Dr Christopher McHugh studied archaeology at the universities of Durham (BA, 1998) and Cambridge (MPhil, 2000), before receiving a MEXT Scholarship (Kyoto University, Japan, 2001-2003). In 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Ceramics from the University of Sunderland, having undertaken an AHRC collaborative doctoral project in partnership with Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.
He was AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow at Sunderland in 2016. Christopher is currently Visiting Research Fellow in the faculties of Health Sciences and Wellbeing and Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland.
Christopher 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. He is Global Engagement Lead at Belfast School of Art and Visual Arts Subject Specialist for the Northern Bridge Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership. He is also a member of the Research Ethics Filter Committee.
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).
Christopher’s practice-led ceramics research explores the relationship between artistic and archaeological methodologies, often focusing on archives, museum collections and communities. He is interested in supervising PhD students working on research topics relating to contemporary ceramic practice, arts and health, museum collections and material culture.
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). His work is held in public collections in Ireland (Irish State Art Collection) and Japan (Seto Art Museum).