The Farnham School of Art was founded in 1866. The Guildford School of Art followed in 1870. The two conjoined to become the West Surrey College of Art and Design in 1969. In 1994 there was a further merger with the Epsom School of Art, with the combined institution renamed the Surrey Institute of Art & Design a year later. These two former colleges formed the basis for the two main campuses of the school. In 1999 the college was granted university college status and took on its last name.