Sarah Rushton

Senior Lecturer

School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

After winning a D&AD student award and a scholarship for achievement I graduated with distinction from an MA in Graphic Design & Illustration at BIAD in 1992 - the study of which focused on visual teaching aids for adult literacy. This work prompted a variety of freelance commissions in collaboration with educational publishers and part-time teaching at local colleges in graphic design and illustration, before finally moving into full-time lecturing.

I have extensive experience of course leadership and curriculum development in Visual Communications across Further and Higher Education. In my current role as Senior Lecturer in Illustration I support and supervise students at undergraduate and postgraduate level; from Visual Literacy to Creative Futures. I have held external examiner and advisor roles at UK institutions in Graphic Design and Illustration at both BA and MA level.

Passionate about all things creative, I seek to build creative confidence and resilience while instilling that same passion in others. In my desire to foster 'Creativity for Good' I have sought to embed socially responsible themes, briefs and working processes into the curriculum. In 2019 I was granted an Innovative & Applied Learning Award for nurturing individual talent through self-authorship.

I have always drawn and designed alongside my teaching career. In 2002 I worked collaboratively with a group of women artists, to design and co-author visual and written material for ‘The Mare’s Tale’ - a touring art exhibition inspired by international nursery rhymes. The book playfully integrated typography with sculpture, printmaking, painting, textiles and animation in multiple languages, suitable for a young audience. This was made possible with sponsorship from North West Arts, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council and Bury Art Gallery and Museum.

More recent creative practice centres on Experimental Letterpress and hybrid printmaking processes, exploring the creative interplay of type & image and related visual languages. I exhibit my work alongside diverse experimental printmakers in national exhibitions

Professional memberships and activities

Design and Art Directors (D&AD)

Association of Illustrators (AOI)
Another strand of my activities is geared towards the development of an Alumni networking group called P.S. (Post Staffs) with a view to linking students and graduates, placements and employment in the creative industries.

Academic qualifications

MA Graphic Design and Illustration (Distinction)
UCE / Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

BA(Hons) Visual Communication
Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

City & Guilds 7307 Certificate in Teaching & Assessor Certificate; D32/33/34


Visual problem solving
Letterpress and Experimental Printmaking
External Advisor: BA and MA Illustration - University of the Arts / London (UAL)
Learning Support

Research interests

Building Creative Confidence
Creativity for Good (embedding socially responsible practice into the curriculum
Visual Literacy (Future Literacies)
Letterpress & Experimental printmaking (hybrid processes)

Co-author; The Mare’s Tale: ISBN 0 9538915 18 sponsored by Bury Art Gallery and Museum


Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication

Academic Mentor

MA Supervisor / Negotiated Programme (MANS)

BA Modules: Co-Creation / Illustration & Communication / Creative Futures

Innovative and Applied learning Award (2019)

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021