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Creative Shift: Shaping Diversity in the Creative Industries

What we do

We deliver a programme of opportunities, working closely with industry partners to enhance students’ experience and professional development.

Our offers are student and staff facing and both in-curriculum and extra-curricular. We focus on working with students from underrepresented backgrounds, providing experiential opportunities to support their creative journeys.

We enhance the student experience through community building and by valuing students’ lived experiences. We co-create projects between students, staff and industry; we also offer practical know-how, tools and access to peer and professional networks.

Who we support

Creative Shift acknowledges the barriers that exist for students from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education and in the creative industries.

Our programme prioritises students from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education and in the creative industries. We work together to co-create spaces and projects that shape the future of the creative industries and the diverse voices that will contribute to them.

In line with UAL's Access and Participation Plan (PDF 350KB), you must satisfy both of these criteria:

  • I am currently a Home (UK) student studying on an undergraduate degree course at UAL.

And one or more of the following statements apply to you:

  • I am Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E.)* student
  • I took part in the UAL Insights programme
  • I am a Care Leaver (I have been in the Care system)
  • I have a disability according to the  Equality Act 2010
  • My parent(s)/ guardian(s) have not completed a University Degree
  • I have caring responsibilities (i.e I am a parent, or am the primary care giver for a child/children, disabled person/s or elderly family member for example).

*We acknowledge that the term Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) is contested. Whilst there is no consensus view on alternative terminology, we welcome ideas and feedback on this debate.

Our projects

  • Students taking photographs of each other as part of the photography project through the Connect To student group.
    Student photography project. Image by the Connect To group.
    Connect To

    Join our student-led creative network for the chance to collaborate on projects with students, UAL staff and industry professionals.

  • illustration of womens' hands in the air
    Illustration by Nia Hefe Filiogianni
    Women+ in leadership

    Read about our programme of events and activities set up to inspire and empower women+ to break through the glass ceiling.

  • student in a crowd smiling
    Tech Yard event hosted at Peckham Digital. Image: Cymon Taylor.
    Creative Shift x Insights

    Find out how Creative Shift work with the Outreach team to provide opportunities to former Insights students during their UAL journey.

  • text reads Gradual on an horizontal yellow to pink background
    Design by Jai Tyler
    Gradual podcasts  

    Explore the questions and challenges that many new graduates will face. Listen to unfiltered stories from creative professionals.

  • A group of students inside the artist Sokari Douglas Camp's studio which is full of photographs and sculptures
    A group of students inside the artist Sokari Douglas Camp's studio. Image by Jai Tyler.
    Visits out

    See behind the scenes of creative companies, meet professionals, build your network, ask questions and understand the roles available.

  • Someone giving a tour to students visiting clothing shop
    Students visiting Bidhaar shop in Peckham. Photo: Shani-Louise Osei
    Industry Partnerships  

    If you work in the creative industries and would like to partner with Creative Shift you can find out more here.

Get involved

It's easy to get lost when starting off, but Creative Shift make sure that you get the advice, connections and support you need to hit the ground running.

Amos Eretusi, Founder: The Kusp
Representation is needed almost everywhere, and Creative Shift not only recognise that, they do something about it.

— Abraham Abbi Asefaw, Co-founder: Pop-Up Agency
The huge range of support I received from Creative Shift built my confidence massively to be my own director and to push my practice forward.

— Chantelle, Student: Central Saint Martins
Being part of the Creative Shift community gave me a welcoming, safe and supportive space, I felt encouraged to share my ideas and ask for help with realising them

— Renatha, Student: London College of Fashion

Our approach

We are led by students’ interests, and place emphasis on their strengths alongside what they need to thrive in industry. We design and tailor our programme activity with students’ schedules and personal circumstances in mind, to ensure that we are creating student-centered spaces.

Feeding into the wider remit of the Academic Enhancement team’s curriculum work as evaluated by APP, Creative Shift aims to foster belonging and community through compassionate pedagogies.

We are inspired by the West African Philosophy: Ubuntu, and the “I am because we are” ideology, which we use as a model to support decolonial approaches to education.

We encourage students, staff and industry to value themselves and each other with compassion, empathy and support, with the aims to encourage students to affect positive change in their respective communities and become change agents of the future.

Moving forward

We are constantly learning and evolving; we encourage students, staff and industry to get involved and co-create these intentional spaces with us, together.

We realise that along the way, we won’t always get everything right, but we stand committed to building equitable futures through constructive dialogue, and by reflecting on our own practice, behaviours and language regularly.

Meet the team