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Undergraduate study

Our students

Keavey Gamwell

BA (Hons) Graphic Design with Marketing

As part of the course, Keavey got to work on some illustrations with a premium food and drink brand that’s stocked in stores such as John Lewis, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harrods.

We get to use Adobe Creative Cloud for free and can become accredited in using the software too, which really helps enhance future employment opportunities.

Keavey  Gamwell

Why university?

I’ve always wanted to go to university, to develop my knowledge and skills with likeminded people and to learn industry standards before entering the workplace.

Why Teesside?

It was close to home and the campus and facilities are great. The RISO printers, screen printing and latest technologies were big selling points, I’m using industry grade equipment in a relaxed setting.

Why graphic design with marketing?

I wanted a balance of both creativity and academia. The practical elements of graphic design and the theoretical side of marketing gave me the perfect course. And I get to learn a range of skills which will help me progress in either industry when I graduate.

Best thing about your course?

I really enjoy the mixture of hands-on learning and formal assignments, the balance is perfect.

Favourite module?

Digital Marketing in Practice gave me an understanding of current practices in the field, and Relationships of Buying and Selling gave me insight into psychology-based theory. I can now relate a lot of this knowledge into my design work. Undertaking a major research project which is 100% curated by me and in an area of interest is really exciting.

Tell us about the facilities

The library is open 24/7 which is great because I use it constantly, along with the studios and printing service. We get to use Adobe Creative Cloud for free and can become accredited in using the software too, which really helps enhance future employment opportunities. It’s also great having an onsite shop to get any last-minute bits. And the cafes all do a good cuppa.

Tell us about Middlesbrough and the area

I’m extremely proud to be from Middlesbrough. We’re really lucky to be situated ten minutes from the coast and countryside and just 40 minutes from the nearest city. I didn’t contemplate leaving the area when choosing a university. Businesses are continuing to expand and it’s becoming something special.

Tell us about your role as a course representative

I was a rep for two years, acting as the voice for myself and my classmates. It was really rewarding to see suggestions and ideas being put into action to improve the student experience.

Did you work on any live projects?

I worked on some illustrations with a premium food and drink brand that’s stocked in stores such as John Lewis, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harrods. It’s very exciting to see my work in the flesh. I’ve also been commissioned by Middlesbrough Town Hall and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art for various projects. I’ve worked with the clothing brand CHEAP POP on a range of clothing merchandise. And I create imagery and maintain social media accounts for local record label Sad For Life Records. I’ve also created album and single artwork, and lyrics videos for local bands.

What do you do outside of your studies?

I work at Base Camp, a really cool venue and events space in Middlesbrough. I design and create content and photograph events and live music. I also work freelance as Itskeavs as a gig photographer, graphic designer and illustrator.

What skills have you gained?

Working on three modules at a time I’ve learnt to manage my time effectively, which is vital for working in industry. I’ve also improved my presentation skills, articulating the meanings and reasonings for a specific design, focus and aim. My confidence has grown greatly because of this, and now I feel more assured as a freelance designer. This is something that will support me in any future roles. 

Future ambitions?

I want my future to be as creative as possible. I would love to work in the marketing team within an agency, combining my creativity and marketing knowledge. I would also love to work with more musicians and bands on a freelance basis when time allows.

Would you recommend Teesside University to others?

I would highly recommend Teesside University and my course. The design industry is booming, so to have a marketing foundation is a really resourceful thing to have in the future. Teesside has developed its campus a lot in the past few years, with the impressive buildings and accolades they are achieving. Both Middlesbrough and Teesside University are growing, and I’m very proud to be part of that.

What advice would you give to others?

Make sure you really research your course and what it entails before applying. Make sure the modules interest you because you really study that subject in depth. Also get your head around referencing and academic formats for assignments as soon as you can and use as many of the resources and materials as possible as it’ll really help you in the long run.