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Digital Art: Abertay or GSA? watch

  • View Poll Results: Where shall I go?
    GSA
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    Abertay
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    64.71%

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    SKIP TO THE BOTTOM FOR TL;DR.

    I am in rather the predicament at the moment regarding where I want to go for uni next year. I have 4 offers, two conditionals from Brunel and Abertay and two unconditionals, from Dundee and GSA. I've narrowed these down to two choices: BDes Digital Culture at Glasgow School of Art or BA Computer Arts at Abertay.

    They both have their pros and cons, so I'm just looking for some advice

    Abertay Computer Art: 'The Safe Choice'

    Course bio: http://www.abertay.ac.uk/studying/find/ug/comparts/

    Pros
    • Course is one of the best nationally in this area
    • Has many links to games industry, which has been my main focus for the last few years
    • Amazingly friendly atmosphere on my open day and interview. The interviewer was actually interested in my work and went over time to talk to me about it.
    • Have already met condition (C in A-L Art) from my first 3 units. Pretty much an unconditional.
    • Lots of diversity in students with their own focus: you can develop how you want to
    • Vocationally based with good facilities
    • I like Dundee quite a bit as a city, I have contacts in the games industry up there so lots of chances for work experience.
    • Has links with Beijing University.
    • Combined with their games degrees there is a studio atmosphere, prepares for the real world.
    • Has the technical background to back up the creative side.
    • Involved with international AAA companies: Disney etc.


    Cons
    • Small city: nice but a bit out of the way
    • 'Safe' because I know it is vocationally based - good for getting a job, not so much being an 'artist'
    • Worried that, apart from the Games/Computing degree students, the uni will be full of numptys
    • The degree may not be as well regarded when it comes to international jobs, postgrad, etc.


    Glasgow School of Art: Digital Culture 'The "We don't actually know what the course will comprise of"' Choice

    Course bio: http://www.gsa.ac.uk/gsa.cfm?pid=3376

    Pros
    • IT'S GSA. It's the 'best'/highest regarded art school in Scotland. Prestige!!!! (I feel like a proper TSR regular now....)
    • Run by the woman who ran the Computer Arts course at Abertay for 10 years. She believes what they will teach at GSA is more relevant than what Abertay is doing.
    • Only 15 students at most accepted onto this course this year, so I'll be among like minded people with (hopefully) a lot of personalised tuition.
    • 1st year means that there's the ability to innovate, change the course to suit our needs
    • GSA has the creative expertise that Abertay doesn't.
    • Practically, having an unconditional makes it easier to apply for funding and halls.
    • Loads of scholarships available
    • Can take part in all of the Glasgow Uni clubs and societies so a wide range of interests are covered
    • Glasgow's an awesome city for shopping, nightlife, jobs. The Art school is so beautiful too!
    • I have family there so there's always hot food available, even when I'm a starving art student!


    Cons
    • Having been the 'first year of a course' student for 3 years now, I know it'll be shambolic and put together at the last minute.
    • I don't really know if GSA has enough expertise in this area, or how much support it has from the rest of the courses/lecturers
    • From what I can see, no dedicated facilities. Do they have the budget for the software/kit Abertay already has?
    • Quite near to home/where I went to High School
    • Cost of living is a bit higher
    • I'm a bit intimidated by all the art students tbh! The level of talent -- and the drop out rate -- are both very high.
    • Might not be what I'm looking for if I want to do game art / modelling. don't know of the amount of flexibility in the course.



    If this is tl;dr: Abertay has the expertise in this area of study; GSA is the new innovator than hasn't really sorted out what the course is yet. Where should I go?
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    Well I made my university decision ultimatly on where I was more guaranteed to get a job from,

    If I was you id be tempted to choose abertay as its more renowned, hence more links, hence chance of getting a better job.

    If you can visit the uni's again, and ask loads of questions to the lecturers and email them to find advice from other students. Ultimatley its about whats right for you no student forum can give you proper advice about that decision as its your life

    Hope that helped in any way
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    I got the impression that the digital media course @ GSA was bit more about games on different platforms like iPhone or phones rather than games development.
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    (Original post by ShadowyPrincess)
    Well I made my university decision ultimatly on where I was more guaranteed to get a job from,

    If I was you id be tempted to choose abertay as its more renowned, hence more links, hence chance of getting a better job.

