TALENTED media students have received prizes at Teesside University’s annual Journalism Awards.

The event, which was hosted by Jeremy Armstrong, The Daily Mirror’s North-East Correspondent, took place at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art as part of Teesside University’s School of  Arts and Creative Industries’ Degree Showcase week of events.

Journalism and Fashion degree  students received awards based on exceptional work produced during the past academic year.

The winners receive a week’s work experience at the company which sponsors the individual award.

Winners were commended for the skills learnt on the BA (Hons) Journalism; BA(Hons) Sports Journalism and BA (Hons) Fashion degrees

Among the awards were Multimedia Journalist of the Year, Best Sport Feature Writer and Blogger of the Year.

Prizes included a number of work placements with Teesside Live, The Hartlepool Mail along with work experience at BBC Tees and Bauer Media.

A number of special academic awards were also given out, including the award for the best degree Final Project.

Award’s host Jeremy is based in Newcastle upon Tyne and reports on the North East region for the Daily Mirror.

Host Jeremy Armstrong

He is also sports news correspondent and has worked around the world covering football World Cups, and Olympic Games, since 1998.

Jeremy was sent to report on the war in Afghanistan in 2001, covered the 2009 trial of Josef Fritzl in Austria, the story of canoe man John Darwin, and the hunt for Raoul Moat.

In 2020, he broke the scandal of Dominic Cummings breach of lockdown rules. Last year he travelled to Israel to cover the war in Gaza.

Jim Entwhistle, Course Leader for Journalism and Sports Journalism in the School of Arts and Creative Industries, said:

“These awards recognise the hard work and excellent calibre of our current journalism students and the students were thrilled to be awarded their prizes by Jeremy.”

“I would like to thank all of the media organisations who generously contributed prizes to this celebration of our students’ achievements.”

Here are the winners:

Vlogger of the Year – sponsored by Teesside University Communications and Development

Winner: Kanye Ochieng- Chambers

Content Producer of the Year  – Sponsored by Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA)

Winner: Thomas Hodgson

Feature Writer of the Year –  sponsored by The Northern Echo newspaper

Winner: Roaa Mohammed Elhag

Multimedia Journalist of the Year – sponsored by Teesside Live

Winner: Ben Sedgwick

Community Reporter of the Year, sponsored by The Hartlepool Mail newspaper

Winner: Rory Clark

Rory Clark with Hartlepool Mail Editor, Gavin Ledwith

Audio Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Bauer Media

Winner: Ashley Stone

Ashley Stone with Eleanor Kumar from Bauer Media

Video Journalist of the Year, sponsored by UK Local TV

Winner: Ella Wilson

Ella Wilson with The Daily Mirror's Jeremey Armstrong
Ella Wilson with The Daily Mirror’s Jeremy Armstrong

Digital Communications Student of Year, sponsored by Harvey and Hugo PR Agency

Winner: Gemma Woolston

Ali Brownlee Sports Coverage Award –sponsored by BBC Tees

Winner: Ben Rowell

Creative Communications Campaign – sponsored by Durham County Cricket Club.

Winner: Danny Nicholson

Public Relations Student of the Year – sponsored by DTW PR Agency

Winner: Maddy Hockborn

Maddy Hockburn with Karen Westcott from DTW

Portfolio of the Year – sponsored by Great North Air Ambulance Service

Winner: Jacob Raw

Fashion Journalist  of the Year – Sponsored by Sunday Girl Magazine

Winner: Eleanor Cork

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Teesside University

Winner: Melissa Wade

Melissa Wade with Senior Lecturer, Paul Bailey

Best Final Project – Sponsored by Teesside University

Winner: Josef Murray

Find out more about studying journalism at Teesside University

BA (Hons) Journalism

BA (Hons) Sport Journalism

To Create is Great!

Being creative is important…in fact, it’s great! Creativity can help to reduce stress, make you feel calmer, improve your wellbeing, combat depression and anxiety and generally alleviate stress, leaving you happy and content. In fact, entering our MIMA Great Create competition could be just the tonic you need – here’s what you need to know.

The School of Arts & Creative Industries  and MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) are celebrating the third birthday of our MIMA Great Create competition, and this year’s theme is sure to prick your social conscience. This year we’re challenging entrants to submit a creative piece that responds to the theme of ‘creating a sustainable future’.

MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art)

The creative piece, which must be developed solely for MIMA Great Create, could be a painting, an illustration, a comic, a piece of music or a film. It could be a model, a photograph, a fashion item or a piece of creative artwork in any form.  All shortlisted entries will be featured in a special pop-up exhibition at MIMA and the winner of our special People’s Champion category will be displayed in Teesside University’s Net Zero Centre for all visitors to see.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over and this year entries will be judged in three categories:

  • School or college student
  • Current Teesside University student and
  • Creative in the community.

There will also be an exciting opportunity for everyone to vote for the ‘People’s Champion’ from the shortlisted entries.

Judge Drucilla Burrell

The MIMA Great Create judges come from across the creative industries, and this year include magazine founder and fashion academic Abigail Dennison, artist and curator Bobby Benjamin, children’s art charity Theatre Hullabaloo chief executive Ben Dickenson, Professor Dawid Hanak of the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, photographer Drucilla Burrell, artist and illustrator Errol Theunissen, MIMA artistic director Elinor Morgan, and last year’s Great Create winner Hayley Harris.

MIMA Great Create winner, 2023 – Hayley Harris

Hayley was announced as the second winner of the World Book Day themed MIMA Great Create in March 2023 with her illustration inspired by her favourite book The Secret Garden. Speaking when she was announced as the winner, Hayley said:

“I feel a strong connection with the book and characters, having lost a parent and being surrounded by wildlife and nature has helped to heal, give guidance and comfort. The scene that I chose to encapsulate is when the robin shows the way to the door and sadness is given some light and healing through nature.”

2023 winning entry, The Secret Garden

Haley’s advice to anyone considering entering the MIMA Great Create was:

“Let your imagination run wild and don’t be afraid to let your artwork out into the world. It helps others in giving encouragement and a bit of inspiration.”

The standard of entries gets higher every year and entries already received for this year are no different. With a closing deadline of Friday 29 March 2024, there’s still time to get your entry in, so if creating a sustainable future matters to you, then get those creative juices flowing and head to  The MIMA Great Create | School of Arts & Creative Industries | Teesside University

Judge Errol Theunissen
Judge David Hawak
Judge Ben Dickenson

Study at our School of Arts & Creative Industries https://www.tees.ac.uk/schools/mima/

National Apprenticeship Week

This week at Teesside University we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and highlighting the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers, and the economy.

Apprentices in the MIMA Gallery

It’s a very exciting time for the apprentices on the Curator Degree Apprenticeship MA, because they are spending their week at MIMA on our Teesside University Campus for one of their intensive weeks of learning. This course is the first of its kind in the sector and offers a unique approach to learning by combining online seminars, on the job learning and 3 intensive weeks across the 24 months of the course.

What is it like to be on our blended, unique learning model?

Curator apprentices in MIMA

We asked some of our current apprentices to tell us…

Alice Wilde is a Talent Development Producer and Curator for Visual Art at HOME in Manchester.

My favourite thing about the course has been learning from one another I think it’s a very special environment. Everyone is coming to the subject from very different backgrounds and disciplines, but there’s a universal language and a way of understanding one another.

The course is for someone who wants to expand their practise, hone it and work out what your values are as a curator and the direction you want to go into in the future. One of the main priorities of this course is thinking about access and inclusivity – who our audience are, who encounters our spaces and institutions. Just having the time to reflect and discuss all of this together has been really amazing.

Adam Rose is a Trainee in the Exhibitions Team within Wellcome Collection, 

The thing that’s really stood out for me has to be these intensive weeks in my daily working life as an apprentice curator we must think of delivery all the time you very rarely get that space to hold conversations with like-minded people and that’s a really nice thing to have.

Why not sign up to one of our webinars to find out more about our Curator Degree Apprenticeship MA?

MA Curating apprentices at MIMA

Find out more about Degree Apprenticeships available at Teesside University – Teesside University is an outstanding provider for Higher Apprenticeships (Ofsted further education and skills inspection report 2019).

Art Psychotherapy at Teesside

In September 2023 the School of Arts & Creative Industries launched a new Arts Therapist apprenticeship. Here we catch up with Course Leader Dr. Kelly Jayne to find out a little bit more about the course.

