Evanesyne
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I'm in Year 11 and deciding on colleges at the moment. I want to be a Graphics Designer, but I'm not sure whether to take A Levels or a BTEC in Art. I've taken my Art GCSE a year early and I'm now onto the AS. I would like to take a back-up subject like English or IT, but it would mean that I have to stay behind for another year to do a foundation degree before I can go onto an Art college. I'm so confused. What should I do?
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blondie :)
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Just do what you want to do. Although, doing a BTEC can limit your options down if you change your mind. If you are on AS now, why don't you carry on? But, if a BTEC is what you really want to do, just go with that.
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Spinnerette
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I have two BTECs under my belt a First and a National. It depends what route you want to go down, most universities recommend/require you to do a BTEC (yes the foundation diploma is a BTEC) Foundation in Art and Design before applying to their university degrees. So you may have to after you're A Levels do a Foundation Diploma anyway.
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Evanesyne
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One of the art teachers at one of the colleges I looked at said that art colleges don't take people straight from A Levels, but they do with BTECs. I was wondering how often a college accept a student with just A Levels.
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maryemmabrooks
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As you are all ready doing AS, why don't you finish the whole A-Level, then go on to do a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (BTEC).

Really, some universities prefer you to have the foundation and are adamant that they wont even look at you if you only have A levels, but i think overall it depends on how strong your portfolio is; if its really good you could get on the course without it.

I'm applying now to do my foundation next year, partly because i'm not entirely sure which area i want to go into and also because i've heard it gets you used to the pace of university and the work load.

Also i've seen on the requirements for some of the foundations i'm thinking of applying to that they require either one or two whole A-levels or the equivalent.

anyway hope this was all helpful
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by maryemmabrooks)
As you are all ready doing AS, why don't you finish the whole A-Level, then go on to do a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (BTEC).

Really, some universities prefer you to have the foundation and are adamant that they wont even look at you if you only have A levels, but i think overall it depends on how strong your portfolio is; if its really good you could get on the course without it.

I'm applying now to do my foundation next year, partly because i'm not entirely sure which area i want to go into and also because i've heard it gets you used to the pace of university and the work load.

Also i've seen on the requirements for some of the foundations i'm thinking of applying to that they require either one or two whole A-levels or the equivalent.

anyway hope this was all helpful
Thanks
I think I will go ahead with the A Levels because you don't really get to specialise in BTEC until the second year.
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beautifulbigmacs
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Do both if you can.

I did a drama A level and an acting BTEC and the two together were very useful when applying to uni.

Ok so I'm clearly not from an art background lol but in a nutshell, if you're sure it's art you want to do then the A level will show that you can handle the academic side whilst the BTEC will show that you have extensive skills in the practical side...so this might open more doors for different uni courses (based on some prefer practical work and some prefer academic work) plus it shows your subject enthusiasm very strongly

you must be amazing to be doing AS level a year early so may as well finish the A level at least

good luck
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by laurakate1988)
Do both if you can.

I did a drama A level and an acting BTEC and the two together were very useful when applying to uni.

Ok so I'm clearly not from an art background lol but in a nutshell, if you're sure it's art you want to do then the A level will show that you can handle the academic side whilst the BTEC will show that you have extensive skills in the practical side...so this might open more doors for different uni courses (based on some prefer practical work and some prefer academic work) plus it shows your subject enthusiasm very strongly

you must be amazing to be doing AS level a year early so may as well finish the A level at least

good luck
I was considering that, but then the colleges from where I live don't offer A Levels, and the sixth forms don't offer BTECs. So I can't have it both ways

No I'm not. XD It's just a programme my school's been doing for a few years, and they just pick out the best ones to do it. But that doesn't neccessarily mean I'm amazing though :P

Thanks
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beautifulbigmacs
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(Original post by Evanesyne)
I was considering that, but then the colleges from where I live don't offer A Levels, and the sixth forms don't offer BTECs. So I can't have it both ways

No I'm not. XD It's just a programme my school's been doing for a few years, and they just pick out the best ones to do it. But that doesn't neccessarily mean I'm amazing though :P

Thanks
Ah, I should probably add that I did my A levels in the day at my local 6th form college and then the BTEC National Award I did was a college night course where I went in for one night per week over one academic year.
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x-lolarose-x
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I was considering doing the BTEC at one point (glad I didn't now) but decided with A-Levels amongst two academic subjects, I do Fine Art and Photography, and I enjoy having something academic as a "refreshment" of sorts, makes me enjoy and appreciate my art subjects more

are you doing fine art at as atm? why not carry on with that, and take graphics too? Universities have been known to accept two art a-levels with a strong portfolio. I'd advise you to do a bit of research into universities, the courses you like and their policies, and then think about what you need to do, and which way you would enjoy it more
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Charlottielottie
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Do the BTEC if you're really serious about it, but if its a bit half-hearted definitely go for A-levels cos if you change your mind I hate to say it but art isn't a very versatile qualification! Also think do you want to finish the A-level you started? (Well done for doing it early!)
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by x-lolarose-x)
I was considering doing the BTEC at one point (glad I didn't now) but decided with A-Levels amongst two academic subjects, I do Fine Art and Photography, and I enjoy having something academic as a "refreshment" of sorts, makes me enjoy and appreciate my art subjects more

