School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries


This School includes courses covering art and design history in a historical and theoretical context. The school also includes courses which explicitly link to one of the largest economic sectors in Britain – the creative industries. Courses are taught within the context of a well-established and leading creative facility which allows you to immerse yourself in the creative process, working and collaborating with students from across the disciplines.


The School is made up of the following departments:



Department of Creative and Cultural Industries



What are the creative and cultural industries?


The UK's official definition of the creative industries is 'those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property' - and includes thirteen sectors: including advertising, architecture, arts and culture, craft, design, fashion, film and photography.


"In today's competitive environment, it is as important to understand how to harness and realise creativity as it is to be creative. The creative sector thrives on ideas and depends on people to help realise them. The new courses at FADA will provide creative businesses with graduates that have commercial as well as articulation and interpretation skills - a growth area in the market."

     – Christine Losecaat, MBE FRSA (former creative industries advisor to UK Trade & Investment, founder of Little Dipper and a senior business strategy, marketing and creative specialist).


Why work in the creative industries?


The creative and cultural industries are a source of innovation and business model redesign that is influencing the wider economy.

The UK is an innovation-driven economy: more than 60% of productivity growth came from innovation. From fashion to film, architecture to advertising, UK creatives have a well-earned reputation for challenging conventions and embracing the new with professionalism and flair.

The creative and cultural industries are the future of the UK economy, as the large developing economies cannot use their financial resources and scale to compete against or replace them. The creative industries add £84bn to UK economy and new creative jobs are being added at three times the UK average. London is the acknowledged tech start-up capital of Europe with other start-up clusters in Cambridge, north west England, and Scotland.


Kingston University tops the table for producing most graduate business start-ups in the annual Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey and the UK has seven out of the top 50 universities in the world, with London considered as the global capital of higher education.


Its creative and performance education system is much imitated. The UK has a network of admired art schools; architecture is taught at more than 40 UK centres, and the UK was an early leader in developing dedicated digital design and games development courses.


Download a booklet about the undergraduate courses (133Kb PDF).


For more information and links about the creative economy, visit


Find out more about our courses:


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Department of Critical and Historical Studies

The Department of Critical and Historical Studies provides cutting edge teaching, learning and research across a broad range of visual and material culture. It lies at the heart of the Faculty where it delivers not only its own suite of courses, but also a range of history and theory modules into the undergraduate provision across the Schools of Design and Art and Architecture.


As part of the Kingston School of Art (our new name from September 2017) you will find yourself studying in a creatively dynamic environment, alongside the artists and designers of the future. Creative practice of all kinds is central to our approach in the department and underpins our courses at all levels. Our undergraduate BA Art and Design History and Practice exposes students to studio work, helping them to experience the kinds of practices that they will study the history and theory of. The half field BA Fine Art/Art History course is delivered in conjunction with the Department of Fine Art. Our postgraduate courses offer a world-leading, industry-facing curriculum in areas such as Art and Design History, Curation, Museums and Galleries and Art Market Appraisal. Our postgraduate courses are underpinned by close partnerships with several cultural institutions including the Design Museum. All of our delivery places emphasis on enquiry-based learning, and collaborative and group-based projects, which will encourage you to develop skills relevant to the world of work beyond the university.

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Department of Foundation Studies


The Foundation course provides a unique and thorough grounding in a broad range of areas within the creative industries. It prepares you for entry to degree-level art and design programmes, nationally and internationally.

The fast-paced modular curriculum, taught within a professional and supportive studio environment, helps you develop both conceptual and practical skills to make the most of the next level of your education. You will study within one of the leading art and design schools in the world with some of the most extensive workshop facilities available anywhere.

The course provides a thorough grounding in four main areas:

  • Visual communication – graphic design, advertising, packaging, bookbinding, art direction, film, illustration, moving image, making.

  • Three-dimensional design – architecture, landscape architecture, interior, product and furniture design, prop and set design.

  • Fashion – menswear, womenswear, costume, fashion journalism and constructed textiles.

  • Fine art – painting, mixed media, printmaking, performance and photography.

Find out more about the Foundation course.

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