Category Archives: art

Alumni Spotlight: Alex Louise Hodgson

Alex Louise Hodgson, Class of 2008, Photography, Film & Media

Alex HodgsonOriginally from Lazonby and schooled in Penrith, a career in anything creative seemed miles away until Alex grabbed the opportunity to study in Carlisle.

“I undertook my A levels at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Photography, Film and Media studies from 2006 – 2008. My time spent there really set the ball rolling as to where I saw myself going in the future. The teachers were wonderful: Edward Cooper, Debbie Sweeny, Rachael Elliot and Darren Connor. Darren Connor, who is sadly no longer with us, introduced me and my classmates to topics such as British New Wave cinema which continues to inspire me. I could not praise their influence on me enough and they were all very encouraging.

“Upon graduating, I moved from my home county to study a BA (Hons) degree in Photography and Film at Edinburgh Napier University. Currently, I hope to extend my studies further and undertake a Masters Degree in Screenwriting. In the mean time I have worked on-set and as a film editor on low budget films. Although my years at college are nearing a decade ago, I’m thankful for the doors which studying there opened and the memories made. I could not have spent my most influential years at a better place.”

What are you up to now?

Have you got an exciting new job, working on a new project, want everyone to know about your own business, had something published or exhibited? Perhaps you are getting married or had a baby? Whatever your news, we would love to hear about it and share it with your fellow alumni. Visit our share your experiences page to download the profile form if you would like to be included in the next edition of Aluminate or just email us.

Friday’s Featured Vacancy: 27/03/2015


Eden Arts: We are looking for people for our pool!

Let us know if you would like to join our list of casuals (ie not tense) to work on the Picnic Cinema, Old Fire Station, Winter Droving projects. We can offer in return some money and the occasional bag of crisps. Please note that this is mainly week-end and evening work.

GSOH, own tools, friendly and communicative, access to a dressing up box would be handy. You’ve got to love what we do, (come down this Friday to 366 Days of Kindness or on the 2 April to the BRAINSEX gig, say hello).

We are also keen to add to our volunteering people too, you can do that here


Artists Access to Art Colleges Scheme 2014 (AA2A)


The AA2A project (Artists Access to Art Colleges) is offering 90 placements, giving artists and designer makers the opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project using art college facilities e.g. workshops, IT facilities, lending library, and lecture programme. AA2A schemes aim to benefit students and institutions through their interaction with practising artists

For full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply visit:

• Access is free, for at least 100 hours, between Oct 2014 and April 2015
• AA2A has a Hardship Fund, primarily for artists on benefits providing support of up to £200
• Closing dates for applications vary but all are in September 2014
• Artists on AA2A schemes run from 2012 to 2013 or before can now reapply
• All applicants must have at least one year’s professional practice
• This year M.A. students with at least one year’s experience as an artist, can apply in the same year they graduate
• Applicants should be able to work with minimal technical support

To see current AA2A artists’ work go to or read previous artists’ stories here.
AA2A particularly welcomes applications from applicants with disabilities, from culturally diverse backgrounds and non-graduates.

Map and list of our 21 schemes with links to their application information:
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular, updated information.

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 27/06/2014

The University’s Students Union ( have a Graphic Design position available – only thing is it closes today at noon! If you still want to apply, you can go here: and apply before noon.

There are also a couple of other Graphic Design posts that are on our Job Shop. Remember that you can register for alerts on the Job Shop as well so that you receive emails when specific jobs crop up!

Apprentice Graphic Designer – Nuttersons

Nuttersons is a creative agency consisting of a small team of web designers and developers who provide a broad range of design and web services to clients all over the world. We also have over 500 web properties that generate income through advertising / affiliate sales etc. We are looking for an enthusiastic apprentice to work alongside our team. The right candidate must be a self-starting individual, with good organisational and written skills. They must have an appetite for producing great-looking, effective graphics.

For more information about the job, you can search for ‘Nuttersons’ on the Job Shop.

If you are interested in applying please send a covering letter and CV to before the closing date of 4 July 2014.

Junior Graphic Designer – Dawson Design

Dawson Design is a lively design studio based in the center of Manchester working with B2B clients.

They are looking for a recent graduate with a Graphic Design or Multimedia degree who is an expert in Creative suite and html/CSS literate, to gain some experience (Paid work placement) in their studio. You would be working on a wide range of projects across varied disciplines from 1/4 page ads to logo design, from email campaigns to making brews, and everything in-between. You would be ideally based in Manchester. You will need to be a recent graduate with a Graphic Design or Multimedia degree who is an expert in Creative suite and is html/CSS literate. A full time position is available to the right person.

To apply please send your CV and portfolio to


You can register on the Job Shop, and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for lots more featured vacancies and other opportunities.

Friday’s Featured Vacancies – 28/03/2014

As last night was our very successful creative industry networking event (more on that next week!), today we have some fantastic opportunities with the British Council to work in various areas of media and the arts. Come back next week for an article about our networking event – if you were there, you may just find your photo!!

British Council 2014 Internship Scheme


We are committed to providing undergraduates and graduates with the necessary skills and experience in an increasingly competitive jobs market. Our unique UK summer internship scheme offers 10 – 12 people invaluable work experience and insight into a global organisation over a 12 week period from mid-June – early September 2014.