Could you give a brief overview of the course?

I’m very proud to be the Course Leader for such a rich and innovative course. Our course, carefully designed within the School of Arts & Creative Industries, is currently the only MSc Art Psychotherapy Degree Apprenticeship in England and has the potential to offer a dynamic, exciting, and personally rewarding career. The course offers a broad understanding of Art Psychotherapy, covering a range of clinical, theoretical, and practical components. Furthermore, pioneering Art Psychotherapists such as Prof Val Huet, Dr Jed Jerwood, Dr Simon Hackett and Dr Chris Wood (to name a few) contribute towards to the delivery of the course, adding value and expertise to the apprentice’ experience  The course is Health and Care Professions Council approved and on completion, apprentices can register with the HCPC as a qualified and professional Art Psychotherapist, ready for practice.

Art Psychotherapy materials

Tell me about the benefits to learners (apprentices)

Our course is a blended low residency model of delivery.  This means learners can attend lectures and seminars online in the comfort of their own home or employment setting. This also enables inclusivity as  people from anywhere in England can access our training.  Learners also attend three 5-days, in-person, intensive experiential weeks over the duration of the course where they can emerge themselves in the learning without distraction, meet their other cohort group members, meet Art Psychotherapist Guest Lecturers and access Teesside University facilities and MIMA, our amazing art gallery which is part of the School of Arts and Creative Industries.  As well as completing with an apprenticeship, they exit the course with an MSc Art Psychotherapy degree, and they will also have the additional opportunity to engage in the delivery of arts research projects within our upcoming Arts Research Clinic (ARCH) and even co-write articles for publication!

Learners engaging with course activities

I’m interested to know, what is the impact of an Art Psychotherapist?

An Art Psychotherapist’s task is to support processes of emotional integration by providing a safe, reliable, and therapeutic environment within which the patient or client can create and use art-making to express thoughts and feelings, leading to personal insight and positive change. Sometimes talking therapies are not appropriate for a patient or client due to a variety of reasons. An Art Psychotherapist offers an alternative intervention where words are not the only form of communication or expression. The creative process offers a non-intimidating way for a patient or client to start exploring their thoughts and feelings, building confidence and choice in how, what, and when they share. The image can hold the material until a patient is ready to discuss is.

Dr Kelly Jayne introducing Guest Speakers during an intensive learning week

So, what advice would you give to someone wanting to study the course?

The requirement is that if you wish to engage in our apprenticeship programme, you must be in full-time (30 hours min.) employment for the full duration of the training and have your employer’s full support. You must have either a BA (Hons) degree in an art subject, or, be able to demonstrate a long standing relationship with art making. You must have an understanding or eager interest in how art can support healing or expression and be passionate about the profession.

Art Psychotherapy intensive experiential week

Finally, what advice would you give to an employer looking to send their employee on this course?

If you are an employer considering this option to either upskill a current employee, or to create a new post, you won’t be disappointed! Not only will your employee bring new, rich learning each week that will enhance their role, but their training will also benefit your service users. You will be able to offer your service users an intervention that is highly in demand, is evidence-based and it is extremely good value for money. Teesside University is proud of how we support employers each step of the onboarding process and throughout the programme. I would advise potential employers to attend one of our webinars where we provide lots of information about the course and there is an opportunity to ask questions. You can also contact us here with any questions apprenticeships@tees.ac.uk

Learners engaging in art psychotherapy activities

Find out more about our

Arts Therapist apprenticeship here


Other apprenticeships available to study at

Teesside University can be found here

Is experience more important than qualifications?

That’s a good question isn’t it. Can we do what we want to do without qualifications? Can we work as a lawyer; a doctor; an architect without qualifications? Of course not, but we certainly couldn’t work in those professions without some experience as well.

by Paul Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Media

As Julius Caeser once said: “Experience is the teacher of all things.” And he should know as he conquered country after country. Clearly for Caesar simply having a qualification in Latin was not enough. Most successful job candidates have both experience and qualifications, and both contribute to their ability to perform their job well. Qualifications show that you have the knowledge necessary for your profession, whereas experience proves that you’ve practiced working in your field. Which brings me to an anecdote about a boy from South Shields who wanted to go to university but hadn’t quite figured out what career he wanted to do. He did get to university – the first in his family to do so. He studied politics and history because that’s what he was good at while studying his A-levels. While at university he had to complete a 12,000 word dissertation for his final project. He decided he would write about the recent miners’ strike that had just finished. He thought it was a good idea to spend summer in South Shields talking to former striking miners, newspaper reporters, the general public and many other people about their experiences of the year-long strike. He came away thinking how much he had enjoyed meeting these people and listening to their stories. What job entails meeting people, interviewing them and finding out about their lives? Well journalism of course. So, after three years at university studying politics and history he decided he was going to be a journalist.

