I moved away from Northern Ireland to be taught in Plymouth my experience has been amazing and have met the best people ever it was hard moving over at first not knowing anyone but I quickly settled in and in my 2nd year now I couldn’t have picked a better place to live if study
I actually haven’t looked in too far in terms of work placement etc. I know there is a job walk in our students union and library that screens work placements, 4 week trials, apprenticeships. We are always informed by our lectures when something’s interesting ups up regrading our course
We have one day of academic teaching which would be art theory and professional practice and other day of workshops. I would prefer another day of workshops as I pay £9000 a year and feel like I want more teaching, but on the 3 days we are allowed to come in and have full use of technical staff (if available) and studio space which ways out the fact we are only in 2 days a week
We have a good size students union but not as good as the actual university’s but that’s ok as we still are aloud to use the students union there aswell!
I live on a very safe and friendly street which isn’t full of students, I live with 5 other people and get along well with both our residential neighbours. We are located 5 minutes away from Plymouth college of art with a lovely view of the sea while walking to uni in the morning. We pay a very low cost for our house considering the size, views and location we also have a very helpful and friendly cleaner that comes every month which includes in the price of rent each term.
Brilliant, couldn’t ask for better facilities. Amazing canteen which isn’t too expensive, huge lunch hall, social spaces, massive studios which amazing natural light and every piece of art equipment under every subject any student could ask for
Yes, Plymouth college of art is situated basically right in the middle of town sitting beside drake circus and millions of local shops around it. There is amazing take away places for lunch around the college too which aren’t too pricey. I live around 5 minutes away from college so if I have a long break or lunch I am able to come home and eat or rest.
Unfortunately as PCA is don’t have many societies or sports.
My university experience has had its ups and downs but finishing this year all being well, it’s been amazing! Lots learned to carry all throughout my job hunt, being at work and life as a whole! It’s one of the best times of your life and it’s absolutely true! You learn so much about yourself and prepares you for what’s next! It goes by fast , can be hard at times but really rewarding!
My uni has given has a lot of opportunities to join competitions and do live briefs with small and big clienteles. They also offer intenrships however this could be improved for all students as only a few gets to experience this.
I like that the live briefs are part of our modules meaning that we learn how to pitch ideas externally and gives us the confidence to apply to jobs after graduation. However i think more support from tutors would really help benefit students.
I think the Student Union year by year has improved and offered more however I also think that it isnt as effective as it should be.
My accommodation is in a good area, close to other private properties with other university students and shops that make it handy for students like me. I also think my accommodation costs are fair its price. However I think there could be more security in my area it having to accommodate lots of young people all year.
Impressive. I think the my uni has amazing facilities! Just wish they could really expand and let students know more about this as i feel that it isn’t as appreciated as people don’t know how to use it or feel like they can’t. More information about the facilities as early as first year means it gets used as much rather than only really grasping how much we can do with all the amazing facilities in 3rd year would really benefit everybody.
My university is in a prime area where it’s close to other university institutions and a only a few yards from the shopping centre and main street of the city.
As i attend an art school, there isn’t a good variation/options of sports given to the students. As of societies, i think there is a large number of students that aren’t still involved on them therefore i think it could be developed better.
The uni supports their students immensely. Feedbacks are always given each week which i find is super beneficial and keeps everyone on track. Personal counselling is really good too and helps loads of my friends that are going through something.
Welcoming, creatively stimulating, friendly, challenging, fun, worthwhile. I have truly grown as a person since joining PCA both personally and creatively. I have benefited from the counselling provided and the challenging briefs and activities run. I feel more like a well rounded artist and enjoy experiencing all the new things PCA has to offer.
We have a dedicated careers department who employ enthusiastic and helpful staff to ensure students get the most out of their university career. You get what you put in, if you are dedicated and focused and attend sessions put on and speak up when you need or want help, you will get it and see results tenfold. They have a PCA run freelance department for students where you apply and they connect you with customers and manage the exchange of services and briefs, etc. Second year on PDP requires a minimum of 4 professional practice activities per student including volunteering, networking and selling to pass. They have a dedicated unit to professional practice.
