Art Foundation Course Aaaaargh

(101 Posts)
MoominMammasHandbag Mon 11-Nov-13 19:35:15

DD want to do some sort of Art degree and has decided on a foundation course to help her choose which area. But she wants to do it at university, rather than the local college. We are okay with this. Problem is, apart from the well known London colleges (which she has decided not to apply to) where is good for Art?
Most Russell Group type places don't even do Art, and the odd ones that do don't seem particularly inspiring. DD wants a city type experience, somewhere that will give her lot of options as to the degree she can then choose. Predicted As and B, but then is this even relevant as they will probably go on her portfolio?

Orangeanddemons Mon 11-Nov-13 19:38:11

Russell groups don't do Art on the whole. It is the old poly technics that do the Art Courses. What is her particular area of interest?

Pistillate Mon 11-Nov-13 19:40:02

Middlesex university.

babyfedleaning Mon 11-Nov-13 19:43:52

Glasgow School of art
Ruskin (Oxford)
Slade (UCL)
London Institute (Central St Martins; Chelsea; Camberwell)
Goldsmiths
Reading Uni
Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee)

Then you're looking at old Polys - Brighton, Wolves etc

babyfedleaning Mon 11-Nov-13 19:45:11

Apols - A good 15 years since I was there - London Institute is now University of the Arts London

Shallishanti Mon 11-Nov-13 19:45:15

why not do it at a local college?
Much cheaper!
DD2 did that, it was really good and changed her mind about what she wanted to do. She then went to Middlesex, just graduated. I think we even continued to get CB for her while she was doing the foundation course.

GaryTheTankEngine Mon 11-Nov-13 19:46:26

For a foundation year I hear Bournemouth is very well regarded.

For a Russell group uni that does art, there's the Winchester school of art, which is affiliated with Southampton - I went to Spithampton and the art school was always seen as very good.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 11-Nov-13 19:54:58

Babyfed, out of interest, where did you get your list from? I ask because, back in my foundation days (25 years ago!), it was more a matter of word of mouth than league tables. I'm wondering whether you're 'in the know.'
I found this Guardian league table from last year, but not sure how relevant it actually is.

I'm wondering why your dd wants to do an art degree if she's predicted As and Bs op. < runs >

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 11-Nov-13 19:56:07

Thanks for all the replies, to clarify; she's not really sure what she wants to do as a degree, was thinking Fine Art but is getting more interested in Graphics, hence the foundation. She doesn't really want to go down south (I know, I know but that's how she feels).
She doesn't want to do it at a local college because, being early in the year, then she'll be 20 before she goes to university.

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 11-Nov-13 19:59:26

Come on Shotgun, I'm happy for her to do what she loves. I wasted my time at University doing a deadly boring science degree I've never used. To be honest, I wouldn't say she was that academic, just diligent and pretty creative.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 11-Nov-13 20:50:16

Sorry I'm just a bit jaded from being a failed lapsed graphic designer. Ignore me smile.

Pistillate Mon 11-Nov-13 22:11:53

She really needs to pick somewhere that has excellent studio facilities so she can try everything. So she wants access to printmaking, woodwork, metalwork, other sculpture as well as textile and a decent studio space.

The a level results are probably fairly irrelevant, it will all be interview/ sketchbook/ portfolio.

Most people did it at their local college because you didn't used to get funding to live away from home as it was not higher education. Not sure what the situation with funding is now, and what your finances are like.

MyCatsRule Mon 11-Nov-13 22:18:53

Leeds College of Art is worth a thought - fantastic foundation year. Norwich also very very good. I would totally encourage her - I got straight As at a level and went to a (Russell group) university. Twenty years later I am at art college at long last - can only dream of the creative career might have had !

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 11-Nov-13 22:22:54

No you still don't get funding, but we have budgeted for it. Presumably they will have better facilities for trying lots of stuff at a university than a local college? I guess we will have to go and look at some.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 11-Nov-13 22:40:02

Looking around - and talking to the tutors about best degree courses (as these won't necessarily be at the same colleges as the foundation, esoecially outside London) is a good idea. Talk to as many tutors (and students) as you can, rather than necessarily school teachers.

MyCats, what course are you doing? Have just gone back myself.

cricketballs Mon 11-Nov-13 22:40:47

sorry op but this thread is the reason why MN is so dangerous at times; RG unis are not the only universities that you can attend, get a degree and shock horror have a career....

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 11-Nov-13 22:42:48

And I wouldn't bank on the universities having better facilities - students I'm studying with who went to the local college for foundation are saying it was much better equipped there.
I'm here because, for me, the 'university' is the local college.

FookingHat Mon 11-Nov-13 22:49:24

Middlesex university always used to have a good reputation. As far as Im aware that hasn't changed.

To whoever it was that wondered why do it at a university instead of a local college, well, just because it will be miles better! Will help her learn more and produce a better portfolio to help her get into a good degree course if she chooses to.

