Another question (about college) for the british

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jakochampolska, May 5, 2006.

  1. jakochampolska macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2005
    I've been researching colleges lately (I still have 2 more years but its never to early to start looking), and I know I'd really like to go to an art college (I go to a pretty amazing art high school now) for fine arts and I was looking at the university of the arts in london. Ok I know that they have like 5 different colleges, and 3 of them are pretty much the same expect have different names and locations throughout london.
    So my question is: Do any of you know about these colleges? Do they have a good reputation? How difficult is it to get in? Do I need really good grades or is it more based on your profolio (? How would it be for a kid from the US live in London? (I know its expensive) But would it be easy to make friends in england?
    Anything else you know about these schools please write!
  2. muffinman macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2005
    San Diego, California
    I also have a question. how hard is it to get into cambridge or oxford. I'm starting my junior year in high school soon, and I was wondering if it was easy for an american to get in. What do you need?
  3. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    i was wondering that too. i'd love to go there instead of harvard or penn or somewhere here.
  4. jakochampolska thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2005

    I dont know, but I know Oxford has a good college for art too. Ruskin school of art (or drawing).
  5. Lau Guest

    I did my art/design foundation course at Chelsea College of Art 3 years ago. What course is it you're interested in doing? Chelsea's good for foundation, and so is Camberwell, but St. Martins foundation isn't so good.

    If it's a particular degree course you're interested in, post the name of it and I can probably tell you what college might be suitable - all the colleges are good at different courses, and they're all a little different - for example in graphic design, LCP is much more typography based, whereas Camberwell is a bit more ideas based. Both are good though.

    For fine arts stuff I would say Chelsea or St. Martins would be a good bet, but if you could narrow it down to a course I could let you know more.
  6. UKnjb macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2005
    London, UK
    Getting in to Oxford or Cambridge (we refer to them both collectively as Oxbridge) is like getting in to any other university. You apply and then see what happens. Basically it depends on how bright you are. But there is nothing scary about the process - it's just form-filling, references, money etc etc.

    Here are the links for Oxford, as they specifically apply to USA applicants. There are financial considerations and these are covered here. One of the things to consider (and Bill Clinton did, successfully), is to look at a Rhodes Scholarship - available from the USA to do postgraduate studies.

    For Cambridge University, it is much the same.
    Prices vary, again depending on the course of study but you can expect to pay around £10,000 to £12,000 per year in college fees. Studying medicine is VERY expensive for international students. There are numerous scholarship and loan packages around, but for USA students, it is advisable to get finance from your own country.

    I hope this helps! If you are being serious about it, early applications are a good idea.:)
  7. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    If your rich your sorted.

    UK Universitys love foreign students - big sums of £££$$$ going straight into University coffers without the goverment telling them how,why and where they can spend it.

    As for Oxford and Cambridge, not easy....

    Do yourself a favour (and get used to spelling that with a U!:) and get to Edinborough.

    Cheaper and fantasic place to learn and live.
  8. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Back in my day, there was an entrace exam for Oxford. I did the studying for it to do mathematics, but never took the exam as I changed my mind and decided to go for an engineering degree at a so-called "red-brick" (or second-tier) university instead. Whether they still do the exam, I'm not sure. I think Oxford may have adapted the same policy as Cambridge, which demanded either 28 or 30 points depending on the course and college (both Uni's consist of several colleges). The points come from the results of your previous academic qualifications.

    I know that 3 Grade As at A level equate to 30 points and would get you in, but that only applies for England and Wales where students study those qualifications. Not sure how Scottish or non-British qualifications get points assigned.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    1. Do yourself a favour and call these places "university," because I don't know if anyone in the UK calls it Cambridge College, and I don't think you'd get a warm reception over there for "acting so American." :p

    2. How hard is it to get into Oxbridge? It'll be the same as getting into Harvard, Stanford, etc (ie: difficult). Oh, and be prepared to pay a high price, but I guess Americans already pay a high price for out-of-State unis anyway.

