Christopher Mc Hugh
  • York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile


Dr Christopher McHugh studied archaeology at the universities of Durham (BA, 1998) and Cambridge (MPhil, 2000), before undertaking a MEXT Scholarship at Kyoto University, Japan (2001-2003). In 2015, he obtained a PhD in Ceramics from the University of Sunderland, having undertaken a AHRC collaborative doctoral project in partnership with Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. He was AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow at the same institution in 2016, where he developed a ceramics and wellbeing project in collaboration with the veterans’ charity, Forward Assist. Christopher is currently Visiting Research Fellow in the faculties of Health Sciences and Wellbeing and Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland. 

            He became Lecturer in Ceramics at Ulster University in 2017. He served as Course Director of BA Hons Ceramics, Jewellery & Silversmithing (2018-2021) and now teaches ceramics as part of BA Fine Art, Foundation Studies and MSc Art Psychotherapy. Christopher is Global Engagement Lead at Belfast School of Art and Visual Arts Subject Specialist for the Northern Bridge Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership. He is interested in supervising PhD students working on research topics relating to contemporary ceramic practice, arts and health, museum collections and material culture. 

            Christopher is a Board Member of Craft NI and is a Subject Adviser to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He is external examiner of MA Ceramics at Staffordshire University and was previously external examiner for Ceramics and Glass at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2019-21). 





Research Interests

 Christopher’s practice-led ceramics research explores the relationship between artistic and archaeological methodologies, often focusing on archives, museum collections and communities. Since 2015, he has undertaken research about Japan’s post-war ceramic figurine industry. He publishes and exhibits internationally, and his work has recently been shown as part of the RUA Annual Show (2021), Ceramics Ireland’s triennial (2020) and the British Ceramics Biennial (2019). He is the recipient of an Ulster University Early Career Researcher Impact Fund Award (2021).  



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Community in Clay - Towards a Sunderland Pottery for the Twenty-First Century: Approaching Museum Collections and Communities through Creative Ceramics , University of Sunderland

Oct 2010Sept 2014

Award Date: 1 Mar 2015

Master, MPhil Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Oct 1999Sept 2000

Award Date: 30 Jul 2000

Bachelor, BA Hons Archaeology, Durham University

Sept 1995Jul 1998

Award Date: 1 Jul 1998

External positions

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sunderland

4 Oct 20214 Oct 2024

Craft Advisory Panel, Craft Northern Ireland

1 Apr 2020 → …

External Examiner, MA Ceramic Design, Staffordshire University

1 Feb 202030 Sept 2023

Academic Adviser Panel Member 2020, The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

1 Jan 202031 Dec 2020

External Examiner, BA Fine Art (Ceramics and Glass), National College of Art and Design, Ireland (NCAD)

1 May 201930 Sept 2023

MEXT Scholarship Screener (Art and Design), Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Japan

1 Jun 2012 → …


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