I like how students are included in decision making and can influence how their course is run in order to get the most out of their experience. I do not like how some lectures on self directed days were mandatory in first year, however there is little consequence for not attending.
Excellent, meetings are held regularly and student reps receive incentives to do their job well and therefore do. Students are listened to and changes implemented by the council when requested by students. Staff are easily approachable and hold meetings with their courses student reps regularly to ensure student satisfaction and change and improvement is often demonstrated. We all feel we have a lot of control over our learning experience.
I rent privately with my husband and pay £670 a month for a 2 bed end terrace 2 story house with a garden and is a 40 minute bus journey from uni. I think Plymouth is a safe and very affordable city to study in.
Excellent variety of food for different dietary needs at affordable prices at the canteen. Excellent mental health services at student support and excellent help and advice with "adulting" by a dedicated team there. All the facilities are open to all students through Workshop Wednesdays and people are there to help always - you never feel like a bother.
It is beside a 24 hour cafe and restaurant/bar as well as within walking distance of Drake's Circus, a co op, a Jake's and multiple other eateries. It's just a minute away from a library and gallery/museum which is being revamped into a community centre that promises to bring in many creative and non creative work opportunities. We are also close to a multiplex cinema, the Barcode, and the police station. There is a multistory carpark just down the road or across the street at Drake's Circus. We are within walking distance of multiple galleries and art events happen around Plymouth all the time. We are close to areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the South Hams and the Moors and have many beaches and waterfronts to choose from. There are regular seasonal events and many events and nights out for students yearly put on nearby.
There are next to no sports as we lack the facilities but any student has the power to start a society related to a sport and apply for funding to visit the appropriate facilities. Societies are hit and miss as it is down solely to the student to organise and run them.
Fantastic, tutors are easily approachable and professional. Feedback is regular and detailed and available on request. We have bi monthly crits which are supported. Counselling is easily obtained and alternative therapies (acupuncture) are available.
It has been a whirlwind of experiences but great learning so many new skills and exciting to be around so many creative students and lecturers. It is exciting to know you are building your future.
They include a variety of live briefs with company’s in to our modules and a jobs wall is updated regularly on all opportunities.
I like that the course is industry based and they are preparing us for jobs from the start. Sometimes the course can be overwhelming with all the information you have to retain so quickly.
They are good at trying to involve everybody and take on suggestions from students to try and improve all aspects.
The facilities at the university are really good and of a high quality. All course are equipped with everything they need and more. We are lucky to have the opportunity to get involved in other practices also.
The city is nice, a nice mixture of nature and urban living with a friendly atmosphere.
They are good, there should maybe be a wider variety.
The uni offer a range of support systems and are always encouraging students to take advantage of these.
I really love my uni, I don't think I could have found somewhere better for me. I've been given so many incredible opportunities since I got here and my work has improved massively.
Course content is heavily informed by hypothetical applications within industry. We have modules dedicated to live briefs and self directed projects. Professional illustrators are brought in to do visiting lectures.
We get lots of contact time with our tutors, who are extremely helpful and well informed. We're encouraged to consider broad applications and mediums for our work. There's not much I dislike frankly.
It's fairly small, though a lot of improvements have been made within the last few years. I'm pretty busy and they haven't really run any events I'm interested in. Also I'm lazy outside of uni hours.
There's a wide range of facilities and an open door policy, it's pretty easy to get inducted on things you want to use. Cross-college workshops happen on Wednesday so you can learn new skills/try out equipment and techniques. I have no complaints about the equipment available.
Plymouth is pretty small, there's a thriving illustration scene which is nice for me. There's not a huge variety of clubs or restaurants. Quite a few nice independent cafes. Being by the sea is lovely in the summer.
There's a couple, never been involved in any.
Extremely good. Mental health support is very comprehensive, no waiting lists for counselling, there are mindfulness classes and acupuncture is available. Tutors are very down to earth, responsive and give good criticism.
