Senior Lecturer

With over a decade in the Animation industry in addition to her work as a freelance illustrator, artist and designer, Katharine brings a rich creative background to her role as Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Animation. 

It was by happy accident that she fell into the animation industry when an illustration job came in from her agent to paint a background on a title sequence. Through this she discovered the truly collaborative way of working that distinguishes an animation studio, and she loved it.  Katharine then went on to paint animation backgrounds on many TV favourites, including, ‘Father Christmas’, ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, ‘‘The Wind in the Willows’ and the 2D series, 'Angelina Ballerina'. Alongside this she worked in studio art departments on the characters and backgrounds for many more commercials, films and series.

At Falmouth Katharine continues to contribute to films and other projects and has recently been a creative practitioner on the exciting interdisciplinary research project ATTUNE, which brings together creative-arts and health to investigate how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can affect adolescents' mental health.

All of Katharine's work is deeply rooted in visual storytelling, which permeates every aspect of her professional journey, her focus currently being on helping Animation students to collaborate and in doing so to realise their film-making ambitions.

External Links


Contact details

Telephone 01326 259082



Year Qualification Awarding body
2019 MA Falmouth University
2017 PGDip Falmouth University
2015 PGCHE Falmouth University

Honors and awards

Year Description

Staff excellence award in the category of best international collaboration for work on the Cross Channel Film Lab

Membership of external committees

HEA Fellow

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

Katharine is currently one of the creative practitioners on the exciting new interdisciplinary project ATTUNE, which brings together diverse creative-arts, digital and health experts to investigate how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can affect adolescents' mental health. 

In tandem with a panel of young people, ATTUNE will explore how creative practices such as music, art, dance and storytelling can play a role in tackling trauma and multiple adversity. The study hopes to spark a change in the way mental health is understood and then addressed by community services. 

Through a series of Animation workshops, Katharine's role will be to help young people tell their stories and outline their preferences for treatment, leading to them co-designing new ways of providing help and care.

Research Topics

  • Practice based Research

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

  • Nicholls, Katharine

    (2021), Case studies from the Live Briefs on BA(Hons) Animation at Falmouth University CILECT, In: CILECT CONGRESS 2021-10-12 Audiovisual Education: Impact & Relevance, ZOOM, in partnership with Kristiania University, Oslo, Norway, 14 - 16 October 2021, Online, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Nicholls, Katharine

    (2016), ‘The Cross Channel Film Lab’ case study., In: HEA Conference Inspire – sharing great practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning, Thursday, 3 March, 2016, The Waterfront Hotel, Brighton, BN1 2GS, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Nicholls, Katharine

    (2015), ‘The Cross Channel Film Lab’ case study., In: Society of Animation Studies, Beyond the Frame, Canterbury, 2015, 13th - 16th July 2015, Canterbury, (Unpublished)
  • Nicholls, Katharine

    (2014), Deep Presentation, In: Creative Animation Knowledge Exchange - C.A.K.E., 14th - 18th July 2014, Edge hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP, (Unpublished), Item availability may be restricted.



BA Drawing Forum 2018, presentation on the use of VR to aid spatial awareness in drawing.



Cilect Congress, 'Step across the Border: Transmedia Strategies & Interdisciplinary Approaches'. Zurich



The Cross Channel Film Lab workshops, Brittany, France and Falmouth, Cornwall.



HEA conference, Brighton


Areas of teaching

  • digital painting
  • Drawing for animation
  • Life drawing
  • production design and film supervision

Courses taught

  • BA(Hons) Animation

Business Engagement

Business engagement case studies

Worked with The Cross Channel Film Lab, 2014 - 2016.

Professional Engagement

Independent professional practice

Visiting practitioner at the 'Outback Film-making Bootcamp', in Queensland, Australia, 2018.

Social, community and cultural engagement

Co-curator of 'The Art of Animation',  29 January to 26 March 2022

From Scribble to Screen: an exhibition hosted by Falmouth Art Gallery, curated by staff from the animation department of Falmouth University. During the exhibition, guests, as well as schoolchildren were able to get involved in animation workshops and learned how to make their own animated film. They also got to view some previously unseen footage from the companies behind The Gruffalo and The Tiger Who Came to Tea!


Engagement with professional associations and societies

External examiner for BDes Animation at Duncan of Jordanstone, also for BA Visual Media at The Irish School of Animation, Dublin on behalf of The University of Dundee.

CILECT conference: ‘Training the Trainers’: GEECT Symposium in Norway. 
CILECT conference: 'Transmedia and Interdisciplinary approaches' Zurich
Staff mobility to UTAD University in Madrid to generate an Erasmus partnership.
Organised Animator in Residence programme with the director, Luis Cook. 
Attended the VR World Congress 2017 in Bristol.
Currently involved in a Film collaboration with FAMU in the Czech Republic and the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall.

Professional esteem indicators

Year Description

Received a staff excellence award in the category of ‘Best International Collaboration’ for our work as a team with The Cross Channel Film Lab. And newly nominated for 2019 Staff excellence in the category of collaboration...