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Need to make a decision about Illustration courses - FAST Watch

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    I'm currently studying A Levels in Graphic Design, Fine Art, Eng Lang and Media Studies, and an AS in Photography. I got AAAA last year so I'm predicted A*A*A*A*. I really want to study art at uni, and I think Illustration is the path I want to go down, as I consider it a mixture of Graphics and Fine Art. I mean, I'd really like to work in an art department in a film studio, because it just looks like so much fun and such a diverse environment.

    Ideally, I'd do a Foundation course before going to uni, but my art teachers think I'm 'good enough' to go without one, and the increase in fees has forced me to push my uni year forward. I have secured a place at my local college doing a Foundation course, but that is just a backup.

    My teachers are encouraging me to apply with A Levels, but I'm unsure of what to pick as my final choice. I live in Nottingham, so the local ones I've chosen are De Montford Leicester (Graphic Design and Illustration) and Nottingham Trent (Graphic Design), having attended the open days.

    As a person, I'm very quiet and reserved and find it difficult to mix with others, so the prospect of leaving home is very scary, and I don't think I'm ready just yet. That is why, although I don't like where I live, I'd prefer to stay at home. I've also chosen Falmouth and Leeds College of Art, studying Illustration. I have, regrettably, been unable to attend their open days, but I have applied based on course content, location and reputation.

    I still have one choice I wish to fill to make up my five. I've looked round Lincoln, and very much liked the main campus, but the art department was, in my opinion, quite awful. The building was in an old chapel, and your first year studio is spent in a dark, depressing, cold church hall. Not very inspiring. They did mention plans to build a new art building over in the main campus, but that would not be complete for a couple of years.

    The other I have looked around is Derby. Now, I actually really liked Derby's art campus. It was very modern and a very good environment for me, and I could really picture myself studying there. But then I heard of Derby's reputation - for art, it has no reputation of any sort and would unlikely give me any opportunities to 'move on' in the art world. A lot of teachers I have spoken to would not recommend Derby and some have gone as far as to make me promise me not to apply there, to someone who achieves the grades I do. So, back to square one.

    My teachers would love me to go to London, but I do not think I would enjoy living in a such a busy and daunting environment. Perhaps I would consider it for postgrad, but even if I did apply now, the 'best' unis there, i.e. Camberwell etc. require a Foundation anyway.

    The other open day I went to was Manchester Metropolitan Uni, Illustration and Animation. I thought it was 'OK'. I didn't much like the location and the tutors greatly favoured foundation students in my opinion, but this would be the next nearest uni to me, aside from Lincoln. I would have to move to Manchester if I was to go there, because it is a 2 + hour train journey there, which I couldn't do every day, and I don't fancy moving to another city.

    So, I really would like some advice of what to do if you were in my situation. Any suggestions for my last choice based on the information I've given? Any personal recommendations or experiences? Please help, because I'm really really stuck and need to send off the UCAS form in the next few days before Christmas. Any input would be very much appreciated, because I have spent fruitless hours trying to make the decision!
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    Hello, I've had a similar problem with applying for universities in London, I'm not at all confident, but I have taken a risk and applied to Chelsea for Graphic Design (i haven't done a foundation) although if i do get an offer i will probably not take it as i think i might not enjoy London. I've also applied to Falmouth but for Graphic Design and the area and courses there seem lovely!
    Your portfolio is the most important thing that's what is going to get you your offers, your A level grades will come second, so work on building up a good portfolio.
    I've only applied to 4 schools at the moment, I haven't decided on a fifth, but i've sent it off anyway. Getting a place on a foundation course is a good idea, you're unlikely not to get any offers anyway, but it's a good back up.

    You don't need to fill all the spaces, you can add them later if you need to. (:
    I would just send off the ones you are sure about and then later on add another if you feel like it.

    Actually seeing your grades has made me feel a little less confident about getting a place on a graphic design course. ):
    I'm doing a BTEC in Fine Art and barely have 5 C's and GCSE.
    Good Luck, you should be fine!
    I'm applying to
    Falmouth
    Brighton
    UWIC
    Chelsea College of Art and Design
    and i was applying to Newport, but they've dropped Graphic Design. :/
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    If you want a small university, in a nice location and a friendly feel I would definitely reccomend looking into Exeter Universities Cornwall Campus. I have heard very good things about their art department too!
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    As someone who also didn't feel the right time to leave home was when I was eighteen, I can sympathise with you not wanting to move out. You will probably get a lot of people urging you to move out, but pay no attention if it's not for you.

    To live at home in Nottingham, you're looking at a decision between Lincoln and Derby; I'd discard Manchester Metropolitan because you'd have to move and you don't like anything particularly about it. You at least like the general campus at Lincoln (and I think it does have quite a good reputation?) and the art department at Derby.

