Digital Arts presents the best Virtual Degree Shows of 2020

© Nina Elstad, University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

One of the biggest downsides of the Corona-era has been its effect on the yearly ritual of grad shows, where the UK's best creative talent share their work in public for the beady eyes of commissioners, talent spotters and arts journalists like ourselves.

The result is that 2020 is the year of the virtual grad show, either the first of a few or the first of many, depending on both the pandemic's progress and how well the experiment pans out this year. So far though we're very impressed as a fair amount of shows are already up and running, with plenty more planned across the summer.

We've collected handy links to these online grad shows, sorted by field then alphabetically by institution name. Most places have opted to dedicate a site or sub-page to each creative course, with Graphic Design being the field most have kicked off with. Only the University of Brighton has so far made a site for each of of their creative courses, which is quite a feat. Note also that Glasgow Clyde College has presented their grad show as a PDF flip book, in another example of the various approaches being taken by arts educators in 2020.

At the end of our list you'll also find the best upcoming virtual grad shows of 2020, concentrating on those showcasing grads from the UK's best courses in design, illustration and animation (sorry, we don't usually cover fine art!) This section includes the D&AD New Blood Festival, which under one roof hosts various final projects from a number of institutions.

Keep checking back as we update this list, and enjoy some exclusive pieces unis have shared with us from their upcoming shows, highlighting the UK's newest and brightest creative talent.

Graphic Design

Arts University Bournemouth BA Graphic Design

University of Brighton BA Graphic Design

University for the Creative Arts BA Graphic Design & Communication courses

D&AD New Blood Digital Festival 2020

The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art BA Design

Falmouth University BA Graphic Design

Glasgow Clyde College HND Graphic Design

Leeds Arts University BA Visual Communication

University of Lincoln BA Graphic Design

© Shannon Small, GCC


Arts University Bournemouth (also find a virtual catalogue here

University of Brighton BA Illustration

University for the Creative Arts Canterbury BA Illustration & Animation

University for the Creative Arts Farnham BA Illustration

D&AD New Blood Digital Festival 2020

Leeds Arts University BA Illustration 

Middlesex University London BA Illustration


Belfast School of Art BDes Hons Animation

Cardiff School of Art and Design BA Animation

University for the Creative Arts Canterbury BA Illustration & Animation

Staffordshire University BA Animation

Upcoming (various fields)

© Caitlin Smith, University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

UAL London College of Communication (live July 27th)

Norwich University of the Arts (live July 16th)

Related: All the Creative Live Streams that'll save 2020

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