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 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

Booming Film and TV industry in the North East

Charlotte Nicol is Associate Dean, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Arts & Creative Industries – here she talks about the wealth of opportunities in our booming North East film and tv industry 

Charlotte Nicol

If you’re studying film and TV at the moment in the North East – great work! Now is the time to be studying this course, congratulations on choosing a booming industry and an incredible place to live

Studying TV & Film Production

The BBC has made its biggest investment in the North East for decades as part of a new partnership with the region, and will be spending a minimum of £25m over the next five years to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector.

All of the local authorities and the combined authorities in the region have supported this financially (which, having come from a local authority I know is no mean feat, particularly as there’s 12 of them!)  The North East Screen Industries Partnership will jointly invest £11.4 million, over a five year period to deliver a new Screen Industries Development Programme, maximising opportunities for significant growth within the screen industries sector and developing a thriving and sustainable ecosystem.

Creative Cities Convention at Teesside University

My experience of speaking to industry partners mirrors this – at the Royal Television Society awards, I sat next to a colleague who told me that the number of entries had grown exponentially in the past few years.   The region held the Creative Cities Conference at the Boilershop in Newcastle, and Teesside University hosted the Creative Cities Convention masterclasses.  Our guests included ITV Signpost, the BBC, Chanel 4, Middlechild, and gaming company Ubisoft. Our students even had the opportunity of meeting Johnny Moore, the Chief Executive of Fulwell 73 Productions, possibly the most in demand man of the moment to speak to our students.  A couple of weeks ago I also had the pleasure of meeting the most down to earth and lovely Franc Roddam, acclaimed film Director, businessman, screenwriter, television producer and publisher, best known as the creator of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and the director of Quadrophenia (check out our scholarships here).

Franc Roddam scholarships for Film & TV Production students

My biggest take away from all the interactions I’ve had with people from this industry has been that not only do students need to be connecting with these amazing industry opportunities (first have a look at North East Screen) anyone hoping to enter this industry needs to build their soft skills as well as screen skills.

After reading ‘Tools of Titans’ which outlines the routine of super successful people, my favourite question to ask successful industry partners is ‘what do you do to make your life manageable?’ (I once asked Tony Hall from the BBC this when I met him and he told me he loved to garden and that’s what kept him going!)

In the film and TV industry it seems that resilience is absolutely key.   The wisdom that partners have shared with me is that any students considering going into the film and TV industry need to get thick skin and get it quick!

At Creative Cities I spoke to a screenwriter who told me about a very detailed morning ritual that involved getting up at 5am, exercising, having a cold water shower, and meditating.  I spoke to Franc Roddam about his experience of failure and he said ‘fail, fail harder and fail faster’, Franc said he had developed such resilience from all the rejection he received.  Charlotte Broadley at Channel 4 said that the best piece of advice she got was to be yourself be authentic and not to be afraid of getting things wrong.

Creative Cities Convention at Teesside University

It’s quite easy to talk about but hard to put into practice, the combined wisdom of all of our industry partners was that you can’t learn to fail if you don’t try things, get it wrong, and try again. 

Interested to find out more about our courses in Film and Television? Further information at the links below:

BA (Hons) Film and Television production

MA Producing for Film and Television

MIMA Great Create Finalists revealed

We received over 90 incredible entries to this year’s MIMA Great Create competition, with some outstanding creativity expressed on our theme of the wonderful world of books. Difficult as it is to choose finalists from such an outstanding pool of creativity, our judging panel have decided upon the following 5 entries to go through to the finals on Saturday 18th March.

(finalists listed in numerical order of entry)

Entry number 25, by Hayley Harris

My illustration is inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book, The Secret Garden. 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. In my illustration, one side represents the four seasons in black and white, to show sorrow and grief. This gradually transforms into colour where nature heals the pain and shows light again.

Entry Number 25, The Secret Garden

Entry number 45 by Megan Keedy

I have created a photography piece relating to the books of the Twilight series. I have taken photographic images to inspire a dark setting with roses and gore/blood. Additionally, I have displayed my piece with dark red lights and more flowers . It relates to the book, by the end of the last scene with the fight of the vampires and the Voltari, and also the black and red robes.

