Student Diversity

'Bobbie Tree', BA Graphic Design © Camberwell College of Art, 2008.
'Bobbie Tree', BA Graphic Design © Camberwell College of Art, 2008.

Promoting diversity, individuality and innovation is at the heart of what we do here at University of the Arts London.

We are proud of our diverse student communities and we are committed to ensuring the University is an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

The University’s Equality and Diversity Framework sets out our commitment to promote equality and diversity on the grounds of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender, nationality, race, religious belief (or no belief), sexual orientation, socio-economic class or trans. Information for students with specific requirements is below.

Trans student support

Our students and staff express their gender identities in diverse ways. Some trans students undertake gender reassignment or aspects of ‘transition’ whilst at UAL. Others may simply want advice or guidance about discussing their gender identity with others.

We have developed guidance for trans students at UAL, covering topics such as:

  • name changes,
  • gender identity questions at enrolment,
  • discussing my transition with others,
  • using gender specific facilities at UAL.

To find out more, please download the Guide for Trans Students PDF below or contact the Diversity Team at diversity@arts.ac.uk.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans

The University has a long history of celebrating and promoting sexual orientation equality. We take part in major events such as Pride London, LGBT History Month and GFest, and we work in partnership with the organisers so that our students get the opportunity to design publicity and marketing for these events as part of their course.

LGBT students from across UAL were consulted as part of the development of the University’s Equality and Diversity Framework and Equal Opportunities Policy. We continue to work closely with the student LGBTQ Society to involve students in decisions that affect them. We also ensure that Sexual Orientation equality issues are covered as part of our staff training on Diversity and in staff Inductions.

Our Equal Opportunities Policy sets out our commitment to preventing discrimination, bullying and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation.

We began monitoring sexual orientation for students in 2013/14. At the end of the 2013/14 academic year, 13% of UAL students had identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or ‘Other’. More information about the work we do to promote sexual orientation equality can be found in our Annual Equality and Diversity Progress Reports, found in the Equality Law and Reports section.

The Student Union LGBTQ Network creates opportunities for students to socialise, get support from fellow students and lead on LGBT–related campaigns both within UAL and nationally. To find out more visit SUarts LGBTQ Society webpage.

The University’s Careers Service offers workshops and advice sessions with a range of diverse industry partners, many of whom have made active contributions to LGBT equality. By promoting positive role models we aim to support LGBT students to aspire and achieve exciting and rewarding careers.

University services for LGBT students

The University aims to provide inclusive services which meet the needs of LGBT students. Our health pages contain information on health, lifestyle, sexual health and personal safety.

The Counselling Service offers one-to-one, confidential support to students. Counselling is delivered by staff who are experienced in working with students who are considering coming out, are dealing with complex family relationships, or are questioning their personal identity and feelings regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

The multi-faith Chaplaincy is able to provide confidential guidance to students who are reflecting on questions of faith in relation to their sexual orientation.

Access for disabled students

University of the Arts London is committed to promoting inclusive and accessible learning environments for all students.

We aim to meet the needs of students who have long term health conditions, mental health difficulties, physical impairments, deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired as well as students with specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D. 

The Disability Service can offer advice to ensure your access needs are met.

For full access and route guides to all our sites visit DisabledGo

Students with caring responsibilities

You may have a family member (e.g. parent, child or sibling) or close friend who is disabled, elderly or has a long term illness and who depends on you for care and support. This may involve going shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry bathing or dressing the person. You may also be providing emotional support or help in a crisis.

You may be considering how you can live at home whilst at UAL, and continue to provide the same level of care, in addition to undertaking your studies. Or you may be wondering if you could 'care at a distance' by returning home on weekends or holidays to provide care. These are all options that staff at the University will be able to advise and support you in.

For information about the support available to Student Carers and Student Parents at UAL, please download a copy of our guidance documents below, or contact the Diversity Team at diversity@arts.ac.uk.

Student pregnancy and maternity

Guidance and Support Plan

This guidance provides information about the arrangements in place to support students in relation to pregnancy, maternity, adoption and paternity.

The guidance covers:

Guidance for students

  • What to do if you think you’re pregnant
  • Students who are adopting or having a baby by surrogacy
  • Fathers, partners and secondary carers

Guidelines for staff: Supporting a student who thinks they are pregnant

  • An overview of the Student Pregnancy and Maternity Support Plan
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave
  • Extenuating Circumstances

The Student Pregnancy and Maternity Support Plan is designed to help co-ordinate support for students who become pregnant whilst at University.

The plan provides a means of sharing information between departments and to ensure the student is aware of all the support available to them. It can be initiated by the Student Health Adviser or Course Leader and sections can be completed by different support services and teams across UAL. 

Faith observance

The University welcomes students from all faiths and none. We have a number of initiatives aimed at supporting students from diverse faith backgrounds.

  • Student Faith Societies - The University works closely with the Student Union Faith societies, to find out more about the work of the faith societies please visit our Student Faith website.
  • Chaplaincy - The University has a multi-faith Chaplaincy. To find out about the work of our Chaplaincy and activities you can take part in, please visit our Chaplaincy page.
  • University of the Arts London's multi-faith calendar - Our multi-faith calendar includes listings of major faith events marked by students and staff at UAL. We use the Calendar to help inform the development of timetables and to plan events. If you are a student at UAL and wish to obtain the mulit-faith calendar, please email diversity@arts.ac.uk, using your UAL email account. 
  • Quiet spaces for prayer and personal reflection- Each University site has a space for students, staff and visitors to undertake prayer or personal reflection. For more information, please visit our Quiet Spaces page. ‌
  • Religious observance and timetabling -  If you think you might need to change your timetable or take time off on grounds of religious observance please inform your tutor or course director as soon as possible. For more information, please download:

Students interested in race in arts HE

"Everything that you do or see is filtered by your cultural identity."

- Fabrizio Panella, Central Saint Martins (2012)

We are proud of the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of our students and staff at UAL. Around a third of our UK students come from Black, Asian or Minority ethnic background and our international students come from over 110 countries. It is this diversity that helps us develop our creative and academic interests and contribute to new ways of thinking about social identity.

The University takes a pro-active approach to promoting equality on grounds of race and ethnicity. In October 2012 the University held its first exhibition showing the work of Black Alumni. The exhibition was called ‘Happening to Be’ and was part of the Shades of Noir Project which aims to explore issues of race and ethnicity in arts, design and communication higher education.

To find out more, please visit the Shades of Noir website.