What the Students Say

Below you can read comments gathered by our student rep when reviewing the programme:

How has teaching on the course helped you gain a better understanding of art & design and your chosen discipline?

It has allowed me to understand how briefs for projects work. It also has allowed me to understand how to incorporate my chosen discipline into other works that aren’t necessarily one specialism focussed.

The course made me open up my mind to different skills that can be used in my degree subject.

The opportunity to have a discussion with each teacher’s specialism helped me to nurture culture regarding different discipline and gave me the security to choose the discipline to study for next year.

I found the teaching to have aided me greatly, particular through the first term where I noticed I struggled a lot. I think I needed a lot of reassurance to make sure what I was doing was ‘okay’, I feel as though the tutors helped me so much throughout the course along with the aiding in the development of me as a creative student.

Workshops with discipline degree staff helped build rounded understanding of design and creative techniques 

I learned a lot from conducting image analysis in Contextual Studies modules it helped me to understand more about my specialism, and how to analyse my own work.

Using the workshop facilities, looking at other artists and designers work and learning from peers has been invaluable.

I really enjoyed the degree talks because it got me excited for the course and prepared me for next year.

Being introduced to different artists and mediums/ materials and techniques has helped a lot

Teaching in the studio was definitely beneficial as it kept me focused 

Guidance and support on the course from the academic team

Support was very abundant on Foundation. Guidance was simple and allowed for individual creativity and support was available for when there were creative blocks.

The Guidance and support was very helpful and useful to me. Don’t Think it could have been better.

The staff is very friendly and always available to help you whenever you have a question to ask.

The tutors where always there and helped us each individually as well as in groups.

Good academic support, always there to help, 1.-1 and small group discussions, helps to structure your work and eases you in gradually. 

Guidance from tutors has really helped push me in the right direction to develop my work 

Blackboard (UoL Virtual Learning Environment) was useful as you had all the resources you needed in one place.

Guidance has been really clear and helpful considering the online environment 

Communication between staff and students

Students that fully engaged had access to a well-formed bridge of communication between staff. Students that were not fully engaged found things confusing.

Very Good couldn’t have been better

Staff are friendly and always there for you in case you got an issue.

Good and well organised.

Is the teaching material and course content engaging and intellectually stimulating?

Very much so.

Yes made me develop and become interested in different skills from a wide range of. Subjects.

I believe that the teaching material and the course content were engaging and stimulating for students because it helped to have a wider view towards art and design subjects.

As much as I disliked the first few weeks, (because I was so out of my comfort zone) looking back I feel like the skills I learnt then benefited me the most throughout the rest of the course and will definitely help me in the future.

Your favourite project and why?

My favourite project was Transcription as it allowed me to experiment fully with many ways of interpreting the brief provided.

Text and language was my favourite subject because for me I could experiment with mixing digital work and physical work together.

Citizens of Nowhere. I had the opportunity to think about myself and my origins in depth, which was something that I took for granted for a while during this course.

My favourite project was crumple and fold as it was something I’d never really experimented with before and it was something I used again within my projects. I also really liked creating the installation, I enjoyed working as a team and turning the room into something completely different. Creating the installation made me want to create more installation style pieces in my work.

FMP as I was able to really push my work, it was great to pursue a single focus for an extended period of time. See how much previous projects and skills I had learnt have helped influence and develop my work.

Contextual Studies Extended Image Analysis Essay & presentation as it allowed me to research something I was interested in depth.

FMP allowed me to be ambitious.

Identities as I was able to explore myself in depth 

Surrealist Games

Tutorial support

Tutorial support was excellent as it allowed for one on one chats with staff and was a place to air out any concerned.

Tutorials were important to me because I had the chance to speak with my tutors about doubts that I had with my works.

I found group tutorials the most useful as not only speaking with your tutor but also with other students really helped me in coming up with new ideas and seeing how I could develop my work further.

1-1 tutorials were beneficial as it was a personal chat to help you 

Having group tutorials multiple times per week helped maintain focus when working from home.

I enjoyed group tutorials, students and lecturers are very encouraging when seeing my work 

Has feedback been timely and useful for development of your work

Very good and useful feedback. I much prefer it in person but online was still good and helpful for me.

Yes the feedback seemed to come just at the times for me to develop and expand my work.

The feedback helped me to get a higher grade than what I was supposed to obtain.

Feedback helped me not overthink my ideas – rather than thinking too much about what I was doing, I needed to just create work.

Through feedback I was able to improve through each module 

Allowed me to progress and develop with guidance 

It was one of the most important factors, 1-1 was always a turning point and really changed what I was doing 

Feedback was given quickly despite the circumstances (during Covid)

Always helpful, you just needed to ask 

Most useful, both from tutor and peers 

Access to materials & equipment

Access to materials was good even when working from home, studio packs were very useful 

Limited by Covid, was available when it could be. Tutors tried their best to make things available as much as possible 

Easy access to materials 

Access to lots of workshops and equipment, very useful 

Materials, equipment and workshops have been accessible despite some restrictions due to Covid 

Advice for incoming students

‘Have a very open mind and don’t be afraid to speak up and make mistakes.’

‘Expect to have you mind open to experiment with new skills. As the staff say, “Do not play safe”, this is the year of experimenting and explore various disciplines, so never think that what you are doing is time wasting because it will help you in future.’

‘FORGET A LEVEL!!! I often fell back into an a level way of thinking which really didn’t help me, it made my development process slower and I kept trying to create a ‘final outcome’.

‘Organisation!! Don’t leave everything until the last minute, work as you go adding to your sketchbook rather than doing it all towards the deadline!!’

‘Plan your time – as long as you keep up with work and do it ASAP you don’t get overworked or burnt out. Don’t leave work too late, you’ll regret it

Try your best and go along with it because it will work out good in the end 

Don’t stress if you think your work isn’t good enough, good to be self-critical 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas, even if it goes wrong you can take something from it. 

Don’t fall behind, create a sketchbook, and analyse/annotate whilst working so ideas are fresh in your mind 

Draw every day from life 

Take advantage of the different specialist lecturers to learn new skills 

Don’t procrastinate 

Don’t be scared of trying weird things 

Don’t worry about the small details, it’s all about improving 


Also visit: AFY Students stories  & New Students

Any other observations?

People who did not commit fully found it difficult to do the work. If people attended all the lectures and all the sessions, they were able to get the most out of the programme; if they did not attend everything they were confused and sat around …