are you doing fine art at as atm? why not carry on with that, and take graphics too? Universities have been known to accept two art a-levels with a strong portfolio. I'd advise you to do a bit of research into universities, the courses you like and their policies, and then think about what you need to do, and which way you would enjoy it more
Point. I was wondering how well I would take it if I do art full time.
I'm doing fine art AS now, and I'm thinking of doing Art, Graphics, Photography and something else. Although a couple of teachers did say something about 3 visual art subjects being a little too much...
I did try to research the courses, but tbh, the website don't tell you a lot.
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by Charlottielottie)
Do the BTEC if you're really serious about it, but if its a bit half-hearted definitely go for A-levels cos if you change your mind I hate to say it but art isn't a very versatile qualification! Also think do you want to finish the A-level you started? (Well done for doing it early!)
I'm serious about it, but I don't know what the future holds, so I'd like to have some sort of back-up plan. And it doesn't help that my mum doesn't approve of me studying art. I know that it isn't very versatile, but I honestly can't think of myself being a lawyer or a doctor, like my mum wants me to be.
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x-lolarose-x
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(Original post by Evanesyne)
Point. I was wondering how well I would take it if I do art full time.
I'm doing fine art AS now, and I'm thinking of doing Art, Graphics, Photography and something else. Although a couple of teachers did say something about 3 visual art subjects being a little too much...
I did try to research the courses, but tbh, the website don't tell you a lot.
hmmm, i find the workload of twos and the workload is very heavy, I'm not trying to be pessimistic but three art subjects is a hell of a lot to cope with

you could email certain universities and ask them whether they would consider your application with just two art a levels rather than btec? you should get a response, i have in the past
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emmalou098
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Im doing the Btec National Diploma in art and design at the moment, on my second year. I started a levels, completed my as levels and then changed onto the btec at college. best decision i made tbh!

3 art a levels will be a ridiculous amount of coursework as they are very demanding subjects. the 1st year of my national diploma let me experiment in graphic design, painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, textiles etc and then now in my second year i am specialising in graphic design and photography.

I think this course is a better preparation for uni, as it lets you experiment and develop your skills in a wide range of areas before choosing you specialisms. This gives you a better chance to create an excellent portfolio for universities to see showing skills such as life drawing all the way through to graphic design.

Universities dont think a levels are a suitable preparation for a degree in art or design, there is no preference to a national diploma or foundation.
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by emmalou098)
Im doing the Btec National Diploma in art and design at the moment, on my second year. I started a levels, completed my as levels and then changed onto the btec at college. best decision i made tbh!

3 art a levels will be a ridiculous amount of coursework as they are very demanding subjects. the 1st year of my national diploma let me experiment in graphic design, painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, textiles etc and then now in my second year i am specialising in graphic design and photography.

I think this course is a better preparation for uni, as it lets you experiment and develop your skills in a wide range of areas before choosing you specialisms. This gives you a better chance to create an excellent portfolio for universities to see showing skills such as life drawing all the way through to graphic design.

Universities dont think a levels are a suitable preparation for a degree in art or design, there is no preference to a national diploma or foundation.
Ah thanks!
Would they prefer a BND in Art over Graphics Design? Because I don't really want to do general art, I kinda want to specialise in graphics now.
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emmalou098
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It depends on the uni really, some prefer you to have a wide range of skills that allow you to be more experimental, whilst some unis just want people to follow the course and be good at just graphic design. Have a look at some good unis for graphic design, its never too early to start looking, it gave me something to work towards once id chosen a course and a selection of unis. have a look at there specification and what they are looking for in applicants, this should give you an idea on if they want a specifically graphic design student or if the welcome students from a generally creative background!

If you can find a foundation degree in graphic design or equivalent btec in graphic design then id say go and check that out because you are very certain on what you want to do. but over a levels id definately choose a btec in art and design (or specifially graphics if you can find it, my college didnt do it unfortunately).
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by emmalou098)
It depends on the uni really, some prefer you to have a wide range of skills that allow you to be more experimental, whilst some unis just want people to follow the course and be good at just graphic design. Have a look at some good unis for graphic design, its never too early to start looking, it gave me something to work towards once id chosen a course and a selection of unis. have a look at there specification and what they are looking for in applicants, this should give you an idea on if they want a specifically graphic design student or if the welcome students from a generally creative background!

If you can find a foundation degree in graphic design or equivalent btec in graphic design then id say go and check that out because you are very certain on what you want to do. but over a levels id definitely choose a btec in art and design (or specifially graphics if you can find it, my college didnt do it unfortunately).
I really don't know what to do :confused: At my local sixth form I was offered to do 5 A Levels (All academic apart from graphics), and the other coolege I was offered a place for Graphics BND. Now I don;'t know which route to go for. I was working towards Kingston, but now...
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emmalou098
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if you are definately wanting to apply for graphics then I'd say go for the ND. you get to build a better portfolio over the two years and have a lot more experience within your subject area, will make the transition to university easier. After your a levels you will most likely have to do a foundation year, so thats another year of study when you could be at university. If you are hesitant on focussing only on graphics then do the a levels, that way you have more options, i generally depends what you are like as a person... decisive or indecisive!

Im working towards kingston too :P
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Evanesyne
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(Original post by emmalou098)
if you are definitely wanting to apply for graphics then I'd say go for the ND. you get to build a better portfolio over the two years and have a lot more experience within your subject area, will make the transition to university easier. After your a levels you will most likely have to do a foundation year, so thats another year of study when you could be at university. If you are hesitant on focussing only on graphics then do the a levels, that way you have more options, i generally depends what you are like as a person... decisive or indecisive!

Im working towards kingston too :P
Hmmm, Psychology intrigues me, and it seemed like a better option as a career. But graphics....it just seems natural to me. I like it and I'm good at it, but there's the fear of hating it as a job in 10 years time. I think doing some academic subjects would make me appreciate art more.

Oooh good luck Have you applied to it yet?
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