Living in London

London is a massive city, home to over 8 million people, there’s lots to see and do but discovering the good bits can be tricky. So we’ve put together a series of fun and inspirational posts on the theme of what to see and do in London. So to start us off with a bang here we’ll list our top 5 things to do in London!

1.Visit a Museum

London is jam-packed with galleries and museums but one of our favourites is the V&A. It has collections to interest everyone, all housed in a beautiful building. Extra points if you visit at night during one of the famous Late Nights.

2. Lunch in a Park

London may not seem like the leafiest of cities but you’ll be surprised! London features some of the most beautiful parks in the work, why not take a trip down to Kew Gardens for a sandwich?

3. See some Theatre

The West End is the home of theatre in London, and if you think tickets are too expensive, you’re wrong! Lots of theatres have a student standby scheme to get great last minute seats. And many others reserve a number of seats each day for concessions on a first come first served basis so get queuing!

4. Have a Drink

London is well known for its historic pubs so come down and visit one of the finest! Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the oldest pubs in London, enter its winding catacombs and explore all the secret nooks as you enjoy one of the more reasonably priced pints in the city.

5. Go Shopping

If you want the traditional British shopping experience then forget Harrods and visit Liberty. Set just behind Oxford Street Liberty is a hub of traditional Britishness all set within a beautiful wooden building and known world-over for its original floral prints.

We hope this gets you started off in your exploration of London and stay tuned for more updates in the series as we reveal the very best of things to do in London.


Things to remember as classes start…

Phew Freshers is a lot of fun! But let’s not forget the real reason you’re all here: to learn! Here are some things to make sure you’ve sorted before your classes begin.


It’s super important that you make sure you’ve enrolled online onto your course. Check you emails carefully for instructions on how to enrol and if you get stuck just email your contact person for the course.

ID Card

Equally as important as enrolling on the course is getting you student ID card. This card allows you into all the UAL buildings and facilities and you need to make sure you have it on you at all times as some buildings will not let you in without it. You’ll find information about where and when to get your card in your emails. And if you lose your card you can buy a new one from the UAL shop, although it costs a fiver a time so best try not to lose it.


Make sure that you familiarise yourself with your timetable and either download it to your phone or copy it into your calendar. It’s really important that you attend all of your lectures so know your timetable inside and out. Also make sure that you read the room number as well as the campus code as sometimes lectures will be in a different campus.


Make sure that you have everything you need ready for your first lesson. A pen and paper or a laptop  is always useful in any class but you may also have a list of course specific materials to buy. If this is the case then try to ensure that you have them ready to go in the first lesson.

We hope that you have a fabulous first week and soak up knowledge like creative sponges!



Highlights of #LivingLondonDay14


You’ve done it! You’ve made it to UAL and are living in the best city in the world. But now it’s time to learn how to live in it.

Your Students’ Union organised the Living London Day  - an event packed with all of the key information you need to make your transition to the city as easy as possible.

Our aim was to help you to get advice and tools for such things as signing up to a GP, getting a National insurance number and writing a great CV, as well as letting you know about the amazing activities you can get involved with during your time at UAL.

But if you missed out, don’t worry! Here’s a quick low down of some of the key points of the day:

Read More


Things to remember when you get to London

Now that you’ve had a chance to settle in we thought we’d take the opportunity to suggest even more things that you can do to help you out in London. Yay! These things may seem dull but we assure you that they’re well worth doing :)


Register at a doctors

This one is really important as if you get sick you’ll need to be registered already to get an appointment with a GP. It doesn’t take long! Just find your nearest surgery, using the NHS finder and call to request to register. You’ll usually be required to bring in ID and proof of address so make sure that you have these ready. You might also be asked to complete a checkup. For more information on the process check out this handy link.


Get a National Insurance Number

If you’re thinking of getting a job at all in the UK you need to make sure that you have your NI number sorted. You may need one even for some internships for insurance reasons. To get your card you must have a visa which includes the right to work in the UK and some valid ID. Check out the website to apply.

Completing these might take a few weeks so it’s a good idea to do it now before you need them.