    If you can visit the uni's again, and ask loads of questions to the lecturers and email them to find advice from other students. Ultimatley its about whats right for you no student forum can give you proper advice about that decision as its your life

    Hope that helped in any way
    Thank you so much The job prospects thing is a big bonus for Abertay: but in the same way, GSA has the prestige that this might not be much of an issue. Good point though...

    Yeah, I'm thinking of going over the easter hols, as well as spending a few days in both cities. Thank you for the advice
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    (Original post by seanewilson)
    I got the impression that the digital media course @ GSA was bit more about games on different platforms like iPhone or phones rather than games development.
    Yeah, the course leader seemed really interested in mobile technologies and the like. You hear about it at the open day? I couldn't get to any of them :/
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    (Original post by caiitlinz)
    Yeah, the course leader seemed really interested in mobile technologies and the like. You hear about it at the open day? I couldn't get to any of them :/
    Yerp
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    (Original post by caiitlinz)
    Thank you so much The job prospects thing is a big bonus for Abertay: but in the same way, GSA has the prestige that this might not be much of an issue. Good point though...

    Yeah, I'm thinking of going over the easter hols, as well as spending a few days in both cities. Thank you for the advice
    hi there

    was also looking for advice on abertay & came across this thread!

    if you haven't heard of Skillset, i'd check out this page here & find out all about it.. http://www.skillset.org/games/accreditation/

    the computer arts course at abertay is very highly regarded throughout the games industry & the computer games/digital art students can also take part in "dare to be digital" where a small team create a new game & it's judged by industry professionals and people win baftas for their designs etc.. through both this and studying the course you're pretty much guaranteed a job!

    i myself am from Glasgow, and i have studied Display Design at HND level for the the last 2 years now. it very much involves a great deal of creativity/sketchbook work, probably more like the work required for art school i'd imagine.

    but in my interview for Abertay (3rd year visual communication & media design), as much as i was thinking that my sketchbook-type work wasn't what they were looking for, the interviewer seemed really, really pleased with the amount of research work involved & with how creative i was, me coming from a more "arty" background than computer-based. he also said that my style of working was more what he was looking for from his own students, so i was pretty chuffed to hear that!

    so in the end i now have a conditional offer (conditional being that i pass my HND basically) & i am really determined to go to abertay now, as i know that i can be my usual, arty, creative self & with the amazing possible job opportunities it offers at the end! especially as some of the lecturers themselves have worked for big gaming/design companies.

    the art school is also a really amazing place. if you're more interested in the designing side of things, i'd go here or abertay. but if you're interested in designing & having the technological skills i'd say abertay could be you're best shout! although the art school is extremely well-known (well done for your offer!) abertay is also extremely well-known and highly regarded throughout the design industrys, and it would look smashing on your CV, especially for the computer courses.

    i hope this helps, but at the end of the day it's totally up to you & this is only my opinion let your heart (and your head) guide you, haha
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    I'm a bit lopsided in this, being interested in games programming not art - but I'm 2nd year Computer Games Tech at Abertay so I know a wee bit about Computer Arts (actually my cousin is starting it this year)

    If you are looking for something geared towards gaming I'd personally suggest Abertay, technically speaking the Computer Art's course is NOT about Computer Arts for Games, it's general Computer Arts - however the optional modules lead you towards Games or whatever else you want to do.

    In terms of the studio environment you are right, in 2nd year I believe you work on a project with the Games Design students and in 3rd year, the Games Design, us Programmers and Computer Arts students all work on a project as a full year piece of coursework, the result is the course as well as building up your skills in modelling and whatever else will make you a more rounded individual for the games industry where of course things are a little different, high time restrictions and alot of restrictions on for example the poly count on your models as everything needs to run in realtime - as opposed to animation studio's where it doesn't matter it needs to run on one computer once to be recorded, as well as practical experience working to the demands of designers who aren't always going to be aware themselves of what they want being still students.

