Creative employability studio

The current employment market is highly competitive. We aim to enhance our students’ knowledge and experience of the workplace and their ability to engage with business to help them become more employable.

The Creative Employability Studio is located in the School of Art & Design and since its establishment in 2008, we have been engaging with business to develop employer-related experiences for our students.

In order for our students to engage with the Studio, all opportunities are advertised on our Facebook page.

Our students are encouraged to follow the Studio posts – which include relevant industry information, opportunities for work experience, freelance and part-time creative work, and student commissions.

Listed below are some of the initiatives we offer:

Live briefs and commissions

The opportunity to bring our learning into the real world is achieved through the inclusion of live briefs and commissions within all of our creative disciplines. Every year the School collaborates with many public, private, and social organisations, embedding their design requirements into our modules. These experiences have given our students the chance to meet clients, present their ideas to them and make contacts that have led to work experience placements, individual commissions, and even jobs.

This year alone our students from Animation have designed iDents for CiTV and had them broadcast; Fashion and Textiles students met with recruitment co-ordinators from British high street retailer, Next, and designed rugs for Hill and Co and had them put into production; and a group of Fine Art and Applied Arts students have designed sculptural installations for the new headquarters of Keltruck Ltd – the winning design beinginstalled in the new building.


Business start up opportunities

Recognising how important enterprise and entrepreneurship are to the creative disciples, we are proud of the number of our students and recent graduates who have been accepted on to the University’s SPEED Programme. This business educational programme runs annually and assists students and graduates to set up a new business and begin trading. New businesses from Adapt Productions, a commercial video production company, to Lynsey Luu, a modern young jewellery line, are owned and run by our graduates.

Work experience placements

There is no better way to understand business than to spend some time at one. Work experience placements are a key part of employability for many of our creative students. To make them more accessible we offer a Professional Experience module that embeds the placement within a course, allowing work experience to be undertaken within study time. For those students who prefer to build their experience in addition to their studies, we offer the same help and guidance and access to all of the opportunities that we promote.

Placement host companies have been based in our region and further afield; some students opting to take their work experience in London and the South East. Our students have been to regional companies such as Gore & Ball Photography, international companies such as Poundland, and spent their time with specialist makers in small scale workshops all over the country.

There is an option for students to take a year at work on a professional placement at the end of
their second year, before returning to University to complete the final year of their course. Students who have chosen to take this path have worked for companies such as The Midcounties Cooperative, Capgemini and Majestic 12; one enterprising student spending her year setting up and running The Volte art gallery in a disused railway station.

Success stories

Read testimonials from some of the companies we have worked with recently.

Further information:

Please contact Hilary Price, Creative Studio Coordinator, call: 01902 322433 or