'Sense of the City: London' free creative event

'Sense of the City: London' is a toolkit composed of a set of design activities; it will enable people to map their own perception of the location through experiential activities utilising the senses.

The event will take place on 15th and 18th of September 2014 and there are two sessions per day. Each participant will be given an activity pack which includes various tools for exploring, and a series of activities to help them draw out their thoughts, ideas and experiences. Participants will create their own 3D map of the location which incorporates elements of their findings from the activity. The session will be led by designer Melody Vaughan.

Melody Vaughan is a designer/maker specialising in ceramics and metal. Her work explores the relationships that exist between viewer, object and location, especially in urban environments. She aims to find ways to help people to connect to what is around them, to offer unusual perspectives and viewpoints.

This event is for free and suitable for individuals aged over 18. Local communities as well as people from a wide range of backgrounds are very welcome.

 To book the event, choose one session and email at with date & time, your name and contact details (email address & phone number). 

 For more details of the event & activities, please visit


Freshers: What’s on this Week?

Hello again Freshers! We hope that you’re enjoying the welcome parties in your halls this weekend, because there’s plenty more where that came from! Here’s what’s happening this week:

Jack the Ripper Tour

A Jack the Ripper ghost walk led by experts on the subject. The guides include the Jack the Ripper Authors and broadcasters John Bennett and Philip Hutchinson, the leading researcher Lindsay Siviter, the world famous actor Alan Frake and East End historian Jenny Phillips. In short we offer you an array of expertise and talent that is unsurpassed.

Monday 8th Sept, meet outside exit 4 Algate East Station @ 7pm, tickets just £5, book now:


Cooking Masterclass

A cooking masterclass with BaxterStorey, the UK’s leading independent contract catering services provider. You’ll learn how to create great food using the best local produce prepared by the passionate chefs right in front of your eyes! No more pot noodles or microwave meals, you’ll learn how to make proper healthy food on a budget. There’s no charge - this event is totally free!

Tuesday 9th Sept, in Will Wyatt Court and The Costume Store Common Room @ 1pm.

Darkroom Bar Party

Join us at LCC’s atmospheric Darkroom Bar for a night of drinks and dancing! Meet your fellow Freshers for the first time and get to know one of UAL’s most important watering holes. There’ll be cheap drinks and DJs playing all night long. So come along and meet new buddies as you boogie! Remember to bring your UAL student card and valid ID.

Wednesday 10th Sept, in the Darkroom Bar LCC @ 9pm.


Bowling at Westfield

Once-upon-a-dual-carriageway there was only bowling. Sticky carpets, crappy hot dogs, warm beer. It pretty much sucked. Now bowling is here. It’s foo-ooo-oood, fine cocktails, crisp beer, good people. And oh yeah, bowling.

Wednesday 10th Sept, meet at All Star Lanes, Second Floor, Westfield Stratford City @ 8pm, £5 per person (exclusive UAL 35% discount). Book Now:

Living London Day

Are you new to London and want to know where to start? Come to our Living London Day to find out what it’s like to study in London. Get practical advice and tools on the spot, such as signing up with a GP, getting a National Insurance number, CV writing and finding out what activities you can be involved in while at university. A day of talks, workshops and stalls including: KX Recruit, Made in Arts, London, Sports, Societies, Student Services, Commonplace, SEE, Nightline and more!

Thursday 11th Sept, meet at The Street CSM @ 11am


Chilled Film Night

Do you like movies? Do you like FREE movies? Well then, the Chilled Film Night is just the thing for you! Along with free popcorn and drinks, how could you go wrong? It all kicks off from 8pm in your common room.

Thursday 11th Sept, in Your Common Room @ 8pm.

Funding Foundation

Come along to this talk about the future of Foundation courses and join the fight! Foundation Art and Design courses are at risk of being cut by the Government. Students do not have any financial support. UAL is making big changes to the course this year which could reduce the number of spaces available. The fees system is discriminatory: depending on how old students are, or where they are from.

Friday 12th Sept, meet at the Progression Centre CCW @ 12noon


Fabric Research Tour

Learn stuff early. This is generally good advice, but never more so than when you’re starting an intense fashion course! Come with us on a tour of Berwick street, London’s premier fabric market. Ask questions about fabrics, get swatches and generally become acquainted with an area that will become a big part of your life over the next 3 years. All this before your course even starts. Ace.