But how do you become a journalist? The university career advisor was very helpful. “It’s very hard to get into”, he said.

Student in the recording booth at Radio Tees
Student gaining work experience at Radio Tees

Undeterred the youngster went along to the nearest college offering journalism qualifications. He was accepted for an interview to get a place on the course. Things were moving in the right direction – it wouldn’t be long before he was reading the news on television to an eager audience.

What journalism experience have you got?” asked the tutor.

None whatsoever,” the youngster retorted.

Sorry you can’t have a place on the course then. There’s plenty of other people who have done work experience who want to come on the course,” the tutor replied.

The youngster had the right degree qualification but didn’t have any experience. So, he spent a year working for any media organisation who would take him – radio, television and newspapers.

He returned to the college a year later and was offered a place on the course.

One year after that he got his first journalism job as a trainee reporter on a local daily newspaper.

So – two years after graduating and five years after starting his degree he was finally a journalist.

Student in our recording studio at Teesside University

Wouldn’t it be good if you could get a degree and do some work experience at the same time? Doing it all in three years instead of five.

The BA (Hons) Journalism and BA(Hons) Sport Journalism degrees at Teesside University allow you to do just that.

Just look at what’s been on offer to the students since September:

  • Working with BBC Tees
  • Working with Reach plc – publishers of The Mirror
  • Working on the university’s in-house radio station – Tuxtra
  • Working with the commercial radio station Radio Hartlepool
  • Working for an international news website with a chance to visit America.
  • Three journalism students recently flew to Spain to report on an international quiz event – producing videos and written news stories about the occasion.

All great work experience opportunities available to students in first year; second year and third year in the last three months.

Ultimately, neither experience or having qualifications is more important than the other. But having them both can really make you go places.

Courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries


BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

BA (Hons) Fashion

BA (Hons) Fine Art

BA (Hons) Film and Television Production

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Interior Design

BA (Hons) Journalism

BA (Hons) Music Production

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Sport Journalism


Art & Design

Media & Journalism

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to find out more about studying in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, email saci-school@tees.ac.uk and we’ll get straight back to you.

Art & Design Facilities video

Media Facilities video





“Quizmas come early” – the Teesside University students heading to the International Quizzing Championships

A team of Sport Journalism students from Teesside University is heading to Spain on an assignment to cover this weekend’s International Quizzing Championships.

The event will feature quizzing heavyweights such as Pat Gibson, who won the £1m prize in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Paul Sinha, star of The Chase, and Ronny Swiggers, individual champion at last year’s event.

Joining them will be three of the university’s second year students – Ben Rowell, Danny Nicholson and Jacob Raw, who met event organiser, Jane Allen, in a recent seminar.

Jane told the students that the event was the pinnacle of competitive quizzing.

“This is quiz run as a sport and it’s mind-bendingly difficult,” she said.

“Participants train for these events like an athlete would for a world championships – but in this case it is a sport of the mind.”

Impressed by the students, Jane offered them the opportunity to test their journalism skills at the forthcoming event, held in Torremolinos.

The students will be producing social media content, press releases, match reports and features for the event, which runs across three days from Friday. As well as providing content for the event, the students will be using the opportunity to hone their skills in interviewing and content production.

Jim Entwistle, senior lecturer on the Sport Journalism course, said: “It’s an unusual assignment but one that Danny, Ben and Jacob are more than up to. We’re always on the lookout for meaningful experiences and opportunities for our students – and opportunities don’t come bigger than the International Quizzing Championships – we’re hugely grateful to Jane for this chance.”

Danny Nicholson, 21, said: “I’m looking forward to getting out there and creating some content. I pride myself on my general knowledge so I’m hoping to take on some of the participants at the quiz while I’m there, but I’m realistic about my chances.”