Pretty good, I’m making more friends and being more involved with my course. I found the first year pretty tough but this year is going really well, there are lots of trips this year
My university has a careers page that shows any creative jobs in Plymouth and the surrounding areas, it also shows volunteering opportunities in the art industry. There are many opportunities that the uni offers on work placement and classes on transferable skills
I like how independent my course is, we are not fed the information we have to go and do the work for ourselves. It’s a really great course, I do wish we have more tutorials and one to one time with tutors
I don’t get involved as I find that it’s quite exclusive, I feel like I can’t go to the su.
Very good, lots of workshops available
Very nice, lots of things to do.
I am not in any clubs and societies
I feel like the support is pretty good, there is a mental health service available and emails to tutors
I've honestly loved it and I'm sad to be in my last year. My uni isn't the biggest but it has an amazing community and I never see negativity. Both the university and the students always strive to help eachother and I think that's something really important as we can all learn new things off of eachother. PCA just keeps on growing and improving, it was great when I started and it's even better now.
They encourage me to go out and take work experience. Also they are constantly sending us job opportunities, teaching us valuable business skills and also teaching us useful parts of other practices that will further our skills.
I honestly don't have any complaints about my course, it is well structured, we learn a variety of things each way. Our sessions are often practical sessions so we get into what we are learning.
Our student union is a really good support system that takes on board what we say. I feel we could have better drinking facilities as we are students but they is also something they are working on and we now have a bar. I don't tend to get involved but that's simply due to personal issues impacting the amount of time I have for particular things.
For my course the facilities are incredible, we have access to equipment I could never imagine being able to afford, such as the Phase One camera. We also have a range of studios differing for each individual need for the shoot. From what I've seen and partially experienced the other courses have excellent facilities too. Our non-course related facilities are really good too, our canteen has been updated, our SU space is much better, mental health support is excellent (I have used it and they went out of the way to help me and give me options), we have great careers advice and opportunities. Also our toilets have gender neutral options, so no one in the university isn't thought of.
It isn't as large as other cities but we have a lot going on. Nightlife is great, we have quite a few different types of clubs and there's loads of good food places (but I think we need a bigger range of cusine from other parts of the world). There's loads to do, cinema, bowling, good shopping center...there's a new complex opening this month that has mini golf and another cinema. I'm not going to list everything here but there's always something to do, even going to the Hoe to chill out if you have no money to spend.
There honestly seems to be something for everyone, and if there's something missing...the student union helps set that up. We also have work shops Wednesday's for people wanting to get involved in other practices for free.
Honestly incredible. The mental health support here genuinely cares about you and goes out of their way to help you. Tutors (on my course) go out of their way to help me, check up on me and I've seen this done for other students. They treat you as an equal, and actually care what's going on in your life. We have tutors that we can laugh and cry with and honestly that makes the course so much better. Academic is great too, we have regular progress and feedback tutorials and were always told where we are going right and wrong.
To keep this section brief, there is a very big emphasis on self-directed work as a student here, which is great if you're looking for room to breathe and explore, but not so helpful if you're looking for formal, technical learning to be ready for a specific role in the industry, it's a little too free-form learning in that regard. Student morale seems steady and relatively positive throughout, deadlines are handled with efficiency and confidence (which I would consider a huge positive note) It is worth noting that nothing I have indicated as problematic in my time at University is beyond improving, I just think that the university needs to acknowledge certain aspects of the course they are currently offering in terms of giving the maximum value to students as possible instead of another more lax approach. Overall it is a reasonably good experience throughout but the quality of experience a student can expect is far too reliant on the individual doing the leg work, as opposed to the education guiding them.