Friday 12th Sept, meet at the corner of Oxford St and Berwick St @ 12noon

Street Feast

Street Feast is London’s pioneering night market. Every weekend we bring together London’s best street food traders, chefs and restaurants, and serve giant festival-style pint-sized cocktails, craft beer and great wine, for quite a unique eating experience.

Friday 12th Sept, meet at Street Feast, Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, E8 3DU @ 6pm Book Now:


Disco Ice Skating

Fancy a night away from your halls? Skate to the best anthems in the chart with our resident DJ every weekend in the Ice-Rink. Every so often we have themed nights where we all get a bit excited, dress up and theme out the rink.

Saturday 13th Sept, meet at  Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY @ 8.30pm, just £5 book now:

Tea At Two

Tea parties have been around for well over 3,000 years. People on all parts of the earth have tea parties every day. So sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea (or coffee), and let’s have a good old gossip! There’s no charge - this event is totally free!

Sunday 14th Sept, meet in Your Common Room ‘ 2pm

We can’t wait to see you there!



Arriving in London

WOOHOO, #FreshersFriday!  You’ve made it! You’ve just arrived in one of the biggest (and best) cities in the world. So what happens now?


Time to explore your new home! Go for a walk in your local area and get to know the useful things near you. Useful things to look out for are:

- Cash points

- Open late supermarkets/corner shops

- Quick turnaround printers

- Local services such as libraries

- Nice cafes/bars/restaurants/parks

- Tube/bus stops

The sooner you familiarise yourself with these helpful amenities the more at home you’ll feel and making a note of them now could save you lots of time and trouble later should you need them.


We hope that you’re settling well and grow to love this city as much as we do. As ever, if you need any help you’re always welcome to contact us.

Anonymous asked:
Hi, I have a similar question. I'll be staying at Cordwainers Court soon and I've never lived in London before so I wanted to know how safe the Hackney area is?

Students' Union - University of the Arts London
Students' Union - University of the Arts London answered:

Same as parts of South London, Hackney’s had a bad reputation in the past but has become more diverse (and more gentrified) in recent years. Chances are, if you’re studying something related to the creative industries, you’ll quite like Hackney: it’s home to the biggest creative community in Europe, with studios, galleries, venues and all-round cool stuff pretty much round every corner. We think that regardless of where you are in London, you should keep your wits about you, so bear our safety tips in mind wherever you are :)


Coming up: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

Whether fashion is part of your studies or vintage is part of your wardrobe, make the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair part of your September!

Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair’s Vintage Collections fair takes place on Sunday 14th September 2014 from 11am until 5pm at the Old Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebury Avenue, London, EC1R 4RP. 

Entry is £4 for public and £2 for students.

If you’re not tempted enough, then…

Read More


Things to do before you arrive

Coming to London (possibly for the first time) is as scary as it is exciting. So we’ve put together a series of helpful tips to get you through the transition. This week we’re focusing on what to do before you get here.


Enrol Online

By now you should have received information from the university about how to enrol online. It’s important to do this before you arrive to start your course as you will need evidence of enrolment to get your student card, which you will need to enter the buildings for lectures. If you’re confused about this at all just email your course contact for help.


If you need student finance or a visa to study here then make sure that you get these sorted out before you come. The student loans company has lots of information on the website to guide you as does the government website.


Make sure that your bank accounts are all in order and that you have all the details stored in a safe place. You will guarenteed need some amount of money for something almost immediately so ensure that you’re always able to access your bank account and it’s a good idea to set up online banking. Check out how to manage your money better here.


London is a beautiful city to get lost in but that’s not much comfort if you’re running late for something! If you’re at all unsure about what to do then it can be a good idea to plan out some of your most useful journeys (such as from your accommodation to your campus) ahead of time so that you’ll always be in the right place at the right time. For tips on this check out our transport post.


It’s a good idea to not only take your mobile phone with you when you’re out and about but also to memorise or write down the important contact numbers just in case you lose your phone or run out of battery. That way you’ll always be able to contact someone in an emergency.


