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UK art schools

alyanjalyanj Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
edited November 2013 in Study Abroad
Does anyone have any knowledge of UK art schools? I'm interested in St Martin's, Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh University. Are they very different from US schools like RISD and MICA?
Post edited by alyanj on

Replies to: UK art schools

  • highland_poppyhighland_poppy Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    Hi. Glasgow (GSA) and Edinburgh operate slightly differently from St Martin's as they are in Scotland which has its own education system from nursery (Kindergarten) to college.

    In terms of facilities, they're on a par. And all have plenty of international students. But they provide very little to no financial aid to internationals. All are in major cities. And there are no gen ed requirements. So no more English or Maths classes. But also nothing else if you have any academic interests.

    In Scotland, the courses are 4 years. You apply with a portfolio (tends to be pretty big compared to US standards) to a particular major. The first year is common to all majors and is general art and design. There's a chance of changing major but its not frequent. Then you study one major for the next 3 years. The final year is your 'honours' [sic] year and you work towards your final show, dissertation etc.

    In England, you usually do a 'foundation year' which is like the general year in Scotland. However, this is often at a more local community style college. Then you apply during this year to a specific major at a university/art school. Again, your last year focused on your final show etc.

    GSA and St Martin's in particular have excellent long standing reputations. All three are very hard to get into (at least for UK students). I've been to student shows at Edinburgh, GSA and Dundee (Duncan of Jordanstone) in the past couple of years. IMHO, I thought Edinburgh was best for Textiles/Theatre design, Sculpture and Photography. Glasgow for Graphic Design and Illustration and Dundee for jewellery, painting/drawing and product design.

    I do recommend having a look at Dundee. It's not too large, has plenty of working grads, feels a bit more homely than Edinburgh and the city is getting a branch of the Tate in the future. However, most people prefer the other cities...Dundee has been described as 'Scum-dee' by non-locals...
  • alyanjalyanj Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Thank you for such a lot of information! Do you know anything about the GSA portfolio prep course? I don't feel ready to choose a subject to specialize in and would like to have a general year. Edinburgh seems to have a pretty general 1st year but you have to have applied to a course, like photography and that probably means it would be hard to change to design after 1st year? Does the GSA portfolio course count as a foundation course if I apply later to an English art college? I am really, really lucky to have my tuition covered by my parents' employers.
  • highland_poppyhighland_poppy Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    I believe its possible but rarely actioned- tuition rates for Scots in Scotland are cheap- $2000 a year. If they study in England, they pay $14000 a year. So the vast majority of Scots stay within Scotland for college.

    If you want to study in England, do your foundation course there. Could be an excuse to enjoy a very different area of the country for a year before heading to London for the year. It gives you an extra year to decide your interest.
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