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Norwich University College of the Arts
Established 1845
Type Public
Principal Professor John Last
Location Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Nickname NUCA

Norwich University College of the Arts (commonly NUCA) is a higher education specialist art and design college, based on a single site in the centre of Norwich, in the United Kingdom. It is a dynamic, modern and creative community working with regional, national and international students and creative businesses.



The history of Norwich University College of the Arts dates back to 1845 when the Norwich School of Design was established to provide good 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), re-named 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 re-named Norwich University College of the Arts. Today it continues to thrive as an established Higher Education Institution, with a national reputation for excellence and a strong ethos as a creative academic community.

Current courses include

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

  • MA Animationand Sound Design
  • MA Art, Design and Education
  • MA Design
  • MA Design for Broadcast
  • MA Digital Arts
  • MA Drawing
  • MA Fine Art
  • MA Interactive Arts
  • MA Managing Creative Enterprise
  • MA Moving Image
  • MA Photographic Studies
  • MA Textile Culture
  • MA Writing the Visual
  • MPhil/PhDs


NUCA entered the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1996 with funding awarded to develop capability.

In the 2008 RAE submission 35% of NUCA’s submitted research was confirmed to be ‘world leading’ or ‘ internationally excellent’ and the Times Higher RAE ‘league table’ placed NUCA joint 14th out of 27 for single subject institutions. For all Art & Design provision it was joint 34th out of 72 HEIs.

The RAE report complemented NUCA’s ‘good regional context for research’ and ‘the significant impact of international initiatives’. Additionally it noted our national contribution evidenced by ‘the programming of major festivals and exhibitions’, ‘addresses to, and chairs of, major conferences’ and ‘influence evidenced through Editorial Board and committee membership’.

Staff research groups are focused in five areas:


The University College is located in Norwich city centre which is a 10 minute walk from the city's train station.

Francis House which is located on Redwell Street is the main reception for NUCA, while the academic buildings are another 2 minute walk from this point which offers almost all of the equipment you will need from a large Mac' and Windows suite, A1 style printing rooms, animation studios, professional sound booths, academic studios and much more besides.

There are 2 areas of accommodation for first year students: the Beechcroft complex off Sprowston Road, which is a short bus ride (or a 30-40 minute walk) away from the main building; and Nicholas Mews, which is located on the opposite side of Norwich from the train station,and is between 10 and 20 minutes' walking distance from most of NUCA's buildings.

University College status

In August 2008 Norwich School of Art and Design became Norwich University College of the Arts. This is by Order of the Privy Council, to reflect the granting of Taught Degree Awarding powers in November 2007. All students Starting after September 2008 will receive degrees from Norwich University College of that Arts.[1]


Notable alumni


  • William Stewart (1845-48)
  • George Stewart (1848-51)
  • John Wilkin Heaviside (1851-54)
  • Claude Lorraine Richard Wilson Nursey (1854-59)
  • Robert Cochrane (1859-84)
  • Joseph Woodhouse Stubbs (1884-87)
  • Walter Scott (1888-1919)
  • Charles Hobbis (1919-46)
  • Noel Spencer (1946-63)


  • Noel Spencer (1963-64)
  • John Brinkley (1964-68)
  • Robert Fox (1968-72)
  • Bill English (1972-88)
  • Professor Bruce Black (1988-2001)
  • Susan Tuckett (2001-08)
  • Professor John Last (since January 2009)

External links

Notes and references

  1. ^ NSAD Website (May 22, 2008), University College, new name from 1st August, NSAD Website,, retrieved 2008-07-12  


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