PR students land jobs before graduation

Even before they have received their graduation certificates and flung their mortar boards high into the air, 60% of our final year Public Relations and Digital Communication graduands* are already in their dream roles! 

(*a graduand is someone who is eligible to graduate, but has not yet graduated – it can be your fact for the day!)  


Don’t take our word for it, listen to what our future graduates have to say. We asked them three short questions about their time at Teesside University: 

How did Teesside Uni help me prepare for my job?  

“My time at TU helped me to build confidence in my abilities, which left me feeling prepared to take on a new career!” – Sarah  

“Working with real world clients and developing the skills to help clients achieve their goals really helped me prepare myself for working in the industry. It helped me develop a ‘can-do’ attitude, which proves useful in an agency environment where no one day is the same.” – Adam 

“My time at Teesside University has helped me massively prepare for my job in so many ways, I don’t think I’d be this prepared for it without going through the University route!” – Laura  

Laura – Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough

Laura also says 

“Through my course I’ve been able to have a better understanding of the industry and build connections through guest lecturers and modules pushing me to speak to other creatives in the Northeast (especially when building my portfolio), which then led me to push my work out further to the online community. 

Through one of my modules, Teesside University helped push me to start my own blog which allowed me to speak to different businesses and related individuals. My blog helped me gain my first marketing job and helped me get accepted into the role I’m in now. Without this, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”   

The best thing about the PR course is… 

“The fact I was able to work on real world projects for real clients in a safe space where I could experiment with ideas was my favourite part of my time at university as it gave me a solid foundation of real-world experience and skills and still allowed me to try new things.”Adam 

“The best thing about the course was that a lot of it was practical, meaning we got the opportunity to design and create a range of PR and communications campaigns.”Sarah 

“The best thing about the PR course was the detailed learning because I was involved in quite a small cohort, this allowed all of us to be a consistent support line for one another through social groups and being friends with one another outside the classroom. The smaller groups allowed for us to get in-depth answers from our tutors about certain topics and more involved help with our learning.”Laura 

How’s work going and what are you doing?   

“Work is going great thanks, I love it!  My role is a mix of internal and external comms for a global company”Sarah  

Sarah – Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office)

Adam sounds rather busy too:  

“My job as an account executive at an advertising agency entails taking care of clients’ needs to relay that to the necessary departments within the agency. For example, if a client wants a front-page advertisement including in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph, I would be the first point of contact for the client and would relay that message to the artwork department in order to ensure client’s needs are met. 

I’m also currently compiling a competitor review for a football club to analyse competitors messaging techniques and any changes in (kit) design, and I’m working on populating a social media video report to see which of our videos have a higher level of engagement, and which videos don’t.” 

Laura is also multi-tasking: 

“I’m the sole marketeer across Middlesbrough and Durham studios for both tattooing and barbers, Skins and Needles Apparel, and other barbershops we have in the Northeast.  

My day-to-day responsibilities include social posting, customer relations, brand management, content management (with the team), paid advertisements, email marketing, but they’re not limited to any ideas that the team or our artists can come up with! Sounds a lot I know but with the right time management you can do anything. “– great advice from Laura.  

    • Adam is an Account Executive for Drummond Central, Newcastle. 
    • Laura is Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough.  
    • Sarah is a Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office) and range of global locations. 

Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in Media and Journalism, along with other courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries

Celebrating a Winning Year

Students and graduates from the School of Arts & Creative Industries are encouraged and supported by lecturers to enter national and international competitions, and to apply for funded programmes. Find out more about our recent successes in a truly winning year.


Competitions are a great way for students to gain experience of responding to live briefs, as well as creating noteworthy content for a CV and a topic of discussion for interviews. That’s why our lectures encourage students to enter their work.

The support doesn’t end there though – we encourage students to keep in touch once they have graduated and turn to the lecturers who know them so well for support in applying for a variety of funded opportunities.

We’re incredibly proud of all our students, but in particular wanted to give a shout out to a handful of students who have achieved some outstanding successes over the last 12 months and celebrate their success, including:

Keavey Gamwell, a Graphic Design student, was so successful in The Adobe Certified Professionals National Championships that she has been selected as one of just 20 students in the UK representing the UK and Ireland at Certiport’s Adobe Certified Professional World Championship in California, USA, from 24 to 27 July 2022. Read more about Keavey’s story here

Earlier this academic year, Fashion graduate Emily Dey completed a rigorous selection process to be selected for an exclusive and 10-month, paid training programme funded by YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation, the YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Modern Artisan paid training programme in responsible design and luxury textile craftsmanship.

fashion designs
Fashion designs from Emily Dey’s final year portfolio

3rd year Product Design student Kristina Kuzcenova has reached the next round of the Pro Carton Young Designers Award 2022. The Pro Carton Young Designers Award is Europe’s leading annual young talent competition for packaging design. Focussing exclusively on cartonboard, the award plays a pioneering role in promoting sustainable packaging and innovation amongst students across Europe.

Kristina Kuzkenova

There were over 800 entries and Kristina was notified in June that she is in the top 100. She has now sent her prototypes for the next stage of judging, taking place in the Hague. Judges will announce the shortlisted top 25 in July and these entrants will go to the public vote – if Kristina makes it to the top 25 she can be assured of the vote of all our lecturers and students!

