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    I desperately want to go to Central Saint Martins next year to study Fashion Design, and was just wondering how to make myself the best possible candidate, and also if anyone knew much about the interview process? I know it is really competitive, and I live in South Wales where there aren't many fashion opportunities, but I will do anything I can. Thanks xx
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    I have a friend who spent literally every single lunchtime throughout secondary school working on art and did umpteen courses and what have you at weekends and was genuinely the most incredible artist I've seen (her stuff is absolutely incredible) and didn't get in because in her portfolio they didn't like her notes (she's dyslexic). So yeah, as long as you don't have a learning difficulty and have talent you'll be fine, but if you're remotely disadvantaged and don't fit their way of tick-box assessment of portfolios, say bye bye to the dream.
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    Hello, I graduated from the undergraduate fashion course (womenswear pathway) at Central Saint Martins. If you have any specific enquiries about the college or course, I'll try my best to answer them. In the mean time, if you haven't already, be assured to read the course leaflet in full, paying particular attention to section four:

    http://www.csm.arts.ac.uk/docs/cours...ourse-info.pdf

    I applied to the course in 2003. Therefore, the interview process has likely changed. In any case, we were required to wait at the entrance of the college campus at Charing Cross Road (where the course is currently held) until a student usher/representative guided us to a large room. The course director gave an appraisal of the course, underlining its philosophy, history and successes. They also emphasised on how competitive the course is, which has surprisingly been mentioned in the above course leaflet (this data wasn't included in the past). Last year, they accepted 182 students from 1,114 applicants. These 182 apply to separate pathways, of which 'Fashion Design Womenswear' will accept 25 UK/EU students and 25 international, totaling 50. We were then instructed to leave our portfolio inside the room and to return after they had reviewed our work. We arrived at 10 AM and were told to return after lunch. Upon returning, if we had received a green sticker on our portfolio case, we were up for an interview. Conversely, if we received a red sticker, we were unsuccessful. Fortunately, I received the former and my interview time was allocated. During the interview, they were particularly interested in my work process. They liked my sketches and questioned my incentives for each collection I had produced. I also spoke of my time at Bunka (my previous fashion college), including a work placement I had underwent in Japan from a CSM graduate of the course. I also discussed the subject, whether it be about a particular designer I liked the work of or an exhibition I had attended. I also spoke of a few publications that I've read or subscribe to. The interview lasted about 45 minutes, upon which I was told that I'd receive a letter from the college in due course. Thankfully, I was accepted onto the course.

    I hope this has helped. :smile:
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    Well, I got onto Textiles (obviously different) and I'm studying there soon.

    To get on, I had 100 points worth of OU courses (in chemistry) cause I'm currently working towards an OU chemistry degree - part time. Attended lots of CSM courses, did 17 GCSE's and 8A levels. Thing is, the OU course and my public art commission got me in, none of the compulsory grades, so my point is do extra stuff which other people dont do.
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    Either go to a UAL foundation, or be an international student.

    There's a chance of getting in otherwise... but it's very small...
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    (Original post by lazza)
    Either go to a UAL foundation, or be an international student.

    There's a chance of getting in otherwise... but it's very small...
    The university is obliged to accept an equal amount of UK/EU and international students. Furthermore, international students are also required to undergo the foundation course or equivalent. However, the belief that any international student can be accepted, simply because they pay considerably higher fees, is untrue. Due to the overwhelming demand for UAL courses, particularly those at CSM and for fashion, I have encountered many that were rejected from the above course, regardless of their student status. Although, it's true that undergoing the foundation course at CSM will and does help to increase your chances of acceptance.
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    No university is "obliged" to take equal numbers of internationals to home/EU students. When I went to an open day at CSM for the Fashion Design degree I was told it was more 60:40 than 50:50. Then you have to take into consideration that the "home" places are also for EU students. At the end of the day when our government want so many british people go through university education, places like UAL and LSE shouldn't be allowed to be biased to internationals, end of.

