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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Christiana, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Christiana

    Christiana New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I need some advice on how to get started in Graphic design. I wanted to do a degree in Graphic Design, but I cannot afford it (I already have a degree in Media Arts and Music Technology, so the fees are HUGE). I spent the morning at my local college to start the enrollment process for a BTEC in Graphic Design only to be told that my age (30) and the fact I already have a degree, are hindrances.

    I really wanted to go the academic route, but it seems I have no choice but to begin 'self-teaching', which is where I need help. Can any of you perhaps recommend any particularly useful books, DVD's, magazines or tutorials? I'd appreciate any help you could offer. Thank you.
  2. daytona

    daytona Member

    Hey, first off let me say as a graphic Design student i feel your pain... Uni costs a small fortune..

    anyway, my advice would be A. traw (not troll) these forums, i'm a pretty recent member, but the people here are so helpful. and the things you can learn here about document prep, printing, design process, you wouldn't learn on a btec...i would know.

    my other suggestion would be to try Software training online-tutorials for Adobe, Microsoft, Apple & more if you've got a bit of cash. they have very detailed video tutorials that could help you get to grips with the adobe software packages (if you're not already proficient) it's quite expensive, i think £10 per month, but you could get through all the tutorials in 2 months, maybe less and it'll give you a good grounding of the software.

    my two cents, hope that helps, Tom.

    oh p.s, just thinking about magazines, it's not a graphic design magazine, but Adbusters has some of the best magazine layouts imo, could be worth getting an issue :)
  3. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Learning the software is good but you need to know what you're doing with design before you worry about how to make it happen on a computer. There are 1000s of designers out there who are very successful and have had no formal training but its a lot more work and financially will probably cost you more in the long run than doing some level of training.

    Somewhere on the forum there's a thread about our favorite design books (cant remember where though) but I'm sure digging it out would be of use to you.

    If the college have said your previous qualifications are an issue it's because you don't fit their demographic (it may be they don't get funding for 30 year olds or some such rubbish) and not because they actually think having a degree should prevent anyone from further education. If you want to study, then try some other colleges/uni's and I'm sure you'll find plenty of other establishments that are willing to take you on.
  4. daytona

    daytona Member

    I should really shut my trap and just learn from the pros aha :p

    if you take daves advice, apply quick!! the fees are up next year. i'm in on the last year thats 3000:icon_eek:
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Not at all! The idea of a forum is that we all chip in and share thoughts and ideas.
  6. RadicalRooster

    RadicalRooster New Member

    Can't you do a 'Top Up' Degree?

    My final year of Uni was officially a 'Top Up' year; we had some older people join just for that year. It's very intense and sort of presumes you know a bit about the subject already but it is a very quick way of obtaining a Design Degree! You might be able to get in if you make up a Portfolio and your Media Degree might be enough!
  7. Christiana

    Christiana New Member

    First of all, thank you so much for reading and replying.

    Since I posted I have been looking at various HE colleges and Universities for courses that may serve my needs. In terms of fees, I decided to call the SLC myself to see if I may be eligible for any additional financial help. I discovered that as I already have a degree, I would not be eligible for a tuition fee loan. But there would be some chance that I could receive a maintenance grant/loan. Fair enough, but that was before I found out about the whole ELQ (Equivalent or Lower Qualification) thing...

    Long story short, fees for me would equal that of an international student (£8,000+ :icon_eek:) because I already hold a BA and wish to do another. The maintenance loan/grant tops out at just over £3,000. I could qualify for the Access to Learning/Hardship Fund, but the amount you get is not guaranteed and other people will be applying as well. Even if I got a Personal Development Loan (£10,000 max), the same would apply. I understand what you mean BigDave. I really wanted to get into the bare bones of it, if you will. I thought a degree would be the best way for me. I thought the BTEC would have at least prepared me with the basics, since I could not afford a degree (and that's when I thought it would be £3,000).

    Tom, thank you for your recommendations, I'll take a look. RadicalRooster, I thought only people who studied for a HND could do the top-up degrees? Or are you referring to APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)?

    I understand that doing a second degree should not be funded by the SLC, so first time students with low incomes can have their chance. But why the fee increase? So frustrating.

    Thanks again for your advice.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  8. sthomas

    sthomas Member

    Do you really have to study for another degree?

    If I were you, I'd buy a Mac, learn as much as you can in your spare time and try to get some work experience at a local design firm or printers.

    If you completed a design degree, you'd be in loads of debt and you wouldn't really be any closer to getting a design job.

    Not everyone who works in design has actually got a degree...
  9. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Why does she have to buy a mac!? The same software is available on mac or pc, it's all the same once you're in the software, so there's no need to go forking out on a mac. I love my mac but i wouldn't suggest people just go get one cos that's what they're told or feel is the "norm"
  10. sthomas

    sthomas Member

    She doesn't have to buy a was just a way of saying that's she's about to blow a hell of a lot of money on a degree and there are alternative ways to get into the design industry.

    The 'Mac route' is the norm as you put it, because Mac's are the dominant platform in the world of design...yes there are lots of developers and agencies who only use PC's but if she's hopeful of getting a design job, what's the point of buying a PC when she'll more than likely be using a Mac anyway?

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