An independent liberal arts school for the 21st century.

The Margate School (TMS) is an independent not-for-profit postgraduate arts school, based in and for Margate, a seaside town on the South East coast of England. TMS offers the first European Fine Art Masters programme in the UK, alongside technical and studio facilities, short courses and an array of exhibitions, talks and events reaching out to industry and diverse communities locally and further afield

TMS is inspired by Margate’s creative, historic and working past.

“We celebrate the town’s optimistic present and are passionate about contributing to its creative future.”

​The exciting local cultural offer, tourism and leisure facilities, cafes and restaurants somewhat camouflage the fact that we are also situated in one of the poorest wards and most pressurised high streets in the country. TMS’ welcoming public presence, its events and outreach work have supported the reinvention of Margate’s High Street, helping to alleviate social and urban deprivation, essential to their mission.

TMS’ key partner and supporter is the renowned French art school L'Ecole Supérieure d'Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen (ESADHaR) and accredits the Art, Society, Nature MA.

Since its inception, notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, small businesses have started to reanimate empty units on the High Street. TMS has developed flexible, non-linear inspirational and aspirational pathways to entrepreneurial success for creatives and their businesses.

In 2019 TMS took over the former Woolworths building in Margate’s High Street, which is a stone’s throw away from the Main Sands beach, Turner Contemporary gallery and the Old Town, with the train station and bus stops only a 5-10 minute walk away. Since opening their doors, the School has become home to over 40 creative professionals and students with work and studio spaces and supported over 70 artists through academic provision, participatory projects, commissions, artist residencies and economical facility hire. As well as welcoming over 16,000 visitors and stakeholders to participate in events, training and workshops.


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 context of the arts.

Officinae humanitatis - fabricando fabricamur 

(The Margate School's motto: studios of humanity - we become humans as we engage humanly in the world we occupy

by Johannes Comenius) 

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