The Margate School

Margate, United Kingdom


  • 31-33 High Street
  • Margate
  • England
  • CT9 1DX
  • United Kingdom

Regular hours

10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00

Travel Information

Train: Margate Train Station

The Margate School (TMS) is an independent liberal art school with post-graduate provision and community outreach incorporated in 2015 as a not-for-profit organisation. A school in and for Margate with a wide-ranging offer of short courses, technical courses and professional development across liberal arts and media disciplines ranging as well as a Masters programme in Fine Art. Facilities include studios, workspaces and technical facilities, including a FabLab whilst reaching out to the local community. 

Our vision is the successful establishment of an international liberal art school which is operated independently and on a self-sustaining basis in and for Margate, whose scope, activities and benefits to our students and local communities can be enhanced with the support of partners primarily in Kent and Northern France, but also across the UK and through our international connections.

The Margate School was initiated and founded by Uwe Derksen, following over 30 years in higher education and having developed a particular interest in the interface between education and learning on the one hand and the community and societal setting on the other, especially within the arts. In 2014 he articulated the idea of establishing a liberal arts school in Margate, which was on the back of a large European partnership project with the art school at its centre. In 2015 The Margate School incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation, and started to explore avenues to raise funds to start offering courses with a Masters programme at its core. It was not until three years later that The Margate School was able to draw down some funding from the Coastal Community Fund and at the same time ecured access to the derelict former Woolworths building in Margate’s High Street. In the first six months of moving into the building that stood empty since 2007/08, we have cleaned up large parts of the building, converted the ground floor as flexible and community accessible space for social gatherings, teaching, talks, performances, exhibitions, local trade and cultural events, professional practice etc., we converted the second floor into teaching and studio spaces.  We are in the process of converting the first floor into studio and incubation spaces as well as makerspace facilities.

Plans are in place for the basement and third floor for the coming years and are subject to further funding and sponsorship or social investment. In terms of provision we commenced the Masters programme, an accreditedMasters degree in Fine Art in October 2019 accredited by our French partner Art School called L'Ecole Supérieure d'Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen (ESADHaR), supported 50 artists, held 150 community events and attracted 12,000 visitors into the School. We ran and will continue to run a range of short-courses in video production, photography, graphic design and creative business development. 

Above all, The Margate School is about people and as such the curriculum is guided by project-based collaborative learning in the expanded field, that means that we seek opportunities to apply the learning outside the immediate context of the School.  We believe that learning in a collaborative and critical environment will nurture independent thinking, self-confidence and raise aspirations. ​We are inspired by Margate’s past and passionate about the future.

TMS is a not-for-profit company.


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