Visualisation of new building at Bower Ashton

City Campus development

City Campus is home to UWE Bristol’s creative and cultural subjects.

Comprising of sites at Bower Ashton, Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed, City Campus gives our students the chance to work alongside creative professionals – and to get more closely involved in the work of the city’s most prominent creative spaces.

The campus has been developed as a result of our close partnerships with some of Bristol’s principal creative organisations. Working with Spike Island since 2005, with Watershed since 2011, and with Arnolfini since 2015 we run programmes at all the sites, and collaborate on research, education and talent development initiatives alongside other creative projects.

City Campus brings all of these links together into a multi-site campus, where our students, industry professionals and colleagues can share ideas and develop their talents in the city’s most inspiring locations.

Watch our City Creatives video


“City Campus makes learning dynamic and relevant. It makes the city our campus and blends learning, research, innovation, work and play.”

Louise Jennings, Associate Dean, UWE Bristol


City Campus development work

As part of the City Campus project, we have made significant investment in developing our site at Bower Ashton to refresh our facilities, grow our services, and ensure our students and staff have access to state-of-the-art learning and teaching environments.

In particular, we have added new spaces for traditional making, alongside the most modern and high-tech facilities used in the creative industries today. The £37million project includes both the refurbishment of existing facilities and new buildings being built for our Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education. The latest to be completed is a new £9 million building at Bower Ashton. You can see how the new spaces look in our Bower Ashton redevelopment gallery.

View the Bower Ashton redevelopment gallery

Progress so far

The City Campus project has involved four phases of development work:

Phase one – completed 2012

We kicked off the project by adding industry-standard newsroom facilities at Bower Ashton to support our Journalism programmes.

Phase two – completed 2014

In phase two, we created new specialist drama facilities, following the relocation of our drama courses from St Matthias. We transformed the courtyard area into a vibrant, open-plan student learning zone, and expanded and refurbished our catering, library and Students’ Union facilities.

Phase three – completed 2015

In 2015, we refurbished floors 3, 4 and 5 of the Arnolfini building, relocating our MA Curating, BA(Hons) Graphic Design, MA Graphic Arts and BA(Hons) Drawing and Print programmes into the heart of the city. These have since been joined by some of our BA(Hons) Drama, BA(Hons) Drama and Acting, and BA(Hons) Fashion Communications students.

Phase four – in progress

The fourth and final phase of the project focuses on the site at Bower Ashton and involves constructing two new buildings to support our Schools of Art and Design and Film and Journalism as well as modernising our existing studios, facilities, research labs and student support provision.

In September 2017 we open our beautiful new studio building that provides industry-standard production and post-production facilities in animation, filmmaking and photography. This will be followed in 2019 by another new building to house art and design studios and provide a new home for our fabulous physical making facilities.

The final element of this phase will be to refurbish teaching rooms and bring together student support services to offer an even better student experience.


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