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Studying at the Historic Dockyard

The University of Kent has had an association with the Historic Dockyard for many years and more recently we have welcomed Medway School of Art to the Sail & Colour Loft. The exciting new Docking Station project will open in 2025, further increasing the student activity on site and the creative environment of the Historic Dockyard.

University of Kent

The University of Kent has had an association with The Historic Dockyard for many years, but in 2006 it took over The Galvanising Shop to house its theatre and event design courses and from then it has never looked back.

It has since grown from these small beginnings to be the largest tenant on site at The Historic Dockyard. A steady, planned and comprehensive expansion policy has led to the University of Kent investing significantly in both the fabric and the fit out of the buildings it now occupies. The site is now home to the school of Music & Fine Arts and (since September 2015) the Kent Business School.

As the University has grown, so have the facilities offered to its staff and students. These have constantly evolved and are being further enhanced in September 2016 with the opening of a new restaurant and performance space. The facilities are supplemented by those at the university’s other campus just across the road from The Historic Dockyard (formally the barracks for the Royal Navy dockyard) and the Universities’ residential accommodation a short walk away.

Students don’t just benefit from impressive buildings, but also benefit and gain inspiration from their surroundings of The Historic Dockyard as a whole. This is particularly important to the Music & Fine Arts students who have access to the 84 acres of The Historic Dockyard for both inspiration and performance/exhibition space.   During the academic year students can be found either painting, drawing or making video documentaries all over the site and the at the ‘end of year’ degree show, The Historic Dockyard comes alive with all manner of art and performance art installations across the site, which are an added attraction for all visitors.

opened september 2023

Medway School of arts

Medway School of Arts was established by MidKent College in 2023 to ensure the long tradition of having a specialist arts college / university in Medway was maintained. Medway School of Arts is based in the Sail and Colour Loft, returning the building to its original function as a hub of creative practice.

Medway School of Arts will offer a pre-degree foundation course and arts based adult education from 2023, and a range of undergraduate degrees from September 2024.

The intention of the school is to work with all community stakeholders, to ensure they are offering a post-compulsory arts education offer that meets the needs of our communities and provides accessible, high quality arts education which will train and encourage creative talent to remain in Medway, start their careers here, and flourish.  

Medway School of Arts (MSA) is working in partnership with Medway Council, the University of Kent and ICCI, as well as many local arts organisations and businesses to ensure their offer fully meets the needs of the exciting and diverse arts and cultural organisations in Medway.

MSA students will benefit from being based in an inspirational and historic location that will allow their creativity to thrive, and work with the many creative companies and events that occur at the dockyard.   The Historic Dockyard is both a muse and a canvas which the students will be able to draw inspiration from.  

Every year in June the Medway School of Arts end of year show will provide visitors to the Historic Dockyard with another attraction which they hope will inspire and intrigue guests. 

Coming 2025

Docking Station

Docking Station is a brand new state-of-the-art digital hub for the cultural and creative industries and it’s coming to Medway in 2025.

Developed by the University of Kent’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (iCCi) in partnership with Medway Council and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Docking Station
will be a centre for new digital immersive technology and will provide training, teaching, and opportunities for the people of Medway to experience the latest in new tech.

Providing the facilities and training opportunities to support digital innovation it will create an exciting and attractive offer for those who want to take their studies further. Most of all, it will
bring world class digital opportunities to Chatham.