A music project honoured by a top women’s charity, a documentary earning rave reviews and a film charting the rise of a premiership football club are among the highlights of this year’s University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Student Showcase.

Members of the public are invited to attend the unique celebration of the creativity and innovation of students from the University’s highly regarded School of Business and Creative Industries.

Many of the projects featured have either won or been shortlisted for prestigious awards.

Burd Song, by rising songwriter Emma Martin, shares true stories of domestic violence survivors through the allegory of bird stories, folk tales and songs.

The collection of music was recently recognised with an award from women’s charity SWIM.


Video: UWS Student Showcase

Emma said: “I am delighted that my work is being featured at this year’s Student Showcase. I believe that music can affect awareness and affect change, and that is really the driving force behind this project.

“Domestic violence is traumatic and horrific, and I wanted to share the stories of people who have overcome it, because there are so many people who live with it every day.

“I wanted to celebrate the stories of survivors, and share what I hope is an inspiring message – that there is a whole life to live, after this terrible situation is over. I hope that it resonates with someone, because that is the intention behind Burd Song.”

Another project on show is Is It Me, which has been shortlisted for a Grierson Award – viewed as the Oscars of the documentary world.

Director Chris McGill said: “Is it Me is a deeply personal film to me, as it delivers that message by sharing the story of a close friend of mine, Emma Russer, and how she has dealt with body dysmorphia through the bio drag art form. She is a truly remarkable individual.

“I have been blown away by the response to the film so far, and would like to thank the staff on the MA Filmmaking course at UWS for the invaluable guidance they have given me.”

The documentary Livingston Football Club: The Rise of the Underdog, by Sports Journalism student Calum Brown, includes interviews with club legends such as Jim Leishman and Stuart Lovell, along with top journalists such as Sky Sports reporter Luke Shanley, and Superscoreboard presenter – and UWS graduate – Gordon Duncan.

UWS Commercial Music Lecturer and Arts and Media Showcase Co-ordinator Clare Duffin said: “Every year, University of the West of Scotland produces graduates who go on to achieve great things in the creative industries.

“The Student Showcase provides members of the public and the UWS community with a unique opportunity to enjoy their work as their career journey begins.

“As ever, I am blown away by the standard of work, particularly considering that it has been produced by students who have had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic.”