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Rachel Dickson

Dean of Academic Programmes
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Rachel  Dickson


Before taking up the role of Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins, I was Associate Head of School at Belfast School of Art, and have a history of designing and leading courses across all levels of Higher Education, from Foundation Art and Design [year zero], to BA Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing, and more recently MFA Design.

I graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA Ceramics and Glass, and began my career in higher education almost immediately. As a maker, my focus is both personal and political, with recent works including a commission for the Northern Ireland Assembly launched on International Women’s Day, exploring the lack of female representation as Members of the Assembly. ‘At The Table [2016]’, a thirty piece ceramic dinner service visually exploring the data surrounding the lack of women in the role of MLA in the Assembly.

I am also interested in ideas of memory, the role of women, the narrative of objects and the space between art and craft and my article Drawing Through Clay’ for Ceramics Now discussed the potential of making as drawing. I have exhibited throughout the UK, Ireland and internationally.

As an educator, my particular interests within Higher Education include student engagement, student success, transition, induction, peer mentoring, student employability, and alternative means of assessment and feedback. I was a member of the 2016 review panel for the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Art and Design, and have contributed to conferences and journals on aspects of Art and Design education including ‘The Alternative Crit’, ‘Students as Peer Mentors’, ‘The Sustainable Student’, and ‘Successful transition through socialisation’.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of Irish Ceramics in Education, and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, and was a previous Director of the Board of CraftNI.

Since 2015, I have been involved in the co-funded Creative Europe project ‘Ceramics and Its Dimensions’, a project spanning eleven countries with twenty-five partners which bring museums, universities, and research institutes together to provide an integral view of ceramics past, present and future. I am currently a judge of the international ‘Future Lights’ ceramics competition.