School of Art and Design


Photo of Ms Sarah Houghton

Ms Sarah Houghton

  • Qualifications: MA, BA (Hons)
  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer, Course Leader – BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Address: Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5686
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Art and Design
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am currently the course leader of the BA(Hons) Graphic Design where I have been a lecturer since 1997.  I hold a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and was awarded a scholarship to study for my MA in Digital Media where my focus was around the creative and appropriate use of online learning environments specifically for art and design students. 

I have worked as both a print and web designer in industry and as a freelancer. I have been a visiting tutor at Kingston University, Southampton Solent University and summer schools at Central Saint Martins. 

I aim to utilise and develop the creative use of interactive digital technology within design education.  I maintain and promote links with a successful creative network of alumni and professionals who encourage collaboration between creative designers of all disciplines.

Teaching Responsibilities

I am the course leader for BA(Hons) Graphic Design and I act as a member of the School’s course management group.

In my Principal lecturer role I am part of the strategic leadership team for the School of Art and Design, and deputise for the Head of School when required.

I developed and maintain the course blog – and course publicity presentations. I am admissions tutor and coordinate the interview process.

I coordinate the following units –

  • Year 1 – Research Informed Design Thinking -  Topics include - Communication Theory, Design Research, Design Thinking, and Design Processes.
  • Year 3 – Major Project in Graphic Design – Research and Development
    Year 3 – Major Project in Graphic Design – Resolution
    These units provide students with the opportunity to select an area of study of their choice, conduct substantial research into it and transform and resolve this research into a successfully designed outcome.
  • Year 3 – Professional Practice – Promotion and Employability
    This unit helps students to design and write their CV, apply for jobs and produce self-promotion items including business cards, letterheads, printed and online portfolios.
  • Year 3 - Professional Practice – Design Studio Practice - This unit supports students  undertaking freelance briefs. We include workshops on - Scoping a brief and negotiating with clients, costing a job, writing terms and conditions, outsourcing printing and tax as a freelancer and undertake training and testing for Adobe Certified Associate qualifications.

I am a tutor on –

  • Year two - Ethical Design - In this unit, students are asked to consider and research the cultural position and


    I have previously been employed as a research associate on a European funded project LEDA (Learning environments for a Digital Academy) which was set up to define, develop and test a networked system and the underlying pedagogical procedures to facilitate and promote active learning experiences for international centred postgraduate education. The project involved a consortium of academic institutes and a software company: The University of Portsmouth, UK; The Merz Akademie, Germany; The Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, The Utrecht School of the Arts, and Creative Online Development, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    Other research collaborations include – “Carrion Culture” – under the remit - "The duality of culture lies in its position as both creation and creator. The banality of culture lies in its position as both spectacle and consumer".

    Projects included:

    • "The Politic of Time" - published by the University of Portsmouth. Exhibited at Mainz Mini Presse, Germany
    • " Global and Local" Exhibited at Chaumont Poster Festival, Chaumont France
    • " Virus - Transference" - in collaboration with Merz Akademie, Germany Exhibited at Chaumont Poster Festival, Chaumont France
    • "Spectacular Culture" Box set of posters,
 Exhibited at the Festival d’Affiche, Chaumont, France Next Generation Exhibition, Nagoga Design Centre, Japan

    Current research investigations into the implicit and explicit structures and codes we employ to decipher meaning, and the variables attached to interpretation, in particular the impact on transmission methods by changing technologies.


    Research profile

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

    View profile