Jacob Raw, 19, said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity and a good chance to represent the university abroad. It will allow me to develop my skills in a real-world, high-profile environment. It’s a prestigious event and I’m just delighted to be going. It feels like Quizmas has come early.”

Jane added: “We want to have a relationship with the University that is symbiotic – we are getting access to the talents of these students, and the students are getting chance to develop their skills at the same time. Everyone’s a winner.”

The students will be publishing on www.quizzing.com and its social media platforms, and will write an update for this blog next week.



Slice of cake, anyone?

Written by Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean in the School of Arts & Creative Industries

There’s an Autumn nip in the air, the Great British Bake Off is due on our screens and the annual McMillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is just around the corner. Kitchen Aid mixers are whirling into action in kitchens across the UK.

Meanwhile, bags are being packed, goodbyes said, and freshers are itching to begin their university life. Around the World lecturers are preparing to welcome their new students and planning for the academic year to come.

It strikes me that these two situations have something in common. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that all lecturers are good bakers (far from it!), but there is something vaguely familiar about the nurturing, caring principles of baking and lecturing; the desire for a good outcome and the commitment to working hard to achieve this.

Quality Ingredients

Only the best ingredients (image credit https://www.flickr.com/people/calgaryreviews/)

Ever tried baking a cake with less than quality ingredients – with a dodgy cooker and scales that don’t quite weigh correctly? Odds are your cakes won’t turn out to be as good as you would like them to be. Fit-for-purpose equipment and quality ingredients are needed to guarantee the bake that you are looking for.

When choosing a university to spend three or more years of their life at, prospective students similarly seek quality – strong rankings in the league tables, good NSS scores, high levels of student satisfaction and committed, highly qualified academics. A quality university is needed to turn out a top-notch, highly qualified and work-ready graduate.

The Recipe

Even quality ingredients can’t ensure a perfect bake if the recipe is wrong. One too many eggs or not enough baking powder and the cake’s a flop.

Be sure to get the recipe right

The same balance needs to be considered within the course that a student selects. The onus is on academics to create a balanced mix of exciting learning content, activities, guest lecturers, trips and course materials to ensure that students learn exactly what they need to know. Miss out a vital ingredient and students will struggle to achieve success in their assessments.

The Temperature

Too hot an oven and your cake will burn. Too cool an oven and your cake won’t rise. Getting the temperature right is as important as having the correct recipe.

Lifelong friendships are made at university, so a healthy balance between studying and fun is needed. The correct work-play balance creates an environment in which students flourish – without the fun some students struggle with the pressure of study and can be tempted to drop out. Too much partying and grades may suffer. A good university seeks to provide exactly the right balance between social and study. Student Unions, personal tutors, pastoral care and student guidance teams are all there to support students in getting it right.

Lifelong friendships are made at university


Jam and cream fillings, a sprinkle of icing sugar here, a coating of chocolate there and your cake is more than a cake, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s those finishing touches that make your cake the one that everyone wants to take a bite out of.

Decorations can create a thing of beauty

Similarly, a degree is not enough. Employers are inundated with graduate applications for advertised vacancies, and applications that stand out are those where the candidate has more than just a degree. Work experience, success in student competitions, self-awareness, confidence, professional presentation, global awareness…these are many of the added extras that lead an employer to choose YOU over other applicants.

Teesside University has a recipe for success. Why not join us for a slice of our cake at one of our Open Days, to find out for yourself – we’re pretty sure you’ll have a delicious time.

Courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries


BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

BA (Hons) Fashion

BA (Hons) Fine Art

BA (Hons) Film and Television Production

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Interior Design

BA (Hons) Journalism

BA (Hons) Music Production

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Sport Journalism


Art & Design

Media & Journalism

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to find out more about studying in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, email saci-school@tees.ac.uk and we’ll get straight back to you.

Art & Design Facilities video

Media Facilities video

Make a Good Decision this Clearing!

What do you know about yourself? “Think wisely and make good choices” says Dr Laura Sillars, Dean of the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University.

How many weeks do you think you have between being zero and 80? The writer Oliver Burkeman has recently published a book on this … most people guess a far larger number than the true figure. My nine-year old guessed 10,000. When I told him it was in fact only 4,000 he suggested that this was a good rationale to eat a lot of cake! Well, I like cake a lot as well, but that’s a little beside the point. This number shouldn’t scare us, but it does focus the mind on making the best use of our time.

