1853 - ?

Art classes commenced in Technical Institutes in Chatham and Gillingham in 1853 as part of a movement to establish a national pattern for Schools of Design and by 1886 a government, or Rochester, School of Art was firmly established in Rochester and based in the Guildhall and is believed to be the forerunner of the present campus. The college has had several name changes during its history, by 1893 the college, then known as The Municipal School of Art, moved into purpose-built premises on the site of The Old Duke Head, which was attached to the Guildhall, where both Art and Science classes were held. In 1902, Science and Commercial classes were moved to other premises with Commerce was to be taught in Chatham, and Science in Gillingham and in 1903 work began on purpose-designed accommodation in Eastgate, off Rochester High Street which opened in November 1907 and continual expansion meant that by 1950 there was an extension to the original building and three annexes added. In the 1920s the college became known as the Medway School of Arts and Crafts and as well as training for teachers of art in elementary and secondary schools, they also had a chance to apply for scholarships at the Royal College of Art. In the 1930s an extension was built in Corporation Street and then annexes at Fort Pitt and then into Free School Lane. The Medway School of Art & Crafts became allied with the Mid-Kent Art Schools with other schools including the Schools of Art at Maidstone and Gravesend, and the school at Tunbridge Wells joined this region in 1948. Medway College of Art was designated as a centre for vocational courses, by contrast Maidstone and Canterbury were able to offer the new National Diploma in Art and Design (the equivalent to a modern BA (Hons) degree). Now Medway College of Design and in 1970 had new buildings at Fort Pitt and by 1986 there were 650 full-time students at Church Lane, Chatham. The Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD) an art school based across three campuses in Kent, formed by the amalgamation of the three independent colleges: Canterbury College of Art, Maidstone College of Art and Rochester (Medway) College of Art. In turn, in 2005 KIAD merged with the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College to form the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. In 2008, this gained full university status and became the University For the Creative Arts.