Leeds College of Art

United Kingdom

Leeds College of Art is one of only a few independent art schools in the UK. We are a small and friendly College with 170 years history in teaching art and design, offering a close-knit and creative community in which to grow as an artist or designer.

Hundreds of nationalities provide a truly multi-cultural atmosphere, and bring new ideas, diversity and wider perspectives. Our courses are internationally-recognised.

Famous alumni include Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst, Danny Sangra and Omar Kashoura. However, we never allow complacency. We work extremely hard to remain a leading centre for art and design education, choosing from among the brightest international potential to produce some of the most sought-after creative talent.

Leeds College of Art is the highest ranked independent art college in the UK in the Guardian Education League Tables 2015.


Leeds is home to internationally renowned galleries such as the Henry Moore Institute and the Leeds Art Gallery along with being at the heart of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle. It also home to many new independent galleries such as the Leeds Gallery, White Cloth Gallery, Mexico and The Tetley.

Leeds is the only English city outside of London to have its own theatre, opera house, ballet company and national museum. Its home to Opera North and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, where you can see world-class performances at student discounts. Leeds is home to The Royal Armouries, the UK's National Museum of Arms and Armour, one of the largest collections of arms and armour in the world. Leeds also has the spectacular Grand Theatre, which hosts comedy shows, ballet, pantomime, along with the City Varieties Music Hall, one of the UK's most preserved Victorian Music Halls. There are multiplex and art-house cinemas, (the Hyde Park Picture House is one of the oldest in the country opening in 1914), comedy clubs, bowling alleys, traditional ale houses, student pubs, plush city-centre bars, smaller clubs and super-clubs.

Leeds is wide-awake around the clock. There’s a huge range of live music in hundreds of venues around the city. Whether you’re into house, dub-step, indie, rock, hip hop, techno, funk, soul, folk, punk, jazz or classical, it’s all waiting for you here. The new Leeds Arena has recently opened and there is also the O2 Academy, the Wardrobe, Stylus, The HiFi Club, Nation of Shopkeepers, and more—including the charming Brudenell Social Club, recently voted Best Small Venue in the North East by NME.

Leeds is one of the UK’s most prosperous and fastest-growing cities, with an employment rate above the national average (good news for students who’d like to remain in Leeds after graduation or looking for part-time work). Besides being a national centre of excellence for the creative industries, it’s the biggest centre for printing, packaging and publishing as well as the biggest financial, legal and business services centre outside London. The Leeds City Region economy is worth £50bn per annum and has a workforce of 1.4 million.

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Key staff:

Simone Wonnacott

Simone Wonnacott


Simon Thorpe 1

Simon Thorpe
Director of Studies, Professional and External Development


Randall Whittaker

Randall Whittaker
Director of Studies, Higher Education, Enhancement and Research