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Jay Sykes

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Lecturer in Audio (AFHEA)

I have been teaching at the University of Sunderland since 2015, where I specialise in audio production and writing workshops – drama, documentary, podcasting, and journalism. Alongside teaching, I am actively involved in audio production, including writing/producing two programmes for BBC Radio 4 with Newcastle-based production company Sister Sounds.

My current projects include:

'William's Castle' – BBC Radio 4 – Drama (Writer and Producer)

Folded in the faded browned paper of an 1897 order of service, and stuffed between the wooden slats of church pew, Paige uncovers a letter from a young orphaned choirboy. Now, the search begins to find out what happened to William Elliott, a young boy yearning to be remembered.
Broadcasting Monday 1 April 2024.

'Vessels of Memory: Glass Ships of Sunderland' – BBC Radio 4 – Documentary (Producer)
Dive into the history of 'glass ships in bottles'; the changing identity of a post-industrial northern city as told through the eyes of Japanese glass artist Ayako Tani, who is preserving the endangered art of sculpting the hand-crafted glass ships which once put Sunderland on the map.
Broadcasting Spring 2024.

'The People's Visual History of the 1973 FA Cup' – North East Photography Network
As an addendum to an upcoming photographic book by photographer Julian Germain, which collects Sunderland fans' physical memories of the 1973 FA Cup win, my role involves producing a series of sound stories based on these treasured objects.

Teaching and supervision

I am module leader for:

  • MAC358 – Radio Drama
  • RAD201 – Audio Stories

I teach the following modules:

MA Radio, Audio, and Podcasting
  • RADM12 – Radio and Podcast Production
  • RADM21 – Audio Industry Projects
  • RADM22 – Advanced Radio and Podcast Production
  • RADM31 – Radio, Audio, and Podcasting: Masters Project

BA (Hons) Media Production
  • RAD201 – Audio Stories
  • MAC358 – Radio Drama
  • RAD301 – Radio and Audio Projects

BA (Hons) Journalism
  • MED254 – Social, Audio, and Video

Integrated Foundation Year
  • FDN002 – Foundation Project
  • FDN029 – Foundations of English, Journalism, and Media Theory


As a freelance audio producer, much of my work revolves around composed feature documentary and "mosaic” structures; using aspects of non-linear narrative construction, interlacing voice, music, and sound art. This includes exploring Sunderland artist Stephanie Smith's tactile practice of 'skin-mapping' (Drawing in the Dark, BBC Radio 4), investigating how writing has seeped into the landscape and heritage of Weardale (Ten Words for a Northern Landscape', New Writing North), or celebrating independent bookshops through community creative writing workshops (Hills Are Alive, Norfolk Street Arts).

Last updated 27 March 2024