Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Case Study

Emily Taylor


BA (Hons) Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics

Emily Taylor chose to study BA (Hons) Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland after receiving a warm welcome at both an open day and her interview. She loves learning, experimenting, exploring and creating, which are all key aspects of the course. Her future plans include studying a master’s degree and getting some first-hand experience working in a studio or workshop.

When I came to an open day at the University of Sunderland, I was greeted with such a warm and welcoming environment; the friendly faces and dynamic campuses felt hugely inspiring for me. Being based at the National Glass Centre it felt like I was a part of something exciting. I was astonished by the large number of facilities and workspaces the University had to offer. From hot glass to kiln glass and ceramics, to architectural glass, there was such a compelling range of opportunities and equipment on offer to facilitate your creative needs.

Everyone is made to feel welcome, no matter where you come from or who you are, and I felt this both at the open day and during my interview. I visited tons of different universities before I decided on Sunderland, but the extensive resources and equipment mixed with the strong welcoming and caring surroundings provided the perfect place for me to not only obtain a degree but also develop key skills and make amazing friends.

At the start of my degree, I had only a small amount of experience in ceramics and no experience in glass. From the beginning we had the opportunity to learn and develop a vast number of skills in an extensive range of mediums. Learning every technique under the sun made me confident in realising my creative dreams. Learning, experimenting, exploring and creating are all key aspects of the course which I love: having a lump of clay in your hand and then turning this into something spectacular is a truly rewarding experience, and watching your skills and the skills of your peers develop throughout your degree provides such a delight and a sense of achievement within your work.

Prospective students looking to study at the University of Sunderland should come equipped with an open mind and a ready-to-learn attitude. There is such an array of opportunities on offer during the course: taking full advantage of everything you learn is key in getting the most out of the experience, and saying yes to the wide variety of opportunities and participating in as much as you can will result in an abundance of knowledge. University is a great place for you to make mistakes and learn from them, as you have the time and resources to figure out who you want to be as an Artist, Designer or Maker.

I have been equipped with the necessary skills, experience and practice to work in the creative industries. The broad spectrum of teaching and learning means that whatever career path I choose to go down, I have obtained all the knowledge available to me: wherever it be 2D, 3D or digital-based jobs. In the future I would like to further my education and do a master's degree, as well as get some first-hand experience working in a studio or workshop. Continuing my personal practice by developing my own range of pieces will also be an important part of my career.

Deciding which place to achieve your degree can be a daunting process but the welcoming community and hardworking, dedicated team at Sunderland has meant my university experience has been valuable and wonderful. I have been gaining skills in not only my academic achievements but also in developing and building up confidence, gaining key skills and making great friends. Studying at the University of Sunderland lasts only a short while, but the skills and experience I have learnt will last a lifetime.”

Published 29 September 2021

Emily is a recipient of the Mike Davies Scholarship. As a 'Mike Davies Scholar' you'll receive a financial support package of up to £1,000 per year and bespoke 1-1 mentoring opportunities with Mike Davies, CBE. Learn more about Emily's experience of being a Mike Davies Scholar.

More case studies