About us

The Art and Creative Design shared modules in level 4 and 5 prepare our students for the competitive job market, allowing them to gain essential skills for industry. On any of our courses we cover techniques, processes and practices that allow students to access expanded practices and extended skills.

All courses within the Arts and Creative Design cluster share three things in common, learning by doing, learning by problem solving and learning by exploring; these three are essential when equipping you with the skills for industry.  

The subject Professional Life (Mental Wealth) skills which are largely employability-focused, will again these will be taught within and alongside studio practice projects in Professional Life modules, delivered to all levels on a same day, allowing lateral teaching between cohorts.

You’ll work in a well-equipped, studio-based environment and enjoy access to free equipment hire and dedicated exhibition spaces and studios. We have production areas for design, illustration, painting, digital imaging, 16mm film and printmaking, and fabrication workshops that include casting, firing, woodwork, metalwork and bronze casting, laser cutting and 3D printing.

Our facilities

The Art and Creative Design subject area brings together a number of disciplines that work collectively within studio based environments. We also have workshops that support your learning by providing specialist training in areas such as casting, welding and metalwork for sculpture and model making, a wood workshop, photographic darkrooms and 16mm film and moving image studios for video and photography-based work.

A traditional printmaking workshop supports the production of screenprinting, litho and etching. Additionally the school runs an equipment store that allows students to borrow high-end digital stills and video cameras and lenses, professional lighting, sound recording and AV equipment. Computing facilities combine Mac and PC labs with digital large-format printing and 3d printing, alongside laser cutters.

Students have access to the University library, which is open 24/7 during term time, and its facilities including computers, photocopiers and printers. Students will also have access to Subject Librarian, whose role is to help students find suitable research materials and other resources for use in essays, assignments and projects.

Our unique selling points

    You'll be taught by major art figures such as sculptor Richard Wilson and Turner Prize winner Grenville Davey.

    Our students get noticed. They've been winners or nominees in many competitions such as The Times Big Picture photographic award, the Hix art award and the Jerwood Drawing Prize.

    We always keep your future career in mind. We're affiliated to the Association of Illustrators and the Associations of Photographers. Our photography department also has industry links with Ilford, Canon, Calumet, Metro and Manfrotto.

    Our staff

    Find out more about our staff on our School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE).

    Visit the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering

    We prioritise the display of student work

    We offer live presentation opportunities not only in the vibrant London scene but elsewhere in the UK and internationally.

    Rather than students dropping off a 'production line' we are interested in the individual having a fresh perspective and approach (divergent thinking). Those fresh ideas can be tested, using convergent and critical thinking. It's this method that the creative industries need its new talent to have to be able to succeed in 4iR and beyond.

    What we're researching

    Our main research activities focus on sculpture and installation, independent artists' film and video, and visual culture - engaging with cultural politics and identity.

    We've maintained an international reputation for artistic innovation and research excellence, largely through the continued output of our established world-leading practitioners in sculpture and installation, and through our research in independent artists' film.

    William Bishop-Stephens, programme leader for Animation and Illustration, had the honour of being invited to the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where his animated work, 'Two Films About Loneliness', was screened in the short film category.

    Arts Researching, woman jumping high in the air, black and white photograph
    Art Matters Event: posters on the wall

    Graphic Design at UEL offers everyone a chance to operate in an economy which is moving further and further into the realms of the creative industries.

    Joe Pleass

    Graphic Design


    We always keep your future career in mind. We're affiliated to the Association of Illustrators and the Associations of Photographers, while our photography department also has industry links with Ilford, Canon, Calumet, Metro and Manfrotto.

    You can follow our students who have gone on to succeed in the arts world in diverse areas such as choreography, acting, dancing, composing, sound artistry, songwriting, arts education, event organising, teaching, and community arts.

    The Cluster Professional Life (Mental Wealth) skills which are largely employability-focused, will again these will be taught within and alongside studio practice projects in Professional Life modules, delivered to all levels on a same day, allowing lateral teaching between cohorts.

    At UEL, you'll have access to:

    • Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
    • Gradscore, a groundbreaking electronic tool that allows you to complete a mock application and find out if you'd be shortlisted for interview. It has been created exclusively for UEL with help from leading employers and employability experts.
    • UEL Skills Academy, where external professionals deliver sessions on the competencies most prized by graduate employers.
    • Internships, placements and volunteering opportunities from our work placements team.
    • Professional mentoring scheme, matching students with staff from major companies.
    • Networking opportunities and annual careers fair.
    • Support with setting up your own business.

