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About UAL

UAL is University of the Arts London, a university comprised of 6 distinct Colleges. Each College has a rich history dating back to the 19th or early 20th century, and each has earned a global reputation for supporting students to produce work of outstanding quality. Our Colleges are: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts.

Beyond discovering who we are, it's important to understand that there are some significant differences between Canadian and UK education. Read on to gain more insight and explanation of our Colleges, subject areas and study levels, as well as what's important for you to consider as an applicant from Canada. Browse our YouTube channel and our portfolio platform.

6 Colleges 1 University

University of the Arts London (UAL) is comprised of 6 Colleges, each with their own unique identity and heritage. Together they make up University of the Arts London. You'll choose to apply to 1 or more of the 6 Colleges based on the course(s) you select.

Our Colleges are located at different sites across London. As a student at UAL you will have a home base at your College but be able to access other College sites to use certain facilities, such as libraries and learning zones to meet other students.

Learn more about our Colleges.

Three students sat at an outside table at UAL's Wimbledon College of Arts talking
UAL students at Wimbledon College of Arts, © Alys Tomlinson

Subject areas

At UAL we specialise in the creative arts and as a university we offer over 200 courses across pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate levels – taught across our 6 Colleges. To make it a little easier to navigate these courses, we've grouped them into 19 subject areas.

Our subject areas are intended to help you self-select in terms of the area you'd like to study within.

Learn more about our subject areas.

Student make up artist applying lipstick to a model
Kiera Young, BA (Hons) Hair and Make-up for Fashion, London College of Fashion, © Alys Tomlinson

Pre-degree and Foundation

In the UK, students who do not have a background in a given subject are required to apply for a Foundation or Pre-degree course. This first year is instrumental to your education as it helps you build confidence as a creative thinker and broaden your approach to research and experimentation. This is the usual entry point for applicants from a Canadian high school, or for applicants who may have completed some college or university study in other subject areas.

We offer a range of full-time first year courses, some are designed specifically for international students. Canadian students need to have a High School Diploma and if the subject that you are applying to is studio based, you will also need a portfolio of work. Some of our non portfolio based courses do not require a pre-degree course. Watch our 'preparing a portfolio for foundation study' video to learn more.

After successful completion of the pre-degree/foundation year you can apply to apply to a 3-year BA course. Completing a pre-degree/foundation year allows you to apply to progress to a highly specialised BA. Like North America, it will generally take 4 years to complete a BA.

Learn more about our pre-degree courses

A sketchbook showing a colourful storyboard of a slow zoom into a cartoon girl's eyes
Cynthia Porta Fernandez, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Camberwell College of Arts, © Alys Tomlinson


Undergraduate courses are 3 years of full time study. They are highly specialised and do not offer majors or minors. During the course, students will refine their skills and expand their knowledge in a specific field of study to prepare for a career in art and design.

Acceptance into our courses (known as programs in Canada), requires a High School Diploma, a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or a relevant Pre-Degree qualification, as well as a portfolio of work, if your course requires it. We have several courses that offer a 4 year Integrated Masters. Watch our 'preparing a portfolio for undergraduate study' video to learn more.

Learn more about our undergraduate courses and studying from Andrea Ma

Undergraduate Guide for North America (PDF 1.3MB)

Close detail of a fashion student's dress using sportswear and colourful stitching
Paolina Russo, BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear, Central Saint Martins, © Vic Philips


If you chose to continue your studies directly from a Canadian undergraduate, you may require a Graduate Diploma, PG Certificate or PG Diploma. These courses have been designed to prepare you for MA level study by supplementing your experience to date.

MA courses in the UK are highly specialised so we expect applicants to have work and experience relevant to this level of study.

Postgraduate study at UAL includes a range of MA, MSc, MBA, MPhil and MRes courses. Application to a postgraduate course requires applicants to have an undergraduate degree in a related subject or additional previous experiential learning (APEL). In addition, some applications may require supplementary documentation such as a personal statement, a study proposal, an essay and a resume. A reference letter is only required for our MBA courses. Watch our 'preparing a portfolio for postgraduate study' video to learn more.

Learn more about our postgraduate courses and studying from Niki Jessup

Graduate Guide for North America (PDF 1.8MB)

A collection of black and white nature photographs featuring a small figurine hung on a black wall
Jessie Edwards-Thomas, MA Photography, London College of Communication, © Lewis Bush


Discover a PhD or MPhil awarded in any subject area at UAL with qualified and inspiring research supervision.

Join UAL's vibrant community of researchers. We offer theoretical and practice-based research programmes, leading to an MPhil or PhD. There are currently over 250 research students at UAL who enjoy full access to all our College resources as well as student training and support.

Find out more information about studying a PhD.

student reading book in library
Creative Processes with Adrienne Bennie, PhD Research Student by Alys Tomlinson