Look at the calibre of talent heading to the UK every year — and over many decades — and its role as a global influencer in the arts is obvious to all. There is no shortage of energy, excitement, and inspiration here — just as there is no end to its list of cultural and creative achievements. With streets filled with history, visionaries, and everything in between, just a nighttime stroll could cure any form of artist’s block.
The city of Norwich is a microcosm of the finest the UK has to offer. It thumps with creativity, engaging and lighting up hearts and minds. The Sunday Times ranks Norwich as one of the best places to live in the UK: “A fashionable city with a growing sense of cool and a reputation for architecture, style and innovation. Cool, comfortable, relaxed and at one with itself.”
Most importantly, it is where Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) is based –– a dynamic institution where tomorrow’s movers and shakers are made. Here, the cutting edge meets the historic to ensure the best possible outcomes to students on the hunt for an educational, whimsical and unforgettable experience.
Unsurprisingly, the university attracts an overwhelming number of domestic and international students annually. Upon graduating, these students go on to land rewarding careers that revolve around pure creation without boundaries. Many opt to do so in the city they grew to know and love. Norwich has that effect on creatives. Here’s not one, but five reasons why:
Warm welcomes all around
Regardless of background, every student finds their place at NUA and the city of Norwich. No one is expected to “fit in.” Instead, the university highlights the importance of integration, encouraging students to share perspectives and learn from one another. Everyone has fun while participating.
“I’m part of the international society at NUA so we celebrated Chinese New Year, made paper lanterns, did some origami, and listened to music,” explains Tara Mayo, an international student from the US. “The international society usually knows when a holiday is coming up and will talk about it, so that’s nice to be a part of that.”
Equality and diversity prevail
Norwich nightclub, The Loft, was where BA (Hons) Fine Art degree graduate, LIV “safely developed” their queer identity. “I found a piece of myself on that dance floor that I have nurtured into the opulent drag artist you see before you today,” they said.
“During my time at NUA I discovered my passion for performance, community and activism; in addition to my identity as a non-binary individual. In my skyscraper heels, the city is my stomping ground to live freely.”
Bursting with culture, rich in history
NUA is nestled in the heart of Norwich’s cultural quarter, surrounded by some of the world’s finest galleries, museums, cafes, bars, and retail outlets. Its very own city centre gallery space, East GalleryNUA, showcases the best modern and contemporary art.
More fresh spaces emerge every day through exciting events too. Take the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival, for instance –– a summer soiree that fills streets, parks, galleries, and theatres with artists, musicians, and performers from across the globe.
Wild Paths is a time NUA students look forward to as well. It’s a new breed of festival that presents the best in live music across a range of genres. The festival descends on Norwich every October, taking over 20 of the city’s best-loved venues in celebration of music, food, art, and culture.
“The whole experience of Wild Paths was incredible, and completely surpassed any expectations I had,” says BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production student, Chloe Boston. “The whole weekend was non-stop fun, with there being an event somewhere in the city to cater to everybody’s needs.”
City pride, global impact
Norwich promotes tranquillity just as well as it stirs excitement. The city offers an abundance of landscapes designed to heal the body, clear the mind, spark creativity, and inspire sustainability. BA (Hons) Illustration student, Kaelin O’Hare’s personal favourites are Eaton Park, Chapelfield Gardens, Riverside Walk, Norwich Cathedral, Heigham Park, Waterloo Park, and Mousehold Heath.
Sights like these often nurture a sense of responsibility amongst NUA students. BA (Hons) Animation student Valentina Huckova spends her free time championing sustainability by spreading awareness on the ethical and low waste shopping options available in Norwich. Similarly, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion student and Norwich Blogger Justine Sherwood loves highlighting the offerings of independent business owners her peers should support.
Meanwhile, Adriana and Mackayla from the NUA Students’ Union Vegan Society have done enough exploring to put together a comprehensive list of all the restaurants making Norwich’s vegan scene one that is extremely delectable.
The perfect place to become career-ready
To prepare students for the opportunities in Norwich, NUA puts a strong emphasis on practical, project-based lessons that run through studios, media labs and workshops. These teachings are facilitated by industry practitioners and many industry-leading professionals that love to visit.
Placements and internships are integral to every programme too. Collectively, it’s a recipe for artistic success. With every term, portfolios grow in quality, complexity, and professionalism.
When students are ready to take on rewarding roles at the Arts Council, Norfolk Museums, the Royal Television Society, or with the Norwich Film Festival team; NUA’s employability team steps in. These advisors can be found in the Ideas FactoryNUA –– a dedicated incubation space for creative and digital startups.