Class of 2021: A guide to all of the UK's degree shows this summer

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

Some might be virtual, others are happening in real life – if all goes to plan. No matter where they take place, this year's final year degree shows come with a great sense of anticipation and also huge respect for the thousands of students to graduate during a global pandemic.

Over the next month or so, we'll be pulling together a list of these events from UK universities, in support of the next generation of creatives, adding them to this growing online guide. From fine art and illustration to graphic design, animation, fashion and photography, this is a chance to see inspiring work from the resilient people shaping our future.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how they've responded creatively during this difficult time. If you see anything you like, we urge you to share their work or give them some love on social media. Now, more than ever, they need our collective love and encouragement.

If we've missed anything or not yet listed your event (as this will develop over time), send us the details along with a web link to [email protected]. Good luck to all those graduating this summer!

To Continue – Bath School of Art, Bath Spa University

As part of Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives graduate season, here you'll find graduate work from 49 artists working across fine art, creative arts practice, and photography. The title acts as an artist pledge 'to continue'… making, living, documenting, collaborating in a context of the events of 2020 as well life in general. On show at London's Bargehouse on the South Bank from 15-18 July 2021.

Kind – University of Bedfordshire

The Kind show celebrates students of the School of Art and Design at the University of Bedfordshire, along with their projects, their hard work, and their journeys. "We are a small, open access, community focused school with a mix from of students from all backgrounds and experience based in Luton but with students from many parts of the world," says Noel Douglas. "This year, we wanted to focus on the positives and see what brings us together as a kind. We wanted think about the kindness of others specifically during this time."

The design of the virtual exhibition plays with the "on Zoom for the year" we've all had and was designed by recent graduate Tamara Vyslouzilova.

The Grad Co at Birmingham City University

The Grad Co is an online showcase of work created at a distance by the BCU Graphics Class of 2021. The cohort of graduates has just completed the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication course at Birmingham City University. It launches on 25 June 2021. Follow them on Instagram @bcu_graphics.

Showcase at UWE Bristol

This year, the Showcase will combine a print exhibition at Spike Island featuring work from 2020 and 2021 UWE Bristol graduates, as well as a digital showcase. Discover a new generation of artists, designers and media practitioners – exhibiting courses include, Art, Design, Animation, Fashion, Media, Performance, Photography and Filmmaking. The digital showcase launches on 15 June.

Spectrum – Arts University Bournemouth

Celebrating the broad range of graphic designers from Arts University Bournemouth, Spectrum is a degree show that will be happening online via a bespoke website launching in July. For now, you can keep in touch with what's happening via Instagram and LinkedIn.

Made in Brunel: Above the Fold – Brunel University London

Taking place at [email protected] and Bargehouse from 17-20 June, as part of Oxo Tower Wharf’s New Creatives graduate season, Made in Brunel: Above the Fold is an exhibition promoting the work produced by the design department at Brunel University London. The show offers a unique opportunity to experience the incredible work from its designers, fostering the next generation of innovative thinkers. The event showcases a great variety of design ideas solving everyday problems that span all aspects of the industry.

Graduate Showcase 2021 – Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London

Join UAL online for the Central Saint Martins Graduate Showcase launching on 30 June. "A new world is emerging. Amid the unknowns of our present lives are spaces in which new ideas, new colours, new ecologies and new economies can take root," reads the show's description. Here, you'll discover its graduating artists, designers and innovators as they share ways for the world not just to grow, but to flourish.

UNMUTE – Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London

Another to feature in the Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives graduate season from 1-4 July at Bargehouse in London is UNMUTE, courtesy of Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London. Celebrating student design work from the Product Ceramic and Industrial Design department undertaken during lockdown 2020-2021. This showcase explores, through the materials, processes, and techniques of design, how we can create to make a positive social impact.

City & Guilds of London Art School Class of 2020: BA & MA Fine Art Graduates

Postponed due to the pandemic, this show (part of Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives graduate season) is a celebration of the achievements of the 2020 Fine Art graduates who have shown enormous resilience and dedication throughout this difficult period. The exhibition boasts a diversity of contemporary approaches and ideas, reflecting the graduates' own creative interests. From 27 until 31 July at London's Bargehouse.

You can also catch a show in August at the City & Guilds of London Art School featuring works by the graduating year for BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Conservation and BA (Hons) Historic Carving and will additionally include works by its carving graduates from 2020.

