YatoSan
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I'm in year 13, not doing A Level art but I want to study 2D animation at Hertfordshire. I'll try to defer but there are lots of EXTREMELY talented people applying there!

If I do the art foundation next year, they don't usually let you work on self-initiated projects until around December - January, which is when I'd have to reapply for Herts again! I probably won't have had much free time to work on my portfolio because I've heard how intense the foundation is.

OR I could take the 'Graphic design and illustration extended diploma' (at the same local college) which lasts two years and I think it's worth 3 A Levels. I'd have to pay for the second year (19+ fees) but it seems like it would give me a better chance of getting into Herts...

What should I do? I REALLY need to get onto that 2D animation course...

TL;DR: take the art foundation year or spend two years doing an extended diploma in graphic design and illustration to have a stronger application for an extremely competitive 2D animation course?

Thank you
Last edited by YatoSan; 1 month ago
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iinkhat
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Hi!

I'm currently in my first year studying 2D Animation at Herts

I haven't done an Art Foundation, nor have I done a Graphic Design & Illustration Extended Diploma (I did a Media Extended Diploma though!), so I can't really help you make that decision, but I can provide a bit of insight into what Herts looks for. I am not an official rep of the university, just a first year providing some anecdotal help.

I believe that they are far more interested in the quality of your portfolio as opposed to the specific degree you have. It's not really about how 'beefy' your application is, I think they look much more at the quality of work provided and enthusiasm of the subject. They like to see that you're trying to practice and learn the craft in your own time beforehand.

You don't need billions of pieces, but you need enough to give a good enough amount so that they can judge your ability.

I did not show up with loads for my interview. I didn't have very many life studies walking into my interview. In fact, showing up and seeing how much work everybody else had brought - I was absolutely mortified, and thought on the spot "well, I definitely am not getting in here".

Yet despite that, I was given a conditional offer. I was told to do more studies, and to draw from life more (and to look into more UK Based studios!! they like that). They could see from the animation I had done, the art i had brought, that it was something I was passionate about, and were kind enough to give me a place.

In my personal opinion, it doesn't really matter which one you go for, provided that you're able to create a good portfolio and showreel. It's difficult for me to say which would be better over the other, as I don't know the intricacies of both courses. Research and look yourself in what type of work you will be making for the course, and see if it would be applicable for your show-reel.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or want to know anything else about the course!
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craftywizardboy
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(Original post by YatoSan)
I'm in year 13, not doing A Level art but I want to study 2D animation at Hertfordshire. I'll try to defer but there are lots of EXTREMELY talented people applying there!

If I do the art foundation next year, they don't usually let you work on self-initiated projects until around December - January, which is when I'd have to reapply for Herts again! I probably won't have had much free time to work on my portfolio because I've heard how intense the foundation is.

OR I could take the 'Graphic design and illustration extended diploma' (at the same local college) which lasts two years and I think it's worth 3 A Levels. I'd have to pay for the second year (19+ fees) but it seems like it would give me a better chance of getting into Herts...

What should I do? I REALLY need to get onto that 2D animation course...

TL;DR: take the art foundation year or spend two years doing an extended diploma in graphic design and illustration to have a stronger application for an extremely competitive 2D animation course?

Thank you
If you take the art foundation year are you guaranteed a spot on the 2D animation course? If that is the case then I would go with the foundation year (technically this would be your gap year). That would be my advice. Good luck with everything
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YatoSan
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(Original post by iinkhat)
Hi!

I'm currently in my first year studying 2D Animation at Herts

I haven't done an Art Foundation, nor have I done a Graphic Design & Illustration Extended Diploma (I did a Media Extended Diploma though!), so I can't really help you make that decision, but I can provide a bit of insight into what Herts looks for. I am not an official rep of the university, just a first year providing some anecdotal help.

I believe that they are far more interested in the quality of your portfolio as opposed to the specific degree you have. It's not really about how 'beefy' your application is, I think they look much more at the quality of work provided and enthusiasm of the subject. They like to see that you're trying to practice and learn the craft in your own time beforehand.

You don't need billions of pieces, but you need enough to give a good enough amount so that they can judge your ability.

I did not show up with loads for my interview. I didn't have very many life studies walking into my interview. In fact, showing up and seeing how much work everybody else had brought - I was absolutely mortified, and thought on the spot "well, I definitely am not getting in here".

Yet despite that, I was given a conditional offer. I was told to do more studies, and to draw from life more (and to look into more UK Based studios!! they like that). They could see from the animation I had done, the art i had brought, that it was something I was passionate about, and were kind enough to give me a place.

In my personal opinion, it doesn't really matter which one you go for, provided that you're able to create a good portfolio and showreel. It's difficult for me to say which would be better over the other, as I don't know the intricacies of both courses. Research and look yourself in what type of work you will be making for the course, and see if it would be applicable for your show-reel.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or want to know anything else about the course!
Ah wow thank you so much for the detailed response!

