The Student Room Group

Graphics design or Chemistry course at Uni?

Hey everyone, I need some suggestions about choosing a course to study at Uni. I’m a yr 12 student and the A levels that I am currently taking are Maths, Chemistry and Product design, which could lead me to either taking a Chemistry course at the Uni of Birmingham, or Graphics design at Loughborough Uni.

The issue is that I enjoy Product design and I don’t always get good grades in it, like I get an average of B , but I would like to continue on this path to pursue a design career. On the other hand, I get better grades in Chemistry but I would rather not take Chemistry as a course at Uni. So which course should I go for?
Reply 1
this isn't exactly answering your question (sorry) but have you considered something like a Materials Science Engineering or Product Design Engineering course? of your current choices, one is very arty/design-based and one is very sciencey - you could go for something that incorporates both if you want
Original post by good-torch
Hey everyone, I need some suggestions about choosing a course to study at Uni. I’m a yr 12 student and the A levels that I am currently taking are Maths, Chemistry and Product design, which could lead me to either taking a Chemistry course at the Uni of Birmingham, or Graphics design at Loughborough Uni.
The issue is that I enjoy Product design and I don’t always get good grades in it, like I get an average of B , but I would like to continue on this path to pursue a design career. On the other hand, I get better grades in Chemistry but I would rather not take Chemistry as a course at Uni. So which course should I go for?

the issue with a graphics design degree is that you can still land a graphics design job without a degree in it. all you need is a portfolio, you can learn the skills yourself
Reply 3
Original post by Pedr0
this isn't exactly answering your question (sorry) but have you considered something like a Materials Science Engineering or Product Design Engineering course? of your current choices, one is very arty/design-based and one is very sciencey - you could go for something that incorporates both if you want
Thank you, I have thought about ‘engineering’ type of courses before but the sound of it makes me think there is a lot of stress and challenges than in an artsy/design course (which is what I’m going after) 😅
Reply 4
Original post by catolinani
the issue with a graphics design degree is that you can still land a graphics design job without a degree in it. all you need is a portfolio, you can learn the skills yourself
Do you know whether the chances of employment is equal for someone who hasn’t got a graphics design degree and for someone who has. Is the portfolio all you need to impress the employers regardless whether you’ve got the degree or not?
Original post by good-torch
Do you know whether the chances of employment is equal for someone who hasn’t got a graphics design degree and for someone who has. Is the portfolio all you need to impress the employers regardless whether you’ve got the degree or not?

Yeah im actually a Year 13 student, and a graphic designer working part time. I picked up photoshop as a hobby in year 8 and got good enough to start building myself a portfolio during the summer transition before year 12, applying two months after starting year 12.

Id never really recommend a whole degree in it, you can pick up a level 4 or 5 in graphic design if you really prefer to have a qualification, but really and truly, the portfolio is all that you need.
It is worth to mention though, having done placement or some sort of work experience is what many of the companies are looking for. I started by volunteering to make banners for charity events or public events in London, where im based, (on no or low pay), and build up recommendations (basically ask them for a statement on your portfolio website, recommending you and detailing how well you did the job etc)

Id say pretty much: 1) learn Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator from YouTube or some course website (again, if you prefer to have something to put on your CV, you might wanna pay for a credited/recognised course by an official organisation) 2) boost your eye for art with short courses or YouTube videos on the fundamentals of design. 3) build your portfolio (digital website portfolio)
I’d say the only thing you could lose out by not doing the degree would be placement and the fact that they teach you how to have a good eye for art. But if you can trust yourself to gain your own experience, and trust yourself that you have a good eye for art, then you honestly have nothing to worry about by not doing the degree. Youd be able to get the job like 16/17 year old me did 😊

Any more questions, ask away!!
(edited 1 month ago)
I study chemistry at university- if you don’t feel you want to take a chemistry degree, then I would suggest that you don’t.

To do well in a chemistry course at uni, you need to really enjoy the subject and be prepared to spend long hours in the lab. Simply getting good grades in a subject at A level doesn’t necessarily translate to said subject being the best fit for you at university.

As you are still in year 12, you still have some time to think about what you want to do at uni and take on board some of the alternative suggestions above.

If there are any university open days where you can ask current students what the various courses that appeal to you are like, it is perhaps worth going and forming your own impressions.

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