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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Living in London

Start your creative future in the UK’s vibrant capital.

Ranked No. 1 in the world in the 2019 QS Best Student Cities list, it’s no wonder that thousands of students from across the globe choose to study in London.

Its world-class universities, thriving cultural sector and abundance of start-ups and enterprises make it the perfect place for our students to develop their creative practice and build their future careers.

Museums and galleries

London has one of the most vibrant arts and culture scenes in the world. The city is home to over 200 theatres, 170 museums and countless independent art galleries and cultural spaces. Larger galleries such as the Tate Modern and The Royal Academy of Arts host special events called ‘Lates’, where doors are opened after hours to host DJs, performances and private views. Nearly all London museums are free to enter, with discounted rates available to students for special exhibitions.

Visitors reading comic books during the Manga theme Show at British Museum Friday Lates

The British Museum, Bloomsbury

Interior of the House of Illustration gallery
House of Illustration, Kings Cross

House of Illustration, Kings Cross

Ceiling and interiors of the Tate Britain art gallery
Tate Britain, Millbank

Tate Britain, Millbank

Green spaces

Unlike many other large cities, London is famous for its abundance of parks and green spaces. From the gigantic Hyde Park and St James’s Park in the West, to the wilds of Hampstead Heath in the North, there are endless opportunities to escape the noise of the city and immerse yourself in nature. If you're after breathtaking views of the city, nothing beats Primrose Hill on a warm summer evening, while the stunning gardens at Kew regularly host art installations and other events.

Pub on the Park in London Fields park, Hackney

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Myatt's Field Park, Camberwell

Myatt's Field Park, Camberwell

Path in Wimbledon Common, south west London
Wimbledon and Putney Commons

Wimbledon Common

The world in one city

Home to more than eight million people, London is one of the world’s most multicultural and diverse cities. The sprawling capital is made up of many different areas and neighbourhoods, each boasting its own unique atmosphere, architecture and local community. Much of the inner city can be explored by foot, while a bus ride of any length costs just £1.50. Here’s our guide to some of the city’s must-visit areas.

  • North

    Kings Cross

    The old industrial area of Kings Cross has been transformed in recent years and is now home to the Central Saint Martins campus and its iconic Granary Building. The creation of the Coal Drops Yard shopping development has seen the area become a cultural and social hub, while global businesses such as Google have their headquarters next door. The British Library,  just a few minutes' walk from the station, makes for an inspiring location to lose yourself in reading.

    Camden

    Most people know Camden for its famous Camden Market, and the area remains at the heart of the city’s alternative fashion and music scene. It plays host to plenty of intimate venues, as well as larger spaces like the legendary Roundhouse. The Camden Lock area has some lovely canal walks, with the market just next door offering an array of street food and drinks.

    Golders Green

    Home to a largely Jewish community, this beautiful neighbourhood is full of amazing Kosher cafes and restaurants, quaint bookshops and the London Jewish Cultural Centre, located in the former home of the famous ballerina Ana Pavlova. The high street is known for its range of local food places, from Turkish and Lebanese to Thai and Iranian.

  • East

    Shoreditch and Brick Lane

    Whether day or night, Shoreditch is always bursting with life. Brick Lane is packed full of vintage shops, small art galleries and curry houses, while the bars and clubs on Shoreditch High Street are popular with students and locals alike. The cozy Electric Cinema is a film lover's dream, while Boxpark offers live sport, world cuisine and DJ nights, all in one giant venue.

    Stratford

    One of London’s newest cultural hubs, the Stratford area underwent major redevelopment for the London 2012 Olympics. It now has a wealth of sports facilities open to the public, including the London Aquatics Centre. Alternatively, you can follow the canal walk into nearby Hackney Wick to discover a local community packed with arts venues - our favourite is Grow, Hackney, which hosts everything from club nights to zine launches.

    Waltham Forest

    Waltham Forest has one of the most diverse ethnic populations in the UK and is home to large communities of Eastern Europeans and British Pakistanis. You’ll find a variety of architecture, restaurants and shops, along with the beautiful William Morris Gallery. If you're after something a bit more unusual, God's Own Junkyard is stuffed full of art pieces created entirely from neon lights.

  • South

    Camberwell and Peckham

    Camberwell is a lively and unique area of London, with the famous Rye Lane running through its centre, offering everything from kebab shops to street markets. Nearby Peckham is home to various creative spaces, including Peckham Levels - a space for artists to create and sell their wares that has made its home in an old carpark. Nearby, local favourite the Peckhamplex cinema allows you to see a film for just £5, anytime.

    Brixton

    Declared the unofficial capital of the British African-Caribbean community, nearly a quarter of Brixton’s population is of African or Caribbean descent. There are countless Caribbean restaurants and music shops, along with jazz bars and clubs on every corner. Hosting a combination of Mexican food, resident DJs and reggae nights, Brixton Hootananny is a favourite with students.

    New Malden

    Known as ‘Little Korea’, the New Malden area boasts over 20 different Korean restaurants and cafes as well as Korean-language churches and nursery schools. The area also hosts the Korean Food Festival every year, and you won’t have to venture far to find a karaoke bar or two.

  • West and Central

    Soho and the West End

    The West End is London’s entertainment district, known for its huge numbers of theatres, restaurants and bars. Just next door is Soho - creative, dynamic and filled with people day and night, it hosts many of the city’s best-known comedy clubs. Soho is also known for its high concentration of LGBTQ+ venues, and is a hub for Pride celebrations each year, while nearby Chinatown is packed full of Chinese supermarkets, bakeries, and over 80 different Chinese restaurants.

    Kensington and Chelsea

    The centre of the 1960s cultural scene in London, Chelsea is home to the famous King’s Road, a huge high street packed with luxury fashion stores and boutiques. It’s a beautiful area to wander around on a weekend afternoon, and it also hosts many of the city’s most famous museums and galleries – try the Saatchi Gallery and the V&A to get started, or visit the nearby Design Museum, which recently hosted a major Stanley Kubrick exhibition in collaboration with UAL.

    Southall

    Nicknamed ‘Little Punjab’, Southall is a neighbourhood thriving with Indian and south Asian culture. With shops packed full of items, from traditional clothing and jewellery to spices and sweet desserts, you can find food from nearly every country in South Asia. Tooting, a lively neighbourhood in the south west of London, is another area known for its large South Asian community and delicious curry houses.

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Student services

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Student careers

We offer events, advice, mentoring and temporary work to support UAL students and graduates.

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Additional and living costs

Explore our guide on the rough costs of essentials

Join us in London this October

Accommodation

Explore our accommodation options across London.

Courses with places available

There's still time to join UAL on an undergraduate course this October.

Guide to applying

Information about applying through Clearing to start in October 2020.