Coventry Degree Show – Coventry University

Launching 17 June 2021, Coventry University is bringing together the work of students from all across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in their virtual degree show. You can explore the work of students through the conceptual "rooms", designed for an interdisciplinary exhibition experience. Visit now to see the work of 2020 graduates, too.

First Class Degree Show – Graphic Design undergraduates at Coventry University

Those on the graphic design undergraduate course at Coventry University are putting on their own show. Celebrating the graduates' work from UX to print making, it also aims to connect them with industry around the globe. It's taking place on 17 June.

Graduate Show 2021 – Edinburgh College of Art

Evocative and inventive artworks from more than 400 graduating Edinburgh College of Art students are being shared with a global audience via a virtual graduate show (launched on 18 June) )and a smaller on-campus exhibition. "This year, our graduates have faced unprecedented challenges in realising and presenting their work. They have however met these head-on with creativity, intelligence, resilience and hope for the future. We are truly proud to introduce them to the wider world and we wish them all the very best as they leave us and start adventures anew."

Photography Graduates 2021 – Edinburgh Napier University

Going live on 2 June will be a virtual show for photography graduates at Edinburgh Napier University. Until then, see a little sneak peek of their work over on Instagram.

GSA Graduate Showcase 2021 – Glasgow School of Art

The GSA Graduate Showcase 2021 champions the work of over 500 graduates across a huge range of disciplines including fine art, sculpture, architecture, innovation, fashion, jewellery and silversmithing, product design, interior design, sound for the moving image, interaction design, and more. Key themes have emerged this year which include the climate emergency and sustainability, race and de-colonisation, Covid-19 and tomorrow's world, gender and representation, health and wellbeing and neurodiversity and visibility.

Degree Show 2021 – University of the Highlands and Islands

For the graduates of the BA (Hons) Fine Art / Fine Art Textiles courses of the University of the Highlands and Islands, they are hosting an online degree show for 2021. If you didn't yet know, the facility is Scotland's most northerly university and spreads over 13 campuses in the Highlands, Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney.

Rise: Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase – University of Huddersfield

Bringing together innovative work from its graduating students that both reflects the "wider extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, but also allowing us to rise above it". The University of Huddersfield online graduate show goes live at 6pm 24 June, showcasing a range of work across art, design and architecture.

Interior Educators Summer Show

Taking place between 8-12 July at London's [email protected] is the Interior Educators Summer Show, the UK's largest and only collective exhibition of the best work produced by the 2020 graduates from national courses within Interior Architecture & Design. It's part of Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives graduate season.

KSA Show 2021 – Kingston University

Kingston School of Art's virtual KSA Show 2021 launches on 15 July 2021 for graduating foundation, undergraduate and MA Architecture students. A second launch date of 23 September 2021 will showcase the work of its postgraduate students. You can register to see it via Eventbrite.

Reconnecting: Kingston School of Art Illustration Animation Graduate Show

From 25-27 June, at Bargehouse in London (under Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives showcase), we get a chance to see the exciting work by graduates at Kingston within craft, film, print and interactive media from 2020 and 2021. Go and explore the rich and diverse field of Illustration Animation.

Preston Graphics 2021 – University of Central Lancashire

Happening online this summer is the University of Central Lancashire's degree show for its graphic design undergraduates. The site goes live this month. And there'll no doubt be a wider event to cover all other courses across arts, design, fashion, architecture, and games and animation. Until then, you can see the work of 2020 graduates here.

Liverpool School of Art & Design Degree Show 2021 – Liverpool John Moores University

Tune in for a virtual exhibition of the work of Liverpool John Moores University's School of Art & Design's graduates. Available now and covering fine art, graphic design and illustration, architecture, and fashion.

Pattern Cutting 2021 – London College of Fashion

From 23-27 June, at [email protected] (another for Oxo Tower Wharf's New Creatives), Pattern Cutting 2021 is a showcase of the final collections created by the 2021 graduates of BA (Hons) Fashion Pattern Cutting at London College of Fashion. It spans a wide range of genres including menswear, womenswear, tailoring, sportswear, all of which have a focus on creative pattern cutting and technical, progressive fashion.

Brave New Normal – Manchester School of Art

Going live on 16 June will be 'Brave New Normal', the virtual show for graduates of Graphic Design at the Manchester School of Art. As the description reads: "Brave New Normal is a reaction to the dystopian year that has impacted and helped shape our university experience. The show aims to place students at the centre of the new world we're entering into, stressing the importance of design in shaping better futures.