    Career Coach

    Our dedicated Careers team works closely with employers to provide up-to-date information about the skills and experience they're looking for. They will support you during your studies and after you graduate.

    Our location in one of Europe's largest regeneration areas and our extensive links to local employers will also give you access to fantastic internships and placements. From heavy industry to high-tech, health and social care to the arts, there are so many opportunities right on our doorstep.

    Use our online Career Coach to find out the different career paths your chosen subject area can lead you to. Get information on specific careers, job roles, potential wages and available jobs in the sector. Or take a quick quiz to find a career to match your personality type!

    Explore career coach

    Current partner links

    Creative Access 

    is working to change the face of the creative industries with the single purpose of providing young BAME people,
    paid training opportunities in creative companies and supporting them into full-time employment.

    Brolly Productions
    As a BME led company we aim to engage new and diverse audiences; especially among those who may not have attended an arts event
    before. We believe that both the stage and the company should reflect the diversity of our audience.

    Blue Skies
    Blue Sky Actors are Stratford Circus Art Centre’s resident theatre company for actors with learning disabilities and difficulties.

    Speech Bubbles: London Bubble
    Supporting children to develop communication, confidence and wellbeing

    Stratford Circus
    Stratford Circus Arts Centre is a vibrant place to create and experience art through world-class theatre, dance, music and circus and
    visual exhibitions and we present work for families, young people and adults. We support national, international and East London artists to create new work that is relevant to local people, connecting artists and audiences to help them find authentic voices.

    Clean Break
    A women’s theatre company changing lives and changing minds – on stage, in prison and in the community.

    School 21
    We are a new, state-funded, mixed, 4 to 18 school set up to prepare all our children for success in the 21st century.

    Haringey Shed
    Haringey Shed is an inclusive theatre and performing arts company for children and young people. We provide a range of term time after school activities and holiday programmes as well as outreach work in the community, working in local schools, nurseries and community centres.

    Hackney Children's Theatre
    Hackney Children’s Theatre is east London’s newest project presenting theatre for children.

    Tricycle Theatre
    The Tricycle views the world through a variety of lenses, bringing unheard voices into the mainstream. It presents high quality and innovative work, which provokes debate and emotionally engages. Located in Brent, the most diverse borough in London, the Tricycle is a local venue with an international vision.

    LADA (Live Arts Dev Agency)
    Established in 1999, the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) is the world’s leading organisation for Live Art, producing specialized projects, opportunities, resources and publications for those who make, watch, research, study, teach, produce, present, write about and archive Live Art, and creating conditions in which diversity, innovation and risk in contemporary culture can thrive.

    Since 1981 LIFT has been pioneering new forms of theatre, presenting spectacular performances and moments of magic in every corner of the capital. A year-round programme culminates in the world-renowned biennial festival that transforms the city into a stage.

    Bobby Baker & Daily Life Ltd. 
    Daily Life Ltd creates powerful art that changes the way people think about mental health.

    Lewish Youth Theatre
    Lewisham Youth Theatre delivers participatory drama and performance projects with young people aged 3-24 who live or learn in Lewisham, with the aim that everyone who takes part will gain increased wellbeing and life chances. We believe that participation in theatre leads to the development and empowerment of young people. We commit to ensuring that this opportunity is available to all young people in Lewisham and that no-one should be excluded because of economic or social background.

    Access All Areas
    Award-winning, urban, disruptive performance by artists with learning disabilities and/or autism

    Half Moon Young People’s Theatre
    Celebrating the very best of children’s theatre and work for young audiences at our Limehouse venue.

    Croydonites Festival of New Theatre
    Croydonites is a festival of contemporary theatre and performance from artists based in Croydon and around the UK.

    Boundless Theatre
    Boundless Theatre Company is a designer-led organization that believes that theatre needs to be inquisitive and innovative. We represent the diversity of our community by collaborating with multi-ethnic and multilingual artists from all over the world. We are committed to creating productions of new and existing work that pushes the boundaries of cultural conception by reinventing stories, and by the creation of imaginative, visually mesmerizing theatre.

    Magic Me
    Magic Me is an arts charity that brings the generations together to build a stronger, safer community. Our projects often link unlikely partners. Young people aged 8+ and adults aged 60+ team up through shared, creative activity. Intergenerational groups meet on a weekly basis in schools, museums, older peoples clubs, care homes, community and cultural organisations. Projects are led by our team of freelance creative artists: musicians, dancers, photographers, printmakers, writers and drama specialists. They design activities to stimulate conversation and an exchange of ideas. Participants are often diverse in culture and faith as well as age group.

