The Student Room Group

Nottingham(NTU) or Brighton(SFS) Uni for Film Arts(Production Design)?

After searching, I've narrowed it down to 2/3 uni's I'd want to go to, however even after weighing the pros and cons I am unsure, so I'd appreciate any outside opinion to help me make my decision.
(I'd be going in 2024 after a gap year to work/save up so I have time to rethink/make changes)

context: Both the NTU and SFS appear to have good courses and I have been to each of their open days (however I went alone to NTU seeing as I'm already based in the city so I didn't have a second opinion)

NTU: I've lived here basically my whole life so going to uni here seems pretty depressing despite how decent the Uni looks. I wouldn't feel excited about the area as I know it all already however being older, I'd be able to access other things like bars, clubs, going out of the city etc etc. To combat this, I could either stay in a studio flat (not too keen on halls) or stay at home to save money. The studio would grant me a little independence and my parents wouldn't be far to offer me any support. But, if i change my mind, living in a student house 2nd or 3rd year would be fine. All in all I'd be comfortable staying here. I'd make it work.
pros:
- cheaper to live here, wouldn't worry too much abt surviving compared to studying
- already know where I like to go etc
- support system close to home
- course has good student satisfaction
- lots of poc/minority students
- student support seems good
- plenty of societies
cons:
- lack of experience in a new city
- wouldn't learn how to "fend for myself" bc family is so close
- no fresh start
- possible FOMO
- wouldn't be all that excited about uni
- course not attached to a film school so I'd miss out on experience unless I took a placement year
SFS: Very small university- but the campus interior is nice. The area is pretty and do enjoy the countryside so I wouldn't be disappointed if I couldn't afford to live in the town. Brighton is expensive. Though I hope to have saved up before then/get a job so I'm not too worried. Area and seem very posh though and only saw the smallest handful of people of colour (not the end of the world but this is important to me). People seem friendly though, course leaders/tutors seemed more excited and proud about working there. Home would be 3 hours away, meaning if I'm screwed I'm screwed lmao- but learning to drive in a year seems like a fun challenge, no? Student support looks good and students didn't have anything bad to say about the course. Attached to the film school so I'd be gaining on-set experience "24/7" on top of summer work placements. 5 year graduate support seems really useful and the tutors have worked on a large number of films/shows. They also provide a budget for the films we'd be making which is brilliant. However, in terms of accommodation, they're pretty expensive so I may have to live in shared housing in first year which is not ideal, but the Uni would support me in living with other students etc. (But again possible job and gap year savings would help w this massively).

Pros:
- nice area, nice balance of countryside and lively areas
- the course is better in comparison to NTU if I consider personal preferences and the experience I'd gain
- good masterclasses available e.g pheobe waller-bridge (Fleabag), GOT cinematographer etc
- a lot of independence,
- experience a new city
- beach.
- quieter, smaller uni, more personal connections w/ tutors and students
- new places to discover / explore
- transport links to London
cons:
- far from home in case of emergency/wouldn't visit home as often
- very white area, less options for cultural produce, may need to travel further out??
- expensive.
- smaller uni = less uni societies but Brighton's community seems vibrant

tldr: notts is fine, but that's all it really is- course seems good but outside of placement year I wouldn't get much on-set, collaborative experience. cheaper, live at home. brighton seems livelier, would have to work harder to find people who look like me, excited tutors and new places to explore. further from home, more expensive.

i was originally thinking of applying for UAL's production design or art direction course but their reputation when it comes to their poor teaching and multiple racism issues has put me off (from what I've found from researching the uni)

any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated - if you live in brighton for uni (esp if ur a poc) any thoughts on life there?? thanks :smile:
If you’re applying next year then you don’t have to decide this until April 2024.

You can apply for up to 5 choices through ucas so you can keep your options open.

If you like brighton but are worried about the very small size of sfs and costs in brighton the Arts Uni Bournemouth might be worth a look. Travel time from Nottingham is similar but prices are lower and AUb is small but not as small as sfs
Original post by Anonymous
After searching, I've narrowed it down to 2/3 uni's I'd want to go to, however even after weighing the pros and cons I am unsure, so I'd appreciate any outside opinion to help me make my decision.
(I'd be going in 2024 after a gap year to work/save up so I have time to rethink/make changes)

context: Both the NTU and SFS appear to have good courses and I have been to each of their open days (however I went alone to NTU seeing as I'm already based in the city so I didn't have a second opinion)

