I am a mature student who had my heart set on studying painting in London or Glasgow when I first stated my course last Sept. When it came to applying through UCAS I found that it was going to be difficult for myself to move away to uni as I have too many commitments here in Liverpool..... partner, house etc.
So I thought that I would just study Fine Art at John Moores or Liverpool Hope. I applied and got offers however, when it came to accepting my offers I just could not bring myself to accept, I felt like they were not the courses for me.
This left me thinking about what options I had. I decided that I would wait to see if John Moores had any places available in Architecture as Architecture was the original reason I returned to education two years ago and I thought it would give me more options at the end of the course.
Now though I have just saw that they have places through clearing for Painting in GSA and it has made me feel a bit sick! I know that the painting course is the course I really want to do but I think it would be impossible for me to move away.
What do I do? Do I apply to GSA as I have nothing to lose and no guarantee that John Moores will have Architecture places available anyway or do I sit back and just wait?
I would say that is it likely that LJMU will have architecture places in clearing, it seems that they usually do (as lots of people, including me have it as their insurance). It was in Extra for this year which suggests that they didn't have a full course at that point, so I wouldn't worry too much about that, and it seems fairly easy to get an offer the traditional way.
As for applying to architecture, I know I would never have done it if I didn't have full confidence in my commitment to it as it is a hard course and requires more work than most. If you think there is a chance of you regretting your choice to not choose the course you really want to do then I would stick with GSA. Then again it may depend what you think you will do with either degree at the end of it. It seems like you maybe want to go into design or just be able to use the qualification to get into graduate jobs, as they are fairly different courses, so I would choose the one you know you can enjoy for 3 years.
The course can be pretty full, I took it last year but have quit as it wasn't the course for me. There were roughly 100 students in the year I think but there don't tend to be as many in the higher years, I can't be sure what the likelihood of you getting in is but it shouldn't be too low seeing as I got in with marks slightly lower than my offer.
The course itself has been brilliant, the tutors are great with a couple of exceptions but there's always someone around to help if you ask. The history lectures were somehow the most interesting despite what I would have thought. I would say architecture is a hell of a lot of work though, be prepared to put in a lot of time and make the most of the facilities in the arts building.
As has been said above you need to study something you know you'll enjoy for 3 years. You need to weigh it up yourself if you'll be happier in a place you're comfortable with a course you may not like as much or in a new place you'll need to get used to with a course you know you want to do.