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How an online course can build transferrable skills

Angela Cuthill,
Written by
Yusuf Tamanna
Published date
13 January 2020

According to Angela Cuthill, when working as a creative professional “you need to be able to dispel the inner critic before you even begin... which I guess if more broadly speaking goes back to the idea of knowing yourself." In Angela’s case, knowing herself extended to knowing that she could benefit from doing a short course to better her own professional and personal practice.

Born in Tasmania, now based in Dublin, Angela tells me when she was growing up she kept busy doing a plethora of art subjects. Taking a particular liking to ceramics where she ‘really found her calling’.

Fast forward to today, Angela says her personal practice is focused on sculptural processes and drawing to communicate ideas about the human experience. “I’m interested in investigating psychological spaces where indecision, possibility and ambiguity form part of the human experience,” Angela explains.

But like many creatives, Angela is aware that she needs to be able to maintain everyday living costs, which is why alongside her passion projects she also works with a range of corporate organisations.

“I try and balance my own creative work with paid work which I do for larger companies. The work there recently has involved branding, which taps quite nicely into areas I already like to research. What part does psychology play in building company personas and how do we tell stories?”

This balance of personal and professional development is what led her to do the Infographic Design Online Short Course at Central Saint Martins. “Infographics are such a powerful way of storytelling visually; another way in to visually communicating with an audience,” Angela explains.

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“My choice to do the course was really based on a personal interest but then I had in the back of my mind the corporate work I knew it would apply to.”

Fortunately for Angela, the course did exactly that. “The course gave me another way to demonstrate a company’s story that's instantly understandable without using loads of words,” she tells me.

Beyond that, Angela was impressed with how much can be learned from an online short course as opposed to a face to face course. With the Covid-19 lockdown in full effect at the time Angela did the short course, taking the course online was a risky investment, but one she got a good return on.

“I’ve taken other UAL short courses on campus in the past but this course really opened my eyes to what can be done online. I'm not living in London so to be able to access a class like this without travelling is great!”

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Angela says doing the online course has been a great way to up-skill and develop newer skills that can lead to more paid work in other fields. “For me, it's trying to being a bit strategic about how can the things that I love and am good at be applied to having a consistent income. Case in point, I'm now using the things I learned in Infographic Design Online Short Course to create illustrative assets for a software company I work part time for.”

Having clearly benefited from doing the short course, Angela is happy to recommend others take courses if they’re looking to either up-skill or focus more on an area they’re passionate about. And if you’re able to find a short course that does both, then that’s a bonus.

“The tutors who teach the courses are practitioners in their own field, so their approach and information come from a place of experience. More than that, the standard and quality of the classes at UAL are amazing!”


If you’re interested in how to get your message across through imagery, our Infographic Storytelling Online Short Course will show you how to say a lot more with a lot less.

Or maybe, like Angela you want to boost your current skill-set with an online short course. Take a look at all the online short courses we have running to see what they can do for you!

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