The top European countries and cities to be an art student, according to new report

Research by art supplies retailer Cass Art analysed 100 cities with a top art university, and found the top 15 cities to head for when embarking on the next stage of your creative education – with London coming out a clear first.

3 December 2019

The UK has topped a list of the 15 best European countries to get a creative education, according to a report by art supplies shop Cass Art. The retailer analysed 100 global cities with top art universities and found that the UK has a whopping 18 cities with globally recognised creative institutions, such as London, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle, making it come out a clear winner in the ranking. Denmark and Italy came a distant second place, each with five cities housing top arts unis. Next on the list were the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, each having four.

The report also analysed those 18 UK cities and counted the amount of art galleries and museums, art supply shops, part-time jobs and monthly rent in each. London came out the top city in the UK, home to eight universities with world-leading creative courses including the Royal College of Art – which has topped the QS World University Subject Rankings in the art and design category for five years running. They also counted 257 art galleries and museums, 92 art supply shops and 9084 part-time jobs, which despite having the highest rent by a significant proportion, still added up to making London "the best city in the world to be an art student".

Belfast came second, with 30 art galleries and museums and 34 art supply stores, around 413 part-time jobs and a monthly rent nearly a third of the average London rent price. Sheffield was a close third place, with 18 galleries, 1704 part-time jobs, 13 art supply stores, and monthly rent even lower than its second place competitor. You can view all that data here.

The report states Europe is home to 55 top art universities, with over half (28) in the UK. Following the top three, other countries featured on the list include (in order of ranking) Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Finland.

Find the full list here.

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny (she/her) is online editor of It’s Nice That, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. She was previously news editor for five years. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on

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