Shannen Samuel

When Shannen Samuel began studying the Foundation degree in Art & Design at University College Isle of Man (UCM), she never expected that one day, her creative talents and passion for fashion, would lead her to the New York Fashion Week runway, amongst some of the biggest names in the global fashion industry.

 Creative Freedom

For many students, choosing the right pathway after finishing school can be a stressful decision, however, Shannen knew that remaining on island to study and explore her creative passion, was the most appropriate pathway for her.

“I felt a little lost after school, and the added pressure of having to pick a university course which I would study for the next three years, didn’t appeal to me. I was always interested in Art, and enjoyed sewing in my own time, so I decided to give the Art Foundation degree a go, and UCM has been the only place where I felt I could be creatively free.”


Preparing for the Future

The Foundation degree in Art & Design, is a year-long course, which builds on student’s prior experience, enabling them to demonstrate a full understanding of the relevant standards necessary to progress to a creative career of their choice, as well as a wide range of undergraduate courses in Art, Design and Media, and other related subjects.

During the course, students are offered the opportunity to take a week-long educational visit to London, where they can explore galleries, museums, media studios, and current major exhibitions.

UCM are passionate about ensuring all students are aware of what broader opportunities can await them after their studies, and so the trip also allows students to research university options in and around the London area, and to visit the UCAS Fair.

Shannen, who is now based in London, explained, “Visiting London was a brilliant way to open your eyes and see what possibilities are out there for those with an interest for the creative arts. It was also a great way for students to motivate themselves and plan for the future.”


The Best Year of my Life

UCM prides itself as being an education provider which encourages its students to work hard and achieve the successful futures they deserve. Shannen discussed the benefits she found of studying at UCM,

“College gives you this edge, especially studying this particular course here, the class sizes are so much smaller than the average UK classes, so you can really build an intimate connection to those studying around you, and with the course tutor.”

Shannen continued, “If it wasn’t for UCM, I would never have even looked at fashion, and now it’s such an important part of my life and work, I can’t thank UCM enough for helping me discover this passion. Studying the Foundation Degree in Art & Design, was easily the best year of my life.”

What’s next?

Inspired by her father’s love for motorsport, and the island’s famous TT races, Shannen has created clothing which utilises motorbike leathers and various motorsport related materials, which encapsulate her passion and pride for the island and Manx culture.

Shannen has been shortlisted to showcase her work at New York Fashion Week in autumn 2021, and hopes to use this platform to promote the island and her TT inspired wardrobe.

Are you interested in Art and Design? Find out more information here