Efforts to increase employability include bringing in visiting lecturers who will discuss at length, what they do in the creative industry, and building a few modules around professional development including business card and website design, online presence and portfolio building, a vast majority of information they provide is for future careers is based around agency work, however according to the Illustrators Survey 2018, putting such a huge emphasis on Agency work and little to no time dedicated to freelancing (the vastly more common practice for a current day illustrator) is an outdated model for these modules and lets down what could have been a well-balanced educational experience. The above is indicative of simply recycling old modules for new students as opposed to annually adapting and tailoring this aspect of the course to keep up with industry conventions and in turn, students best interests. Information and tuition provided with regards to website design and how to present yourself online and in interview settings was a satisfactory standard. Careers department as always are excellent, very accommodating and keen to help individual students who approach them with anything they need in all aspects of operating professionally.
What I enjoyed most about how the course was taught was the freedom to explore briefs independently and develop skills in areas that you can personally select and focus on, the problematic side of this was the tuition offered in the latter end of the course in assistance of developing skills, the independence as I say was a great opportunity to explore, but if you are expecting formal tuition and direct training in skills in and around drawing, I would suggest looking to other options. Feedback on work was spontaneous and more reliant on the students flagging down lecturers as opposed to lecturers staying up to date with students. This isn't how paying students should be expected to operate in a university setting and this can be rectified by lecturers requesting contact time with students a lot more frequently, and being fully-present and proactively educating students during contact time, with an emphasis on HOW to achieve/rectify something they flag in feedback as opposed to just pointing something out and leaving it to students to figure out. Grading schemes however are clearly marked the entire time throughout the course and lecturers make a conscious effort to clearly lay out each aspect of your work that you are required to focus on for the best possible grade, I commend this level of attention given. Aside from all of the above, I have had problems with lecturers making personal comments about work in feedback and consistent requests to hold myself to a lower standard of work instead of lecturers taking the initiative and recognising that if there are technical problems when a student is holding themselves to a higher standard, that said student is paying to learn how to reach that higher standard both technically and conceptually. Lecturers should respond and teach students the technical skills that they are flagging as problematic, not feed back that students should just aim lower. Simply pointing things out in feedback with no action plan or support past that point is redundant if the expectation is for students to be "self-directed"
Student Union is making a LOT more effort now as a department of the University compared to how it was a few years ago, it's actually very impressive to see how far along they have come in terms of infrastructure and direction, being a member of the students union years ago really served no benefit speaking as a former member, but since it has been restructured and properly funded and allocated a sensible space in the Uni, I can see it being a really great supplement to a students time on any course. There is still some growth to happen, particularly in the area of active societies for the Uni, improvements can be made here particularly in funding and endorsing in societies for students and not leaving them to fend for themselves.
Excellent Facilities, easy to access, however the ERC which does incredible work for the average Student who can't afford the kind of materials they offer, could probably do with an update to some of their tech (This not being the ERC'S fault, but a case of extra funding being deserved) For example: Only being able to offer students drawing tablets from the early 2000's is questionable about a University that prides itself on industry-standards!
City Life is good, Plymouth is a great hub for creatives, socialites and professionals alike, great night-life, great food, amazing locations and activities available all year round. It's a big city-experience mixed with some small town comforts.
N/A as of yet, clubs are still pretty self-sufficient as previously mentioned and don't get a lot of pull/attention. Room to improve in that respect, but the potential to the kind of club/society you can START is actually unlimited in it's potential, obviously S.U have the final seal of approval but in theory you could propose a club for whatever you want!
Great support for mental health, protocol for complaints against staff needs to be readdressed as it serves no purpose and no action gets taken, excuses get made and cases get dismissed far too easily in my experience, which has in the past lead to students feeling beneath staff and looked down upon. Tutors are very helpful in conceptually directing students and assisting with project development, but as previously mentioned could do better with more attention given to teaching technical skills. In this regard both academic and personally, support given by the uni is perhaps too reliant on students proactively spelling out what they need, but the response given and support offered once students have reached out, is sufficient and effective in most cases.
Hard work but if pays off. Creative, fun, knowledgable, supportive. It has a wonderful community feel. I would totally recommend. Even just come to an open day to see the facilities and feel the vibe.