    If you have any question's, fire away and i'll try and track down answers for you
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    I just firmed Abertay Thank you, everyone, for your helpful input: it made the choice a lot easier c:
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    (Original post by caiitlinz)
    I just firmed Abertay Thank you, everyone, for your helpful input: it made the choice a lot easier c:
    Ahh awesome! I was at Duncan of Jordanstone dropping off my folio and Dundee is such a lovely city and I was so wary of it, with my friends telling me it was "Scumdee" haha but I was very pleasantly surprised :P Congrats!
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    Haha yeah I heard the Scumdee moniker too, frankly I can't be bothered going home this summer just gonna stay here.

    What's the condition by the way?
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    I'm a graduate of Abertay. They fully deserve their "Top 3 in Europe for Gaming Courses" awards.

    I got an Honours in Computer Arts and got a great job with Ubisoft. So take that as you will.
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    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    I'm a graduate of Abertay. They fully deserve their "Top 3 in Europe for Gaming Courses" awards.

    I got an Honours in Computer Arts and got a great job with Ubisoft. So take that as you will.
    Off-Topic: Nice! Congrats, I am right this second doing some work in Maya for this 3D Scene we have to do in 2nd Year CGT (I was cursed with not befriending an Artist, so I get to do it all myself) - So kudos on your conviction cause its draining the life out of me, give me a bit of C++ anyday :P
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    (Original post by Brizee)
    Haha yeah I heard the Scumdee moniker too, frankly I can't be bothered going home this summer just gonna stay here.

    What's the condition by the way?
    That's good, I liked Dundee a lot when I was there, it was a bit strange that everyone said it was rubbish :P I am from Fife anyway though, so I guess I can't say XD

    Conditions are a C in A-Level Art.... Which is awesome, because I already have more than a C from my first three units! So reaaallllyyy it's an unconditional, I just can't apply for accomodation :c
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    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    I'm a graduate of Abertay. They fully deserve their "Top 3 in Europe for Gaming Courses" awards.

    I got an Honours in Computer Arts and got a great job with Ubisoft. So take that as you will.
    That's amazing... I actually just bought a new copy of Assassin's Creed XD (tenuous link, I know.) I know everyone says it, but I'd love to work on AAA titles

    Guess I've got a few more years to go, anyway. Thanks for the input c:
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    (Original post by caiitlinz)
    That's good, I liked Dundee a lot when I was there, it was a bit strange that everyone said it was rubbish :P I am from Fife anyway though, so I guess I can't say XD

    Conditions are a C in A-Level Art.... Which is awesome, because I already have more than a C from my first three units! So reaaallllyyy it's an unconditional, I just can't apply for accomodation :c
    Glad you liked it :P Have you checked out our Union? Not much but its home haha,

    And Awesome! See you in September then



    (Original post by caiitlinz)
    That's amazing... I actually just bought a new copy of Assassin's Creed XD (tenuous link, I know.) I know everyone says it, but I'd love to work on AAA titles

    Guess I've got a few more years to go, anyway. Thanks for the input c:
    Assassins Creed is so good ^-^ though the most recent Ubisoft I played was Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, one of the really old PS2 ones but in terms of gameplay much better than a lot of modern FPS'

    As for working on AAA's you be surprised, the appeal of starting their own company wins over a lot at Abertay, we have at least a dozen indy companies working in the city at the moment and i'm pretty sure every year brings a new start up from the University, that said I want to end up on something big sooner or later. :P
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    (Original post by Brizee)
    Glad you liked it :P Have you checked out our Union? Not much but its home haha,

    And Awesome! See you in September then





    Assassins Creed is so good ^-^ though the most recent Ubisoft I played was Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, one of the really old PS2 ones but in terms of gameplay much better than a lot of modern FPS'

    As for working on AAA's you be surprised, the appeal of starting their own company wins over a lot at Abertay, we have at least a dozen indy companies working in the city at the moment and i'm pretty sure every year brings a new start up from the University, that said I want to end up on something big sooner or later. :P

    Myself included! I kinda wished I'd went down the indie route to be honest. I'm working on Driveran Francisco at the moment and the sheer scale of a AAA title means that you're always working tirelessly on the most tiny of details. For example, I spent several weeks doing iteration after iteration of mini-map icons, getting them reviewed, then being asked to change them, then doing them again.

    At least with indie projects which I've also worked on, it's tighter, closer-knit, and you get a lot more creative input.

    On a large-scale project you're less of an artist and more of a technician really.
 
 
 
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