    Our multi-sensory process of working creatively should be of value in itself. Using a full range of technical resources including lighting, sound and special effects the children will be encouraged to get involved with all aspects of the workshop. They will touch, move, listen, play and create, gradually converting their workspace into an imaginary environment.

    The Challenge
    We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and
    connecting with others.

    Unicorn Theatre
    The Unicorn is the UK's leading professional theatre for young audiences, dedicated to inspiring and invigorating young people of all ages, perspectives and abilities, and empowering them to explore the world – on their own terms – through theatre.

    Young Vic:
    At the Young Vic we tell stories that change the way people look at the world. Our shows are created by some of the world's great artists - of this generation and the next. With roots deep in our neighbourhoods, we reach out to theatre-makers across the globe. We have the most diverse and engaged audience in London, enjoying work of the highest quality at low prices. In our award-winning super-flexible theatre, you'll never feel you're in the same place twice.

    PAL (Participatory Arts London): a collective voice for people that design, produce and facilitate participatory arts in London. Reflecting on our practice; pursuing peer-to-peer learning.

    Mousetrap Theatre Projects
    Mousetrap Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity dedicated to bringing the magic of theatre into the lives of young people.

    Gendered Intelligence
    Our mission is to increase understandings of gender diversity through creative ways.
    Our vision is of a world where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued.
    We work predominantly with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives; we particularly specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25.

    Undergraduate courses

    BA (Hons) Animation

    Study animation at UEL and learn from award winning specialist tutors and animators working in industry. 

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    BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation

    BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation will give you the opportunity to develop a practice which blurs the line between animation and illustration, something that has become more common in industry, and gain skills in both Animation and Illustration.

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    BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

    Studying on the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course will prepare you for a successful career in fashion and more. You will be encouraged to experiment and develop emerging technology such as AR/VR and eg. 3D technologies designed to give you edge in the competitive job market.

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    BA (Hons) Design Interaction

    Studying on BA (Hons) Design Interaction with Foundation Year is a great way to introduce yourself to the university experience should you not have either an Art and Design background or enough UCAS points.

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    BA (Hons) Film

    We combine theory and practice, teaching you not just how to make films and videos but throwing you into every aspect of the film world, from screenwriting to cinema history.

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    BA (Hons) Fine Art

    The BA Fine Art offers  a dynamic, interdisciplinary learning  creative  environment  that can lead to a career path in the creative industries.

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    BA (Hons) Fine Art Technology

    Studying on BA (Hons) Fine Art Technology you will be in the forefront of future-focused exploration experimenting and developing emerging technology such as AR/VR (XR), AI and digital fabrication in the context of a fine art studio culture and technology.

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    BA (Hons) Graphic Design

    In a time of emerging automation and artificial intelligence it will be the designers, the thinkers and the problem solvers who will shape the world to come. Being agile, multi-skilled and adaptable will be key to employability in a global and dynamic job market.

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    BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration

    Studying on BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration (Visual Communication) you will have freedom to explore both graphic design and illustration without the stigma of working between or within subjects.

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    BA (Hons) Illustration

    Illustration - the art of communicating ideas, telling stories and expressing themes visually; a progressive and eclectic applied art form, with real purpose! At UEL we strive to train our Illustration students to be as dynamic and multi directional as possible, becoming confident, problem solving professionals hell bent on pushing their work over the cutting edge!

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    BA (Hons) Photography

    We will support you to gain advanced skills in photographic production while developing a sophisticated understanding of the historical and contemporary uses of photography. Our BA (Hons) photography course is perfect for budding professional photographers.

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    Postgraduate courses

    MA Filmmaking

    Our innovative and strikingly diverse course will equip you to integrate the theory and practice of film, video and new screen media at an advanced level.

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    MA Fine Art

    Our course encourages you to develop your ambitious and innovative work within the supportive atmosphere of studio-based practice and under the close supervision of some of Britain's leading artists.

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    Prof Doc Fine Art

    This programme is the UK's longest-running Professional Doctorate in Fine Art and is equivalent to a PhD. It is designed for artists working across a range of media and methodologies who wish to make their practice the basis for doctoral study.

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    Our Schools

    Academic staff and teaching at UEL is divided into six Schools.

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    When you apply for postgraduate study at UEL, we'll give you all the support you need - from advice about fees and funding to guidance from tutors.

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