We often had week long career and enterprise events that would have an agenda full of exciting workshops and visiting lecturers to help build confidence and knowledge in creating CVs, interview tips and more. We had a careers department where we could book appointments to go through our CV building, jobs and internships that would suit our criteria. There are job walls specific to each course on each floor. Even free courses for Alumni to help build a website and start a business.
In our first year, we had a lot of guidance and lectures, the second year less so and the third even less again. It helped us gain independence and gave us more time to do the work that was needed for our projects. We had visiting lecturers, from all aspects of the fashion industry, throughout our 3 years. We learnt so many different styles of working and creating. Our set up is just like industry standard to set us up for the real world, we always had table space/machines/computers/ERC tech to help us work with ease. My favourite part is that we were encouraged to work with students from other courses and use the facilities in other areas of the college. I worked with film, photography and jewellery and craft students to help development my work even further.
I didn't get involved very often because I worked every minute I could and I have a son so my spare time was spent with him. They did help me with advice when I approached them though. Their events did sound good.
AMAZING!! When I got asked to give guest lecturers a tour of the place, they couldn't believe how lucky we are. The fact that we have so much tutor and studio time was something I was so grateful for, let alone all of the facilities. There are technicians that will give you an induction on the resources/facilities that aren't in your area so you can use them as part of your project.
Plymouth has everything you need, beaches and beautiful places to walk. We have The Hoe a stone's throw away and great bars/restaurants/cinema/bowling. Drakes Circus (our shopping mall) is just across the road from the college.
There is a few clubs and societies but they'll never be as big as the ones you'll see at other unis because we're not as big but they are what you make of it. You have the opportunity to start new societies and/or join the existing.
The whole of college are supportive, we have admin staff come to our fundraising events. I knew so many staff and they were genuinely interested in how our work etc was going. The student support had always helped me in times of need. The academic staff were there- always to answer any queries or problems we may have. We could alway request a 1:1 with a tutor if need be.
I loved the experience of going out to lunch around the city spots close to College, the help available for in classes and around Campus or on trips, and the atmosphere of the College because it's focused on Creativity instead of Academics.
The Careers Team engage with students almost daily, with a hub like a clinic for any questions or help with things like CV writing, and there are Employability weeks where industry professionals come for talks and workshops. Alumni are encouraged to keep in contact and can take part in the talks and workshops, having a choice to come and talk about their own work after graduating, and have full access to meet with the careers team for any advice up to three years or so after they've graduated. It's very positive as an environment, and you feel less alone when you have graduated because of all the help that is available.
I loved the freedom we have in the college in general. Each course has classes where we would normally be taught, but, if they were another skill or a lecture you were interested in learning or attending, you were more than welcome to go to that class or lecture to learn, as long as you informed your tutor first. the only issues I found were desk and table heights after several classes were moved around as I am a wheelchair user, but otherwise, the courses are very well structured and helpfully thought out. at the end of Year Two or Third year, students are asked for feedback which can help make the courses even better for future students, so it's great that students are involved very closely with the structure of a course they study.
Our students' Union was super welcoming and as part of the new influx of students and the ones becoming a different year, there were activities and morning clubs like T-shirt tie-dying during the summer, Breakfast clubs to make sure lots of the students were able to concentrate and socialise, as well as have fun and meet the new students.
Anything I found hard to access I told Student Union Reps/Lecturers and Stewards about. it was usually dor handles, desks and doorway widths or the lift not working, but it was always taken very seriously and amended or fixed.
the city life is very exhilarating if you haven't experienced a city like Plymouth before, as there are a good deal of discounts at food restaurants, art supply and electronic shops, and in general, the city is very positive towards anyone studying here.
At Plymouth College Of Art, the clubs are societies are started mostly by students and the feedback shared with the Student Union. So, there are lots of new clubs and activities to join each year there are new students.
The support is very promising, both with the type of student support with taking notes and getting funding and the counselling or support with accommodation. especially if you are going before a class, they will help however long it takes or if it overruns, so you don't have to worry or be embarrassed about being marked late as they inform teachers and enablers.