Meet our Head of Art and Design

Nathan Head of School VisComNathan Tromans is Head of Art and Design. Learn more about his background, his hobbies and interests and what he enjoys about working for the School and the University

What did you study at University?

My undergraduate degree is in Photography, I also have a Masters Degree in Contemporary Arts & Music.

How did you become the Head of Art and Design at Birmingham City University?

I have worked here for over 20 years, as a visiting tutor, lecturer, course director and deputy head. I think I have the advantage of experiencing and understanding most aspects of Art and Design.

What does your job involve?

My job is to support my colleagues in creating an engaging and supportive experience for all our students, to be imaginative about the way that we teach and create opportunities for the students and staff.

What’s your favourite thing about working in Art and Design?

Sharing the many successes of our students and staff, in a large and creative environment, this is a frequent pleasure.

What have been your career highlights so far?

Because of the global reach and interest in our courses, I’ve managed to teach my subject in Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mexico and travel in Europe and America. These are obvious highlights, but running exchanges and study abroad opportunities for students are very rewarding. Also, bringing international opportunities into Birmingham is great too; like working with Magnum Photo Agency on a staff and student Photography project.

What are your specialist areas?

Documentary and Landscape Photography, and song writing and music performance are my areas of knowledge, experience and expertise. I’m currently exploring synergy between my practice as a photographer and as a songwriter performer.

What are your hobbies and interests?

There’s lots of overlap between my creative practice and my hobbies, but in addition I enjoy walking, escaping in my campervan, travelling, music and visiting galleries.

Do you do any visually creative work outside of work?

I am always working on a photography project of some kind. Being a photographer gives you an excuse to be curious and go to interesting places.

How would you describe Art and Design?

The central features of Art and Design are that it fully embraces the opportunities for interdisciplinary practice and collaboration, that it has developed excellent links with industry and has been delivering courses internationally for over 25 years, so it understands opportunities on a truly global scale.

How would you describe your staff?

 I think I have the advantage of experiencing and understanding most aspects of Art and Design. They are active practitioners or researchers which gives them authority and creativity in the class room.

What can new students most look forward to?

Joining a creative community, which includes staff, fellow students and industry professionals, engaging fully in this culture is very rewarding.

How can they prepare for university now?

Be curious, be imaginative and engage in the physical world of art, design and communication as well as the virtual world, go out and experience it.

Do you have any advice for working in the industry?

We expect all our graduates to be good at their practice, but what will give you a fighting chance, is your flexibility, adaptability and attitude. Self-belief and a little cheekiness too sometimes!