Eat a lot of cake!

A standard three-year degree will occupy your imagination for c.156 weeks (including holidays where it might be at the back of your mind even if not front and centre). That is 4% of your total available lifetime budget. So, it’s worth making a good decision on what and where you study. There is so much noise and so much available data, how can you choose? Writing as someone who made a good (but rather rushed) decision in clearing rather than weighing up the options I have some personal experience to share.*

Make the right choice for you!

So this sounds a bit obvious, but most good decisions require us to know ourselves a little to know what we specifically need. Do you thrive in an ambitious environment where you’re mostly working alone and self-driven? There are Universities that offer, what one of my colleagues calls, DIY degrees. They really suit some people who are ready to simply crack on. These are not the degree experiences that we offer at the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Teesside University. We are very focused on the learning environment, creating networks within the lessons and nurturing talent. So, what is it you’re looking for?

Make a list

Start by writing a top ten list of things that are important to you. Here are some ideas. Do you need a focused timetable so you can work or undertake caring duties? Do you need great facilities to be on campus because you haven’t got space at home? Are your career aspirations driving you? Do you want industry experience so you’re ready to go once you graduate? Do you want to improve your technical skills? Is a smallish friendly group more important to you than being in a big competitive environment? When you’re done, share your list with friends and family to check if you missed anything.

Once you have your own list you can mark the places you’re looking at against your own criteria.

1. Website

Don’t just look at the course content and the general marketing blurb, search for distinctive words that connect with what you’re looking for. If you’re still not 100% sure about which course then follow the next steps.

2. Attend a Clearing Open Day

This way you can meet staff and students from all different courses and you can dip in and out of subject talks. It will help you review your options.

3. Visit (any day – even if not an open day)

Visit for a friendly vibe

Nothing gives you a better sense of a place than a deep dive visit. Even if it’s lashing with rain or snow, get out there. This is a big decision. There are so many sensations you can get from a visit. It also allows you to review the place against you list criteria.

We find that many folk who come and visit us sign up both because they love the learning facilities and environment, but also because they get a sense of the friendly vibe which helps them imagine studying with us. You can only experience this by coming in person.

4. Speak to Someone

Even if you spoke to someone in the past, get in touch again. We all have teams of people waiting to speak to potential candidates. Approach your conversation with curiosity – write down key words that are said. Do they align with what you are looking for. Friendliness and good humour should not be overlooked here!

5. League Tables and Data

You can gain some useful insights from the league tables if you’re reading them through the lens of your own criteria. In the student-led NSS survey, our creative courses score really well in all areas, but specifically our courses are very strong on areas such as Academic Support and Teaching on My Course. This data can tell you something about what we prioritise as a team.

So as you weigh up what you’ll do with 4% of your life, I’ll leave you with a quote from Oscar Wilde:

‘Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken’

Make a decision that fits you now and your sense of what is important to you for the future, your values, the ways you like to live and work and the rest will fall into place.

Good Luck!


Courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries


BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

BA (Hons) Fashion

BA (Hons) Fine Art

BA (Hons) Film and Television Production

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Interior Design

BA (Hons) Journalism

BA (Hons) Music Production

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Sport Journalism


Art & Design

Media & Journalism

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to find out more about studying in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, email saci-school@tees.ac.uk and we’ll get straight back to you.

Art & Design Facilities video

Media Facilities video

Doing Things Differently

We’ve been listening to what our students and applicants have to say about studying for a degree in the creative arts, and have decided to make some exciting changes to our undergraduate degree programmes. So if you’re joining us to start a degree in September, here’s a summary of the unique benefits of our creative courses

  1. Life-shaped learning:

Students will benefit from a compressed timetable

We recognise that our students are busy people. Many juggle jobs and family commitments. So, we take a blended approach to learning with the majority of time on campus on a compressed timetable and some elements of learning online, so that you can protect your family/work time. You will also be supported with online resources so you can catch up and revise. Of course, you will have access to our world-class facilities throughout the week, however, this way you can plan your time.

2. Build your Creative Identity:

Our courses are designed to help you find and grow your unique creative voice.

We focus on a nurturing/coaching/mentoring approach to learning and teaching. Once you’re a creative you’re always a creative. But how do you keep building and growing? Creativity requires resilience and mental strength. We have designed unique creative, reflective processes that will support you to see the patterns in your thinking. Using bespoke designed course planners, you will regularly use journalling techniques to support your creative identity development. Journalling is also known to support good mental health and wellbeing. Our programmes are shaped around the unique interests of our learners with projects forming the majority of assessments. You are located in a studio environment where you will develop the confidence to give and gain feedback from your tutors and peers so that you can grow and develop your personal resilience.

3. Fuel your Career:

Who you know as well as what you know!

Career development is built into your course from day one. Creative industries are growing faster than all of the economy with 1 million+ new jobs by 2030. We focus on supporting our students to develop the skills to compete in this dynamic environment.

On our courses, in year 1 and 2 you will study short, practical modules to give students a full understanding of how to build a career in the Creative Industries – you will focus on your specialist area but also explore the wider environment. In year three you will produce a portfolio as you develop your own unique professional identity. Throughout you will:

      • Gain behind-the-scenes insights, knowledge and build professional connections
      • Meet alumni in great jobs who can help you find your feet as you leave

4. Creative for Life:

Almost 30% of our students tell us that they are driven to study here because of their love for the subject.

Some of our students already have a career or want to work in adjacent areas (from marketing and PR to management) but they want to fulfil a lifelong ambition to develop their creativity. We fully embrace this ambition. We know that being creative will enhance your life in so many ways, and we create opportunities for you to develop your professional networks and your skills in areas such as funding applications or developing commissioning opportunities and outlets for your work. So, we support you in pursuing your passion alongside your career.

5. Find Focus and Flow:

Our course is designed to help you find your flow and creative focus.

Have you heard of the concept of flow? It’s how creatives to do their best work. We have taken lots of feedback from students. They find it challenging to study many modules at once. When you are fully immersed in a task and are fully present creatively new ideas emerge. You will grow creatively. We have designed our courses so you will only ever do two modules at one time. Most time is spent immersed in your creative studio with your tutors, specialist technical team, industry practitioners and peers as you learn through making and doing. This way, we help you get into your creative flow.

6. International Perspectives:

Our courses are designed to give you an international perspective from Teesside as well as opportunities to study abroad.

Being able to work and collaborate internationally will help you grow your career. Creative Industries are global! Our school has partnerships in Madrid, Milan, Prague, Rome through to India, Singapore, China and Turkey. We provide opportunities to work digitally with students studying internationally, to collaborate on projects or to travel and experience another country while progressing through your course. We actively encourage student mobility and support you in taking up these opportunities. We also identify and encourage students to enter competitions nationally and internationally to help you to gain recognition for your work.

7. Creative Making and Experimentation:

Risk-free experimentation is built into every semester allowing you to try things out and build new skills through MIMA Creative Week.

Throughout your working life you will need to keep experimenting, learning and trialling new things. We celebrate creativity by running a Creative Week where you go off timetable every semester so you can learn new skills and experiment creatively. From podcasting, studio photography, filming in a green-screen, screen printing to animal drawing – we have lots of opportunities for you to work in specialist facilities across our school to discover and develop new skills.

8. Becoming Digital:

Our future facing courses support you to be digitally confident and curious.

Every year new digital tools change creative production. Our students don’t just need to learn new software, they need to learn how to stay flexible and adaptive for a digital future. 

You will have access to a range of devices loaded with creative software to explore. All our courses adopt industry standard software. MIMA Creative Week offers a range of short, intensive digital courses. In-person content is backed up by material on our virtual learning platform, meaning that you can go back to view material at your own time.

All of our programmes are supported by Adobe with Teesside being the first European Adobe Creative Campus and we’re recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for our pioneering commitment to digital teaching and learning. We provide opportunities for students to gain accreditation via Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, to enhance future career prospects.

Here are the courses that you can study with us to benefit from this new and exciting approach to learning:

BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

BA (Hons) Fashion

BA (Hons) Fine Art

BA (Hons) Film and Television Production

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Interior Design

BA (Hons) Journalism

BA (Hons) Music Production

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Sport Journalism

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to find out more about studying in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, email saci-school@tees.ac.uk and we’ll get straight back to you.