    3. I know Oxford and Cambridge are probably the unis you know, but there are lots of other unis in the UK that have an awesome reputation. University College of London (UCL -- massive), Kings College London (massive), London School of Economics (LSE - one of the best in the world for certain subjects), Imperial College of London (great for all things engineering), and even places like of places. Honestly, these are all high-level places that are famous around the world, just not in America. ;)
  10. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    And the benefit of UCL is you get to see me walking the dog in the streets around campus late at night :cool:
  11. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    If you're going for Oxbridge, make sure you get Oxford/Cambs Uni, rather than a university in Camridge/Oxford (the polytechnics seem to be changing their names to sound as close to the big names as possible)

    Cambs is a great town for students (discounts, lots of cycling provisions, etc - mostly because the colleges own about 90% of the city, with the father of a guy in my class owning most of the other 10%...), and I wouldn't be suprised if Oxford is the same
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'm trying to figure out where Edgeley Park is. There is lots of housing in that area, though, but I thought it was mostly students. Anywhere near Russell Square?
  13. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Edgeley Park is the home ground of both Stockport County FC and Sale Sharks RFC. I moved from Stockport to London in 1995, but still don't see London as home. I'm still a Stockport man, even if my accent has now all but gone.

    I live just off Tottenham Court Road, but the nearest open space for dogs is Russell Square, so that's where we often end up unless I take him to Regents Park. You're right about the students. With all the halls of residence around Whitfield St and down Gower St. I feel a bit outnumbered by teenagers at times. They're OK though, unlike the locals they can at least string a cohesive sentence together. :)
  14. jakochampolska thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2005

    Well, I'd probably have to start off with foundation but I'm really interested in Fine arts. I know this might be a stupid question but if I want to have a career in photography, do you think have a degree in Fine Arts would get me jobs in photography? Because I really want to study painting, printmaking and drawing but I love photography also.
  15. Lau Guest

    Starting with a foundation is definitely a good idea. I had a great time at Chelsea and learnt a lot, and it's definitely regarded as one of the "good" foundation courses. I have heard good things about the one at Camberwell too, and not such good things about the one at St. Martins, but I don't have first hand experience of studying at either of them. I wouldn't worry too much about which one's best for fine art now if you're going to do foundation, because you'll have a much better idea when you start the foundation.

    As for the photography question - yes and no. There are specialised photography courses (my friend did one in Edinburgh) that are a degree in photography, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend studying one just for the sake of getting a job, as it certainly isn't guaranteed. My advice (and this is only my opinion) is to do the course you want to do, enjoy painting, printmaking and drawing and use photography in the fine art course and see where you end up. Priorities massively change throughout an art degree. Then when you finish, if you still want a career in photography, you could always do a more vocational one year MA course, which will be far more intensive and geared to the industry than a photography BA, and you'll still have had the creativity and multi-disciplined background behind it with the fine art degree.
  16. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    for oxbridge, there is no longer any exam, its all based on your A levels or equivalant. An application will involve some paperwork and probably an interview, which some find daunting, whereas in reality the tutors who interview you are just trying to asses if they would enjoy teaching you more than the other candidates.

    Remember that you will be up against strong competition, so yes it is difficult to get in. I also think that im right in saying that at oxford there is only one place available in the whole university for the fine art course, although i could be wrong.

    However, for art, i wouldn't say that oxbridge was the best place. I'd stick to the various art colleges in London, like the ones lau has suggested.

    I have a good friend at CSM and he loved foundation and product design which he is studying now. I have however met people who dislike the way you are taught at CSM, apparently they don't really give you much guidance, but instead let you do as you wish.

    However as far as i know CSM has quite the reputation around the world, the other london art colleges may have too, but my knowledge is limited and it may be better for lau to clear this up. From what i am told though, a qualification from CSM can get you into an easier ticket into the working world (again i could be far off of the mark).
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    You could at least spell Edinburgh correctly! And yes it's a great Uni (I went there too). The Arts and Science campuses are in different locations which is a bit strange. It's also full of people who did not quite make it into Cambridge!
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I'm not so sure... I think if possible you're better off going straight into the first year of a degree.

