Staff on the course

Karen Ryan

Senior Lecturer – Fashion

BA Hons (Fashion Design) Westminster University; Certificate in Education / Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Greenwich University; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


With over 20 years’ experience as a commercial fashion designer in the women’s wear sector Karen has worked across many fashion disciplines including; fashion illustration, trend forecasting, visual merchandising, personal styling, women’s wear design and product development for retailers and manufacturers across the UK at a senior level, and had the opportunity to worked collaboratively with designers Joseph, Equipment and Megan Park to name a few.

As a textiles consultant I have had the privilege of working in sustainable product development with NGO’s alongside Unilever’s Disruptive Innovation team.

Teaching areas of expertise include BA (Hons) Design: illustration, design and print development, trend and cad software including Lectra – Kaledo and Fashion Branding and Communication (Hons): branding and marketing theory, brand concepts, careers and portfolio.

As unit leader for industry placement, Karen is involved in the provision of careers information and industry knowledge, and constantly updates past and current industry placements and connects students with industry opportunities, such as accredited long-term work placements, short term work experience, industry mentors, industry presentations and student sponsored projects.

Karen also sits as an academic member of the AUB Equalities Committee and previously the AUB Assessment Enhancement Group (AEG).

Professional practice

Academic Course External Examiner, FdA Fashion and Textiles, University of Plymouth, 2018 – 2022

Academic External Advisor, Re-validation Media Programme, London College of Fashion, 2018

Academic Course External Examiner, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, M(Des) Sheffield Hallam University, 2014 – 2017

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Research Specialism

Having completed a PGCE in 2011 pedagogic research has included: investigating the role of the personal tutor, assessment and learning, embedding sustainability and conscious design into fashion teaching and the development of a Sustainable Fashion Design Specification [SFDS].

Currently engaged in MA studies at the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, Karen intends to focus future research on branding and marketing theory applied to BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication.

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Research output