"Our practice has had to adapt and mould to the challenges we have faced. That's essentially what our degree show this year hopes to celebrate. The tenacity and perseverance of the students on our course, and how we grappled with the new and unfamiliar, coming out stronger as individuals."

Summer Show – Nottingham Trent University

Kicking off on 1 July 2021 is Nottingham Trent University's Summer Show, a free online exhibition including subject areas spanning art installation, sculpture, illustration and painting; graphics, animation and motion graphics; photography and print; fashion, knitwear and textiles; theatre, television and costume design; product innovation and prototypes; and furniture, interiors and architectural design. It'll exist across various websites: go to ntu.ac.uk to see the list of shows.

Unfold – Oxford Brookes University

In this virtual show, we meet nine individuals under three different disciplines: Fine Art, Photography and Graphic Design, which make up the Oxford Brookes University's BA (Hons) Creative Arts & Design Practice course at Solihull College. Enjoy viewing the graduates work via their own website, available now.

Then, at last: MA Contemporary Art Practice Graduates 2020-2021 – University of Plymouth

'Then, at last' is an exhibition that showcases and celebrates the work of MA Contemporary Art Practice graduates from the University of Plymouth. It's a testament to the strategies the artists have developed to sustain their art-making, and the resilience they have found in their studios, in their networks, and in the resources, they have learnt to draw on. The show presents the objects, sounds, images, texts that evidence the sustaining of practice through adversity. From 18-27 June 2021 at The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth.

IGNITE – University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art

For 2021, Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with Plymouth City Council, will deliver a unique spin on the traditional arts degree show as part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity; creative arts students are poised to transform the City of Plymouth into a living gallery in a ground-breaking project combining exhibition with employability where online technology and physical community engagement work in tandem.

Graduate Show 2020 – University of Portsmouth

The annual Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Graduate Show at the University of Portsmouth is once again online this year. It'll launch on 20 August 2021. Until then, you can still view the work of creative graduates from 2021.

Digital Showcase – Ravensbourne University London

Ravensbourne will present its degree show online from 26 June, with an outdoor exhibition planned on the Greenwich Peninsula in October. The showcase will include the work of Further Education, Undergraduate and SEEDS students. SEEDS is the Self-Employment Entrepreneurship Diversity Scheme. The above link won't go live before then, so enjoy browsing the work of 2020 graduates in the meantime.

Think Rethink – University of Reading

Graduates from the BA Graphic Communication course at the University of Reading will be hosting their virtual degree show on Thursday 17 June 2021. Join them live for 'Think Rethink', a theme that represents the "extensive and iterative design process we undertake, and the depth of design thinking which we do, something particularly important to designers at Reading and our success with outcomes. We create real solutions to real problems, and thus researching, re-examining, rethinking, and redefining those problems is essential to our approach". All the details can be found at thinkrethink.design where you can also register to join them live.

Art and Design Showcase 2021 – Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is welcoming the public back onto campus this month for its annual Art and Design degree show. Friends, family, employers and anyone with a love of the arts are invited to exhibitions showcasing the work of around 200 final year students from a range of Art, Design, Film and Media courses from Monday 7 June to Saturday 12 June 2021.

East Show – University of Suffolk Degree Show 2021

Launching on 24 June 2021, the East Show by the University of Suffolk will feature work from the following BA (Hons) courses: Architecture, Digital Film Production, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration), Photography, and Screenwriting.

Grad Show 2021 – University of the Creative Arts, Surrey

Save the date for the University for the Creative Arts' (UCA) 2021 online graduate show, which launches on Monday 28 June via the link above. The graduate showcase will host work from over 900 final year students, a remarkable group who have used their talents to rise above the personal and global challenges of the last 18 months. Subject areas range from film, fashion, photography, animation and illustration to architecture, jewellery and more.

A Lightness of Touch – MFA Photography at University of Ulster

A group exhibition will take place at Belfast Exposed gallery from 3 June to celebrate the work of 14 MFA Photography graduates. Entitled A Lightness of Touch, it features both campus-based and distance learning cohorts.

Degree Show 2021 – University of Westminster

The University of Westminster is this year, for the first time, organising a fully online Westminster Degree Show 2021, which will showcase projects by students from Westminster School of Arts and Westminster School of Media and Communication. The show has officially launched with live events happening online from 14 June onwards.

Graduate Show 2021 – University of Worcester

Right now, you can check out the work from the University of Worcester's Game Art, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration and the MA Creative Media students. Visitors online can use the VR/3d camera to interact as well as see the individual area sections.