Do you love performing, drawing, writing, painting, film-making, taking pictures, designing or creating? You've come to the right place. Welcome home.

The University of Cumbria Institute of Arts is a special place for the study, practice and enjoyment of arts and culture, and it has been so since the Carlisle College of Art first opened on this site in 1950. It's an art school at heart, so you will feel at home here.


Studying here means being enriched by all that arts and culture has to offer, as you take part in industry events and shows; attend lectures, exhibitions and performances by visiting industry leaders; and rub shoulders with 1,000 other artists and creatives studying an array of artistic disciplines. It’s a great opportunity for building lasting friendships, networking, working in collaborative projects, and forging your career in the creative industry. 


Our graduates have achieved amazing things from owning their own creative business to working with the likes of Disney, BBC, ITV, Pixar, TT Games, Conde Naste, The Daily Telegraph, MTV and Time Out to name only a few.


So for the creatives and creators looking for a place to belong and hone their craft and skills...


Let your passion take you on a journey to explore your creative potential and bring your ideas to life. Immerse yourself in a supportive community of like-minded artists to find new ways to see the world and new ways to express yourself. 


Study Art & Design, Creative Writing & English LiteratureMedia Arts or Performing Arts at the University of Cumbria and let your curiosity and creativity fuel your future. We've got you.


93% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2018).

Partners & Memberships


In 2018, we had the privilege of welcoming Arts Council England's chief executive Darren Henley OBE to our Brampton Road and Ambleside campuses. Here he gives his thought on the visit and of our university.



Art & Design: Create a bright future

Our purpose-built studios give you the space (and light!) you need to work individually and collectively, and our workshops are supported by dedicated technicians. Former students include internationally acclaimed artists and a Turner prize winner. So why not join us and let your creativity and curiosity fuel your future!

Find out more about Art & Design
The Degree Show Artwork by Margrét Loftsdóttir

Media Arts: Realise your vision

With studios, edit suites, IT labs and kit to loan from sliders to drones, DSLR to high definition – you can really bring your ideas to life! Specialist software such as 3ds Max, Maya, XSI and Zbrush is available in dedicated high-performance suites. Our graduates are working in a range of roles in the industry for companies such as Disney, Pixar, BBC Productions, MTV (Berlin), ITV Productions, Company Pictures, Planet 24, Nickelodeon, Lionhead Studios and Independent Productions. To date, our students have won 27 Royal Television Society awards – is your project next?

Discover our Media Arts courses
Students outside filming for a film, 2 actors sat on a wall, 3 working behind the camera

Performing Arts: Showcase your talent

Our three performance spaces are the hub for our intensively practical degrees, staging over 300 performances a year. We bring the industry to you, hiring over 40 visiting directors, choreographers and musical directors to work on our performance projects. This enables you to network and seek placements and jobs. Our London Showcase at the end of the course gives you the opportunity to seek agency representation and meet casting directors. So go beyond the boudaries and bring your passion for performance to life!

Explore our Performing Arts courses Stanwix Theatre
student performance with female pointing and looking at male, with 2 females in the background

What's on

We offer a rich diversity of events and opportunities throughout the year, including theatrical productions, exhibitions and student and artist-led activities.

Browse Events



To find out more about the performing arts and exhibition facilities we have at Brampton Road, see below.

Stanwix Theatre

Vallum Gallery

girl with red hair

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