Genuinely, I loved it. Great tutors, an amazing space to work in and a whole load of opportunities throughout and at the end. I felt like I had a really successful degree show, gaining commissions and gallery shows from the back end of it. It was a real place for me to grow. I came in with a set mentality, I was rigid and unable to attain the higher grades, by the end however, I was more relaxed and keen to experiment. My third year saw me getting my best grades and leaving with a sense of achievement.
We had frequent "I'm a creative What Next?" sessions that ran throughout my course, the sessions brought us face to face with industry professionals and covered a range of topics including; going self-employed, paying your taxes, winning commissions and more. Most of my modules had either live brief or making to sell elements which further helped me on my way to becoming a freelance illustrator. Since graduating I got a job here, funnily enough in the careers department. The whole team has grown since my time as a student and we now offer 1:1 support with CV building, cover letters, applications, industry experience, starting your own business, social media and professional online presence and we also have an in-house design agency, so many options!
The things I liked the most: I felt fully supported by my tutors throughout my study time and I loved the vibe of the course. I built up a good rapport with my entire cohort and it felt like one big family. Facilities were amazing and I got what I needed from the course. Things I didn't like: Honestly, I couldn't really fault the course, anything I would have complained about would have been small petty things that had nothing to do with the establishment.
We had a students union but I did not engage much, not through the fault of the SU, I was quite the recluse, mainly because I was super focused and did not have much time for socialising. I can confirm that the SU has grown with the college since my time as a student and it frequently offers events and opportunities for all students. We also have a new social space and bar which is really nice.
Can't fault them! The print facilities include old school lino presses, large flatbed screen printing areas and letter press machines, all of which I found super useful as an illustrator. Massive, high ceiling studios made it feel super professional and spaced out and I loved the state of the art Mac Suite, kitted out with the most recent (at the time) Adobe Suite. Being a predominantly digital artist, this was another winner for me. Finally, the Equipment Resource Centre allowed me to book out all sorts of gear to help with my studies, this included lightboxes, high-end cameras and graphics tablets.
I have lived in Plymouth my entire life so may be slightly biased. The Barbican is great on a sunny day and there is a good selection of old school pubs if that's your game. There are loads of small businesses, nifty cafes and interesting buildings throughout the city, all of which are great places to work remotely.
I'm not much of a "club" goer but we have dozens of student pubs/clubs all over Plymouth, all with different aesthetics. I didn't join any societies but there was a handful of them available within the SU. It's also worth mentioning that Plymouth has a bunch of Gyms and fitness centres, I'd recommend The Climbing Hangar!
I had many a one to one meeting with my tutors, having come from a sixth form background before Uni, I was used to getting a lot of guidance and checking on my progress. The feedback I got was always directional and kept me on track whilst making me feel like I was totally in control of my goals. I never needed study support or anything of the like but I know there is a lot on offer. This university has student wellbeing officers, counsellors, study skills support and a range of highly skilled technicians. There's someone for everything!
I loved it. I tried to get the very most that I could from it. I had hoped for a more thorough contextual studies module, but other than that I've really not anything negative to say. The creative community is exciting and energetic and the college is a wonderful environment to be in.
We have a fantastic careers team who encourage internships and placements and also offer bursaries to enable students to undertake these. Support is available for a further 3 years after graduation too! Live briefs with reputable industry brands provide us with real-life experience before we enter the work place.
We are taught by lecturers and visiting lecturers with a wealth of industry experience. Being taught by part-time visiting lecturers who're working in industry alongside teaching allows for up-to-date subject knowledge.
It is definitely still in its infancy. Tea making facilities and lunch areas are something I use, but the bar and social stuff could be developed a bit- but I know this is now happening.
Fantastic- and they're very accessible to all.
Plymouth is certainly on the up. The barbican is a lovely place to go for drinks and music. We're surrounded by amazing moorland and lots of beaches. I'm hoping that more independent cafes and more foodie venues pop up as there's mostly chains.
I don't really know abvout this
I personally have found it satisfctory
It has been great. One of the highlights has been meeting and being around other like-minded people. Everyone studying here is so creative and it doesn't take much to be inspired!
There is a careers team to help guide you with opportunitys during your studies and when you graduate.
I like how much practical time there is for making films and experimenting.
The students Union is getting better every year. With more events and activities.
The facilities here are amazing! Being able to take out all manner of film equipment whenever I like is so good. I can book out cameras for personal projects, tests, coursework. I can even access equipment that isn't film related to learning about other areas.
Plymouth is such a nice city. When the sun is shining, having access to places like the hoe, where you can chill with friends and sit and watch the boats in the sound is incredible. Sadly the music scene isn't very big but there is a lot of people working hard on bringing it back, which is really exciting to be part of.
Personally, I haven't gotten involved in any of the clubs or societies but need to look into them.
As I am dyslexic I had amazing help in the form of a personal learning support tutor to help me plan, write and review my written work which really took the pressure of.
My overall journey on the BA Film course was a very challenging and rewarding one, I made a lot of films which was vital for my portfolio moving forward in my chosen career.
Opportunities to gain hands-on industry experience were presented to us on many occasions during the three years.