NTU: I've lived here basically my whole life so going to uni here seems pretty depressing despite how decent the Uni looks. I wouldn't feel excited about the area as I know it all already however being older, I'd be able to access other things like bars, clubs, going out of the city etc etc. To combat this, I could either stay in a studio flat (not too keen on halls) or stay at home to save money. The studio would grant me a little independence and my parents wouldn't be far to offer me any support. But, if i change my mind, living in a student house 2nd or 3rd year would be fine. All in all I'd be comfortable staying here. I'd make it work.
pros:
- cheaper to live here, wouldn't worry too much abt surviving compared to studying
- already know where I like to go etc
- support system close to home
- course has good student satisfaction
- lots of poc/minority students
- student support seems good
- plenty of societies
cons:
- lack of experience in a new city
- wouldn't learn how to "fend for myself" bc family is so close
- no fresh start
- possible FOMO
- wouldn't be all that excited about uni
- course not attached to a film school so I'd miss out on experience unless I took a placement year
SFS: Very small university- but the campus interior is nice. The area is pretty and do enjoy the countryside so I wouldn't be disappointed if I couldn't afford to live in the town. Brighton is expensive. Though I hope to have saved up before then/get a job so I'm not too worried. Area and seem very posh though and only saw the smallest handful of people of colour (not the end of the world but this is important to me). People seem friendly though, course leaders/tutors seemed more excited and proud about working there. Home would be 3 hours away, meaning if I'm screwed I'm screwed lmao- but learning to drive in a year seems like a fun challenge, no? Student support looks good and students didn't have anything bad to say about the course. Attached to the film school so I'd be gaining on-set experience "24/7" on top of summer work placements. 5 year graduate support seems really useful and the tutors have worked on a large number of films/shows. They also provide a budget for the films we'd be making which is brilliant. However, in terms of accommodation, they're pretty expensive so I may have to live in shared housing in first year which is not ideal, but the Uni would support me in living with other students etc. (But again possible job and gap year savings would help w this massively).

Pros:
- nice area, nice balance of countryside and lively areas
- the course is better in comparison to NTU if I consider personal preferences and the experience I'd gain
- good masterclasses available e.g pheobe waller-bridge (Fleabag), GOT cinematographer etc
- a lot of independence,
- experience a new city
- beach.
- quieter, smaller uni, more personal connections w/ tutors and students
- new places to discover / explore
- transport links to London
cons:
- far from home in case of emergency/wouldn't visit home as often
- very white area, less options for cultural produce, may need to travel further out??
- expensive.
- smaller uni = less uni societies but Brighton's community seems vibrant

tldr: notts is fine, but that's all it really is- course seems good but outside of placement year I wouldn't get much on-set, collaborative experience. cheaper, live at home. brighton seems livelier, would have to work harder to find people who look like me, excited tutors and new places to explore. further from home, more expensive.

i was originally thinking of applying for UAL's production design or art direction course but their reputation when it comes to their poor teaching and multiple racism issues has put me off (from what I've found from researching the uni)

any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated - if you live in brighton for uni (esp if ur a poc) any thoughts on life there?? thanks :smile:

Heyy I think we’ll be able to help each other out!!
I’m mixed race and live in brighton and can tell you all about the cost of living, nightlife and poc experience, I’m looking to go to ntu so I’m hoping we can exchange info! As far as the brighton/sussex uni goes as a whole, Ive heard nothing but good things, there’s a great support network and despite being newer uni’s, I’ve heard the film and fashion courses are amazing! As far as the uni itself goes there’s no many down sides! However the cost of living is insane, my sister was there and staying in the halls, she had so many money worries despite having full student maintenance loan, she was reliant on my parents the whole year and even then went well into her overdraft. The nightlife is not the best, the best club is pryzm, but if your looking for a good nightlife it’s not the uni for that. Brighton as a town… AMAZING. It’s the prettiest and most vibrant by a mile, you have the beach, the lanes, the nice weather, and the people are often more open minded and individual, rather than following a crowd, it’s relatively safe, I’ve felt worried or anxious when out alone. The biggest and only real downside other than what I’ve mentioned before, is the diversity, there is literally no diversity! For reference, I was born in England, have a white mum and lived in Brighton my whole life but im mixed race (olive skinned, dark haired and have fairly ethnic features) when I tell you, the racism here is off the scale, not necessarily towards myself but the comments made about certain ethnicities and general racial insensitivity if you know what I mean (for somewhere so lgbt friendly, you wouldn’t necessarily expect it) I have felt unhappy in nearly every friendship I’ve had due to racist comments made by ‘friends’ and struggle so much to feel happy in my skin now, with no real idea of where I belong. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, so honestly, that is the sole reason I advise you to avoid a brighton uni, as you mentioned POC diversity is important to you, which is completely understandable! If you have anymore questions please ask, I’d love to help you out! I was also hoping you could give me a few pointers regarding Notts, is there a lot of diversity? As like you that’s so vital to me, I’m torn between Birmingham and Notts, Birmingham seems heavily African and asian populated, and I love that!! But Birmingham as a whole seems rough and I’d worry I wouldn’t fit in as I’m sensitive and kind of introverted lol, Nottingham is perfect really, other than the fact I’m not sure it’s diverse, and I don’t want to deal with any kind of racism again. What would you say? I hope things work out for you, go with your gut and I’m sure you’ll love wherever you end up! You also have time to research before making a decision, good luck!!
Original post by Anonymous
As far as the brighton/sussex uni goes as a whole, Ive heard nothing but good things, there’s a great support network! As far as the uni itself goes there’s no many down sides!


