Our History

The Northern School of Art is around 150 years old and has had different titles over the years. Originally we were The Middlesbrough School of Art which dates back to 1870 and The Government School of Art, based in Hartlepool, which opened on Church Street Atheneum in 1874. In 1897, our Hartlepool school 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 we became Cleveland College of Art & Design and remained so 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. 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. Today, The Northern School of Art’s reputation is going from strength-to-strength; leading the way for creative education in the north and the UK. This, coupled with the School's reputation for quality art and design further education courses, leaves it unrivalled in the North. This is why the Secretary of State granted permission for the prestigious change of name to The Northern School of Art in 2018. Our school is the place for people that are serious about successful creative career.

We believe this because of three important factors:

1. Our Community is supportive, unique, creative and friendly.
• We are one of the two specialist Art & Design HE institutes in the U.K • Our community is built up of like-minded creatives; with no distractions. Which help our students find their voices as a successful artists, designers and actors. • Our close-knit school is a community. Here you are a person not just a number. We pride ourselves on knowing our students as individuals and supporting them through their own academic experience. • The Northern School of Arts seaside campus is surrounded by inspiration thanks to our unique setting. From ocean expanses and Victorian architecture to industrial landscapes. We have something for every creative eye.
2. We offer professional, specialist, industry standard resources and facilities.
• Our speciality in art & design allows us to concentrate our budget and invest in our superb range of dedicated creative facilities. • We offer unlimited access to our work-spaces and equipment; students rarely experience waiting times and limited booking slots which can be common in larger institutions. • Our equipment and facilities are industry standard and allow our students real world experience that ready them from their professional practices.
3. The courses we offer unique creative courses, supported and taught by working professionals.
• Our strong industry links and experienced practicing staff allow us to give students real life industry skills in their respective fields. From traditional skills through to cutting edge technology we cover ever base to arm our students with relevant, usable practical skills. • Our students work on live briefs with real clients. We are able to offer these opportunities because of our fantastic link to industry. Students are able to take advantage of superb work experiences, competitions, exhibitions and showcases. • We offer smaller classes with lots of contact time, specialist support, career and business coaching. We help students throughout their educational journey.

TEF Gold

The Teaching Excellence has awarded the Northern School of Art a gold rating!

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92% Student Satisfaction

With this rating we currently hold the best overall student satisfaction rating of any university or college in the North East (NSS, 2019).

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96% Graduate Employment

Over the last four years of which data is available, 96% of our graduates were in employment or post graduate study within six months of graduation (DHLE, 2018).

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