    And because CSM do pre-UCAS interviews, the number of places actually open to non UAL foundation students is incredibly small. When 3 of the girls on my course were offered places, I do actually wonder how few it actually is (I do know 1 non-UAL foundation student though)

    It's easy enough to say that bias isn't there. I'm sure you got into CSM on your own merits and talent, and I'm not saying you didn't. But when we were on foundation, if we weren't an international we were told not to bother applying there for a reason. Our tutors had seen years and years of bias applyed to applications and were sick of it (some of them ex CSM students themselves, from the days when what fee group you came from didn't matter). In comparason we only have one international in our year group at uni and she's amazing. University places should be for the BEST students, not who's paying the higher fees. If everyone was interviewed together under the same system (with no knowledge of who had what fee status) then that would be fair. The current system means it's not the top 120 students who get in.


    I know you're "in charge" of this part of the forum or something. But you cannot give biased advice. Realistically if a BRITISH student wants to go to CSM for degree, they have to go to UAL for a foundation (all colleges have access to the pre-UCAS interviews); otherwise there's a very unrealistic chance of getting in; thus wasting their first choice route B entry- and odds are ending up at a 3rd choice college, as places like Rave, Westminster, Kingston, Brighton, are filling up first choice now, so putting them down as 2nd choice equals an instant rejection.

    OP: in my opinion as someone who was in your position only a couple of years ago, go around all of the universities that offer degrees in Fashion Design and come up with a list of questions. Talk to the students and see if they're happy or not (and ask them what they think about other universities- some of us are incredibly honest and will suggest other universities to look at). Different universities offer different things and there are so many courses about. My suggested questions would be....

    What kind of technical skills do you learn (there's a huge shortage in young technicians- and personally a well paid freelance career in pattern cutting is very tempting at the moment!)

    What are the studio hours like

    What are the library hours and facilities (macs, archive, access to other university libraries..)

    What placements have been taken by students while studying there? Is there a sandwich year option (VERY important at the moment. The new graduate internship scheme means that many design houses are no longer letting grads intern because they cannot afford to pay them- so doing your placements while you're studying gives you a huge advantage. If I include my sandwich year and holiday placements by the time I graduate I should have over 2 years intern experience)

    How many tutors are there? How much time do you spend with them? What are they like? (and possibly, do they teach anywhere else because so many unis share tutors now)

    Where have graduates gained employment?

    How much machinery is there?

    What other kind of modules are there? (Learning photoshop and illustrator should now be standard for all degrees, but even things like learning to make a film, print and textiles, etc, are all good skills to have, and very fun modules to do!)

    How has the university been doing at Graduate Fashion Week? You can always go on the catwalking website to see graduate collections, but looking at the winners, and press coverage for their show, are good indictations!

    And lastly- what will the building be like when I attend? I can think of at least 3 universities that are doing building moves in the next few years (CSM, rave and westminster-the latter not being a move but a replacement for our burnt down building...)
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    I am an international student and I was rejected from CSM for an MA course, so the fact that I'm supposedly rolling around in huge amounts of money (as I'm sure many people believe all of us international students are :rolleyes: ) didn't help me. I often get the sense that a lot of the people who complain about international students taking up all the places because of their high fees are probably bitter about the fact that they didn't get in somewhere. I have found online portfolios of a few people who I will be studying with at Chelsea next year (British students) and I do not believe my work is inferior to theirs in any way, so I am quite confident I did not get in because of my fees.

    Noone knows for sure what goes on in admissions and there is probably always going to be a small element of bias, maybe not only towards a prospective student's fee status but a particular course or tutor may also be biased towards or against a particular style of work in an applicant's portfolio. It is also true that a UAL foundation will drastically increase anyone's chances of getting onto a degree course there, whether they are international or British. I do believe that the majority of admissions decisions are still relatively fair and I don't think that this should stop anyone from applying. If you are not accepted, it is better to try to understand what is missing from your work and try again than to get angry and blame it on an external source (like international students).
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    (Original post by lazza)
    No university is "obliged" to take equal numbers of internationals to home/EU students. When I went to an open day at CSM for the Fashion Design degree I was told it was more 60:40 than 50:50. Then you have to take into consideration that the "home" places are also for EU students. At the end of the day when our government want so many british people go through university education, places like UAL and LSE shouldn't be allowed to be biased to internationals, end of.

