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No creative journey is the same but we know that inspiring your students, whatever their ambition, is at the heart of what we do in creative education.

Being a Boy student opportunities

At AUB we believe that opportunities to engage with creative subjects and explore new art forms should be available to everyone. We also recognise the power of creativity as a tool to engage in conversations about import issues that affect our lives.

That’s why we’re delighted to announce the launch of the Being a Boy project, a brand-new initiative which provides space for young men to creatively engage with the role of masculinity in their day-to-day lives.

The Being a Boy project

The Being a Boy project provides a number of fully-funded places on selected workshops that explore the themes of masculinity and identity. They provide a creative channel for participants to reflect on what being a young man means and their own lived experiences. The workshops are an innovative mechanism to conduct an exploration of the possible implications for boys’ future health, happiness and educational success.

Please see below for participant eligibility criteria and information on last academic years workshops.

The 2023 workshop series will be announced in February 2023.

The Being a Boy workshop places are available to young people living permanently in England. To be eligible for participation in one or more of the workshops, attendees must be studying in either KS3 or KS4 (aged 12-16) and identify as boys.

Participants must also meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Received Free School Meals during at any point during your school studies
  • Been in local authority care or looked after for three months or more OR are estranged from your family
  • Are a Young Carer
  • Have a parent who has served, or is currently serving, in the armed forces
  • Current home postcode shows that you live in an area with low levels of progression to Higher Education. (Postcodes within the lowest 2 POLAR4 quintiles)
  • Current home postcode shows that you live in an area that falls within the lowest 20 per cent of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).

Please check your eligibility for the POLAR4 measure (Postcodes in the lowest 2 POLAR4 quintiles qualify) and eligibility for the IMD measure (Postcodes in the lowest 2 deciles qualify).

Save the date

How to be a Boy Documentary Premiere – 1 February 2023

To celebrate the participants of the Being a Boy workshops in 2022, we're hosting a premiere of the How to be a Boy Documentary, that focuses on the Empower Creative Writing workshop.

Previous workshops

Read through our previous workshops to get a feel for what we've been up to. Our workshop series for 2023 will be announced in February next year.

How to be a Boy, Documentary Production Workshop – 8 June 2022

On 8 June 2022 we welcomed a small group of young men onto campus at AUB for a three-hour workshop focusing on a practice-based exploration of documentary. The workshop, led by film maker, researcher and lecturer Lorena Cervera, looked at methods, processes, research techniques, and storytelling devices involved in the development of documentary projects from initial concepts to distribution. The exploration encouraged the group to explore distinctive voices in the making of documentaries, that are shaped by our own personal experiences but that can also reflect the forces –cultural, social, political and/or economic – that shape the world we live in.

Ultimately, the purpose of this workshop was for the students to be able to participate in the decisions behind the making of the How to be a Boy documentary.

Workshop Overview

  • Practice with camera and sound equipment (including mirrorless cameras, lenses, sound recorders, and microphones)
  • Documentary making is a collaborative process that involves co-creation, whether with a crew or with participants. Participants were encouraged to learn how to work within a team, and to gain the different skills that this entails, from negotiation and compromising to conflict-resolution and resilience.
  • The knowledge acquired was put into practice through the making of a two-minute documentary portrait of one of us that will include an interview and b-roll footage.
  • The participants continued to be involved in the filming of the How to be a Boy documentary.

Empower, Creative Writing Workshop – 21 June 2022

Inside every single one of us, there is a story, and it is so important to ensure every story is heard. We were pleased to welcome a group of young men onto campus at AUB on 21 June 2022 for a full day workshop, Empower, a creative writing workshop supported by an experienced facilitator and author of the 392 and Your Show, Ashley Hickson-Lovence. The workshop aimed to equip participants with the tools to create confident, bold and thought-provoking creative pieces.

Previous experience of creative writing wasn't necessary.

Irene Smith, CIAG Lead at Iford Academy said, “what an amazing day where confidence was grown in abundance!’.

Workshop overview

  • Explored themes surrounding masculinity and identity, and how they impact on our daily lives
  • Worked both independently and collaboratively to build confidence in producing bold, exciting and thought-provoking creative writing pieces
  • Worked with the support of an experienced practitioner to evolve their skills and confidence in creative writing
  • Broaden existing abilities and develop new skill focused on expression and storytelling.

Capture, Photography Workshop – 12 July 2022

If a picture if worth a thousand words, what is it you want to say? We were pleased to welcome a group of young men onto campus at AUB on 12 July 2022 for a full day workshop, Capture. In this workshop participants engaged with an art form which encourages experimentation, open-mindedness and a risk-taking approach to creativity. Led by our expert Commercial Photography Team, Conrad Tracey, Carri Angel and Martin Coyne.

Previous experience of photography wasn't necessary.

Claire Barnett, Art and Photography Teacher at The Quay School said “Ideas were ignited, and quality work was produced as a result of purposeful and thought-provoking activities. Prior to the workshop, our students would have not been able to imagine that university attendance was something within their reach. By the end of the day this assumption had changed, and they were keen to repeat the experience.”

Workshop Overview

  • Explored themes surrounding masculinity and identity, whilst learning how to capture what it means to be a boy
  • Experimented with a wide variety of photography techniques and skills
  • Engaged with a new art form and gain transferrable skills in a creative field
  • Develop the ability to engage independently and explore your own art style.

Lift Off, Movement Workshop – 28-29 July

Lift Off was a two-day, on campus movement workshop where participants explored a range of different themes working towards creating a final piece exploring Being a Boy. The workshop had a strong focus on key elements of contemporary dance: physicality, strength, trust and working collaboratively to create adaptable artists.

Previous experience of dance wasn't necessary.

BBC Radio Solent covered the Being a Boy Lift Off Workshop, which included interviews with two of the participants and BA (Hons) Dance Course Leader Jane White.

You can listen to the coverage on BBC Sounds.

Workshop Overview

  • Explored the physical and mental benefits of engaging in a movement focused workshop
  • Benefited from working in a studio environment on site at the AUB Campus with experienced tutor
  • Broadened existing abilities and develop new skill focused on expression and storytelling
  • Engaged with a new form of exercise that focuses on strength and trust whilst supporting physical and mental wellbeing.

Explore more


We know that inspiring your students, whatever their ambition, is at the heart of what we do in creative education.
Illustration work displayed in the Drawing Studio at AUB. The work is surrounded by plants and lit but a large oval glass window

On-campus activities

We run a range of on-campus activities so that your students can experience life at an arts university first-hand.
Student talking to a member of AUB Staff at a UCAS Event

In-school activities

Our in-school activities have been designed to support your students in discovering more about Higher Education and creative pathways
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Lesson resources

We have a range of learning resources at AUB that can support your teaching either in the classroom or online.
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Helping your students apply

We appreciate that navigating the process of applying to university can be a daunting time for students – we're here to help.
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Widening access to AUB

Those with the potential to benefit from higher education, deserve the opportunity to do so. At AUB, we’re committed to making that happen.
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Global Schools

AUB offers workshops, talks and presentations to global schools. Get in touch with our team to find out more