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Tom Sowden is Assistant Dean (Education) in the Academic Development Office at the Royal College of Art.

He joined the RCA to help implement a new academic model across the College, leading and working with colleagues to develop new programmes, curricula design, and assessment practices. With a focus on an excellent student experience, strategies to enhance the quality of the taught portfolio, and a sharing of best practice, Tom works particularly closely with the Assistant Deans from across the Schools.

In the Academic Development Office Tom is responsible for the delivery of cross-College programmes and units. Working closely with Heads of Programme and Coordinators, he oversees the Graduate Diploma, MRes RCA, and is academic lead for AcrossRCA: an interdisciplinary College-wide unit which supports students in responding to the complexity of an uncertain, changing world.

With an established reputation in research and practice, Tom’s focus is on artists’ books and publishing. He has an interest in communities of practice, audiences and appropriation, often connected to the iconic book works Ed Ruscha produced during the 1960s and 1970s. He works in a variety of media, primarily the artist’s book format but also photography, printmaking and video.

Tom has extensive leadership experience in higher education. Prior to joining the RCA he worked at University of the West of England as Deputy Head of Department for the School of Art and Design, and Bath Spa University as the Head of Field for Design.