    It's easy enough to say that bias isn't there. I'm sure you got into CSM on your own merits and talent, and I'm not saying you didn't. But when we were on foundation, if we weren't an international we were told not to bother applying there for a reason. Our tutors had seen years and years of bias applyed to applications and were sick of it (some of them ex CSM students themselves, from the days when what fee group you came from didn't matter). In comparason we only have one international in our year group at uni and she's amazing. University places should be for the BEST students, not who's paying the higher fees. If everyone was interviewed together under the same system (with no knowledge of who had what fee status) then that would be fair. The current system means it's not the top 120 students who get in.
    I was referring to the statistics set forth in the course leaflet for my particular pathway, which does state that an equal amount of places are given to UK/EU and international. Aside from this, I have sat in during the interview process when I was on my third year and my course director confirmed that they do endevour to accept an equal share. Inevitably, figures may change over time. I also acknowledge that UK/EU applies to the whole of Europe, not exclusively for British students.

    I didn't deny (I actually agreed) that those undergoing the UAL foundation have an exponentially higher chance of gaining acceptance, both UK/EU and international. This was revealed by my course director when he asked all of us where we had studied prior to the course. The wide majority had undergone the foundation at UAL beforehand, with only a handful from elsewhere. Moreover, it's not as if my entire class was comprised full of non-British students. I'd say a large portion of each pathway on my course had British students, although many had been on a foundation course at UAL, but not every student.

    Having undergone the interview process myself, along with standing in as a student representative later on, I can safely say that the course team did judge impartially and primarily on the quality of the work in each applicant's portfolio, including general suitability and awareness of their subject. There wasn't any bias in terms of student status, as far as I could see. Whether an external decision was made when I wasn't there, I doubt it. They were accepting an equal share of UK/EU and international, again largely from the CSM foundation, and to a slightly lesser extent, the other UAL foundation courses, but also quite a few British students came from elsewhere. Without trying to sound biased, I felt the decision was fair and each applicant that was accepted, regardless of their circumstance and status, was made on the merit of their portfolio work. This coincided with the type of work produced during the course. Every student deserved to be there, both UK/EU and international. This is evidenced by the graduate showcase held each year.

    I know you're "in charge" of this part of the forum or something. But you cannot give biased advice. Realistically if a BRITISH student wants to go to CSM for degree, they have to go to UAL for a foundation (all colleges have access to the pre-UCAS interviews); otherwise there's a very unrealistic chance of getting in; thus wasting their first choice route B entry- and odds are ending up at a 3rd choice college, as places like Rave, Westminster, Kingston, Brighton, are filling up first choice now, so putting them down as 2nd choice equals an instant rejection.
    I have encountered students, not only on my own undergraduate course, but across CSM and the rest of the UAL, that had undergone their foundation course elsewhere and were 'British'. Yes, I agree, it does help considerably if you've undergone the foundation at UAL, but it's certainly not "unrealistic" to gain acceptance to an undergraduate course at CSM from somewhere else. In fact, one such member on this forum who is British gained a place at CSM this year without undergoing the foundation at UAL.

    As for being "in charge" of this part of the forum, I'm not sure where you've gained this impression from? I'm only trying to depart my own knowledge and experience. I posted in this thread because the OP was asking for advice on CSM and its fashion course. I was a student at CSM and on the course she has enquired about.

    (Original post by kittensmittens)
    I am an international student and I was rejected from CSM for an MA course, so the fact that I'm supposedly rolling around in huge amounts of money (as I'm sure many people believe all of us international students are :rolleyes: ) didn't help me. I often get the sense that a lot of the people who complain about international students taking up all the places because of their high fees are probably bitter about the fact that they didn't get in somewhere. I have found online portfolios of a few people who I will be studying with at Chelsea next year (British students) and I do not believe my work is inferior to theirs in any way, so I am quite confident I did not get in because of my fees.

    Noone knows for sure what goes on in admissions and there is probably always going to be a small element of bias, maybe not only towards a prospective student's fee status but a particular course or tutor may also be biased towards or against a particular style of work in an applicant's portfolio. It is also true that a UAL foundation will drastically increase anyone's chances of getting onto a degree course there, whether they are international or British. I do believe that the majority of admissions decisions are still relatively fair and I don't think that this should stop anyone from applying. If you are not accepted, it is better to try to understand what is missing from your work and try again than to get angry and blame it on an external source (like international students).
    I agree with this. You've hit the nail on the head, in my opinion.
 
 
 
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