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    Hey there, just wondering if anyone has done the Graphic Design course at Nottingham and could give me their opinion of the course and the uni. Thanks!
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    Hi, I graduated form the course last year . I'd be happy to talk through my experience.

    I really loved the course, I learnt a lot and we were all encouraged to take our own path. Although the course is titled 'Graphic Design', you can specialise in anything within the field of design: illustration, branding, typography, animation etc. Different tutors specialise in different areas and come from different industry backgrounds, which is always good to have.

    In the first year, you experiment with lots of different practices. In the first term you take part in different workshops and are inducted into the Art and Design facilities. By second term you apply these to a brief that is set for the whole year group, which you interpret as you see fit. In the last term you are given a variety of briefs to choose from. Throughout the year you have lots of contact time with tutors, and the group tutorials are particularly helpful.

    Second Year is more independent, and you can start to specialise if you wish, but in any case you get to choose from a selection of briefs and competition briefs. You also get used to presenting your work more professionally for your portfolio and pitching your work to peers and industry.

    By Third Year, there isn't much contact time with tutors - we only had one optional sign-up tutorial a week in the last term. However, this is because they encourage you to be independent, manage your own time and there are a load of briefs to choose from, or you can write your own self-initiated ones if you wish (these can be discussed with your tutor). That isn't to say you can't go into university and use the studios and facilities - it's no secret that the people who did well overall are the ones who were always in the studio rather than working from home! There are always staff around and they are genuinely helpful, and you can usually arrange to see your tutor whenever you need to. In the third year there is the degree show as well, where the whole year puts on an exhibition within the university. Our year group's exhibition can be seen here so you can get a feel for the variety of work students have produced: http://www.ntuallyoucaneat.com/

    What really made me enjoy it was the tutors I had. However, like most places there are good and bad tutors. There were certain tutors who weren't as helpful, but others that were always encouraging, creative, challenging your ideas and would go out of their way to help you if you were struggling. Some of the staffing has changed since I left so I can only give you my own experience, but overall everyone was very friendly.

    A few things I can think of that I didn't like:

    • Tutor 'favourites' - it always seemed to be the same people who would be chosen to go down for D&AD and New Designers to exhibit their work and similar opportunities. Although, these people were the ones who were always in the studio working so I suppose it pays off to work hard and make your presence known!

    • All the weighting is on Third Year - nothing from years One and Two count towards your final grade

    • In the third year, one-to-one tutorials were accessed by signing up on an online sheet to see a tutor of your choosing. However, the slots would fill up so fast that there would be some people who either didn't get the tutor they wanted or couldn't get to see anyone all, it was always a race to sign up first (I believe they said they were going to change this system after the complaints of last year)

    • Printing is expensive! I know it always is, but there is definitely a lot of cost involved, particularly in the third year where the 'finish' matters. Those who could afford to get books printed and bound, packaging printed professionally, and work letterpressed and foiled etc., were, I think, regarded more highly above others at times

    • Tutors often contradicted each other with regards to feedback on your work, but then again design is subjective! I found it hard to know whose advice to follow sometimes, particularly during the stressful final term.

    If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer any specifics
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    Thank you for such a lengthy response! I wasn't expecting so much, apologies for the late reply!

    I'm really glad to hear that there's room to be flexible in the fields of work, being someone who's interested in Illustration myself, I'm happy to see it's encouraged. Thanks for the overview of the three years, it sounds a lot like some of the other uni's I have looked at, not that that is a bad thing! For the briefs, are some of them from clients from businesses outside of the uni? Also, how big was the class sizes during the three years?

    Tutor wise, I'm glad that they sound great, obviously not everywhere can have perfect tutors. Was there plenty of 1 to 1 tuition available from them?

    Also thanks for the negative points, I hope the favourites didn't get too in the way of the tutor interaction. I feel it's a bit silly that year 1 and 2 count for nothing, but I suppose it builds up your skills and portfolio if nothing else.
    I'll take all these on board, thanks!

    Finally, what was your opinion on the uni and it's accommodation? I'm probably going to have to use the halls if I choose here.

    Thanks again!
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    (Original post by Raritas)
    Thank you for such a lengthy response! I wasn't expecting so much, apologies for the late reply!

    I'm really glad to hear that there's room to be flexible in the fields of work, being someone who's interested in Illustration myself, I'm happy to see it's encouraged. Thanks for the overview of the three years, it sounds a lot like some of the other uni's I have looked at, not that that is a bad thing! For the briefs, are some of them from clients from businesses outside of the uni? Also, how big was the class sizes during the three years?

    Tutor wise, I'm glad that they sound great, obviously not everywhere can have perfect tutors. Was there plenty of 1 to 1 tuition available from them?

    Also thanks for the negative points, I hope the favourites didn't get too in the way of the tutor interaction. I feel it's a bit silly that year 1 and 2 count for nothing, but I suppose it builds up your skills and portfolio if nothing else.
    I'll take all these on board, thanks!

    Finally, what was your opinion on the uni and it's accommodation? I'm probably going to have to use the halls if I choose here.

    Thanks again!
    No problem

    There were a mixture of staff briefs (so those set by the tutors) and competition briefs such as D&AD, YCN etc. Studios from outside of the university would come in and speak to us, and sometimes set a brief too. We would usually have the opportunity to present our outcomes for the briefs to the studio who set it - either they would come here or we would visit them.

    You would probably get one 1 to 1 tutorial a week (like I said, you could sign up for these). But you were usually able to negotiate another meeting if you really needed, or just drop in the office and see if anyone was free to talk to you. Contact time became less as the years progressed, to prepare us for being independent and making more of our won decisions.

