Students' inspiring final-year work reaping rich rewards

More than £10,000 in prize money will be presented to final-year students whose work is being displayed at De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Degree Show which launches this Friday.

A dizzying array of spectacular work produced by students in the Technology (TECH) faculty and the Arts, Design and Humanities (ADH) faculty will be on display at three venues across the campus.

DS 1Furniture Design_David Szilagyi_RFS - Rhea Furniture System_1_Living Room Setup

Industry experts will be among the special guests viewing their work at special private viewings this Friday from 2pm-4pm as they scout for fresh talent to recruit to their businesses.

A VIP reception will then be held at 5pm in the Fletcher Suite on the fourth floor of the Vijay Patel Building, the centrepiece of DMU’s campus transformation, where the Deans from both faculties will give welcoming talks. The special guests will then be invited to the faculty welcoming events from 5.30pm in the Vijay Patel Building (ADH) and Queen’s Building (TECH) where friends and family are also being invited to celebrate the students’ successes.

VIPs will include the High Sheriff of Leicestershire Tim Maxted, Designing magazine editor Ian Punter, the founder of Haley Sharpe Design Bill Haley, Associate Director of Glancy Nicholls Architects Simon Jesson, Sainsbury’s Head Designer Andrew Tanner and his team of 14 colleagues, plus representatives from other key organisations who have supported DMU students, such as Next, GF Smith, Everards Brewery, Punch Communications, Cubic Motion, Marshalls, Astheimer and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Art and Design Degree Show is being held in the Vijay Patel Building and will showcase exciting creations by the next generation of artists and designers from across the university’s art and design courses and is expected to attract more than 4,000 visitors.

The Technology Degree Show is a celebration of the creativity, talent and hard work of DMU’s final-year students from a range of courses within The Leicester Media School. Their show is being held at two locations, the Queen’s Building in Mill Lane and Bede Island in Western Boulevard.

DS 2BSc_Product_Design_Ash_Tunley_PRO-POD - The Nespresso of Protein Shakes_1

Among the students featured at the show include Interior Design student Divita Raja, from Coventry, who has created the concept of a city centre base for young adults and students with mental or emotional distress.

Vitality Base consists of various therapy zones where young adults and students can go to use the facilities out of their own will, rather than them having to be admitted as patients.

“The main aim was to create something which would face the stigma which surrounds mental health, and provide an environment which would allow potential clients to feel comfortable about their situation and not be afraid to ask for help,” she explained.

“I wanted to detach my project from the idea of a hospital for patients, or what they used to call ‘mental asylums’ or ‘psychiatric hospitals’.”

Divita completed a six-month placement at Dunelm during her course which she says gave her the confidence to bring fresh and unique ideas to the table.

The 23-year-old was also a member of DMU’s Bollywood Dance Society and Krishna Consciousness Society, plus she went on the #DMUglobal trip to New York in January.

Ellen Kerbey, from Downham Market in Norfolk, was first attracted to DMU by its graphic design studio and the high standard of other facilities which she has used to great effect.

The Graphic Design student developed skills in areas she would not normally have engaged with, such as photography, print making and packaging, and last year won a commendation in the Starpack Packing Design Awards, as well as best female at the Demon Media Awards.

She said: “In the summer of 2016, I worked as a junior artworker at Standout Marketing in Leicester, where I learnt valuable skills. I’d love to pursue a junior designer job in London and work in a relatively well-known firm with a small team of designers.”

Her final-year project is a promotional mailer for Leicester printing company Practical Printers. She worked with typefaces paired with patterns to subtly emphasise both. Each leaf of the packing is laser-cut to intrigue the recipient to investigate further into the design and see what else the package has to offer.

DS 3BethWrigglesworth

Jonny Norton, of Rugby, was not sure what he wanted to do when he first started DMU’s Media Production course, but is now thankful he chose that path.

“It gives you a broad start covering multiple disciplines and then allows you to narrow it down and focus deeper on the disciplines you enjoy,” he said.

Jonny joined the university’s Demon TV team, becoming deputy station manager in his second year and station manager this year. The experience helped him win the award for Best Title Sequence at the National Student Television Association Awards (NaSTA) for his Redwood project.

His work at the Degree Show is a collection of his second- and third-year course work, including the award-winning opening sequence to fictional TV show Redwood, as well as a trailer for fictional film Overwood and a closing credits sequence for fictional film LightOut.

A summer spent working in London for haute couture designer Emilia Wickstead helped inspire 22-year-old Fashion Design student Raabia Arif with her final-year project.

“My concept for my Capsule collection stemmed from the initial focus of peeling back physical fabric layers to reveal the naked form in its vulnerable state,” said Raabia, who is from Leicester.

“This then developed into the psychological layers of the mind and their gradual deterioration when an individual is experiencing mental health issues and the vulnerability this entails.”

Raabia used latex crinoline imported from Italy for her womenswear collection, digitally printed with her own hand-drawn illustrations, and she was among the students chosen to showcase her work at the this month’s Graduate Fashion Week show in London.

DS 4 6 Tower with an Udder, Annie Dixon

Final-year Design Crafts student Sarah Jane Charlton won a competition to earn a two-week work placement at Sainsbury’s headquarters with its design team

Sarah, who specialises in 3D printing, met a specialist on her #DMUglobal trip to New York, which influenced her final project. She has also been a DMU Brand Ambassador.

The £10,000 in prize money is being awarded to ADH students this Friday while TECH students will receive a number of prizes given out during graduation.

The awards will include Brownhill Hayward Brown Architects presenting an award for the Best Technically Resolved Scheme in the final projects for Architecture BA (Hons) students and The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers awarding prizes for Overall Creativity Using Leather.

The Degree Show will open to other students and the public this Saturday (11am-4pm) and then from Monday to Thursday (10am-5pm, until 7pm on Wednesday).

For further details, visit the websites and

Posted on Wednesday 14th June 2017

Search news archive

DMU open days
News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.