SFS isn’t one of the brighton based universities. It’s a small private provider with a handful of locations around the city including one above a pub.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/sywixH94vJm2Uyyg8?g_st=ic
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by PQ
SFS isn’t one of the brighton based universities. It’s a small private provider with a handful of locations around the city including one above a pub.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/sywixH94vJm2Uyyg8?g_st=ic

Yes? Everything I’ve said still stands, i know it’s SFS I’m telling them about brighton as a whole which is what they asked about
Original post by Anonymous
Yes? Everything I’ve said still stands, i know it’s SFS I’m telling them about brighton as a whole which is what they asked about

I’ve trimmed my quote. I was responding to you talking about brighton and Sussex universities. Sfs isn’t part of either university. Their students have a very different experience.
Original post by PQ
I’ve trimmed my quote. I was responding to you talking about brighton and Sussex universities. Sfs isn’t part of either university. Their students have a very different experience.


Yes and I’m talking about brighton as a whole? Soooo
Original post by Anonymous
Yes and I’m talking about brighton as a whole? Soooo

You said
As far as the brighton/sussex uni goes as a whole, Ive heard nothing but good things, there’s a great support network! As far as the uni itself goes there’s no many down sides!
Original post by Anonymous
Heyy I think we’ll be able to help each other out!!
I’m mixed race and live in brighton and can tell you all about the cost of living, nightlife and poc experience, I’m looking to go to ntu so I’m hoping we can exchange info! As far as the brighton/sussex uni goes as a whole, Ive heard nothing but good things, there’s a great support network and despite being newer uni’s, I’ve heard the film and fashion courses are amazing! As far as the uni itself goes there’s no many down sides! However the cost of living is insane, my sister was there and staying in the halls, she had so many money worries despite having full student maintenance loan, she was reliant on my parents the whole year and even then went well into her overdraft. The nightlife is not the best, the best club is pryzm, but if your looking for a good nightlife it’s not the uni for that. Brighton as a town… AMAZING. It’s the prettiest and most vibrant by a mile, you have the beach, the lanes, the nice weather, and the people are often more open minded and individual, rather than following a crowd, it’s relatively safe, I’ve felt worried or anxious when out alone. The biggest and only real downside other than what I’ve mentioned before, is the diversity, there is literally no diversity! For reference, I was born in England, have a white mum and lived in Brighton my whole life but im mixed race (olive skinned, dark haired and have fairly ethnic features) when I tell you, the racism here is off the scale, not necessarily towards myself but the comments made about certain ethnicities and general racial insensitivity if you know what I mean (for somewhere so lgbt friendly, you wouldn’t necessarily expect it) I have felt unhappy in nearly every friendship I’ve had due to racist comments made by ‘friends’ and struggle so much to feel happy in my skin now, with no real idea of where I belong. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, so honestly, that is the sole reason I advise you to avoid a brighton uni, as you mentioned POC diversity is important to you, which is completely understandable! If you have anymore questions please ask, I’d love to help you out! I was also hoping you could give me a few pointers regarding Notts, is there a lot of diversity? As like you that’s so vital to me, I’m torn between Birmingham and Notts, Birmingham seems heavily African and asian populated, and I love that!! But Birmingham as a whole seems rough and I’d worry I wouldn’t fit in as I’m sensitive and kind of introverted lol, Nottingham is perfect really, other than the fact I’m not sure it’s diverse, and I don’t want to deal with any kind of racism again. What would you say? I hope things work out for you, go with your gut and I’m sure you’ll love wherever you end up! You also have time to research before making a decision, good luck!!

hey, thanks for your response it’s been a big help in perspective! Nottingham is quite diverse and similar to brum with having a lot of black and south/east asian population. There’s a lot of different people especially in town/campus areas so you’ll definitely find people you’ll identify with. From what I can tell from walking around the campuses in general they’re quite diverse, though confetti is probably the one lacking the most depending on what you’re planning on taking. There’s a lot of options when it comes to ethnic food/takeaway n hair shops, hair dressers and just general things so if that’s important to you then you’re in luck there. Like basically everywhere though you will experience some bigotry but I haven’t experienced any outward racism to the point that it diminishes my view of the city, y’know? It just depends on the kind of people you hang around with. As an introverted black person I felt like I didn’t fit in for a while (esp when you have a very yt friend group) but honestly, just having POC friends gets rid of that feeling fairly quickly, for me at least.

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