    Personally, I'd go for Lincoln - you say that is the first year studio, so I presume the second and third years are better? Also, that doesn't sound so bad and I imagine you forget environment when doing the work.
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    (Original post by Pheebs1201)
    If you want a small university, in a nice location and a friendly feel I would definitely reccomend looking into Exeter Universities Cornwall Campus. I have heard very good things about their art department too!
    I just had a look at Exeter, and couldn't find an art course. Unless I'm looking in the wrong place, would you be so kind as to point me in the right direction?
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    I just had a look at Exeter, and couldn't find an art course. Unless I'm looking in the wrong place, would you be so kind as to point me in the right direction?
    They share the same campus as Falmouth College which I think you said you had already applied to .. :confused:
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    DesignFreak, thank you for your response. You say I don't need to fill all the spaces, but once the UCAS form is sent off, I thought you couldn't add any more choices to it? Have you visited Falmouth? I was unable to get down to an open day (8 hours or so train journey), so could you give me an insight into your impressions? Living in Nottingham has set me back in term of choosing a local uni which is up in the league table, so it's really a case of choosing a good uni, i.e. Falmouth if I was offered a place, and moving away, which at the moment just seems so unrealistic in terms of my personality and social skills etc. Or I stay in my 'comfort zone' and you could say settle for 'second best'. It's a hard decision to make. Good luck with your application. And also, could I ask where you are at the moment? Are any of your choices local?
    You can add choices to your UCAS form after it's sent off.
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    (Original post by ballroombabe)
    They share the same campus as Falmouth College which I think you said you had already applied to .. :confused:
    Oh, OK, fair enough Thanks
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    You can add choices to your UCAS form after it's sent off.
    I didn't know that. That's a relief, but do you have a certain amount of time to add another choice? I mean, I know you have two weeks after you've sent it to change your choices, but it didn't mention adding more.
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    I didn't know that. That's a relief, but do you have a certain amount of time to add another choice? I mean, I know you have two weeks after you've sent it to change your choices, but it didn't mention adding more.
    Yes, you can only change an already submitted choice two weeks after your welcome letter was sent ... but you can add a choice at any time until June 30th (although after January 15th, you aren't guaranteed equal consideration.)
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    You'll find that a lot of art universities favour foundation students over direct applicants, I had the same problem. If you don't like Lincolns art department then don't apply as its a waste of choice and you'll dislike the place where you spend all of your time. Your teachers mean well but ultimately the decision is yours, so if you like Derby more than Lincoln then apply there.
    To be honest you do sound to me like you'd benefit from a foundation year quite a lot, though i understand your concern about the fee increases. Just make sure your completely certain that you want to do Illustration.
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    (Original post by DesignFreak)
    Hello, I've had a similar problem with applying for universities in London, I'm not at all confident, but I have taken a risk and applied to Chelsea for Graphic Design (i haven't done a foundation) although if i do get an offer i will probably not take it as i think i might not enjoy London. I've also applied to Falmouth but for Graphic Design and the area and courses there seem lovely!
    Your portfolio is the most important thing that's what is going to get you your offers, your A level grades will come second, so work on building up a good portfolio.
    I've only applied to 4 schools at the moment, I haven't decided on a fifth, but i've sent it off anyway. Getting a place on a foundation course is a good idea, you're unlikely not to get any offers anyway, but it's a good back up.

    You don't need to fill all the spaces, you can add them later if you need to. (:
    I would just send off the ones you are sure about and then later on add another if you feel like it.

    Actually seeing your grades has made me feel a little less confident about getting a place on a graphic design course. ):
    I'm doing a BTEC in Fine Art and barely have 5 C's and GCSE.
    Good Luck, you should be fine!
    I'm applying to
    Falmouth
    Brighton
    UWIC
    Chelsea College of Art and Design
    and i was applying to Newport, but they've dropped Graphic Design. :/
    DesignFreak, thank you for your response. You say I don't need to fill all the spaces, but once the UCAS form is sent off, I thought you couldn't add any more choices to it? Have you visited Falmouth? I was unable to get down to an open day (8 hours or so train journey), so could you give me an insight into your impressions? Living in Nottingham has set me back in term of choosing a local uni which is up in the league table, so it's really a case of choosing a good uni, i.e. Falmouth if I was offered a place, and moving away, which at the moment just seems so unrealistic in terms of my personality and social skills etc. Or I stay in my 'comfort zone' and you could say settle for 'second best'. It's a hard decision to make. Good luck with your application. And also, could I ask where you are at the moment? Are any of your choices local?
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    DesignFreak, thank you for your response. You say I don't need to fill all the spaces, but once the UCAS form is sent off, I thought you couldn't add any more choices to it? Have you visited Falmouth? I was unable to get down to an open day (8 hours or so train journey), so could you give me an insight into your impressions? Living in Nottingham has set me back in term of choosing a local uni which is up in the league table, so it's really a case of choosing a good uni, i.e. Falmouth if I was offered a place, and moving away, which at the moment just seems so unrealistic in terms of my personality and social skills etc. Or I stay in my 'comfort zone' and you could say settle for 'second best'. It's a hard decision to make. Good luck with your application. And also, could I ask where you are at the moment? Are any of your choices local?
    You can add more choices once your welcome letter comes i think! you have until january the 15th or you'll be counted as a late applicant to the uni you're applying for.
    I haven't visited falmouth, but i've heard excellent things about it and their courses. it's a 6 hour train journey for me (:
    Nottingham Trent is amazing for Graphic Design! one of the best in the country, it certainly isn't second best to anything. i was going to apply but i already have four high risk options and now i need to consider a back up. I'm in Newport, i was applying to Newport for Graphic Design, but i've had emails telling me they've cancelled the course for 2011 due to government cuts and are unlikely to re-open to closes one to me is UWIC (cardiff) and i've chosen to stay at home for that one, and to live away for all the others. (:
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    Emerald Dragon,

    As a parent of a student looking at grapic design courses, I have looked at quite a few unis including Nottingham Trent which was pretty impressive.

    I have joined TSR especially to respond to your post which I saw when browsing and to urge you to look at Loughborough. You could easily travel there from Nottingham and it has small friendly classes even though it is a huge university. Massive campus but seemed really nurturing and friendly and I don't think it insists on FSD. They do have very high entry requirements, I think 320 points but sounds like that wouldn't be a problem for you.
    Why don't you have alook at it before the 15/1 deadline?

    Best of luck anyway.
 
 
 
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