This is an insight into anyone wishing to apply to UCA Rochester’s fashion promotion course. I personally had a horrific experience and would advise against going.
The course direction is all over the place, whilst you enter a course like this hoping to specialise or develop creative skills in visual, written or PR/marketing communications, you barely receive that.
My specialism entering the course in year one was visual; photography/film. The first year focuses mainly on styling, photography and producing essays.
It all becomes very complex when asked to produce research books for every single thing you submit and PDP (personal development plan), which involves submitting time plans in 5 bizarre ways. This process meant over justifying your creativity.
The styling/photography tasks don’t give the creative freedom you’d expect, it’s set in a way where the brief is specific to a brand/music era, that if the tutors don’t like, can become extremely annoying and create pressure. Too much justification goes into what is supposed be fun.
The first year carried on this way for all projects. The amount of Photoshop/InDesign lessons received in this year were probably three classes and not relevant to any topics, for some strange reason they neglected this side to the course, which I thought would be one of the main focuses. We received no help in how to set up the photography studio, there was always a need for the studio manager to be present, if he wasn’t it will highly effect whether you get to use it or not.
There is one photography studio to an entire fashion school/floor.
The width of the photography roll is too small for most shoots; I struggled when bringing in clients of my own.
The head, Sheelagh Wright refuses to restock on studio equipment, she made excuses when I asked for colour roll.
The loan system, where you can borrow equipment rarely has any special industry equipment other than cameras and tripods, creating extra cost for anything they can’t supply.
The first year became a headache when they struggled to fill 3 days a week of lessons. This was present right up until my last day on this course.
I found myself travelling from London to Kent, just to hear remedial information, the course was not catered to students who didn’t live in the surrounding area, a lot of time and money was wasted, even when I decided to move closer.
Overall, I didn’t make many friends in the year; there wasn’t enough encouragement for the class to be together or inclusive, which affected a lot of students self-esteem. The tutors supported catty behaviour, rarely policed bullying and created what I’d call the ‘ANTM effect’, where you feel you have to please the judges (tutors) and that’s the only way you’ll make it on the course. There was hardly ever any encouragement when you’re doing well, only your failings were highlighted.
My second year focused on two projects; Group work and an internship.
Unfortunately I had the worse course tutor, who left half way through our project.
I was one of many students who was placed in a group of 2-3 people rather than 4, like the brief states where there were some groups with 7 people,. The brief outlines there was four heavy roles to take on. Because I was subject to the 2 people, and took on all roles, I ended up failing the unit, which in turn effected my third year grade and livelihood as I had to spend my summer doing a retake, I didn’t deserve. They did not take into account that what they did was against the rules, made no amendments for my group’s setbacks or any other groups that face similar problems.
As the task set was a filming task, we expected intense filming tutorials (which really should’ve been from year 1) but we didn’t, I was taught on the day of filming by the studio manager and had to learn the software in my own time. Even my filming was set back twice because the studio manager did not show up, meaning my group and I wasted money twice travelling to Kent as well as hiring studio equipment from external companies.
From this we received neither apology nor any consideration when marked.
When it came to the second half of the year, it was a relief because we started our internship and got a break from university. But due to the course leader neglecting the dissertation proposal (3.5K referenced essay discussing your plans for your dissertation) it meant after our 8 week internship working 9-5 Mon – Fri (The requirements were that we work 40hours a week) we had two weeks to start our proposal, which was totally unreasonable, especially as It counted towards our grade, oh and not to mention we were to create an entire website, with only 4 lessons on dissertations and how to create a website. It was SO intense and unnecessary, as I look back on my time here I do realise, its purposely set up so you don’t succeed and they feed you nothing but negativity and expect you to be grateful for towards the joke of skills they provide you with.
Overall these are the worst experiences I’ve had, I’d be typing an essay if I continued but my advice would be not to bother applying for this course, the only way you’ll do well is if you’re well liked by the course tutors, but even so it’s not worth it if you leave the university with the same skills you came with, no new friends or connections from UCA. I can speak for a lot of students who were on this course, it’s not my intention to influence your decision for the worse but it’s a huge waste of money and with the current cuts on grants this course is not worth it.
The course leader is arrogant, ignorant to any problems students face with the course and can really sabotage your chances at doing well. The tutors have no creative freedom themselves, taking instructions from what the course leader gives, which is surprising because her skills are only in construction of the course, not in Fashion promotion itself, hence why she only teaches tedious time plans.
I do wish whoever reads this all the best in their subject choice for uni. I’m speaking solely on the UCA Rochester Fashion promotion course, not for any other, if I’m honest, I rarely hear negative things about other fashion subjects.
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- Thread Starter
- 11-11-2015 00:57