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DD's route to an art degree - advice needed

(11 Posts)
MoominmammasHandbag Tue 25-Sep-12 14:04:32

DD wants to do an Art degree and be an artist. It is all she has ever really wanted. She has just started college and is doing A levels in Art, Photography, English and Media. She is predicted 4 Bs which I imagine she will manage comfortably.
She came home yesterday saying she hates college; English is dull and Media and Photography feel like non A level subjects (though she is enjoying photography). She particularly hates Media and says all they do is discuss TOWIE.
She wants to switch to BTEC Art (with maybe A level English on the side), on the grounds that all she loves is Art, she is sure all she will ever want to do is Art. She also reckons that with a BTEC she can skip the Foundation course stage at Uni.
To me it seems like she is selling herself short a bit here and limiting her future options. Would she still have the same chance of getting a Uni place? And what if she decides in the future to do something else like teaching or something more business or retail based?
I am a scientist and know nothing about Art courses or careers, or indeed BTECs. Hoping someone will come along with some advice.

Beanbagz Tue 25-Sep-12 15:23:33

She's probably right about being able to skip the Foundation course before an Art degree. I did a BTEC in Photography and had a place to go on and do a degree (but gave it up in favour of a job in the industry).

Also did 1 year of a 2 year BTEC Art course but we won't go into that blush

Betelguese Tue 25-Sep-12 15:44:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Craftyone Tue 25-Sep-12 15:46:57

A BTEC would probably be the right thing for her. All top art schools accept them but she will need to aim for Merits and Distinctions overall. The best art schools will want the final result to be at least Merits. Sounds like she would be perfect for a BTEC.

Craftyone Tue 25-Sep-12 16:15:18

BTEC is generally experimental and with a BTEC extended diploma (Level 3) in Art and Design, most places would cover Drawing, photography, textiles, graphics, CAD, 3D and other subjects. The focus is always on drawing or ‘visual recording’ but it is drawing in experimental and different ways. It is different to A level art and more in line with a foundation. If Art is all she wants to do then find a good BTEC course.

MoominmammasHandbag Tue 25-Sep-12 22:19:18

Thank you everyone for your input. DD is now very keen to go down the BTEC route. It just remains to be seen whether the college will let her switch at this stage.

sashh Tue 25-Sep-12 23:40:18

for an art degre BTEC, BTEC, BTEC. For fine art/photography courses you often get a place on your portfolio, not your grades.

BTEC will allow her to do experience different techniques and build a portfolio.

VerySouthLondon Tue 25-Sep-12 23:47:31

If she's really good I would suggest she drops out now and goes for a foundation at one of the University of the Arts colleges and then a fine art degree.

MoominmammasHandbag Wed 26-Sep-12 00:25:06

Hmm she seems pretty good to me Very South London, but I'm no expert. But the University of the Arts is London isn't it? We are based up north; no way would I let my thrill seeking 16 year old loose in London.
But are you saying she could try for a foundation course based on a portfolio, without BTEC or A levels or anything? Really? I didn't know that.

VerySouthLondon Wed 26-Sep-12 06:15:17

Yes she could. Entry is portfolio based so you don't need A levels. The only benefit to doing A levels is to have a bigger portfolio.

But I think it is unusual - she would have to be v good!

Foundation degree is tricky because you can't get funding/student loan for it. Those are the best colleges and I think they are best to set you up to either do a degree with them or go to Slade/Goldsmiths etc. understand it's a long way from home though!

Good luck to her. Wish I was doing that rather than getting ready for work right now! smile

Craftyone Wed 26-Sep-12 10:36:05

If it is fine art she specialises in then she definitely needs to be leaving the north I’m afraid and aiming for Slade, Central Saint Martins, Byam shaw and Goldsmiths for her degree. There is a crazy amount of competition for these BA courses and if she really wants to get the best portfolio, in general there isn't the time to do an A level on the side as well as the BTEC.

A level tutors can be a bit snobbish when it comes to BTECs and encourage more the A Level, foundation route but the degree courses will take the best portfolio and a BTEC gives you 2 years not 1 to achieve it. I can’t stress how much competition there is for top art degrees so good luck to her.

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