The scheme

As one of our interns you will learn new skills whilst exercising your own initiative and creativity. As part of the programme you will join a specific department and work with a dedicated line manager, completing meaningful projects that really add value to our organisation, whilst taking part in the delivery of a group project and participate in additional vocational training. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your own cultural relations edge whilst working for an organisation that values diversity and innovation.

The roles

Current openings are all in our London office. They are:

For more information, you can visit the British Council website at


Where Do Graduates Go?

“What Do Graduates Do” (see recent post) also contains a breakdown of the likely areas of the UK in which graduates are likely to find their first job, with some interesting analysis according to job sector.

Unsurprisingly, just over a third of all graduates ended up working in South East England and 21% went to jobs in London, although many were concentrated in the City of London and Westminster, a very small geographic area, whereas under 7% took up jobs in North East England and Northern Ireland.

But a look at destinations broken down by career sector showed up some other happy hunting grounds for graduates looking for jobs outside the centre of London:

  • Marketing graduates also found work in the London Borough of Camden, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Manchester.
  • Science graduates were most likely to start work in Oxfordshire or Cambridgeshire but Merseyside, Surrey, Norfolk and Aberdeen (also the main centre for oil and gas engineering) were popular destinations.
  • Outside London, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Belfast and Tyne and Wear took on IT graduates in considerable numbers.
  • Similarly, graduates in Art and Design subjects also found opportunities in Merseyside, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Manchester, Kent, Glasgow and Edfinburgh.
Of course, many career areas (e.g. retail management, energy, public sector jobs) offer a wider geographic spread of opportunities but the overall message is that graduates in less affluent parts of the country will struggle to find graduate jobs locally – and of course none of the areas mentioned fall within Cumbria or North Lancashire.
Incidentally, you can find an online version of “What Do Graduates Do?” 2012 on the HECSU website

What Do Graduates Do?

Although graduate employment levels for 2010-11 were slightly down on the previous year, there were considerable variations between different subjects of study, according to “What Do Graduates Do?” (WDGD) 2012, based on the annual survey of Destinations of Higher Education Leavers that takes place each year.

One career area that clearly bucked the downward trend was Computer Science and IT which showed an 8.5% rise in graduate employment and e-skills UK have forecast that growth in IT employment will grow at twice the UK average until 2020.  Of course, not all entrants into the industry will have studied IT as a main subject at University.

Less good news came unexpectedly from the public sector with a big fall in entrants and the trend extended to include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, teachers and probation officers.  These areas each offered over 100 posts less than 2010-11 but the biggest drop was in the number of social work entrants, which fell by 420.  This is certainly not great news for the University of Cumbria, which offers courses in all the professions listed except probation.

The report once again showed the importance of self-employment to graduates from performance arts, media production and art and design. 64.6% or artists and 85.3% of musicians were recorded as being self employed or freelancers six months after graduation.

The Business Studies area is one that exemplifies the “mixed message” theme identified in the WDGD report.  Although it shows up with a higher level of unemployment than average (10.1%) and a sharp drop in the numbers going on to further study, each of the key disciplines of Accountancy, Business Management and Marketing showed high levels of graduates going straight into relevant employment.

They were also some of the subjects that produced less graduates working as Retail, Catering, Waiting and Bar staff, a denomination which covers a large number graduates yet to find a suitable career opportunity by the date of the survey – although longitudinal studies show that many succeed in doing so over a longer period of time.

FAQ: Is there a certain way to write a CV depending on what job you are applying for?

This is going to be a ‘yes and no’ type of answer!

Broadly speaking, third year students and graduates can feel fairly safe if they adopt the traditional, two-page, reverse chronological, approach covering the key headings of Education, Employment, Interests and Achievements and References (one academic reference and one from the world of work) or the skills-based approach where you have a strong section on your employment-related skills instead of much detail on your past jobs.  If you don’t understand the difference between these two approaches, you might like to do some initial research using the resources like those mentioned at the end of this post.

However, there are some mainly slight differences that do occur according to your career interest.

For example, Law CVs tend to be highly traditional.  The skills-based approach is not favoured and neither are off-the-wall presentational features. Unlike other areas, all exam results including GCSEs should be stated, including all degree modules and results.

On the other hand, imaginative approaches that break the ‘normal’ CV mould can work in some employment sectors although it should be remembered that they are always a ‘high risk strategy’ that can succeed spectacularly or fail totally.  For careers in the creative sector it is probably best to stay with a fairly standard approach, but ensure the CV conveys a sense of good visual presentation, and include a link to your online portfolio.

For those whose degrees are recognised professional qualifications (e.g. teachers, health professionals), some useful pointers are:

  • Quote your professional registration or PIN number in your personal details (or say that it’s awaited) to demonstrate your eligibility
  • Offer some comments about parts of your course you found interesting or significant
  • You must include details of your course placements including what you did or learned on them

Probably the only area where the approach to the CV is completely different is the wonderful world of Acting and Performance, where it is usual (unlike UK CVs in general) to include a photograph of yourself but to omit your school qualifications altogether. Details such as your physical appearance, the ages and accents you can portray would however be included.

This is the latest in our occasional series of Careers FAQs.  For more information about CV writing, see the links we have provided at  or one of the numerous books on the subject in the University and public libraries. University of Cumbria students can also find more information on the Jobs&Careers tab on the Blackboard Virtual learning Environment.