School of Art, Design and Performance


Nicola Hay

  • Qualifications: PGCTLHE, MPhil, BA (Hons)
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer – BA (Hons) Illustration
  • Address: Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5618
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Art, Design and Performance
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am a senior lecturer on the Illustration BA (Hons) course coordinating the year group for Level 5 and also working with the level 6 students. My background is in print and digital media with experience in commercial print and web design. My practice is currently linked with my teaching and predominantly explores the use of traditional media in conjunction with digital media, animation and interactivity.  I have also worked as a visiting lecturer at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Teaching Responsibilities

I work across the second and third undergraduate year groups and coordinate the following units:

  • Level 5 unit – Print Menagerie which explores the use of traditional and contemporary print techniques and illustration with an animal theme. This work is linked closely with the Illustrated Menagerie project which I curate.
  • Level 5 unit – Bookworks.  
  • Level 6 unit – Illustration Presentations in which students review and present their practical work both ongoing and once completed.

I tutor final year students in their self-directed and professional practice projects as well as the presentations unit, and second year students on all core units.


I undertook MPhil in Art and Design exploring the importance of 'visual language' in learning and behaviour. This questioned whether entrenched and damaging patterns of learnt behaviour could be recognised more easily by an individual if a visual catalyst was present, and for the output I produced a range of home-improvement/DIY materials (wallpaper, soft furnishings, kitchenware and a catalogue) which visualised key findings and were explored and produced in a cross-disciplinary environment with the influences of systems thinking, psychology and behavioural sciences playing a great part. This research was disseminated at conferences (PIE Amsterdam 2001 and UKSS Oxford 2006); as an exhibition (UKSS 2007); and in journal publications (PIE April 2007 and Systemist 2006).  It was also referenced in journals (Nature of Mathematic July 2006 and Use and Redesign in IS 2008).

My research interests currently are closely tied to my teaching practice and the ongoing development of the Illustrated Menagerie project. This brings together animal-themed illustration work, traditionally produced by undergraduate students, (although professional artists do contribute work to the project also) and seeks to present annually a collection of illustrated pieces broadly with the theme of 'Animal'. This takes the form of exhibitions 'in-the-flesh' and online, with the Illustrated Menagerie's blog documenting and preserving the events, the work produced and also the voices of the artists undertaking the work.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile