UCC | School of Art

School of Art

Welcome to the UCC School of Art; an inspiring place to study.

Our speciality is the creative arts and our purpose is supporting you in building the foundation for a successful career, through a creative and dynamic educational experience.

Whether you aspire to be an artist, designer, creator, historian, theorist, writer, curator – this list goes on – the School of Art’s community-learning environment combines the academic rigour of a traditional university with practical and creative components that will support your development and help you pursue your passion in a variety of careers in the creative industries.

We already have good reason to be proud in terms of our students’ success, and personally I look forward to the day when your achievements contribute to that sense of pride.

We look forward to helping you realise your creative potential.

Mick Stubbs, Head of School

Courses Offered

BA (Hons) Art and Designwith Foundation Year
BA (Hons)Fashion and Textiles
BA (Hons)Fine Art
BA (Hons)Graphic Design
BA (Hons)Photography

Val Jacobs is the course leader for BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles. She has academic and administrative responsibility for the programme and looks after the enrichment part of the course: facilitating live projects, arranging visiting speakers, exhibitions, shows, study trips and visits. Val maintains close links with industry and employers and has developed a unique network of Industry Mentors who support final year students.

Prior to her career as a university lecturer, Val has worked extensively in the fashion industry as a stylist, consultant and as an independent designer, selling to Japan and the USA, to stores including; Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Liberty.
Val has also experienced working with a number of high street brands including River Island, Topshop and M&S. Her work has appeared in magazines in including Vogue and Harpers and Queen.

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Louise Seager is a workshop supervisor for the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles course. She studied at the London College of Fashion, gaining skills in pattern cutting, design and garment construction. This led to work at Courtaulds, River Island and other London design houses. After leaving London, she ran her own business designing and creating wedding dresses and special occasion wear.

In recent years she has learnt new innovative pattern cutting techniques such as Transformational Reconstruction, a form of origami pattern cutting and vintage couture techniques.

Louise teaches the following modules/skills: Pattern Cutting; Garment Construction; Textile Processes.

Rebecca Alexander is a Lecturer in Contextual Studies. Rebecca’s experience includes being both a student and subsequently a member of staff at University Centre Colchester. Rebecca is an avid collector of decorative objects and vintage fashion. Eclectic collections of interior and fashion objects infuse her work in education and printed textile development.

Her freelance design practice involves developing ideas for print and colour across a range of markets for both fashion and interior contexts. Drawing plays an important part in the development of her work, which is often eclectic, yet always trend lead.

She designs prints for her own label, an activity that is highly relevant to her work as a lecturer.

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Jonathan Kelham is the course leader for BA (Hons) Fine Art. Prior to joining UCC, Jonathan taught in Further Education on visual arts programmes in Southampton. As a visiting artist he has contributed to BA and MA programmes at the Universities of Sunderland and Chichester, Camberwell College of the Arts, and his alma mater, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design.

Jonathan is a multi-disciplined artist and researcher interested in the notion of a melancholic, romanticized and idiosyncratic Englishness. His current practice incorporates; drawing, digital imagery, film and animation, developing subjective utopian visions.

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and an Associate Research Fellow of the Centre for Fine Art Research (BIAD).

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Barry Hurd is the course leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design. His teaching has always been underpinned by his own professional practice. Barry’s current work includes publications and marketing material for high-profile educational institutions such as Birkbeck College (University of London) and the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE)

Barry has, and continues to have, extensive industry experience as a designer. This included creative and strategic roles with News International; Senior Art Director roles with Dynamics Advertising (McCann Erickson) and Quadsite and design appointments with KHH and Random House Publishing.

Barry is a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (MISTD) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

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Christopher Matthews is a lecturer in Photography. Educated in New Zealand, Christopher’s professional experience is as a commissioned documentary photographer. His photographic work is held in collection of Te Papa Tongarewa (National Museum), Alexander Turnbull Library, Auckland City Art Gallery and Christchurch City Art Gallery.

Christopher’s practice spans a number of research foci, including an ongoing project about the photojournalist Kurt Hutton. He has already produced a limited edition portfolio of the photographer’s East Anglian work (in conjunction with the Report Archive) and a biographical text is currently in progress.

He worked in NZ film industry before coming to the UK. Christopher is the recipient of an Anglo-Israeli Award (1996) and Arts Council England funding (1996, 2005).

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Neil Ayling is a lecturer in Fine Art. Neil’s career combines his ongoing studio practice with lecturing in Higher Education. He has given guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses at a number of universities, including Central St.Martins, Manchester Metropolitan University, Loughborough University, Plymouth University and Bath Spa University.

Hierarchy between imagery and materials in Neil’s practice doesn't exist. At least that is his intent. He explores ways to fragment, isolate, self-reference and manipulate imagery through the making process.

Neil also works as a studio assistant at Sir Anthony Caro’s Studio, Barford Sculptures Ltd, where he also delivers educational workshops for schools.

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Sarah Sabin is the course leader for the BA Art & Design Foundation year. Sarah’s experience of teaching combines Higher Education with secondary school and outreach projects. She has taught at Colchester Institute, Colchester Sixth Form College, and a number of adult community colleges.

Sarah has been an artist and educator for over twenty years. Her art work interprets and reimagines sites and their histories, through making, public participation and site specific projects in the public realm.

Sarah also has experience of informal education/ gallery education programmes, including Arts Council England funded initiatives.

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PlacesTo Live

Adam Benton, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, graduated 2013

"I had previously completed both the National Diploma in Art and Design and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design before starting the degree course. The creative briefs were especially rewarding and gave me a lot of freedom to explore. I pretty much went straight into an internship after graduating and started at Ustwo digital product studio in August 2013. Design is my passion and I look forward to progressing my craft with the team at Ustwo."

Daniela Tasca York, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles, graduated 2009

"My tutors were fantastic and the support and encouragement I received during my degree gave me the confidence to put myself out there in the world of fashion and interior design. In my final year I won the Graduate Fashion Week Protégé Project and worked at Matches Fashion. After winning BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge I have now started my own interior design business and aim to build a design studio of distinction with products representing my defined aesthetic."

Laura Harvey, BA (Hons) Photography graduate, Portrait and Documentary Photographer

"A small course, helpful tutors, excellent resources and a good integration with the other arts courses such as fine art and graphic design."

Lucy Zini, Art Foundation

"I've learnt a lot of the skills needed to help with the course that I intend on studying at uni and have experimented with materials I most likely would not have. I've also made a lot of really good friends."

Sarah Edgington, BA (Hons) Fine Art, graduated 2015

"There were so many opportunities available to us, from experimenting with materials to public exhibitions. The facilities in the Art department are a huge asset, with technicians and tutors who continuously support you. I completed an internship at the Saatchi Gallery in London and also worked at Honywood Academy School, supporting the Art department. I am now studying the PGCE at UCC and working with Level 2 Art and Design students."