Nick Moffatt

Nick Moffatt an MA Illustration student has been longlisted for the World Illustration Awards in the Book Covers category for his classic beat generation collection  With category winners yet to be announced we’re holding our breath and wishing Nick the very best of luck.

Zara King

Second year Product Design student, Zara King, secured a place as one of just six finalists in the Design Plastic Awards in April.  The challenge this year was to design an innovative product for use in any part of the healthcare sector and Zara desgined EASYMODE, a reusable bed pan.

The finalists presented their products to the judges in London on May 27, and the final award ceremony, announcing the results, takes place on July 1.

*** WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT ***

Zara King won the Design Plastics Award 

With the academic year drawing to a close,  lecturers are busy scheduling the next set of entry dates for competitions to share with students. Meanwhile, we’re holding our breath to find out if any students will be announced as 2022 winners…but if truth be known, they’re all winners in our eyes!

Three Good Reasons to Study for a Masters Degree

Studying for a masters degree is usually an option for anyone who has achieved a 2:2 or above in an undergraduate degree, although relevant professional experience is also considered. There are many reasons why people choose to study at postgraduate level, here are just 3 that prompted students to join the School of Arts and Creative Industries for their Masters degree study


Passion for a subject – many students just want to immerse themselves even further in the subject that they love. In the creative industries, often postgraduate students already run small businesses or sell their creations, so love to immerse themselves and learn even more about the subject that they love. Here’s what mature student Suzie Devay had to say

Employability – having that higher level qualification can make graduates more attractive to employers, so students often decide to further their studies to open more doors to their future career. Postgraduate study opened the doors to Neil Fatkin’s career in Journalism

Earning potential – evidence suggests that graduates with a postgraduate qualification have an increased lifetime earning potential. Hannah Cheetham decided to stay on to study at postgraduate level and aspires to progress to director level within a communications agency.

Emma graduated with an MSc Advanced Home Futures

With postgraduate loans of up to £11,836 and help available to find out what you may be entitled to, study at the School of Arts and Creative Industries may be more accessible than you think.

Hannah graduated with an MA Multimedia Public Relations

Whatever your reason, we’ve got a wide range of creative postgraduate courses available, many of which can also be studied with Advanced Practice, enabling you to enhance your qualification by adding a second year of vocational or research based internship to the one-year master’s programme – take a look at what you could study (in alphabetical order of subject):

MSc Advanced Home Futures

MA Comics and Graphic Novels

MA Curating

MA Digital Media and Communications

MA Design

MA Fine Art

MA Illustration

MA Interior Design

MA Multimedia Public Relations

MA Producing for Film and Television

MA Visual Communication

Join us at our Open Day on 25th June if you would like to chat to an academic about postgraduate study

 

Visitors at a Postgraduate Open Day

Winner of the inaugural MIMA Great Create competition

In January we launched our first MIMA Great Create competition, open to anyone over the age of 16 in the North East. With a regional theme, we invited entrants to tell us about their love of the North East in a creative way and a wide range of drawings, paintings, illustrations, comic strips, graphic designs, fashion designs, videos, photographs and musical pieces were sent in.

Five of our finalists (left to right) Airen Sopany, Jake Beddow, Jonathan Raiseborough, Ella Miller and Grace Coverdale

Picking a winner was a daunting task for our illustrious panel of creative industry judges, from Film Producers to Cartoonists and Heads of Brand, who anonymously marked each entry against its fit to the brief, creativity, originality and ability to convey a lived experience of the area, amongst other things.

Finalist’s entries on display in the MIMA foyer

Six finalists were selected and they brought family and friends to join staff from the School of Arts and Creative Industries for an informal finalists celebration lunch on 28th May at the MIMA Gallery, where a pop-up exhibition of their entries was displayed.

MIMA Gallery Artisitic Director, Elinor Morgan announcing the winner

Elinor Morgan, Artisic Director for MIMA Gallery announced the winner of the Apple MacBook Pro – Jonathan Raiseborough for his illustration “Boro Skyline”.

Winner Jonathan Raiseborough

Second place went to Ella Miller for her risograph print

Second place winner, Ella Miller

and third place went to Airen Sopany for her fabric and fashion design.

3rd place winner Airen Sopany

Comments on the winning entry from our industry judges included:

The line work and composition in this image is just extraordinary. I love the limited choice of colours. The sense of space is really interesting as well taking it from the natural to the urban in one image but presenting it as a ying and yang rather than as contrasting forces.

Beautifully detailed, from top to bottom. It really makes the viewer feel as though they know the area. Really nice use of colours, shading (especially on the water) and composition to draw the viewer in.

A lovingly executed work. So much to see, all beautifully tied together and well organised. Not a bit of wasted space. An excellent evocation of the wild, unseen side of Teesside, much appreciated by those who know about it. Thoughtful and well done.

The success of the inaugural MIMA Great Create competition has motivated us to continue with a new competition to be launched in September. The new theme will be revealed on our competition web page and lecturers will be visiting schools and colleges in the region to tell students how they can enter, so keep your eye on this page for news coming soon!

Finalist Grace Coverdale with her acrylic painting on canvas ‘The decline of the Teesside steelworks industry’
Finalist Jake Beddow with his musical composition representing the history and current story of the Teesside region.