I like how you are supported to explore the exact areas in film that you are interested in, there are no linear paths to follow.
The wide range of industry standard facilities available to you throughout the college is extremely beneficial to students in preparing them for their careers.
There is never a dull moment living in Plymouth.
There is a great student support system in place.
If I can't recommend then I have to say so so. I am a mature student, therefore I am aware of the workings of companies and politics that go with them. On a scale of 1-10 my personal opinion is 6.
Careers Hub, excellent. No work placements unless you find yourself. Depends on the course for skills. It advertises three courses separately, but only does, a combination of all three. There is no jewellery, Ceramics, Glass BA. It is all put in the 3D Design Crafts course. Which is totally wrong and you tend to learn little of the art, you sign up for, so be sure to ask that you only do that course, unless you like to use Cad, programming. The facilities for the three although second to none, the course I wanted is falsely advertised. More like a fine art degree than jewellery program. Go to Truro if you want to learn fine jewellery. Can't recommend, would have preferred to do university night classes for the amount learnt. Still haven't had a reply on how my money has been spent, as I seem to have to pay for every item I need, except technical lessons. Look around
No tutorial in contextual studies, no clear direction on the course outcome at start of year. The course changes from year to year, with no regard to students (3D Design Crafts course). More interested in how they appear for alumni, MA students and governors. Blatant disregard for DSA protocol. No interest in student, just if the year passes or not Facilities in college are excellent, but no genuine knowledgeable tutors/lectures. It's mainly technical staff giving classes. If this was a shop, I would ask for my money back.
I really feel that I should not answer this, as the two children who are running it now are!!!.
Excellent (pity no real people/lectures to inspire you.)
If you are a student and young you will love it. Mature students have a theatre and restaurants. So average. It's definitely not London
Personal experience with the college good.when counselling required. But not tutoring not interested unless you are a first class student
Disappointing. As a whole, it seemed like the university was just focused on money and there were a lot of internal politics going on. I didn't feel like I was encouraged or nurtured at all and the only reason I didn't drop out was because by the time I really wanted to, I'd worked so hard and I didn't want to have wasted my time. I also wanted my degree so I saw it through, but I wish I gone somewhere else.
There was very little in the way of career preparation and not nearly enough time with tutors to actually know what you need to do. Too much of the course is geared towards those who have the money to spend on materials, trips and printing so if you don't have much money you won't get much out of it.
I liked that we had a lot of critiques; these were quite helpful. Other than this, not much. Half the time you can't find your tutors and you only get a very small amount of 1:1 tuition. The assessments are a joke. I was frequently told that I hadn't done stuff that I had and I would have to point it out to them, which says a lot about how much attention they pay to your work. You're graded based on how well you've followed their (conflicting) opinions and the feedback is usually irrelevant to what you were doing. It's very cliquey as well. Tutors definitely play favourites and don't really care about students' whose work is not to their taste. There's not a lot of objectivity. Tutors are also selective in who they allow on trips to exhibit - a student in my class who wanted to go on said trip was told their work wasn't good enough (even though it was, and it just wasn't to their liking) and they couldn't exhibit to further their career. This was despite the fact that they had enough money for the trip - which was also just for people who had the money. The classes are too big as well; unfortunately this is another institution run like a business were profit takes precedent over student development. The priority for them is about attracting new students than actually making students want to stay on their course, so the courses are too full and the teaching suffers as a result.
Never bothered with that side of things.
Okay. The print room was a nightmare trying to get into though and the IT staff in the library were rude. Computers often didn't work so everyone was trying to get on the Macs - which were usually overbooked.
There's a lot of facilities and shops around. There seem to be a lot of pubs around too but I wasn't into that. It was a good location for a college and there were quite a lot of places to buy materials.
Very poor as stated earlier from tutors. I didn't feel like I could really approach them and that was if I could actually find them. So much of the course is self directed - probably around 90% I would say. Very little in the way of actual lessons from tutors. Admin staff always seemed helpful and technicians often did more to help than tutors.
I loved my time studying Fine Art at PCA, it was great to be able to explore my own practice, define it and take it further. I grew in confidence and met people that I see as future collaborators. The facilities are amazing.. it was a constantly inspiring environment.
On the Fine Art course we had the opportunity to get involved with projects happening around the city as part of the course, such as at KARST and the Museum and Art Gallery. We were supported to apply for our own opportunities too.
They have really diverse experience and they are really friendly. Always made time for me.
The student union is small but growing and it feels like a supportive community, everyone helps each other out.
Very central to Plymouth, it takes me 5 minutes to walk to the city centre, 2 minutes to walk to the college. It can be slightly noisy at night.
Amazing! There are specialist facilities including glass, ceramics, metal, 3D printing etc etc all over the college and as students we had access to any of it as long as we organised the inductions.
The city is really creative and has loads of exciting projects. It's nice living right by the sea and the shops are really good too. It's a really student centred city.
I did not get involved in these
Very good, you can access them through the library or student hub and nothing is too much trouble.
I loved my experience at PCA. I made great friends and had the opportunity to be showcased at some large scale events which landed me an internship and paid work at the end of it. I'm also now employed and have made some great connections for starting my own projects outside of Uni.
