Creative Industries


The Creative Industries Subject Network includes courses in contemporary art and contextualised practice, contemporary textiles, fine art, fine art textiles, jewellery, visual communications and design, applied music, music business, popular music, audio engineering, technical theatre and musical theatre, acting and performance, contemporary film making and creative writing.

creative students

The work in curriculum development and employer engagement within the subject network can be wide ranging - from residential programmes in collaboration with industry, to placements, guest lectures, events, or client projects. This work puts employability at the forefront, aiming to produce industry-ready students and graduates who have experienced teaching and learning that meets the requirements of the creative industries sector.

XpoNorth Guest Lecture Series content

XpoNorth Guest Lecture Series

XpoNorth Guest Lecture Series

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) have partnered with XpoNorth to plan and deliver a series of online guest lectures, hosting a number of distinguished speakers to share their experience and behind-the-scenes know-how.

The variety of guest lectures are tailored to the broad range of creative programmes delivered at the UHI and offer students the chance to build their networks, engage with industry leaders and get involved in immersive discussions. These guest lectures are designed to expose students to real-life experiences from the position of someone who has been there. The students gain insight and perspective on the multi-faceted creative economy so that they can better prepare for their future careers in the industry.

The lectures are also recorded to build a bank of useful resources that students and graduates can access for future reference.  Examples of recent guest lectures in 2020:

Who’s behind the scenes: Outlander’s unparalleled success

Producer Michael Wilson explored his personal journey in the industry, gave tips on how students can prepare, talked about his experience of producing Outlander, and provided further Scottish film industry insights.

Outlander guest lecture (left) and a group of students with Producer, Michael Wilson (right)

Image shows inside the Outlander guest lecture (left) and a group of students with Producer, Michael Wilson (right).

Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)

Dougal Perman, Robert Kilpatrick and Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood) explored representing and developing the Scottish Music Industry, gave an introduction to SMIA, provided their thoughts on the mainstream record industry, and talked about what it’s like to be represented by an independent label.

Douglal Perman, Chair of SMIA (left) and Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of SMIA (right)

Image shows Douglal Perman, Chair of SMIA (left) and Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of SMIA (right).

Score Draw Music: Music Placement Across the Multi-Media Industries

Mark Gordon provided practical end-to-end perspective on how music supervision works across the TV, film, advertising and gaming sectors, and where the opportunities are for independent artists, composers, filmmakers and labels.

Mark Gordon, from Score Draw Music, presenting his lecture via video conferencing

Image shows Mark Gordon, from Score Draw Music, presenting his lecture via video conferencing.

Crowdsurfing With Water Wings

Tim Wright explored how to succeed in crowdfunding, innovate new products and services through crowdsourcing and open innovation, find new partnerships and alliances in the collaborative economy, and much more.

“We are delighted to have partnered with xponorth to deliver a full programme of conference guest speakers as part of the ba applied music online virtual residency. As the leaders in connecting our region with key expertise in the creative sector, our programme and students benefitted immensely from working with xponorth, making new connections, and taking advice and inspiration from key practitioners and agencies able to support them in their professional development. Working with Xponorth on this programme also provided a great opportunity to highlight the strong talent and ideas emerging from our student and graduate body, and explore ways in which we can continue to build on our relationship to develop future investment in our students, graduates and the creative economy of the Highlands and Islands”.

BA (HONS) Applied Music Programme Lead – Anna Wendy Stevenson

Belladrum - Case Study content

Belladrum - Case Study

Belladrum - Case Study

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (Inverness-shire) has grown from a small one-day event to become one of Scotland’s biggest sell-out music festivals, attracting a 20,000 capacity crowd. 

Each year, students from across the University of the Highlands and Islands have the opportunity to work with the team behind the scenes to develop a deeper understanding of the industry, build their confidence and apply their skills. In 2019, eight students secured work experience at the event including production, press and artist liaison roles.

Aimee Young - 3rd year BA(Hons) Music Business – Perth College UHI

“I would rate the Belladrum press placement highly. Not only were the rest of the team incredibly welcoming and friendly, they were very clear about my role both in interacting with journalists and photographers, and the running of the festival's social media channels. The experience provided a great opportunity to network with a variety of music industry professionals, and to develop digital marketing skills. The most rewarding aspect of the placement was, in my opinion, the ability to work in production at such a successful festival and to observe how backstage areas function on such a large scale”. 


North Lands - Case Study content

North Lands - Case Study

North Lands - Case Study

North Lands Creative and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) joined forces to provide a group of students with a fully-funded opportunity to learn glass art techniques from two highly respected glass artists at an internationally recognised organisation.

Students attended the Narrative Sculpture: Through printmaking and pate de verre workshop led by Karen Akester. This workshop offered an introduction into open mold casting and pate de verre; a fantastic process which allows vibrant and precise colour application.

3rd Year BA (Hons) Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice UHI student, Claire MacDonald said “The narrative aspect of this class really resonates with my theatrical background. This opportunity feels like a natural progression beautifully linking where I have been, where I am and where I would like to go in the future.”

They also worked with Alan Horsley on his Anatomy and Glass Workshop. This class is dedicated to the development of figurative sculpture in cast glass following the process from creation through to cast object.

4th Year BA(Hons) Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice UHI student, Debbie Frame said “This course combines my interests in figurative and sculptural art and is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn how to work with glass in artist-led tutorials which would normally not be available to me.”

Dr Iain Morrison, Dean of Students, commented “We are delighted to be working in partnership with North Lands Creative and are grateful for this wonderful opportunity for our students. They will learn and apply techniques at the forefront of contemporary glass working practice with a local business of national significance. The university is proud of our partnership with the creative industries in our region and beyond, and this is one example of the many ways in which we can work together on areas of mutual benefit.”

Karen Phillips, North Lands Creative Director, said “It gives me great pleasure to welcome students from the University of the Highlands and Islands to North Lands Creative. The NLC Student Awards was established to support gifted students across the whole of the University of the Highlands and Islands network, giving them extra financial support to enable them to participate in specialised workshops that aim to provide an introductory level to glass making during their third level education. I fundamentally believe that education is the key to success and now more than ever is a time for the true spirit of education to be fostered.”

Employer Insights Videos content

Employer Insights Videos

Employer Insights Videos

In collaboration with the university’s Educational Development Unit (EDU) and local and national employers, the Curriculum Development and Employer Engagement Team worked to develop a suite of Employer Insights videos.

The aim of these videos is to help increase student awareness of different sectors and the opportunities available, whilst building their understanding of what employers look for in terms of skills, CVs, applications, and interviews. They provide students with an idea of sector skills demand, and also include critical areas of focus for the university, such as the Gaelic sector and our graduate attributes.

Alongside the videos, some associated activities have been created – a number of tasks to get students thinking and reflecting on video content, skills, and ambitions!

Organisations featured include Fèis Rois and High Life Highland Music Development, Working in the Gaelic Sector, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, and Brodie Castle, National Trust for Scotland.

View all videos in the Employer Insights Video Suite

brodie castle, female singer and cultural loch ness sign

Staff Testimonials content

Staff Testimonials

Staff Testimonials

In 2018, we organised and hosted a ‘Building a Creative Career’ in Inverness in 2018 which gathered together 29 academic staff and 16 external organisations.

Hear some really positive staff testimonials in this short video