The Northern School of Art, or The Middlesbrough School of Art as it was first named, dates back to 1870. The Government School of Art, based in Hartlepool, was first opened in Church Street Atheneum, Hartlepool in 1874. In 1897, it moved to the top floor of Lauder Street Technical College where it remained until moving in 1939 to the vacated Church Square School.
The West Hartlepool College of Art remained there until the building was completely destroyed by fire in 1966. The new College of Art and Design opened on the same Church Square site in 1968, where it remains to this day – a true School of Art in every sense of the word. In approximately 1979, the College changed its name to Cleveland College of Art & Design and this remained the case until September 2018, when the College officially became The Northern School of Art. Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, as towns, have changed dramatically over the last 140 years, but one thing has remained integral throughout this time – their art institutions. The resilience and robustness of The Northern School of Art on its journey through changing trends, economies and distinctive art practices is instilled in all learners as they embark on their creative journey from scholar to creative industry professional. Moving on to the present day, The Northern School of Art's reputation is going from strength-to-strength; it is not only the leading provider of specialist creative art & design degrees in the north, but one of the best across the UK. This, coupled with the School's reputation for quality art and design further education courses, leaves it unrivaled in the North for art and design education, which is why the Secretary of State granted permission for the prestigious change of name to The Northern School of Art in 2018. It’s the place for people serious about a successful creative career.

We believe this is the case because of three important factors:

1. We offer a unique, creative, friendly community in which to develop as a successful artist or designer
Because we are one of only two specialist art & design colleges in the UK, we stand apart. You are surrounded 24/7 by like-minded creative people with no distractions. We help you find your own unique style and develop as a successful artist or designer. The Northern School of Art is a community. Here you are a person, not just a number. We get to know our students individually and support you throughout your academic experience. We are proud to be different, you can be too. At The Northern School of Art you are surrounded by artistic inspiration thanks to our unique setting. From ocean expanses, rolling green landscapes to Victorian architecture and industrial drama; you can’t fail to find inspiration.
2. Our unique, extensive, dedicated, specialist facilities give you the best opportunity to excel
Because we are a specialist college, we don’t have to spread our budget across many courses. This means we can invest in a superb range of dedicated creative facilities and equipment all in one place. Your access to facilities at The Northern School of Art is unparalleled. Thanks to our dedicated workspaces, extensive space, depth and breadth of equipment, you will rarely have waiting times or limits on booking slots - as is common at other colleges and universities. Our equipment and facilities reflect many of the tools used in the real world, so you leave college ‘oven ready’.
3. We offer unique creative courses supported with the highest quality of art & design teaching
Our courses are unique. Thanks to our strong creative industry links, we know the real life skills which are used and required in the sector. We develop our course content to ensure you are armed with these practical skills, from traditional techniques through to cutting edge technology. The Northern School of Art tutors are made up of experienced educators and real industry practitioners. Their industry links mean that all students work on live briefs for real clients. Students also have opportunities to take advantage of superb work experience, competitions, exhibitions and showcases. With our high contact time, specialist support, career and business coaching, we help you achieve your full potential - not only as an artist but as a professional too.


We can currently boast that we were awarded a gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.



of our students said they were overall satisfied with their experience at The Northern School of Art – this puts us top in the North East when compared to other institutions.

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of our 2016 graduates were in employment or further training six months after graduating. We continue to achieve a high percentage, which is a testament to all we do at The Northern School of Art.

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