Art & Design Facilities video

Media Facilities video

Our ongoing journey

These developments have grown out of much discussion with staff and students and we will keep innovating and developing in the future- we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback

Curating Happiness

George Vasey, Senior Lecturer in Curating at Teesside University, pursues happiness in the form of an exhibition

How do you curate an exhibition on the theme of happiness? Let me answer. With great difficulty. The subject of happiness has evaded the brightest minds. When my former colleague Laurie Britton Newell and I co-curated the exhibitions Joy & Tranquillity at Wellcome Collection, London in 2021 we were quick to understand our limitations. Let’s just say, spending two years studying the topic of happiness during the unhappiness of the Covid Pandemic was an illuminating experience. With this exhibition we really met our match with this vast and complex theme.

The exhibition recently toured to the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, opening as Hello Happiness. Visiting the show on the opening, and seeing much of our original research, brought memories flooded back. On Happiness is expertly curated by Isabel Dzierson supported by the consultancy of myself and Britton Newell.

Deutsches Hygiene museum in Dresden. Photo: Oliver Killig

Working as a curator leaves you with lots of random facts. Here’s one for you: the word emotion was coined in the early 19th century by the philosopher Thomas Brown. Before then, we didn’t really have a concept for an emotional state. People used terms like passions to describe “stirrings of the soul.” These stirrings were to be resisted and the idea of emotion is a fairly recent phenomena.

So, where do you start on a project of this scale? Like any good researcher, we developed a series of questions that guided us through the topic. These included: what do people do to feel good and what does feeling great do to the body? Who defines what makes a happy life and who is excluded from this story? Can happiness be possible alongside unhappiness? Our research took us through ancient bloodletting rituals to Buddhism, 19th century yoga retreats, and medieval folk dances. We spoke to monks, activists, environmentalists, economists, scientists, historians and medical professionals, and commissioned artists and designers to bring the subject to life.


For all of its diverse forms, the ways to a happy life across history and communities share much in common. From creativity to meditation retreats, losing yourself on the dance floor to helping out in the local community, most forms of happiness revolve around a loss of the self. The philosopher Iris Murdoch called it “ego-loss” when the mind is occupied and the person is involved in something greater than the self. From secular to religious rituals, these paths towards ego-loss are found in every society since the dawn of time.

I learned that philosophically, feeling happy and the idea of happiness are slightly different concepts. The notion of a happy life is founded on the concepts of freedom, financial security, a sense of belonging and purpose. Scandinavian countries often feature high in international happiness surveys, many of their citizens benefiting from strong welfare support and high standards of living. Of course, emotions aren’t universally felt. How we feel is deeply physical and is constructed through memories and socialisation.


Feeling good can encompass a broad range of feelings from tranquillity to elation, catharsis to ecstasy and is often fleeting. Feeling good might accompany feeling bad. We might help others to feel good about ourselves or partake in destructive tendencies for that momentary dopamine hit. The quest for happiness can lead to perpetual unhappiness.

The most interesting aspect of my research involved talking to scientists and understanding the physical impact of hormones on the body. I talked to researchers who studied choir singers with evidenced levels of increased Oxycotin. This bonding hormone is involved in building trust and empathy. I talked to medical professionals who rhapsodised on the importance of Vitamin D and its ability to regulate mood. I learned that most of the feel-good hormone serotonin is in our stomach and not our brains and that a balanced diet is crucial in maintaining it. Did I learn any secrets to happiness while curating the topic? Sorry to disappoint but there are no quick fixes: regular sleep, exercise, a balanced diet and participating in cultural and community activities are all proven activities for improving wellbeing.


Isabel Dzierson has done a fantastic job of the exhibition, expanding on much of our original curatorial research. The exhibition boasts over 150 objects and artworks that bring the topic to life. The museum’s PR led with one of our original questions: why an exhibition happiness and why now? From the cost of living crisis to the environmental emergency, war in Ukraine to rising levels of political unrest seen across the globe, the question of what makes us feel good feels more vital than ever.


Hello Happiness runs from 27th May to 19th November 2023 at Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden.

George Vasey is a Curator and a Senior Lecturer in Curating in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, Teesside University.

Find out about our MA Curating

More about our Curator Degree Apprenticeship