This might sound like overkill but these are all helpful things to consider before making the move to London. Don’t worry if you forget anything as it won’t be the end of the world and if you do need help with anything then the SU advice team is always here for you :)


Freshers: What’s on this Week?

Woohoo! It’s officially the start of our amazing array of Freshers Events! And to help you plan the maximum fun possible here’s a rundown of what’s on this week:

Halls Welcome Party

Welcome to your new home. The hall welcome party is for you and your flatmates to meet the rest of your hall. We’ll throw in pizza’s, drinks and loads of fun games including twister, giant connect 4 and giant jenga. There’s no charge - this event is totally free! We’ll also give you advise on the best local bars and clubs to carry on the party.

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th Sept, in Your Common Room @7pm


Tune in next week for the next round of fun and view all of the lovely Freshers Events on our amazing Calendar. Might as well make that your homepage for the next 2 months really.


Cultural London on the cheap

One of the perks of studying in London is the abundance of cultural events and institutions on offer, but although many are free some do come at a cost.

Fortunately, there are plenty of places that offer student discounts and freebies!  Whilst this isn’t a comprehensive guide, it’s a good solution until you can star in your own reality TV show or marry a rapper.

Barbican’s initiative freeB is available to 16-25 year olds and gives members exclusive discounts and free tickets.

The National Theatre offer an Entry Pass, with benefits like £5 tickets and backstage tours, and discounts in the bookshop, bars and restaurants.

Read More


Coming Soon: Candle Path

It’s sad but true: the nights will be getting darker soon, and if you’re walking around an unfamiliar area this can feel scary.

Soon the app Candle Path will launch - to help you find the safest routes around.  Unlike Google Maps, it has an embedded crime reporter tool and can send an emergency text to a person of your choice with details of your location if your phone is unresponsive.


Living London Day

Are you new to London and want to know where to start?  Thank God it’s #FreshersFriday!


Come to our Living London Day to find out what it’s like to study in London. Get practical advice and tools on the spot, such as signing up with a GP, getting a National Insurance number, CV writing and finding out what activities you can be involved in while at university. A day of talks, workshops and stalls including: KX Recruit, Made in Arts, London, Sports, Societies, Student Services, Commonplace, SEE, Nightline and more!

Thursday 11th September @ 11am - 4pm Meet at The Street @ CSM

Hello, I'm starting my course at CCW this September and my parents are worried about the area mainly that it is next to Brixton and Peckham. How safe is that area for students and does the violence ever spill over into Camberwell. How safe will I be

Students' Union - University of the Arts London
Students' Union - University of the Arts London answered:


Thanks for the question, we look forward to seeing you in September!

Regarding the safety of CCW please see below:

Both Brixton and Peckham have come a long way since their days of being dangerous and their bad reputation is definitely no longer deserved. They are up and coming and both have a large student populations, so there is no need to worry. People travel from all over London to party in Peckham and Brixton Village Market is a foodie paradise. Obviously we want everyone to be safe, and you should always be sensible but this is the same in all areas of London.

It’s always good to put safety first when out and about so we’ve put together a list of our top recommendations for staying safe in London no matter where you are.


Never get into an unlicensed cab or hail a minicab off the street. Instead stick to licensed black cabs which you can hail off the street and if you can’t see any around TfL’s Cabwise app is a handy way to call one.

Night time

It’s always safer to travel with friends at night and it’s never a good idea to let a drunk friend find their own way home. But if you stick together and stay in well-lit areas there shouldn’t be any cause for concern.


Always keep your phone charged and with you. That way if you get lost or run into difficulties you can always call someone to help. 


London has lots of traffic so it’s always best to cross roads at pedestrian crossings and to look both ways even if the green man is there. Similarly it’s not a good idea to have your headphones in with loud music as you will be less able to hear the cars.


Always let someone know where you are going, especially if you intend to be out all night. Also make sure that you know the way home and have enough money when going out rather than relying on friends.


London is a brilliant and beautiful city that’s no less safe than anywhere else. So if you follow these simple suggestions and use some common sense when out and about you will be able to enjoy everything that London has to offer without any worries :)