Advice time.... : )

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by karate princess, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. karate princess

    karate princess Savvy??

    Basically, I'm in year 12 (6th form) and an currently studying Art, English, History and Geography for A-Level. When I go into year 13, I drop one of these subjects and then carry on doing 3 A-Levels (because the work load gets pretty heavy). Meaning, I'd have 4 AS-Levels and 3 A-Levels (not including General Studies). This is what would normally happen.

    When I chose these subjects, I had no idea what I wanted to do at uni or in later life, I just picked the subjects that I got high grades in in GCSE. Now, I've pretty sure (about 95% sure) that I want to go to an Art uni in Central London, and I have one particular one I'm really interested in. I LOVE art and photography (even though I didn't take this subject) and believe that I have a natural ability therefore I want to go down that pathway.... Soooo here's my question....

    The uni that I'm intrested in says nothing about ucas points (I don't think that many art unis want ucas points for some reason) but wants at least 2 A-Levels and some academic GCSE's (But it may be difficult to get into due to high demand, I say this as it's in Central London and it's quite a good art uni). I want to study Fine Art at uni, just to let you know, and I'd have to do a foundation course in Art and Design first, before I start a degree. The course explore all media (e.g. painting, photography, screening, graphics etc.

    So, should I do the normal (as described in the top paragraph) and drop one subject, or should I drop 2 subjects (these would be History and Geography) and take on another AS-Level (which would be Photography)? This would mean thar I'd have 2 A-Levels and 5 AS-Levels.

    Just to add some more info.... I'm really not enjoying History and Geography at the moment!!

    And that's it! It's a little confusing, sorry about that, and it's a little long, sorry about that too! But I'd appreciate advice...or if you've been in the same sort of situation... Thanks.

  2. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    If it's any help KP,and I did mine about 10 years ago :eek: I did 3 A levels,art ,english and law.I did the law A level so I had an academic qualification.
    To be honest many universities for fine art degrees go more on your foundation course,mine did anyway.

    Competition is always incredibly high, so your porfolio will be essential in trying to secure a place.Don't get everything together at the last minute.

    If you need any advice about it send me a pm. :)
  3. tom pain

    tom pain I want Chewbacc for good

    To be honest, I think if you do the course for 2 years and get the A-level then they don't include it as an AS as well.

    Back in college I did psychology, history, computing and economics at AS level, and dropped history at the end of the first year. So when I finished college I had 3 A-levels and an AS (if your curious I had BBB for A-levels and an A in the AS).

    Your best bet is to carry on with 3 subjects. AS levels don't really count for much, and if the uni your applying to wants at least 2 A-levels then your better off doing 3. If you did just 2 and failed one of them, then what? Plus 3 looks better than 2.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2007
  4. In many cultures. 3 is also a higher number than 2.
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    KP... what is it you want to do?
    In the photography world... a degree doesn't mean a whole lot.
    It's more about experience and connections. The connections you build while getting the experience. The experience comes from shooting and from working as an assistant. In the big markets (London/NY/Milan) you can be a professional assistant. Many are happy doing that. I did it for a good while. You learn more than you're ever going to learn in school and you're getting payed for it on top of it.

    The work you produce while shooting your own stuff (projects and freelance) and the work you assist on is going to be worlds different and far more representative of you as a photographer than any work in your book which comes from a school project.

    Frankly - school projects always look just like school projects and get zero cred with photographers looking to hire assistants or with clients looking for potential photographers.

    Just something to think about.
  6. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    Im with slip here ....

    Stick with the 3 A levels, and get your own portfolio done on your own time.
  7. karate princess

    karate princess Savvy??

    Thanks for the advice.

    Slip - Thanks for that on the photography, it made me feel alot better.
  8. Rhea

    Rhea Laser tag = NOT MA... Supporter

    Just to go, I'd go with Sarge and Slip. I work as a semi pro photographer for live bands, with no formal training. I just developed my own style and portfolio, and I now take on as much as I can.
    Enjoy your A Levels, its very expensive to go back and do them again...
  9. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    Aye, thats right (as far as I know).

