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Haydn Cawley

Studies BA (Hons) Costume and Design Making


NTU has one of the most respected art and design schools in the UK, and that was an important part of my decision to come here. I wanted to learn about the design and construction sides of costume making, and the 50/50 balance on my course was a pretty unique feature. It was a perfect fit: I was really impressed with the calibre of alumni, as well as the attention to sustainability in the arts.

My course is relatively small, so I’ve come to know loads of people across all three of the year groups. We’ve really bonded, and I’ve made a great group of friends - three of whom I now live in the city with. The whole University’s a tight, close-knit community. NTU has a commitment to inclusion and equality, and I contribute to that as the gay officer for Pride Soc, helping to plan social events and create new friendships between LGBT and queer students. We work hard to create a safe and welcoming space where everyone’s represented, heard and valued, and we ensure we’re available to anyone who wants to reach out to us.

I love my course. We’ve had fantastic guest lecturers; there have been field trips to London to see costume displays, and optional workshops. The facilities are amazing, giving me the chance to develop hands-on skills with things like 3D printing, woodworking and CAD; and then there’s the Bonington Gallery, which is a great way to get an insight into industry practices and collaborate with people from other creative courses around the University. Between the friendliness of the staff and technicians, the close community on the design courses and the vibe of the building itself, I’ve found NTU a great place to study.

The tutors and lecturers are incredibly well connected, and that’s helped me to make professional connections. I’m very open-minded about my life after graduation, but I’d love to work for one of the large regional theatres (somewhere like the Manchester Royal Exchange or Sheffield Crucible), which have in-house costume departments and produce great original work. Then there’s period recreation tailoring, or the potential to work on big-budget fantasy films. I’m still undecided — but I know that the skills, friendships, connections and experiences I’ve found here will be a huge part of my future.

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