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Located in the heart of the East End the art and design department could hardly be better placed for exploring the city. Historic Spitalfields market and vibrant Brick Lane are within walking distance. I did not see a lot of the tutors on the sculpture part of my fine art course but I am sure they would have been available if I felt I really needed their advice. The courses I studied in the design department I now consider to have been a waste of time. Because we never designed anything that actually went into production we never learned that the limitations of production are often what guide designers decisions.
The university has a well respected jewellery department and it was this that caught my attention towards the end of my course. I have since gone on to work as a jeweller, finding work soon after leaving. However I do not regret taking the fine art courses. In fact, I picked up skills which have served me well professionally. Not least time spent learning to take photographs and digitally manipulate them, this was a section of the fine art course which did involve large amounts of time with tutors in small class sizes.
The experience of going to university in London was vastly different to a year that I spent previously at Southampton. At London Metropolitan University it seemed that a lot of the students had grown up in London and lived with their parents. As compared to my experience in Southampton where everyone was in the same boat, all a long way from home. This brought the people in my classes together and I made friends with people I would not normally have thought I would get on with. Maybe it was because I had old friends outside of university in London but I certainly mixed less with the people in my classes.
The student union bar was bad and suffered in comparison with the non university nightlife in Brick Lane and Shoreditch nearby. Studying Fine Art it was extremely useful to have the resource of the museums and galleries of London on hand. I would say to anyone with the option to study fine art in the capital that having this resource alone makes it worthwhile choosing to study in London. But it is a difficult and expensive place to live and you may find universities outside the capital more friendly.
Written by josephbeecham on 27th Dec 2008