Donna Ives

Programme Director Fashion Design and Fashion Atelier

  • Academic
  • Creative Education
Donna Ives

Donna Ives leads our Fashion Design and Fashion Atelier courses at UCA Rochester. Donna has played a leading role at UCA to create strong industry links and a healthy work placement provision with numerous companies such as Jonathan Saunders, Reiss and Jean-Pierre Braganza.

Donna Ives


A graduate of Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester School of Art) with a BA in Fashion Design, Donna received a number of awards whilst at university, including the Drapers 'Childrenswear' design competition. Upon leaving Manchester, Donna worked in various womenswear and lingerie design roles for a number of noteworthy companies including BodyMap, Courtaulds and Nigel French (trend prediction).

With nearly 20 years' teaching experience, Donna has contributed to the development and writing of courses for the School of Fashion, including the development of UCA courses that have been launched in India. Currently an associate member of the Graduate Fashion Week steering committee, she has held many leading roles in fashion education and has worked on educational fashion projects for the BBC.

Donna has been teaching in higher education for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience on a number of Fashion programmes as well course leadership and the development of new curricula both in the UK and abroad.

Before developing a career in education Donna worked as a designer in the fashion industry with a focus on womenswear and lingerie. Donna graduated from Manchester School of Art with a BA in Fashion and has also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design.

Research statement

Donna‚Äôs research interests lie in pedagogy and she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Arts Education. Previous projects have included the development and delivery of creative short courses for the BBC to introduce fashion to 14 to 19 year olds. 

She has been very proactive in developing industry links for the school and she has conducted research projects in Placement learning, exploring the use of digital technology to enhance and support this activity, which she has presented as conference papers.

Donna created an annual end of year magazine course magazine profiling the work of graduating students, which she continues to project manage and edit.

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Fashion Council Colleges Forum
  • Link Tutor for UCA Fashion Courses in India. 
  • Current external examiner for BA Fashion at Norwich University of the Arts.