The St. Martin's College of Art and Design is the art school of the University of the Arts, London. As such, the school follows British university standards in awarding all of its degrees, which include the B.A. in anything from fashion to directing, and postgraduate degrees in similar fields. Admission criteria, likewise, follow a British standard that is very different from the American counterpart.
Choose a Course
Not all American universities require incoming freshmen to choose their major, but in the case of the St. Martin's College, applicants must know their chosen "course" (major) in advance. Options vary, from short one-year certificate programs to longer three-year bachelor degrees. Notice that a B.A. in Britain takes only three years, compared to the typical American four. Once you've selected a possible course, be sure it's suitable to your goals and background. Each course requires different application materials, and you will not be accepted without these. Most programs require some sort of portfolio, so if you hope to enroll in the architecture program, for example, you should have some samples of previous architecture work.
International students, including Americans, have many different options for applying to St. Martin's College. If you prefer to work with someone face-to-face, the University of the Arts, London, has representatives all over the world who can handle your application. For American students, the UAL representative in Denver, Colo., can provide free advice on application materials, and can even take your completed application. Students, however, can choose to apply directly, either through the UCAS application system for UAL, or directly through St. Martin's College. The options are many, and students should consider the logistics of obtaining a visa, and which option would be most helpful in that regard.
Application materials to UAL are quite standard, though they are not necessarily the same as U.S. undergraduate applications. Notably, colleges in the United Kingdom rarely require the submission of SAT, ACT or other standardized test scores. St. Martin's follows this standard, and does not require any scores. It does however, require a personal statement, high school transcripts, and letters of reference. In addition to the application form, students should also submit a copy of their passport to expedite the visa application process.
Finally, applicants to St. Martin's should consult their specific program and prepare a portfolio. Not all programs require a portfolio, but most design-specific ones do. The style of portfolios vary, but in general are delivered electronically and through images. Even the ceramics program, for example, requests copies of your work in the form of images, not actual ceramic models. These are either delivered via USB or on A4 paper. The textiles program, on the other hand, requires some copies of actual textiles you've created, as well as an additional personal statement. Students should always check the specific program for details.
Kevin Wandrei has written extensively on higher education. His work has been published with Kaplan, Textbooks.com, and Shmoop, Inc., among others. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Cornell University.