Senior Lecturer

As a Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Animation at Falmouth University, Katharine’s professional background has led her through many aspects of animation, illustration and design, with a strong interest in storytelling always underpinning the work.   

As a freelance illustrator, Katharine fell by happy accident into the animation industry when a job came in from her agent to paint a background on a title sequence. She enjoyed the collaborative way of working in animation studios and went on to work at TV Cartoons as a background artist on the film, ‘Father Christmas’.  At TVC there followed, ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, ‘The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies’, ‘Oi! Get off our Train’, ‘T.R.A.N.S.I.T.’, 'Poky and Friends', ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Willows in Winter’. She also painted backgrounds for Grand Slamm Childrens Films on the 2D TV series, 'Angelina Ballerina' and worked in the art department for other studios on characters and backgrounds on many commercials and title sequences.

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. 

Katharine still draws and paints herself, both traditionally and digitally and enjoys helping Animation students to collaborate in realising 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

Pedagogic research interests include the use of VR creative tools to develop in drawing for animation.

Research Topics

  • Practice based Research

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

Conference or Workshop Item

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.
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Nicholls, Katharine (2015) ‘The Cross Channel Film Lab’ case study. In: Society of Animation Studies, Beyond the Frame, Canterbury, 2015, 13th - 16th July 2015, Augustine House, Canterbury, CT1 2YA (Christchurch University). (Unpublished)
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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.
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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.

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...