Welcome to Croydon School of Art

There has been a school of art in Croydon since 1868, so it brings a rich and fascinating legacy of British artistic and cultural life to the campus. Today, against a backdrop of the ever-changing landscape of Croydon, the school continues to inspire those who choose to study here.

Past students include some of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, including Malcolm McLaren, who went on to manage the Sex Pistols, Ray Davies, lead singer of the Kinks, painter Bridget Riley, a leader of the Op Art movement and international fashion designer John Rocha.

More recent alumni have included TV star Noel Fielding of Mighty Boosh and Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame. Turner Prize nominees Helen Chadwick and Sean Scully also studied here.

Our tutors, too, have included some of the biggest names in the art world (see below).

Croydon School of Art today

Croydon School of Art (CSoA) offers both college and degree courses across a range of disciplines encouraging creativity and expression. All college courses are awarded by the University of the Arts London and university level courses are validated by the prestigious University of Sussex: this means that you will have all the advantages of being taught in small, friendly groups by our inspirational staff, as well as gaining a diploma (GCSE or A level equivalent), foundation or degree from a top university at an affordable price. You can find out more about our University fees here.

Teaching: the personal touch

Although we are one of the largest university centres in the South East, there won't be hundreds of students on your CSoA course so all our students get to know their tutors really well and spend lots of their time in small groups and classes. This is at the core of how we work, and helps to create a vibrant creative community in which our students thrive and achieve. Our students tend to be very focused on where they want to be, and take full advantage of the opportunities they have to work closely with their tutors.

Collaboration for creativity

The opportunity for students to work with the latest computers and digital facilities within the open-plan studios also encourages collaboration between disciplines, allowing students to explore the current boundaries of visual language. CSoA also maintains links with its past by retaining much of its traditional screen printing, etching, relief printing and letterpress equipment.

  • Large traditional print rooms
  • Well resourced photographic studio
  • Workshops for resistant materials and casting
  • Large photographic darkrooms
  • Open plan degree studios
  • Sound recording studios
  • Dedicated performance theatre with two rehearsal rooms
  • Jackman Theatre for film and set design
  • Animation room with green screen facilities
  • A number of State of the art Mac suites including final cut pro X and creative cloud
  • State of the art Gerber digital pattern cutting machine
  • Fashion machine rooms
  • Parfitt Gallery


Making their mark: some of our alumni

Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973), children’s book author and illustrator

Helen Chadwick, conceptual artist. Turner Prize Nominee 1987

Ray Davies, musician and lead singer of The Kinks

Lucienne Day (1917-2010), textile designer

Noel Fielding, co-writer and star of The Mighty Boosh, team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and artist

Peter Hide: abstract sculptor

Ian MacNeil, scenic designer; 1994 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design for An Inspector Calls; 2009 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Billy Elliot The Musical

Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010), impresario and manager of the Sex Pistols

Juan Menoz (1953-2001), Spanish sculptor; retrospective at Tate Modern in 2008

Trevor Mills, folk singer-songwriter

Jill Murphy, illustrator

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968), author of Gormenghast books

John Rocha, fashion designer

Alex Rutterford, graphic designer

Sean Scully, painter; Turner Prize Nominee 1989 and 1993

Ruskin Spear CBE (1911-1990), painter


Tutor alumni

Phillip Boydell, designer of the Festival Typeface for the Festival of Britain in 1951

Derek Boshier, pop artist, designed the cover of The Clash’s 2nd Song book

Bridget Riley, painter; one of the foremost proponents of Op Art

Denis Masi, experimental artist

Bruce McLean, artist