Entry number 45, The Twilight Series

Entry number 53 by Rebecca Fletcher

This oil painting is based on the autobiographical book ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. I was inspired to create a piece representing Esther’s descent into depression and regression into madness, to encapsulate the feelings in her book that could not be described. I intended to capture her breakdown, the horror and tragedy of her life and the societal expectations placed upon her by imprisoning the face with fingers. The possessive hands gripping onto her and confining the face were used as symbolism for the entrapment, anxiety and isolation that Esther felt at her lack of freedom.

Entry number 53, The Bell Jar

Entry number 61 by Tony Hamill

This is my entry for the book “Diary of a Young Naturalist” by Dara McAnulty. The book is written from the author’s perspective of an autistic young adult and is replete with scenes told from a unique perspective full of wonder and magic. This image is of grasshoppers and dragonflies in the undergrowth and is intended to capture the scene through the author’s eyes.  It was digitally created, allowing me more control over the process of layered objects and background details.  I used a process of pen and eraser to get a strong depth to the vines and undergrowth and make them appear intertwined.

Entry number 61, Diary of a Young Naturalist

Entry number 81 by Ayebabeledaipre Sokari

The illustration is for the book titled, Notes on Grief, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The scene is portraying the author writing down her thoughts in phases. It hopes to capture the forlorn moment of her pouring out all she felted about the death of her late father. The window representing a reflection of the past and present where she stays in-between thoughts. “Grief is forcing new skins on me, scraping scales from my eyes…. I cage my thoughts, I torque my mind firmly to its shallow surface alone. I am unable to quiet myself until I look away.” She speaks.

Entry number 81, Notes on Grief

A huge thank you to all entrants – the submissions were quite outstanding, making the judges jobs incredibly challenging. Our finalists’ work will be displayed in a pop-up-exhibition in MIMA (Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art) along with a showcase of all the 20 shortlisted entries from Saturday 18th March, when the overall winner will be announced at 4pm. If you would like to come along to the finals event from 3pm – 5pm please contact us on 

Take a look at our courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries


Art & Design Courses

Media & Journalism Courses

Music Technology Courses

Performing Arts Courses


Art & Design Courses

Media & Journalism Courses

2022 Graduate Showcase – a Sneak Peek!

May is the month of the Graduate Showcase in the School of Arts & Creative Industries and with just two weeks to go, we’re so excited about the incredible work that we have seen, that we just can’t help but give you a sneak peek…

P.S. Shout out to Becky Thomas, 3rd Year Graphic Design & Illustration student, for the fabulous Graduate Showcase promo artwork! 🙌

Each year, students from the School of Arts & Creative Industries submit their finest pieces of work, the culmination of three years of study, for inclusion in THE event of the year. This year’s Graduate Showcase opens on Monday 16th May and is open to anyone who wishes to come along to see the work of our students. Check out the full programme of events here.

Unlike the 2021 Degree Show which was all online, this year we’re thrilled to be opening our doors to students, families, friends, employers, schools, colleges and local organisations that wish to come along to applaud the achievements of our final year students.

A full printed programme showcasing student work will be available for visitors, along with a showcase of our film and media work on a digital platform. But you don’t have to wait – here’s a taster of what’s in store for you! For each course we’ve randomly selected just one amazing piece of work to show you, to help whet your appetite for more!

BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

Student Sophie Poole








BA (Hons) Fashion

Student Grace Goodfellow-Lovlo






BA (Hons) Product Design

Student Scarlett Bonas




BA (Hons) Graphic Design 

Student Jue Shuen Soh




BA (Hons) Fine Art

Student Amelia Curry








BA (Hons) Interior Design

Student Lauren Bailey


There’s much, much more to see when we open our doors on 16th May AND watch this space for information about where to find work from students of our Music & Media Production Courses, which will be available to view on our TUxtra platform. You’ll see some incredible work from students on the following courses:

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek and look forward to welcoming you during Graduate Showcase week, 16th – 20th May.