University of the Arts London is a collegiate university in London, England, specialising in arts, design, fashion and the performing arts. It is a federation of six arts colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, the London College of Communication, the London College of Fashion, and the Wimbledon College of Arts. It was established as a university in 2003, and took its present name in 2004.

Rankings, Research and Recognition

National rankings
Complete (2022) 43
Guardian (2022) 26
Times / Sunday Times (2022) 94
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Silver

In 2019 and again in 2021, the university was ranked number 2 for art and design in the QS World University Rankings.

UAL received an overall ranking of 84 out of 124 in the 2019 Complete University Guide league tables, down from 48th place in 2013 and 59th in the 2012 ranking. It scored 56.5 out of 100 for graduate prospects, and 3.94 out of 5 for student satisfaction with teaching.[33]

UAL was ranked 75th in the 2019 Guardian University Guide[34] and 21st out of 67 institutions in the Art subject table.[35]

In the Quality Assurance Agency results in 2004, Camberwell College of Arts and the London College of Communication were awarded 23 out of 24 for art and design; Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Chelsea College of Art and Design were awarded 22; London College of Fashion was awarded 21. The OFSTED report in March 2012 gave the University’s further education provision an overall rating of “good”.

The 2001 Research Assessment Exercise published results by subject area on a point scale from 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5 to 5*, the University achieved a 5 rating. In 2006–07, this rating equated to a QR grant of £8.6 million. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise the Times Higher Education‘s RAE league tables placed the university 44th out of 132 universities in the institution-wide table. In the ‘Art and Design’ subject tables it was placed 22nd out of 72 submissions (for ‘submission A’ – the majority of the constituent colleges) and 23rd out of 72 submissions (for ‘submission B’ – Wimbledon College of Art alone). The university had the largest number of researchers in the arts and design subject area (237.89 full-time equivalent staff); it was followed by Glasgow School of Art with 76.85 equivalent staff. More than half the university’s research was rated as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”, and 77.5 per cent as internationally significant. An open-access collection of its research outputs, including text and multi-media items, was developed in 2009 by the Kultur project of the Joint Information Systems Committee

A Queen’s Anniversary Prize was awarded to Camberwell College of Arts for the conservation of “works of art on paper” in 1996. The prize was also awarded to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design for its contributions to the British fashion industry, and for nurturing the creativity of students, in 1998. Cordwainers College of London College of Fashion was awarded the prize for its continued excellence in shoe and accessory design, development and teaching practice in 2008. The University of the Arts London was among the twenty winners of the prize in 2013, for its “industrial and product design”.

Central Saint Martins and the London College of Communication have been awarded Skillset Media Academy status, recognising the achievements in the area of media, interactive design and film respectively.

Chelsea College of Arts and the London College of Fashion share the “Creative Learning in Practice Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning”. The centre is funded by the British government in recognition of the two colleges’ results in developing student learning.