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Co Lab

Expand your learning through collaborative work-like experiences with industry partners.

What is Co Lab?

Co Lab is an opportunity for you to come together and collaborate with other students from different subject specialisms, or with students from other universities in countries such as India, China or North America, on various projects set by either charities or industry partners.

It’s an opportunity for you to expand your learning and to experience situations akin to real-life, work-like experiences. This will provide you with skills ready to take to industry: teamwork, collaborative practice, communication, leadership, and more.

It’s projects like Co Lab which separates us from other institutions. We understand that you not only need to expand your creativity and practice, but also leave our School with the skills you need to be a stand-out professional in industry.

We want you to take risks to discover new outcomes and we want you to experience feeling uncomfortable, as this is how you recognise you are learning something new. You will likely encounter failures, and as you do, you will learn from the failures, and become resilient and able to solve problems. A failure is just a comma in a journey, not the end.

We recognise the power design has to shape and change our world for the better. You are the designers, artists and business leaders of the future who will impact on a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world, focusing on positive social and environmental impact using your creative thinking.

As a student at the Nottingham School of Art & Design, you will become familiar with how Co Lab is incorporated throughout the curriculum during your time with us.


How is Co Lab incorporated into the curriculum?

In Year 1 we encourage you to experiment, take risks and collaborate to build relationships and networks.

In Year 2 Co Lab is an assessed 20 credit module tailored to your area of study, based on our four pillars: Social Justice, Regeneration and Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Community - both local and international.

This module will challenge you to think beyond your core subject area and comfort zone, and for you to recognise some of the skills you are developing in becoming a creative changemaker. You will make new discoveries through playful experiments as you embrace new opportunities with unpredictable outcomes.

In Year 3 Co Lab will become an innate way of working. You will be naturally working collaboratively and challenging your practice.

At postgraduate level, Culture and Collaboration is an assessed 20 credit module where you will explore themes of ‘Cultural Emergency’ in collaboration with those from other MA disciplines.


The four pillars of Co Lab

Each course has devised a collaborative project that will align to one or more of the four pillars.

This pillar invites you to collaborate as a force for good with those who, like us, want to address the key economic, social and cultural challenges.

This pillar invites you to advocate change for meaningful environmental, social and economic sustainability, and engineer creative opportunities for re-use and regeneration of resources.

This pillar invites you to dare to think differently. To disrupt the landscape and find answers to the questions that really matter, and solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

This pillar invites you to shed the restrictions of borders or boundaries and work collaboratively to share insights and deepen our understanding of the world for the benefit of all its inhabitants.


Student quote

“In my second year as part of my course module, I did a group project for a client where we produced an animated short. Getting a taste of what it is like to work as part of a production team was a very valuable experience for me. Thanks to that I feel more prepared to work in an actual animation studio.”

Zita Mosolygo, BA (Hons) Animation

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