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Deputy Head, School of Design

Glasgow School of Art


Barbara Ridley has had a successful 25-year career within academic leadership and teaching, having designed, delivered and managed a range of art and design programmes for students in both further and higher education across the UK.  She completed her own undergraduate studies at Kingston University, and postgraduate studies at Northumbria University, completing her PG Certificate in Education whilst employed at Newcastle College.

Ridley was appointed Head of the School of Design at the Glasgow School of Art in 2016, prior to this, she was Deputy Head of School (2013). Within this time she has made a substantial contribution to the on-going success of the School, she contributed to the successful outcome of the Enhancement Led Institutional Review (ELIR) for GSA 2014, and led on the School of Design Periodic Review in 2016.

Barbara has considerable experience in the academic management and development of international institutional collaborations and partnerships including: Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology in Malaysia, Werbe Akademie Vienna, and most recently the highly successful collaboration between The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

Before joining GSA, Ridley worked at Staffordshire University as Principal Lecturer and Awards Manager for a suite of undergraduate design programmes that included; Advertising and Brand Management, Photography, Photojournalism, Cartoon & Comic Arts, Foundation year in Art &Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Masters in Creative Futures. During her time at Staffordshire University Barbara was awarded the Staffordshire University Teaching Excellence award.

From 1991 – 2006 she also worked as Programme Leader within the School of Art and Design, at Newcastle College, England.

As Programme Leader Ridley was responsible for the academic structure and delivery of the Foundation Degree in Graphic Design and News Media Design programmes that boasted over a 90% success rate in placing students into industry. She successfully established herself as an expert within the field of editorial design and visual journalism and as a contributor to the education committee for the Society for News Design (SND), and The Malofiej Awards, given in recognition of the best infographics published in print and on-line across the globe.

Barbara Ridley has been External Examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Sunderland and is currently Examiner for the University of Central Lancashire.

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