    A foundation year is really there for those that have no previous experience, or that their book is lacking in the basics, but even then it's a poor substitute for a 2 year specialist BTEC/EDEXCEL.
  19. Lau Guest

    I don't know - I found foundation useful for two reasons - one, the way it taught me to think, and two, that it helped me decide what degree to take. I was thinking of product design, but in the end decided on graphic design. If you know exactly what course you want to do, maybe skip the foundation, but I get the feeling the OP isn't 100% sure (hence the fine art/photography split). Even in spite of that, I found the way my foundation taught me to think invaluable, and certainly on my course it's a lot of the people who haven't done a foundation who struggled with a more creative way of thinking, although people do differ. My best friend at college did a BTEC instead of A levels, and is one of the most creative people on the course. And obviously, it's what you get out of it, as there were plenty of people on my foundation who thought the whole thing was a waste of time and weren't getting the most out of it anyway.

    I personally wanted to get a ton out of my foundation, as I was coming back as a mature student and felt I was getting a very fortunate second chance. Because of this I got a ton out of it, found it incredibly useful, and would advise it if at all possible. However, each to their own, I reckon. :)

    From what I heard, a lot of the international students really wanted to get into St. Martins, because it had a higher profile worldwide than some of the other ones. However, I reckon a great portfolio, and the fact that you went to any one of the colleges of the University of the Arts would be just as important. It's more important that you go to the best college for you, and what you want to study, in order to get that great portfolio.
  20. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    That's interesting you say that, I found there to be a noticable difference in the levels of knowledge of those that had taken the BTEC route, to those that had taken the Foundation year.

    I found my first year at University frustrating, because a significant portion of my year was made up of those that had done either a foundation year, or worse... had somehow managed to stumbled onto a BA design degree having done nothing but A Levels and as such so many people had massive gaps in their knowledge regarding even the basic fundamentals of design, ones that we'd covered in our first year of our BTEC course and that because of this the first year was spent re/covering stuff that I'd been taught 2 years prior to allow others to catch up... actually to say it was frustrating is an understatment. :rolleyes: :(

    And because of that, I found that University didn't really push me or my abilities, I had to push myself far beyond the course criteria to learn, even though it potentially had detrimental ramifications on my final grade (which in the grand scheme of things is worthless anyway). :p

    I think you make a valid point regarding foundation courses though, especially regarding their suitabilty for people that are unsure of a course or direction that they wish to take in their lives.

    Mature student my arse... you're not that old Lau. :p
  21. Lau Guest

    I wonder if it's to do with the standard of foundations and BTECs, because I don't think I would have been so taken with a foundation at my local sixth form college, and yet equally, a lot of the people who are struggling on my course seem to have taken a BTEC that was of the "design a logo and bung it on a business card and a letterhead - this is Design" teaching, and who really aren't interested in typography or design history - in other words, it was a similar situation here, just the other way around.

    Tell me about it. For about the last 2 years a bunch of us have been pretty much teaching ourselves. Learnt a lot though. I have absolutely no idea of the grade I'm getting. Should be a nice :eek: surprise... :p Note to jakochampolska, don't go to my university. :D

    Ta luv. :) Although I'm feeling about 50 at the moment. :p
  22. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    Getting into Camridge or Oxford is normally substantially easier for foreign students because they have to pay way more as has already been pointed out. The same's true for all Universities in the UK.
    As far as Art goes, have a look here:

    Art isn't actually done by a lot of universities, Cambridge isn't even on the list. As sorry as I am to say this, Art or Fine Arts isn't a very popular subject over here in that it leads to next to nowhere. People tend to do more specialised degrees in things such as Graphic Design. Also, for a lot of the Arts courses, the Universities that are 'lower' on the supposed top universities lists are the better ones for them.

    Also, you really have to consider what kind of place you want to live in and what kind of University experience you want. If you go to London you'll live much further away from your lecture halls (in all but your first year) and you won't have a campus as such. You will, however, have a huge city around you if that's your thing. A lot of people call London the loneliest city in the world though for the same reason.
    I took a gap year after school and originally had a deferred place at UCL. I came up to Nottingham to visit a friend though and fell in love with the place. I wanted the whole campus life. With a proper campus you get the whole student thing big time. On campus 95% of the people that you see are students, you always bump into people that you know and its generally a really nice place to be. I also feel that societies are much bigger in campus based Universities, not to mention everything's easier to get to.
    Oh, and whatever you do, go into halls for your first year, its the best way to meet people. And hey, some people will be willing to forgive the fact that you're American!! :p

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