Friday, 16 January 2009

What is this blog for?

This blog has been designed for the purpose of assisting you in the difficult and fraught world of application to Higher Education courses. It is vital that students at your stage of development make informed decisions as to what and where you intend to study for the next three years of your academic journey.
In contemporary education students are offered a widening range of choices in terms of subject matter and it is important that you understand the diversity of courses that are out there for you to potentially study. Listed in an earlier posting are some examples to get you started, but your own research is incredibly important as new courses start every year, so the more thorough your lines of enquiry, the better placed you are to make an informed decision.
This blog will hopefully become a forum for you all to discuss your findings, through looking in the UCAS Directory (online), and from visiting colleges and universities over the next few weeks.
This will all be explained in a studio session, to be confirmed, where further information about the application process and your further requirements such as the writing of your personal statements, buzzwords etc will be dealt with in more detail.
Below is a selection of Degree, HND and Foundation Degree courses across the UK. This has been compiled to help you make a start. We strongly recommend that once you have decided on a course/s that you find out when their Open Days are and visit them. Your personal feel or appreciation for a place or course is more important than simply relying on the publicity they put out or the recommendation of a friend. You are the one that will be spending 3 years in this institution and it is vital that you think you can feel comfortable there and progress your educational experience.
Stockport College - Graphics/Illustration/Moving Image
Manchester Met - Design & Art Direction/ Illustration (with Animation)
Salford University - Graphic Design/Design for Digital Media/Advertising
Liverpool John Moores - Graphic Design
Northumbria - Graphic Design
UCLAN(Preston) - Graphic Design/Illustration/Advertising
Sheffield Hallam - Graphic Design
Leeds College - Graphic Design/Advertising/Digital Media
Leeds University - Graphic Design/Visual Communication
Leeds Met - Graphic Design/Visual Communication
Glasgow School of Art - Graphic Design
Edinburgh - Visual Communication
Nottingham Trent University - Graphic Design
Northhampton University - Graphic Design
Staffordshire University - Graphic Design
Loughborough - Illustration
UCE(Birmingham) - Visual Communication
Kingston University - Graphic Design/Illustration
Camberwell College of Communication - Graphic Design
London College of Communication - Graphic Design/Advertising
St. Martins College - Graphic Design
South Coast
Bournemouth - Illustration
Brighton University - Graphic Design/Illustration

This is not a definitive list. Most of these institutions offer other courses in related subjects so don't be put off if this list doesn't mention the type of course you are interested in. There are also significantly more Colleges and Universities around the country that offer excellent courses in a wide range of related subjects. It is critical that your research is thorough in order for you to find the right course in the right subject in the right area for you. As ever, please include your findings on this blog, it is your forum to discuss exactly these matters.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

20 Things To Consider When Visiting Universities

1. What is the student/staff ratio?
2. What is the average class size?
3. How much contact time do students have with design staff?
4. What are the core teaching hours per week?
5. Will there be a designated workspace in a studio?
6. What resources (in terms of equipment) are there? (computers/printroom/photographic facilities etc)
7. Check the UCAS Route B choice preference (1st, 2nd or 3rd choice). Does the course expect to fill there cohoer at the first round of interviews?
8. What does a typical graduate do, career wise, after completing the course?
9. What industrial links does the course have and how is this integrated into the course?
10. Will there be an opportunity for work based placements within the course?
11. Are there visiting lecturers and if so who?
12. What do you expect to see in a successful applicants portfolio?
13. Can you meet current students and look at their work?
14. How is the course structured and are there any areas of specialist expertise?
15. Does the course have a graduation exhibition and if so where? Do they have a stand at D&AD New Blood in London?
16. Does the course work with live project briefs?
17. Are the tutors practitioners, do they work professionally outside the academic environment?
18. What contemporary practitioners do the staff look toward for inspiration?
19. Are there any study trips and where have they been in the past?
20. What is your favourite typeface?

Please feel free to add any questions that you feel are important and have not been included in this list.