In praise of all things technical...

"In Creative Industries we are extremely proud of our technical centres and the outstanding teams who work within them to support our practice-based, professionally-focussed programmes.

Our students, researchers and visiting professionals across the School of Art and Design and the School of Film and Journalism have access to industry standard equipment and advice. We have invested heavily in digital technologies and continue to expand capacity, constantly enhancing our innovative portfolio of technical provision and expertise. Our students and clients are able to test their ideas through experimentation within an environment in which new technologies are complimented by more traditional equipment and techniques.

The two Schools based at Bower Ashton campus share many facilities, including Mac and PC labs, animation studios, edit suites, broadcast newsrooms and sound studios, photographic suites, extensive fabrication facilities and printmaking centres of international reputation. Our highly skilled staff support all this through their contemporary knowledge and experience and their commitment to continual engagement with industry and the professional fields. Technical Instructors, Research Fellows and Centre Managers work closely with academic colleagues to ensure the student journey through technical skills areas are tailored to the needs of individuals’ work and their future career ambitions.

Working with industry and partners from across the creative sector we are able to provide all our stakeholders with access to technical expertise in tandem with academic knowledge and resources that will equip them to achieve their own professional, creative ambitions."

Review of the main initiatives for the previous academic year

We are constantly looking ahead to our future within the new ACE faculty and the many opportunities this will offer us to find synergies and development within the teaching & learning resources that relate to you.
Focusing back on Bower Ashton we would like to briefly summarise some of the additions and developments we have made to the resource base over the last two years.


We introduced specialist robotics through new staffing and development within the fabrication area. This has been extensively taken up by students from a wide range of programmes.


We extended our digital cutting technology with more large format laser cutting support and also we have introduced a new 8 foot by 4 foot cutting capacity CNC cutter. With these introductions we promise to keep costs and services reviewed as we move into the new academic year.


We introduced new digital large format textile printing within the printed textiles and fashion resource area. Designs are created through Photoshop and the special AVA half-drop design and print software that we instigated in the previous year. This will allow more exciting options and solutions 'in-house' for students outputting digital designs and concepts on fabric, as well as keeping costs down.


Looking ahead we will continue to develop our resources across the site to best meet your needs and expectations. This will be through staffing, equipment and new service initiatives. Our staff teams already cover a broad span of high-end expertise and capabilities ranging from animation to fabric manipulation. We will bring in professional specialists where there are areas of support beyond those available in house. Our staff will continue to update and expand their knowledge and expertise base through professional practise and dedicated staff development.


We strive to keep our extensive resource base well maintained and at the cutting edge, and will continue this with further significant investment.


A summary of the main initiatives for the coming academic year

Three new digital embroidery machines have been set up within the fashion sewing resource areas. These machines are programmed via special vector stitch design software called Embroidery Studio.

For Media Resources, a brand new Newsroom, Broadcast News Studio and Radio Studios have been built in F-block, and two new multimedia labs have been introduced in B-block to facilitate the newly arrived Journalism Awards. Similarly, the media studios and production resources in D-block have been significantly upgraded to professional standards bringing the faculty provision in line with the best in the UK. Together with upgraded portable loan equipment of all descriptions, these new resources incorporate state-of-the-art network storage and file based distribution technology, and loaded with the best professional software available, are designed to push the boundaries of creative practice in media production.


Resource Booking

A web based student booking and information systems for the resource areas is available to all students across Bower Ashton. This will mean all booking of equipment/resources in photography, media and the faculty stores can be accessed on line through the 'Connect 2' booking and management system. The 'sign up' workshop web based booking system has also been updated as we continually aim to improve its 'user friendliness'.
A 2nd Photography studio was made available for student bookings and workshops on the third floor of B block. This was in response to very high usage of the existing one particularly from fashion and dedicated photography students.

George Coulsting, EPI Centre Manager

Dick Allen, Media Centre Manager

Kieran Brown, Fabrication Centre Manager