Herts 2D animation looks like the only course in the UK that properly prepares graduates for studio work. I'm so scared about screwing up and not getting in! So I was thinking that doing the BTEC, even if it takes an extra year over the foundation diploma, would give me a higher chance of getting a place.

If I take a year abroad then I'd be 24 when I leave university!! But I suppose if it gets me to where I want, then age doesn't matter so much, right? (Haha I mean it would only take one year longer than if I took foundation!).
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YatoSan
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(Original post by craftywizardboy)
If you take the art foundation year are you guaranteed a spot on the 2D animation course? If that is the case then I would go with the foundation year (technically this would be your gap year). That would be my advice. Good luck with everything
Unfortunately I wouldn't be guaranteed a place because I'll be doing it at a local college (Herts doesn't offer an art foundation year). Also, it's very unlikely that I'd be allowed to defer for 2022 when apparently around 10% of applicants are accepted each year!
Then I'd be completely screwed if I applied a second time (during foundation) and still didn't get in! Ahh I really have to get this right

Thank you
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iinkhat
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(Original post by YatoSan)
Ah wow thank you so much for the detailed response!

Herts 2D animation looks like the only course in the UK that properly prepares graduates for studio work. I'm so scared about screwing up and not getting in! So I was thinking that doing the BTEC, even if it takes an extra year over the foundation diploma, would give me a higher chance of getting a place.

If I take a year abroad then I'd be 24 when I leave university!! But I suppose if it gets me to where I want, then age doesn't matter so much, right? (Haha I mean it would only take one year longer than if I took foundation!).
Herts is the best in the UK in regards to 2D Animation. It’s brilliant - it’s very work intensive, but there’s a reason it gets high rankings.

Age doesn’t matter at all! There are students of all ages attending. Most I’ve known started at 19, but there are some who started in their 20s! Never to late to do anything 😁

Try not to stress too much about it, try your hardest, put forward your best work, and I’m sure things will go well for you!

Whenever the time comes that you’re applying and want some portfolio advice, again, feel free to shoot me a PM or message me on Twitter/Insta ( @iinkhat on both)

Good luck!! Not that you need it, i’m sure!
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Scotney
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Another option is to take the Btec but apply during first year. It depends on how much stuff you have done already yourself. The Art foundation is good for widening your horizons but if you can demonstrate at interview your passion and talent they will take quality over content all day long. Good luck!
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YatoSan
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(Original post by Scotney)
Another option is to take the Btec but apply during first year. It depends on how much stuff you have done already yourself. The Art foundation is good for widening your horizons but if you can demonstrate at interview your passion and talent they will take quality over content all day long. Good luck!
That's a good idea! If that's possible, I hope I can improve my art enough in one year.

Thank you
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YatoSan
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(Original post by iinkhat)
Herts is the best in the UK in regards to 2D Animation. It’s brilliant - it’s very work intensive, but there’s a reason it gets high rankings.

Age doesn’t matter at all! There are students of all ages attending. Most I’ve known started at 19, but there are some who started in their 20s! Never to late to do anything 😁

Try not to stress too much about it, try your hardest, put forward your best work, and I’m sure things will go well for you!

Whenever the time comes that you’re applying and want some portfolio advice, again, feel free to shoot me a PM or message me on Twitter/Insta ( @iinkhat on both)

Good luck!! Not that you need it, i’m sure!
That's so reassuring, I'll try my best!

Thank you so much
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Thenorthern
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I would recommend looking at a Foundation course, it will help you in building up a really strong portfolio. If you re-do a Level 3 course, there may be fees too. Where as depending on your age a Foudnation course may be free.

Your interview may not be until after January so you will have had time by then to work on more personal projects as you said, to go in to your portfolio to take to interview.

Hope this helps a little!

Thanks,
Katt, Recruitment Officer
https://northernart.ac.uk/
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YatoSan
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(Original post by Thenorthern)
I would recommend looking at a Foundation course, it will help you in building up a really strong portfolio. If you re-do a Level 3 course, there may be fees too. Where as depending on your age a Foudnation course may be free.

Your interview may not be until after January so you will have had time by then to work on more personal projects as you said, to go in to your portfolio to take to interview.

Hope this helps a little!

Thanks,
Katt, Recruitment Officer
https://northernart.ac.uk/
Apparently the level 3 course would be free for both years. However, I haven't completely made up my mind yet!
Thank you, I'll definitely do more research on the foundation year
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YatoSan
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Is anybody doing this? I'd love to hear your experience!

Specifically I'd like to do the Graphic Design and Illustration one. Do you just do general art and design stuff in year 1 and then specialise in year 2?

Could I choose to do a lot of drawing/ painting if I wanted to? (Rather than making models and printmaking etc).
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YatoSan
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I haven't done A Level art but I need a related subject for animation. I'll be finishing my A Levels in 2021.
If I chose the L3 diploma it would be free for both years.

Is there anybody on the UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design or the art foundation year? Please tell me your experience! Do you think the diploma is better for learning how to draw/ paint?

Advice will be greatly appreciated!
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