Can this be right- Uni offers

(21 Posts)
stayathomegardener Mon 27-Feb-17 22:25:35

DD is doing a BTEC in Photography, worked really hard to get good GCSE grades and put together a great portfolio for Uni interviews.
She has an unconditional at her first choice which is brilliant.

I am amazed however that fellow students with quite honestly zero interest in the subject, weak portfolios and in some cases no GCSE's in Maths or English have also been offered places, some unconditional.

What is going on?

OP’s posts: |
PurpleDaisies Mon 27-Feb-17 22:29:38

I'm surprised about the no GCSEs in English and maths. Most universities have those as standard requirements.

How do you know they've got weak portfolios and no interest in the subject? Maybe the admissions tutors saw something you didn't?

PurpleDaisies Mon 27-Feb-17 22:29:56

Congratulations to your daughter by the way.

pieceofpurplesky Mon 27-Feb-17 22:31:14

How do you know?

stayathomegardener Mon 27-Feb-17 22:38:26

I know because DD has been in class with them for almost two years.
They come over and talk about college, I see their work.
The majority drifted into photography because the lack of GCSE's meant a compulsory year of Art and resits in maths/English.
The only options after that were BTEC's in Art, Photography or Graffics.

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 22:49:55

Are these offers for the same course at the same uni?

stayathomegardener Mon 27-Feb-17 23:00:28

Some on the same course, others at various Uni's.
They are great kids in the majority but struggle at BTEC level with multiple resubmissions.

OP’s posts: |


ErrolTheDragon Mon 27-Feb-17 23:12:02

I would guess what's going on is that some of these courses are undersubscribed (I believe there are fewer applications than normal this year, someone correct me if I'm wrong) and they want to fill their places (or 'get their first years tuition fees' if you're cynical, as it sounds like some of these other kids may not be up to uni and drop out sad)

Hopefully your DD will find there are plenty of others like herself from elsewhere on her course.

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Mon 27-Feb-17 23:18:45

Is it for a photography degree course? If they are getting in with rubbish portfolios and without basic skills, it doesn't say a lot for the quality of the degrees available.
I suppose they will all be paying 9k a year plus though?

UmmNo Mon 27-Feb-17 23:27:20

Might they be doing foundation years?

stayathomegardener Tue 28-Feb-17 13:29:27

Yes photography degrees and definitely not foundation.

OP’s posts: |
TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Tue 28-Feb-17 15:37:23

But are you in a position to judge the strength of their portfolios?

I don't think many would do a degree they had zero interest in. Perhaps they have developed the interest and discovered they have talent and that's why they are doing it?

titchy Tue 28-Feb-17 15:54:54

Let's be very honest.... Crap institutions don't give a shit about applicant quality - bums on seat and £ in bank are what count.

Highly selective art colleges would NEVER offer unconditional places to someone who is so poor they put their reputation at risk.

If your dd has genuine talent I hope she goes to the latter type of institution.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 03-Mar-17 20:54:58

I am guessing that resits led to GCSEs in Maths and English though.

As in all "art" subjects the strength of their portfolio is entirely subjective so what you consider to be weak maybe the examiner's preference.

I would worry less about other people. Your child is not competing against them. She needs to just worry about her own work and as she has an unconditional she doesn't even need to worry about grades.

user1488581876 Sat 04-Mar-17 10:19:35

Let's be very honest.... Crap institutions don't give a shit about applicant quality - bums on seat and £ in bank are what count.


Since photography has gone digital, demand for professional photographers has reduced significantly. Courses in photography would struggle to fill if they only accepted good quality applicants.

user1488581876 Sat 04-Mar-17 10:25:39

Just to add, if your DD is talented and committed, she is likely to do well and there are always opportunities for people with these characteristics.

The others are just wasting their time and money.

damnedgrubble Tue 14-Mar-17 04:37:50

Since photography has gone digital, demand for professional photographers has reduced significantly. Courses in photography would struggle to fill if they only accepted good quality applicants.

^ This - everybody is a 'photographer' nowadays. Many do not meet the grade, others (and hopefully your daughter is one of them) are good and manage to get onto a decent course. The rest are just there to pay the fees and make money for the university.

WorldWideWish Tue 14-Mar-17 04:42:03

I believe that the pattern of demographics in this country means that there has been a decline in 18 year olds for the last couple of years (although this will reverse in a few years), yet university admissions targets are probably unchanged. Hence it's easier to get offers this year.

DOLLYDAYDREAMER Tue 14-Mar-17 17:22:05

I know many senior schools offer photography as an easy vocational gcse. However if your daughter really has talent, she will be the one leaving uni with a decent degree. She will likely to get a job doing what she studied for and not wasting her time and money just to end up on the till at Primark etc. However, also try looking at apprenticeships, many top advertising companies take college leavers in this field. Most of them tend to be in the London area but not all. Good luck

FreeNiki Sun 19-Mar-17 03:30:25

I abandoned the prospect of a photography degree before the digital age as it was far too difficult.

A BTEC was advised against and to do a-level photography and solid a levels along with it, perhaps art history, etc. You would not be accepted without a foundation course either.

but with the digital age I guess standards have dropped.

I dont know why you're interested in other students tbh when your DD has a place. It sounds like snobbery and bragging about your DD and you are not privy to their work or what went on in interview nor are you qualified I presume to judge their merit.

Kez100 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:38:40

To be fair, some art students can articulate their work better than others and it means potential is seen, even if it's not directly obvious at the moment.

If you look at photography competitions I often don't "get" the winner and prefer others but this is so common, I'm obviously missing something. I think it's because we are often drawn by what we indivually perceive as the best image to us. I like those that tend to be commercial. I was slightly horrified when I saw the image chosen by my DD for her degree show but, she says, it has to offer a level of intrigue so people ask about it and want to explore her full series in more detail.

Try not to worry about what others get as students will leave with very different careers. I think, though, it's good to go to the degree show and work out if, in her likely genre of photography, is the course producing the level of work she would like to think she is in three years time.

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