Photo gallery: History of the Norwich University of the Arts

Norwich University of the Arts is preparing to celebrate its 170th year. Photo: Norwich University o

Norwich University of the Arts is preparing to celebrate its 170th year. Photo: Norwich University of the Arts - Credit: Norwich University of the Arts

With the Norwich University of the Arts announcing major expansion plans, we look back at its history.

The Norwich School of Design was founded in 1845 by artists and followers of the Norwich School of Painters, described as 'the only provincial British group to establish an international reputation for landscape painting'.

It was approved to offer degree-level provision through the Diploma in Art and Design in 1965, after which its twin strengths in painting and graphic design emerged.

Its first BA Honours degree courses were offered in 1975, validated by the Council for National Academic Awards.

Great Yarmouth College of Art incorporated into the School in 1989, and in 1993 it introduced its first MA course through an academic agreement with Anglia Polytechnic.


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It was re-named as Norwich School of Art and Design in 1994, when it was incorporated as a higher education institution, and the following year its first research degree student registered for PhD study.

A further name change came in 2008 when it was given the power to award degrees up to Masters level, and it became Norwich University College of the Arts.

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In 2012 it was granted university status, becoming the Norwich University of the Arts and appointing its first chancellor, the actor John Hurt.

Last year it announced £3m of funding for a Digital Centre for Innovation in the city centre.

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