The Student Room Group
Kingston University
Kingston University
Kingston upon Thames

Why I Chose Kingston University for BA Fine Art

As the academic year comes to an end and the last few university offers tumble in, it’s time for applicants to begin making the tough decision of choosing which university to attend from their offers. Whether you’re hitting up open days or watching YouTube video diaries of current students, researching whether a university is right for you can be quite time-consuming so I thought I’d share my experience of how I ultimately decided on coming to Kingston.

From the moment I began studying for my GCSE in Art and Design, I knew I wanted to pursue something art-related at university. At the time, I wasn’t really sure what or where I mean, who is at that stage - but after a quick Google search, I decided there was no better place to go to than London. Alongside having some of the best art schools in the country, London had tons of art galleries with high profile exhibitions giving students access to priceless networking opportunities, as well as the chance to see works of art unavailable anywhere else.

As I continued through my GCSE and A-Level studies, I got a much better sense of ‘what’ I wanted to do. Although art is a broad field, and I enjoyed experimenting with architectural drawings and fashion design, drawing and painting were always my key interests. I DID want to the opportunity to branch out a bit at university (e.g. maybe get more experience with sculpture, or printmaking), but I also wanted my degree rooted in the things I already enjoyed doing as a hobby. Fine Art was the perfect field for me instead of creating a product or design for a consumer, like in graphic or interior design, Fine Art focuses on producing work without any necessary practical function, like paintings or sculptures to be displayed in homes or galleries.

I know a lot of people go into their final year of A-Levels without knowing what they want to study at university, but at this point I luckily had both an ideal location and a potential degree in mind. Since I didn’t have a Foundation Diploma in Art (a one-year long Diploma often taken before starting art school) and wasn’t really keen on taking one, I was able to narrow my choices down to only a couple of universities. Honestly, that’s my main piece of advice to any student struggling to choose exactly which university to attend try and make a list of factors that are important to you, and narrow down any university that doesn’t meet your criteria until you’re left with only a handful.

Ultimately, I applied to UAL, UCL, and Kingston University. Whilst I did like the UAL schools, and had attended multiple short courses at Central Saint Martin’s, I found the accommodation and living costs to be just a bit too high considering my relatively low maintenance loan from Student Finance NI. I was rejected from UCL (a sad reality for most art students!), but found that I did prefer Kingston’s course structure, as it included a much greater history of art element. I had studied History of Art at A-Level, and whilst I was keen to continue studying it, I also wanted to keep physically MAKING art so a course that was able to combine both those elements was definitely appealing. Furthermore, whilst still being close to London and having access to the higher maintenance loan, Kingston’s living costs were significantly lower than central London something I knew I had to take into consideration with the cost of having to purchase art supplies constantly as well! :biggrin:

Luckily, I can say even now that I’m genuinely glad I chose Kingston. I’ve made dozens of friends, and have a level of financial security I didn’t think possible living in London. The newly refurbished, state of the art KSA workshops are some of the best in the country, and my constant access to exhibitions across London have allowed me to see paintings I thought I’d only ever see online. For any student with an offer from Kingston, I’d say definitely consider coming here look at some of our other posts on our forum to learn more about the student experience, or drop a message below with your question and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. :h:

- Eve (BA Fine Art and Art History)

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