fine Art also known as “The Slade” is the art school of University College London (UCL), consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2010-2022. And its art school, The Slade, is ranked 5th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings globally recognized for its teaching and research excellence.

Slade School of Fine Art offers two undergraduate programs, the BA and BFA in Fine Arts; two master’s programs, the MA and MFA in Fine Art; the MPhil/Ph.D. in Fine Art, plus affiliate student programs at all levels. Students here get access to its cutting-edge facilities to gain hands-on knowledge and equip themselves professionally.

Tuition at Slade School of Fine Arts is £9,000 for domestic students and £21,320 for international students.

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6.     The University of Oxford – Ruskin School of Art

The University of Oxford is well-known for its prestigious academic offerings and also as one of the leading higher institutions in the world, everyone knows Oxford. It is really old, almost a thousand years old, and is still operating to date. Its art school, The Ruskin School of Art is one of the best art schools in UK making various significant contributions to the art world.

It was named after John Ruskin who is considered the father of modern art criticism and was also a watercolorist, teacher, and geologist. Ruskin School of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts program, a Master of Fine Art program, and a Doctor of Philosophy or DPhil program. This school provides an exceptional environment in which research through art-making is entwined with research through contemporary art.

Ruskin School of Art, being one of the best art schools in UK puts the University of Oxford in the ranks of best universities in UK.

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7.     Goldsmiths, University of London

The Goldsmiths University of London also known as the Goldsmiths’ College offers a wide range of reputable art programs that puts it on the list of best art universities in UK. The college itself specializes in arts, computing, humanities, business, and social sciences education.

There are three (3) schools here that offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate study options such as Music, Art. Design, Visual Cultures, Law, History, and Theatre and Performance. The college, having existed for more than 200 years, is dipped in decades of experience and keeps evolving to meet the changes of the art world.

Short courses are also offered online and international students are accepted into all of the programs. Tuition varies by study level, a program of study, and students’ residence, see a breakdown of the fees here.

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8.     Loughborough University School of Design and Creative Arts

Loughborough University or Lboro is a public research university that dates as far back as 1909. Its School of Design and Creative Arts has put the school on the map of the best art universities in UK. This art school offers innovative art and design programs in undergraduate, master’s degrees, research degrees, and other short courses.

Students gain access to a wide range of materials, cutting-edge facilities, and expert professors to guide them in their journey of finding their place in the art world. Tuition here is free for UK citizens aged 18 years old and below while others above 18 years old are charged £5,421 and international students are charged £16,000. Funding and financial aid options are available.

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9.     Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts

This is the art school of Lancaster University that puts the institution on the map as one of the best art universities in UK. The institute offers programs in Fine Art, Design, Theatre, Film, Architecture, and Contemporary Arts leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. There are facilities put in place for students to cultivate their abilities and drive their potential to the fullest.

Tuition varies depending on your degree program, you can only get accurate tuition costs when you start your application process.

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10.  The University of Brighton School of Art and Media

The University of Brighton School of Art and Media dates as far back as 1859 and is still operating to date. The art school has over a decade of experience in art education to offer to its students. Its art degree programs are recognized among the best in the UK putting the institution among the top best art universities in UK.

The School of Art and Media offers a broad range of programs at undergraduate and graduate study levels such as photography, film and sound arts, fashion, fine arts, and graphics. Digital and non-digital equipment are available at the different art facilities to enhance students’ growth and development. The tuition is £9,250.

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And this wraps up the list of best art universities in UK with their fees. If you need more info, simply follow the link to the respective school websites and get what you need or contact the admissions office. I hope this has been helpful. Good luck with your applications.

Best Art Universities in UK – FAQs

how many art universities are in UK?

There are over 50 art schools in UK

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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.

When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.

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