    KP - why London? Go to somewhere out of the way, like Huddersfield! :p
  10. Moony

    Moony Angry Womble

    I'm going with the do 3 a-levels croud. You might want to drop both history and geography now but the way i see it is that you can fit them in nicely to whatever you wanted to do. You might at some point want to do the History of art or something, having a History A-level will be an advantage, or you might get into your landscape photography and if you've got A-level goeg under your belt you know about land features so you could include that knowledge in your bag of stuff for pics. So there's an advantage for both, which ever one you do is up to you clearly. But think long and hard cos it's always more costly to go back and get them again.
  11. karate princess

    karate princess Savvy??

    Lol, I don't want to move too far away from home.... :cry:
  12. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    It depends on you as a person, I think. Some people work better in the structured environment of formal education, some work better when left to their own devices. KP - academic qualification will rarely hinder you; if you go and do photography at university and try at build up a portfolio of what interests you at the same time (and get in early to try and get voluntary summer work as an assistant), you'll have the best of both worlds - more real world experience than the average graduate and more formal qualifications than the average "jobber".
  13. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    Why don't you send them an email asking what the best thing to do in your situation is?
  14. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I thought you lived in West Drayton? :confused: You should be LONGING to move away! :D
  15. Moony

    Moony Angry Womble

    Makes sence. My brother got some qualifications in IT and then went and worked for a few years, got to the point though that a degree would help him get better jobs. The little oik now has a first in Computer Science and a job that keeps throwing him bonuses and the like, oh and for his work experience year his lecturers said his prior work experience would allow him the pick of placements.

    It's almost enough to make me dislike him....
  16. karate princess

    karate princess Savvy??

    Do you know West Drayton?? It's, like, sooo upmarket!
  17. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    From someone who has been through the same dilemma KP
    - get your qualifications,check the points you need for art college then for uni
    -work on your portfolio, extra stuff is good, things that you haven't been set in class.Also be clear on what has influenced you,as many university courses have a strong element of theory too. Visit museums and galleries and write your thoughts or do some sketch book work.
    -let your art teacher know you are thinking of taking it further so if you need additional help you can get it
    -do the A levels you need to,but be prepared in upper 6th to be spending a lot of time in the studio,and also out taking photos if that's what you are interested in
    -there is huge demand for jobs in the visual arts, so you need to stand out,and making sure you have the right qualifications and have gone the extra mile will help you out.
    -maybe do some work experience with a photographer if thats what you want to do or get some assistance with your portfolio
    -foundation course is great to help you decide which discipline you want to go with as you get to try everything out for a year
    -make sure you apply to the right uni with the right specialisms.BE careful of courses with high importance on art history/theory if that isn't what you want to do

    Like I said,it's really competetive, so you need to show dedication and ensure you have the right qualifications.It's tricky getting into uni on the strength of your portfolio alone,you need the grades to back it up. Once you leave uni it's not that important and it goes on the quality of your work,although having a uni such as Goldsmiths/Slade or St.Martins behind you will always help

    Most of all,good luck and enjoy it. Careers in the arts can be really rewarding. :)
  18. Hippolyta

    Hippolyta Meet coordinator Supporter

    Stick with three A levels. It's a very good backup to have if you decide you'd rather do something else later. In addition, even if you get onto the foundation course, there's no guarantee that you'll make it through to the degree course. Last year I lived with four people doing their foundation year at various colleges in University of the Arts London, and only one has actually gone on to do an art degree there. Two had deferred places to study different subjects at other universities in London which they took when they didn't get onto the degree programme, and a third applied to uni during the foundation year after realising it didn't suit her. Doing three A levels gives you more options if things don't work out with the arts degree.
  19. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I was thinking about moving there, but I was warned not to!

    Be honest now: is it really that bad? :eek: :confused:
  20. karate princess

    karate princess Savvy??

    DONT move there. It's okay, depends where abouts you are really.

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