    The year groups are big - we had over 130 in our year. But you're only really all together at one in lectures. Otherwise, you are put in tutorial groups of around 10 people, and the same applies to seminar groups. You can work in any studio of there's space, but being so many of us it was sometimes hard to find workspace or a computer, especially during deadline periods.

    I actually stayed at home during my time at uni, so can't offer too much info about accommodation. I know that Byron is the newest and most modern, but also the most expensive. I visited friends in other halls and they were pretty average. Places like Byron and Gill Street are only about a 2 minute walk from Waverley, whereas others are outside the city, but there are uni buses that take you to campus.
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    Would you say you got more briefs from the tutors vs briefs from clients (as in outside the school)?

    Also, are the tutors or professors active in the industry? Like are they working part-time or full-time in the industry?
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    (Original post by Elevn)
    Would you say you got more briefs from the tutors vs briefs from clients (as in outside the school)?

    Also, are the tutors or professors active in the industry? Like are they working part-time or full-time in the industry?
    In First Year, most were briefs set by staff, but there were a couple of competition briefs as well.. In Second Year, we got more of a chance to enter national competitions (D&AD, Penguin etc.) and take on 'live briefs' from industry. In Third Year, it was mostly industry and competition briefs - there were lots to choose from, including staff briefs and self-negotiated briefs.

    All of the tutors are either actively working within the industry or have done so previously - they are all experienced in different fields.
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    In First Year, most were briefs set by staff, but there were a couple of competition briefs as well.. In Second Year, we got more of a chance to enter national competitions (D&AD, Penguin etc.) and take on 'live briefs' from industry. In Third Year, it was mostly industry and competition briefs - there were lots to choose from, including staff briefs and self-negotiated briefs.

    All of the tutors are either actively working within the industry or have done so previously - they are all experienced in different fields.
    You've been so helpful, thank you so much for sharing! ☺️ Any other tips you have for us? haha What do you plan do to now? 🙂
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    Hey, has anyone had an interview yet for graphic design at Nottingham Trent? I have mine tommorow and don't really know what to expect, anyone who has had this interview what sort of stuff will they ask, etc?
    It's my first interview so far so I'm really nervous for it.
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    (Original post by hollycxo)
    Hey, has anyone had an interview yet for graphic design at Nottingham Trent? I have mine tommorow and don't really know what to expect, anyone who has had this interview what sort of stuff will they ask, etc?
    It's my first interview so far so I'm really nervous for it.
    Just be yourself, and just think of it as an informal chat about your work (because that's what it is!). For me they simply asked me to talk through some of my projects in my portfolio. I think there were some general questions about why I wanted to study there, my expectations of the course etc, but it was very straightforward and they aren't trying to catch you out. They are equally as interested in your personalty: your outside interests, what other things you enjoy, what book you're reading at the moment or what film you last saw, that sort of thing.
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    (Original post by Elevn)
    You've been so helpful, thank you so much for sharing! ☺️ Any other tips you have for us? haha What do you plan do to now? 🙂
    You're very welcome

    My best advice would be to just be yourself during interviews. If you don't fit the course then that's not your fault; it's just as much as you finding the right course for you as the university is at finding the right student. Get stuck in as much as you can and make use of the art and design facilities - this is something I wish I'd done more of! Take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you by your tutors and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also get to know your peers and spend time working together in the studio as much as you can. Keep contact information from guest speakers (if you ever wanted to contact them for advice or the possibility of a placement) - and most importantly, have fun!

    At the moment I'm doing a placement at a design studio
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    Just be yourself, and just think of it as an informal chat about your work (because that's what it is!). For me they simply asked me to talk through some of my projects in my portfolio. I think there were some general questions about why I wanted to study there, my expectations of the course etc, but it was very straightforward and they aren't trying to catch you out. They are equally as interested in your personalty: your outside interests, what other things you enjoy, what book you're reading at the moment or what film you last saw, that sort of thing.
    Thank you so much.. puts my mind at ease knowing its more informal.
    Alongside your portfolio how many sketchbooks did you bring?(mine are A3 size books and i was planning on bringing two) I don't know if I'm bringing to much though as my A2 portfolio and A3 books are really heavy.
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    (Original post by EmeraldDragon)
    You're very welcome

    My best advice would be to just be yourself during interviews. If you don't fit the course then that's not your fault; it's just as much as you finding the right course for you as the university is at finding the right student. Get stuck in as much as you can and make use of the art and design facilities - this is something I wish I'd done more of! Take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you by your tutors and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also get to know your peers and spend time working together in the studio as much as you can. Keep contact information from guest speakers (if you ever wanted to contact them for advice or the possibility of a placement) - and most importantly, have fun!

    At the moment I'm doing a placement at a design studio
    Oh, that's awesome! How is it so far?

    I already got an offer from NTU, actually. 😁 Along with BCU and ACB. Still have an interview for Falmouth this coming Feb. So far, NTU's been really really helpful and friendly, plus I'm really glad to hear about your experience and advice. 😊

    Do you have any friends in other schools I've mentioned? Wondering if you've heard anything about the courses there, compared to NTU..

    (Original post by hollycxo)
    Thank you so much.. puts my mind at ease knowing its more informal.
    Alongside your portfolio how many sketchbooks did you bring?(mine are A3 size books and i was planning on bringing two) I don't know if I'm bringing to much though as my A2 portfolio and A3 books are really heavy.
    Good luck with your interview! 😊
 
 
 
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