London College of Communication

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London College of Communication
University of the Arts at the Elephant and Castle (geograph 4476299).jpg
Parent institution
University of the Arts London
Head of CollegeNatalie Brett
CampusUrban: Elephant & Castle

London College of Communication (LCC), formerly the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts and then London College of Printing and, briefly, London College of Printing and Distributive Trades is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London (UAL), located in Elephant and Castle. Natalie Brett is Head of College. It has approximately 5,000 students on almost 60 courses in media, design and screen preparing students for careers in the creative industries. Courses cover diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate level. Multi-media convergence now influences LCC’s specialist areas, including graphic design and advertising, photography, film and animation, journalism, publishing and public relations, sound arts and design and interactive and spatial design. LCC is made up of three specialist schools, Design School, Media School and, as of 2017, Screen School, all based at its Elephant and Castle site.[1]


In 1894 the Saint Bride Foundation Institute Printing School opened in Saint Bride Lane as a social, educational and cultural centre, housing both a technical library and printing school to provide tuition for local printers and students. At the same time another of LCC's forebears, the Guild and Technical School, opened in Clerkenwell Road, moving the follow year to 6 Bolt Court. It became the Bolt Court Technical School and was rebuilt in 1911. It was renamed London County Council School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography.[2]

In 1921 the Westminster Day Continuation School opened, becoming the School of Retail Distribution 1929. The class about to graduate in 1939 were called up and sent back to the Stamford Street building where they spent the war years making glass scale graticule to fit into various types of optical gunsights, submarine periscope lenses and the like.[3]

In 1949 Bolt Court and the London School of Printing merged forming the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. In 1962 this was renamed the London College of Printing (LCP) and moved to a new campus at Elephant & Castle. The North Western Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) printing department merged with LCP in 1969.

In 1985 the London Institute was formed and had taught degree awarding powers approved by Privy Council in 1993 with research degree awarding powers in 2002.

The College of Distributive Trades merged with LCP in 1990 becoming the London College of Printing and Distributive Trades, renamed the London College of Printing in 1996.[4]

In 2003 the London Institute was granted university status as the University of the Arts London with LCP becoming London College of Communication in 2004.

Galleries, collections and lectures[edit]

LCC has extensive exhibition space, photographic and television studios, darkrooms, interactive media and animation suites, broadcast and print newsrooms as well as specialist printing, printmaking, bookbinding and letterpress workshops.[5]

In 2007, the college became the home of the University Archives and Special Collections Centre which holds the Stanley Kubrick Archive and the Tom Eckersley collection among other film, printing and graphic design related archives and collections. Since 2005 the LCC has hosted the annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture.

Cutbacks and closures[edit]

LCC had student protests and sit-ins in November 2009, as students expressed anger over proposed course closures and staff redundancies. About 100 students tried to occupy the office of Sandra Kemp, head of the college at that time, in protest over lack of supervision for dissertations.[6] Students later occupied a lecture theatre and private security guards tried to remove protesting students. This failed when a member of academic staff questioned their right to touch the students and police were summoned who prevailed upon the protesters to leave the building. Several students faced disciplinary action, including suspension.[7]

The director of the university's course in public relations resigned over the proposed cutbacks, saying that there weren't enough staff. Much of the teaching was then supplied by sessional lecturers on short-term contracts,[6] A member of the teaching staff said that sackings resulted in cancelled lectures and students left without dissertation supervisors.[8]

In 2011 an inquiry by the Quality Assurance Agency into restructuring at the LCC, found standards were so badly affected by course closures that some students’ marks were raised to compensate. The report follows complaints by students relating to restructuring, including claims that quality had been 'severely compromised' and that those studying were not informed of the plans before enrolment. The investigation is the first of its kind and is the QAA’s revised “whistleblower” process for investigating concerns about academic standards and quality.[9] The decision to investigate the complaints followed closure of 16 courses and 26 full-time redundancies.[9]

Launch of Screen School[edit]

In addition to its existing Design School and Media School, LCC opened a Screen School at its Elephant and Castle site in early 2017. The Dean of Screen is cinematographer Larra Anderson.[10] Launched by David Puttnam, LCC's Screen School covers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in film, television, games, animation, sound arts and design and live events.[11]

In 2018 LCC announced the launch of an MA in Virtual Reality, one of the first of its kind in Europe. [12] The MA Virtual Reality course launched in October 2018, with a BA (Hons) Virtual Reality course set to start in autumn 2019. [13]


Among the alumni of the college are Tracy Brabin, Labour Co-operative MP for Batley and Spen and former Coronation Street actor[14]; Dana Lixenberg, award-winning photographer; Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International;[15] Jane Root, former controller of BBC Two; the advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi;[16], the cartoonist and illustrator Ralph Steadman; graphic designer Neville Brody; advertising executive Sir John Hegarty; journalist and presenter Louise Minchin; actress Bonnie Wright; editor Jefferson Hack; photographer Rankin; artist Sarah Lucas; photographer Massimo Vitali, artist and designer Mike McInnerney; photographer Juno Calypso, Mark Bedford (Madness) among others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us" - LCC website - accessed 25 August 2011 Archived 22 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "AIM25 collection description". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. ^ Oral tradition from staff.
  4. ^ "Our Heritage" - LCC website accessed 25 August 2011 Archived 15 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Virtual Tours" - LCC website - accessed 10 August 2011 Archived 15 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Melanie Newman, "PR lecturer resigns in protest over lack of staff", Times Higher Education, 5 November 2009
  7. ^ "Sit-in students may face disciplinary action". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. ^ Harriet Swain, Universities plan job losses in response to looming public spending cuts, The Guardian accessed 17 November 2009
  9. ^ a b "Course closures at LCC disrupted studies and harmed students' chances, QAA rules". 17 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ Team, University of Arts London, Web. "Screen School - London College of Communication - UAL". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Film producer Lord Puttnam launches LCC Screen School with a message for creatives in Brexit and Trump era – London College of Communication News". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  12. ^ "London university launches Virtual Reality MA". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Virtual reality MA hopes to narrow UK's digital skills gap and 'democratise VR'". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  14. ^ Frances Perraudin (30 September 2016). Tracy Brabin: 'I hope I can build on Jo Cox's legacy'. The Guardian. Accessed April 2017.
  15. ^ Jessica Shepherd, David Batty (9 July 2011). Phone hacking: University urged to retract Rebekah Brooks honorary award. The Guardian. Accessed October 2015.
  16. ^ Elizabeth Day (3 June 2013). Charles Saatchi: art supremo with an image problem. The Observer. Accessed October 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′40.85″N 0°6′6.77″W / 51.4946806°N 0.1018806°W / 51.4946806; -0.1018806