I studied at Plymouth College of Art and I loved the creative freedom we had on our course. We were supported with every decision we made, and its so reassuring knowing that the lecturers are all practicing professionals. You are pushed in the right direction, and I was lucky enough to have my work displayed at several large Fashion events in London and Birmingham, which I wouldnt have had the opportunity to be involved in had I not have studied at PCA. I personally went on really fun trips every year, but the experience is what you make it.
Amazing facilities- once you're inducted you have the ability to use everything within the Uni. I recommend utilising as many of the facilities as you can because not many Uni's have such accessible studios/equipment/ machinery as PCA.
Really good student life. A fun and buzzing community vibe. PCA is based right on North Hill which is perfect for nightlife. During the day you have your pick of the city, beaches, or the moors.
The College has great student support. Theres a really good open door policy and you can speak to any member of staff. Theres also a Student Hub which has staff there who are employed to help you with anything you may struggle with. They also have helplines and numbers of external companies who can help you too .
It's been really exciting, I think it's true when they say it's three of the best years of your life. I met so many creatives, picked up way more skills than I thought I would when I applied and everything is just so open-door. You feel like you can do anything and there are loads of opportunities to collaborate with other students and our final degree show in London was incredible. You don't realise how much you have learnt and how much you've grown (I know, cheesy line!) until you've actually graduated. The college has a small community and you don't feel limited. I've studied at a large university before and I just felt lost in a massive sea of students - you were literally just a number and a tuition fee. Here at the college all the lecturers know you, your work and your working processes and they make you feel included, you don't feel like you're being judged - it makes all the difference in how you approach your practice.
It was amazing the transferable skills I pick up throughout my degree - from organising exhibitions and fundraisers to critiquing work and design. All these skills meant that when I graduated I had a lot to offer and it dramatically increased my job prospects - which is always a good thing!
The best thing about the course was the access to facilities, I could use the darkroom and studios whenever I wanted. The Equipment Resource Centre has tons of equipment from analogue cameras to the latest tech and all the lighting and studio kit you could possible need. I don't think there are many universities that can offer that level of service and that level of access. It meant that when I graduated I already knew a lot of the kit I had to work with - I was prepared. There is also a really good art school vibe here and the small community means you get to know all your lecturers really well with lots of one to one time which is actually really rare in other places. I didn't feel like another number, I was valued as a student.
The Students' Union at the college is small but there is always something happening and it meant you got to know everyone really well. They organised things like surfing trips and pop-up bars and the annual Summer Ball is always good. Their door was always open so you could go in for a cup of tea and a chat. I was a member of the GEMS society which was awesome! We got to visit a ton of exhibitions like Bjork Digital in London and it's great being with like-minded people.
The facilities here are incredible, I studied photography so had access to industry standard equipment, various studios and darkrooms - which is what I used predominantly - but I also got to see and use other facilities around the college like the printmaking studios, textile workshops and the huge craft studios where they had glass, ceramics, metals, jewellery and the FabLab where you could 3D print and lasercut things - the possibilities of expanding my practice across different mediums was endless and there were rarely any queues so I could get work done quickly and experiment more with my work.
Plymouth is a pretty weird mash-up of different buildings and eras but with that comes all the character you want in a city. The college is literally 5mins walk away from the sea and a short drive from Dartmoor so in terms of photo locations it's perfect. I think it's really starting to flourish here and the art scene is growing massively and the college has hosted a load of really cool exhibitions with international artists. There's lots of cool cafes and bars that mix art and socialising like the Bread and Roses and Rockets and Rascals. There is also a cute coffee place cross haberdashery called Make at 140 and they host lots of workshops for a really good price.
The support is great, you have regular tutorials with your lecturers and tutors and even if you don't have one scheduled in their door is always open if you need to talk to them. The staff are just really friendly, especially the ones on the front desk in reception - you can go with any question and they can point you in the right direction, it's just nice knowing that if you have a problem then there is always someone you can talk to about it without having to be on a long waiting list!
Before completing my BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree, I also studied at there at Pre-Degree level straight from school. The relationships I had made with staff and students made it a really easy decision to go on and complete my degree at the college.
All of the lecturers are practicing lectures which is really helpful to get their first hand industry experience. There were lots of opportunities to go on work placements, but also working to to live briefs. There was a bit of friendly competition within the class when it came to working on briefs, which felt very much like working within a design agency.
My experience at Plymouth College of Art has shaped me as a designer but also set me up for the design industry. I chose to complete my degree at the college because it has so much to offer with regards to extensive facilities and great tutors. I enjoyed being in a creative environment where everyone is able to express their individuality and shares a passion for the arts. The BA (Hons) program gave me the opportunity to explore many different areas within graphic design. Since graduating from Plymouth College of Art, I have had around three years experience working in the design industry. This included designing artwork for stationery, buildings, vehicles and websites. I still keep in touch with my lecturers because they like to know how their students are doing and what they are up to now, sometimes even passing on some work. I also see my college friends regularly, and we are all working in the creative industry which is really exciting.