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Launching 30 Online Courses for Students Worldwide

Student working on a computer with books around
  • Written byDan Austin
  • Published date24 June 2021
Student working on a computer with books around
Portfolio by Craig Green, MA Games Design, London College of Communication. Photo by Alys Tomlinson

Today, James Purnell gave his first public speech since becoming President & Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London. James delivered the Afternoon Keynote Address at the HEPI Annual Conference 2021. He spoke about the need for the HE sector to change and that the pandemic has shown technology is going to transform tertiary education.

Read his full remarks (PDF 121KB).

He announced that from autumn 2021, UAL will open its six famous colleges to students at any life stage anywhere in the world, with a set of 30 online and low-residency degrees. The initiative allows students who currently can’t undertake residential courses to gain a world-class creative education.

The 30 undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be open for application later this summer and will begin in 2021/22 and 2022/23. By 2022-23, 20% of UAL’s Masters offer will be delivered online.

A further 14 standalone course units will start from January 2022. The courses will be taught by established academics at UAL’s colleges - Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts.

Of this new digital initiative, James said:

“UAL aims to set a benchmark for online creative education, re-shaping art, design, fashion, technology, performance and media as the global creative economy migrates increasingly online.

“We all know technology is going to transform tertiary education – the pandemic has shown that. But no one knows exactly how. This initiative allows us to imagine and prototype the future, opening our famous colleges to aspiring creatives of any age, wherever they are.

“Our residential courses in London will continue to be central to UAL. But they don’t suit everyone – our new courses will allow us to serve a wider range of student, from different backgrounds, at different life stages, including people already in work.

“Through this substantial online offer, we will establish a truly global teaching community to meet the huge demand for further and higher education as economies across the world are rebuilt.

“This will deliver a more inclusive university, for more learners, and strengthen UAL as a world-leading institution.”

The courses will be tailored to aspiring creatives at all stages of their creative and professional journeys. A range of intensive 12-week courses will give learners the chance to curate their own learning journey in emerging, business-critical fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Computer Animation. These packages can be taken separately or can be combined, allowing students to customise their own degrees. UAL will also offer step-on step-off executive programmes for creative leaders across the spectrum of fashion business with courses in subjects such as Business Strategy, Fashion Psychology, Product Management and Circular fashion.