Some, middlesex included, also offer graphic design as a degree so some stay there to do that.

Chelsea college of art also do foundation i believe, which being part of the London institute would be good.

My knowledge of good courses will be a little out of date as i did mine years ago.

Good luck to her though, and it makes a change to see art courses being discussed on here instead of medicine, academic, Russell group Bla de Bla.

Someone will surely come along and tell you what a waste of time art is though hmm

chalkythecat Mon 11-Nov-13 22:51:25

In my day, Foundation was a pre-requisite for Art and Design Degrees unless you wanted to study something like History of Art. Most courses were offered by the old polys which had absorbed the old art schools. If she wants to study a subject like Graphic Design then forget Russell Group Universities.

I'm a failed Graphic Designer who studied at Brighton (well respected course/uni). If I had my time again, I would have done lots of work experience during my course and made lots of contacts. I was skint when I left university and just couldn't afford to do the internships required in that field to get a foothold in the industry.

Your daughter is potentially going to come out of university with lots of debt. She might be better off to stay local for her foundation. I very much doubt she will receive any funding.

It's a tough path. Like a lot of degrees, a lot of people end up doing other things.

chalkythecat Mon 11-Nov-13 22:54:35

The facilities on my foundation course were better than my uni course. We did have tutors from well respected London agencies. Some of them were a bit up their own arse though... grin

Shallishanti Mon 11-Nov-13 23:00:23

DD has just finished illustration at middlesex, she really enjoyed it, good access to studios and tutors and they seem to have had good advice re getting work. There were several people there from the local foundation course.

Ihatemakingpackedlunches Mon 11-Nov-13 23:01:08

I did my foundation a good 20 years ago, and went to my local college. There is absolutely no point going to a univerisity just because she wants to - being a bit older when she does go is better and so many do a gap year anyway she will not feel too old. At this stage she does not know what she will specialise in and so will more than likely have to move again after the foundation year.So many friends on my course had their mind changed as to their specialisim during the foundation year (the whole idea of it really!) It is hard to get into the course of choice at the end of foundation and just because she is in the same city or already within the faculty of art & design will count for nothing as to getting into a degree course. Have a look around your local college and talk to tutors about where students end up and look at quality of work. I would say if she did move away specifically for foundation, she would be very rare. Most foundation students live at home still and do not live the student life.

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 11-Nov-13 23:20:09

We will all be driven mad if she stays here until she is 20. She is quite ready to go now to be honest, it will drive her crazy to be left hanging around our dull little town when all her mates have swanned off to university. The money for her to go is in place, that is not an issue.
I assumed that if she did a foundation at somewhere with a good choice of degree courses, she could progress to one of them automatically as long as her work was up to standard. That is the impression I have got from my research. That is certainly what they told her at Manchester Met. Is that not generally the case then?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 11-Nov-13 23:21:35

Excellent post that pretty much covers everything; honestly, no degree course will be put off if you've done foundation at a local college; your dd would be surrounded by kids living at home if she moved away.

It's a pretty intensive but basic course, really - just a matter of getting a decent portfolio together ready for the next stage.

FookingHat Mon 11-Nov-13 23:24:25

Ok Im going to out myself now, will have to go and name change again!

I went to middlesex about 15 years ago and it was fantastic! We covered many areas, life drawing, different types of print making, clay, jewellery making, plastic, wood, photography, painting, sculpture, and many more. Than was just in the first half of the course. In the second half we chose what to specialise in and people chose fine art, illustration, fashion, textiles, graphic design, architecture etc.

Personally Im not very academic at all and got shit A levels, even for art. I got on the course because i had a good portfolio. I had friends who didn't get in and who went to the local college. After the college they couldn't get into the degree courses they wanted whereas had three good offers. The uni name helped me a lot.

I think those saying just go to college are probably of the "art is a waste of time so why bother getting into debt for it" school of though. Im sure if she were planning on studying medicine no one would suggest she prepare at anywhere less than the best she could get into!

I didn't get a very good grade for my foundation as generally i never seem to! But i had a very good portfolio after middlesex and got into a desirable degree course to do graphic design. Another one which opens doors and looks great on my cv. Again i got a rubbish mark but got offered a job immediately after leaving (never heard of graphic designers doing internships!) and I've done well ever since.

Not a single person or employer has asked about my grades because people in art generally realise that it doesn't matter and isn't a good representation of how capable a person is. Its a hard thing to put a grade to. They do mention where studied though and say they can see it in my portfolio of work.

My point it that the course and where it is important.

No point going to a decent university to do foundation?! There is every point! The reputation opens doors and the expertise of the tutors makes all the difference. Its no different to studying any academic subject at a local college instead of a university with fantastic reputation. Just because its art doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

I know for a fact that having the courses i have on my cv has got me interviews, just like any Russell group on anyone else's.

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