Norwich University of the Arts

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) is a public university, based on a single site in the centre of Norwich, in the United Kingdom. It is a higher education specialising in art, design and media.

Norwich University of the Arts was founded as Norwich School of Design in 1845 and has a long history of arts education. It celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2015.

NUA is the smaller of the two universities in Norwich, the other being the University of East Anglia.


The history of Norwich University of the Arts dates back to 1845 when the Norwich School of Design was established to provide designers for local industries. Its founders were the artists and followers of the ‘Norwich School of Painters’, the only provincial British group to establish an international reputation for landscape painting.

Degree-level provision has been offered since 1965, when it was approved to offer the Diploma in Art and Design, validated by the National Council for Diplomas in Art and Design (NCDAD). After 1965 the School of Art made its own mark on the national art and design scene when twin strengths in Painting and Graphic Design emerged under a group of exceptional practitioners and teachers. From 1975, after NCDAD’s merger with the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA), the School offered its first BA Honours degree courses in Fine Art and Graphic Design, validated by CNAA.

In 1989 the School merged with Great Yarmouth College of Art to form the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (NIAD). In 1991 Norfolk Institute of Art and Design become an Associate College of the new Anglia Polytechnic with the polytechnic assuming validation responsibilities from CNAA from September 1992. This agreement extended to postgraduate provision, with the first MA course being introduced in 1993 (MA Fine Art) and the first research degree student being registered in 1995.

In 1994 NIAD was incorporated as a Higher Education Institution (HEI), renamed as Norwich School of Art and Design and re-launched with a new corporate identity.

In November 2007 the School was granted the power to award its own degrees up to Masters level and was renamed Norwich University College of the Arts.

In January 2013 the institution was given permission by the Privy Council to become a University and became Norwich University of the Arts.[2]


The university campus comprises seven buildings located in Norwich city centre.

Duke Street building which houses the library and student’s union.

Francis House which is located on Redwell Street is the main reception for NUA, while the majority of academic facilities are a two-minute walk away, along the pedestrianised St Georges Street, with additional sites on the neighbouring Duke Street and St Andrews Street.

Teaching facilities include a large Apple Mac and Windows suite, A1 style printing rooms, wood and metal workshops with a functioning forge, stop-motion animation studios, professional sound booths, open-plan design and illustration studios, constructed textiles and fashion workshops, lecture theatre and comprehensive library.

There are three areas of accommodation for year one students: the newly developed All Saints Green halls of residence comprising a total of 228 rooms, the Beechcroft complex off Sprowston Road and Harvard Court.

Organisation and structure

The Vice-Chancellor is Professor John Last and the first Chancellor, appointed on the promotion of the institution to university status in January 2013, Sir John Hurt.[3][4]

Academic profile

Undergraduate courses are offered in a range of art and design fields, including Animation, Architecture, Design for Publishing, Fashion, Fashion Communication and Promotion, Film and Moving Image Publishing, Fine Art, Games Art and Design, Graphic Communication, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Textile Design and VFX. Four year degrees are offered in the fields of Film and Moving Image Production, Fine Art, Games Art and Design, and Graphic Design.[7]

Postgraduate courses include MAs in Communication Design, Curation, Fashion, Fine Art, Games, Moving Image and Sound, Photography, and Textile Design.[8]

MPhil and PhD research degrees are also offered in many arts, design, and media areas.[9]


NUA entered the national Research Excellence Framework in 2014 with funding awarded to develop capability. In the 2014 REF submission, 55% of NUA’s submitted research was confirmed to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

NUA’s research has been judged to be particularly successful in terms of its impact on the broader cultural and economic landscape: 40% of NUA research has been classified as ‘world leading’ and 50% as ‘internationally excellent’.[10]

Norwich University of the Arts is a founding member of CREST, the Consortium for Research Excellence Support and Training, a group of higher education institutes that does interdisciplinary work related to research excellence and research focused staff and student training.[11]

Student’s Union

The student’s union represents all students and focuses on student experience, support, and activities.[12] The union also has student offers and discount bus passes. It is affiliated with the National Union of Students (United Kingdom).

Notable people

Alumni include:[13]

  • Michael Andrews, artist
  • Brian Bolland, comic artist on Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Glenn Brown, Turner Prize nominee
  • Keith Chapman, creator of Bob the Builder
  • Stuart Craig, production designer on the Harry Potter film series
  • Susan Gunn, painter and Sovereign European Art Prize winner
  • Neil Innes, writer for Monty Python and member of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
  • Leafcutter John, jazz musician for Mercury Prize nominees Polar Bear
  • Zebedee Jones, painter with works in the Tate Collection
  • Robert Kennedy, publisher, painter, author and founder of MuscleMag International
  • Bernard Meadows, modernist sculptor
  • Alfred Munnings, artist and president of the Royal Academy
  • Peter Rodulfo, artist and sculptor
  • Colin Self, pop artist
  • George Skipper, architect
  • Tim Stoner, winner of Beck’s Futures Prize
  • Horace Tuck, landscape artist
  • Sonja Vectomov, musician/composer
  • Charles Mayes Wigg, landscape artist


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c “2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile” (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. Jump up^ About – Norwich University of the Arts
  3. Jump up^ John Hurt appointed Norwich University of the Arts chancellor – BBC News
  4. Jump up^ [1][dead link]
  5. Jump up^ “University League Table 2017”. The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. Jump up^ “The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017”. Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Undergraduate – Norwich University of the Arts
  8. Jump up^ Postgraduate – Norwich University of the Arts
  9. Jump up^ Apply for a Research Degree | Norwich University of the Arts
  10. Jump up^ [2][dead link]
  11. Jump up^ Norwich University of the Arts | CREST
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up^ Notable Alumni – Norwich University of the Arts