Firstly no information is passed around college and the rarity of information we get regarding our apprenticeships is usually wrong, or incomplete. The staff constantly complain about each other and there has been no checking in on us over lockdown, my emails have been unanswered for weeks and I feel that the college has been a let down when it comes to mental health. They have a crisis waiting to happen. They are short staffed for the amount of students resulting on big periods with no formal education when the only tutor went on the sick. Overall a very poor college and I would highly recommend looking towards Newcastle college where I certainly felt we were looked after and wanted rather than cash cows. I'm very happy that my company is moving the next generation of apprentices to a college down south its just a pity we have had to endure such bad practice.
Firstly no information is passed around college and the rarity of information we get regarding our apprenticeships is usually wrong, or incomplete. The staff constantly complain about each other and there has been no checking in on us over lockdown, my emails have been unanswered for weeks and I feel that the college has been a let down when it comes to mental health. They have a crisis waiting to happen. They are short staffed for the amount of students resulting on big periods with no formal education when the only tutor went on the sick.
A Micky Mouse course. Overall experience has been pretty negative unfortunately. The course itself really isn't put together very well and an overwhelming amount of the content within the course teaches information which is essentially useless in the grand scheme of things. There is so much content which is "games related" but in reality teaches you very very little of use that you can take forward to either building skills or to a role in the industry. This course is promoted as a "games course" which will teach you various practical skills used in the games industry, however I want anyone reading to know very clearly that this is NOT the case. This is close enough to being a "games theory" course. You learn a lot about ideas within the games industry and content that is games related but you will learn very very little essential skills within your time on the course. If you're learning to become a 3D Artist, animator, level designer etc, this course wont teach you any of these essential skills to even be considered at a decent level. When I say "games related" content, an example of things like this can be when we spent what felt like weeks researching into "game platforms". This meant things like learning about CD ROMs, floppy disks, cartridges, streaming games etc. There is so much useless content like this where the topics like "game platforms" make you research ultra specific questions about things that in reality you can learn with a quick google search, however the way the units are made make these general knowledge questions take quite a while to answer. E.g we were once asked to create an entire timeline of all game platforms ever created - again, games related but this content in reality is no use for our future and isn't building any skills that are necessary to go further in the industry. I would be fine if this was just one part of one unit within the course, however every unit was filled to the brim with content of a similar vain. To summarise. Please STAY AWAY from this course. It is not well put together at all and is not in the interest of learning essential knowledge that you will need. If you are genuinely interested in learning skills that are used in the games industry like 3D modelling, animation, games engines etc, this course is not for you and wont teach you these to a level that you would probably expect, or even at all. The main problem myself and countless others have had on the course is that the content itself is generally useless and you can't take much of it further in the future to be used, it is mostly to simply fill out work within the units within the course. We even had one of the tutors admit that the work was a load of BS, but explained that unfortunately this is part of what the exam board requires. It was genuinely depressing knowing that you've dedicated yourself to starting a course to then find out that the course is of a very poor quality and at this point of realisation, it was too late to try find another course or switch to something else. And to top it all off, you find out that in reality a games HNC course isn't worth anything. If you know what the term "Micky Mouse course/Micky Mouse degree" means, this is the perfect example.
Quite little, there was a decent amount of conversation about having links with studios etc and work placements but nothing actually came of it.
The thing I like the most about the way the course is taught is the friendly learning atmosphere. The thing I like the least is that the course is taught pretty poorly. No exaggeration, each lesson/lecture is you simply opening up a google slide or power point and cracking on with the few bullet points written on it. Teaching methods aren't that effective and there is lots of time wasted on pointless warm up tasks which are supposed to last 5-10 minutes at the start of a lesson which in reality take up 20 minutes of a lesson. These "warm up tasks" are 90% of the time useless when time could be spent building skills and or knowledge which could actually be useful on the course.
Wasn't made aware of any student union.
Safe, good condition, on the more expensive side.
Equipment and facilities available for the course I was on were pretty good, lots of computers available to use at any time with many being quite high powered for more demanding programs. However, the lack of industry standard programs for a games course was quite shocking. No Substance painter, designer etc or even Zbrush. You wont be getting to use anything other than the standard Autodesk package along with Photoshop.
Decent location, only short walk to centre of Gateshead and a 15 minute walk to Newcastle centre.
Was not made aware of any in the 3 years I was there.
Fairly poor. Again there was talks of 1 to 1 weekly feedback during my time at Gatesehead College but these happened maybe on the first week of the idea and then never happened again. Only time you would receive feedback would be towards the end of a unit which is fair enough, hand in work, receive feedback before the final hand in - I don't see a problem with this. In-class feedback was generally poor, but this is mainly because there was so much time tutors would just simply not be in the classroom. I'm not even joking, the amount of time tutors would simply walk out of the room and disappear for 30-40 minutes at a time was ridiculous. This made asking a tutor for help of advice pretty difficult, as there time in class should to be for teaching and supporting students, so when they do return their is countless other needing support and by the time they get around everybody next thing you know is that its either lunch or time that the lesson ends. However, select tutors when available were great at explaining and helping with work and seemed to genuinely want to be there to help which is something most myself and my peers felt they lacked.
Overall experience, complete waste of my time and effort. I may have and HNC, which in the grand scheme of construction is nothing, it seemed effort and will to do well was never supported by tutors/ lectures. Would avoid this course at all costs.
I was fortunate enough to be sponsored to attend this course. However, very little effort was made by staff to offer opportunities to others in the class. The only method they seemed to know was word of mouth.
Most liked thing was the people in the class. Least liked about the course I have a long list. Firstly, the teachers did not have much of a clue what they were trying to teach which led to a huge amount of confusion in the class about expectations etc. Lectures did not provide any feedback until the due date of the assignments leaving very little time for you to make alterations. As well as this lectures often say 'just email me, I always reply to my emails' this is 100% not the case. I had to hassle each lecture for feedback and guidance on my work content. This was also changed on a regular bases, assignment where often given before briefs were finished. One instance when the main lecture gave us an assignment that was due two hours later. Needless to say we all underperformed in this section. Another lecturer said "You know more about Health and safety than me so just crack on lads." I have no idea about these subjects hence why I am learning about it. If I had not being sponsored I would have no attended 'classes' from about Christmas, the teaching content was poor and I expected to do self-learning but guidance toward learning resources simple did not exist, the resources that are suggested to use in the assignment brief is all the same. Finally to add insult to injury once I stopped attending the college as all my work had been handed in and I was told my work was at a Distinction grade. The exam boards deemed the marking/ feedback insufficient and changed the grades. I am not saying my work wasn't up to standard and if deemed by the exam board then so be it. Just another point that the feedback, grading was poor on all fronts.
Didn't get involved as I was only part time and did not interest me.
Computers were incredible, working all the time (except for when IT changed your password without any prior notice) the canteen was average, only downside of that was a poor coffee machine. The worst facility was the printer, never seemed to work ink had always ran out which was annoying as I needed most my work printed in colour.
Live Locally, Newcastle has the best night life period. Clubs, Bars, restaurants are all incredible well worth a visit.
Terrible. Tutors/Feedback none existent. It was an open joke in the class about not getting feedback. This was particularly annoying as I want to achieve the highest grade so I can go to full University next year.