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A Creative Practice Q&A with West Suffolk College

Art from West Suffolk College
Art from West Suffolk College
Art from West Suffolk College
Written by
Charlotte Davis
Published date
17 September 2021

In preparation for A Spotlight on Level 3 Creative Practice on 12 October, we asked panel member Charlotte Davis, Course Director and Lecturer in Art and Design at West Suffolk College, some questions about the importance of this qualification and why they enjoy delivering it. Find out more in the Q&A below.

This spotlight session has been designed for centres that do not currently deliver UAL Creative Practice qualifications, or those who are looking to expand their provision. It is also part of our Teach Inspire Create programme of digital events in 2021.

If you have any questions about the event please email  approvals.awarding@arts.ac.uk.

What do you enjoy about delivering UAL Creative Practice qualifications?

The Creative Practice qualification compliments the specialist courses we deliver within The School of Art and Design at West Suffolk College. The students will progress through the course with a clearer focus of their progression route and I really enjoy being part of that process and supporting the students in this journey.

UAL Awarding Body qualifications are flexible, in what ways does this benefit students?

Flexibility within projects is integral for us to deliver innovative, challenging, on-trend, industry specific briefs. It allows us to plan live project briefs, work with external artists and clients, link to wider world contextual sources and issues and most importantly allows us to move and progress with the creative industries.

It is important that learners have experience working to industry specific briefs and are able to maturely work with external clients and pressured scenarios and deadlines. Whether it’s preparing work to be professionally presented to a client, problem solving an industry ‘scenario’, collaborating with other students, posting work on social media or exhibiting work in an end of year show. All of it is relevant to building confidence to go into the industry, and the qualification gives the flexibility to support this. With flexibility comes exciting opportunities! Anything is possible.

As a teacher of UAL’s Creative Practice qualifications, what sets them apart from other similar qualifications?

The learning outcomes force the students to have a clear focus within their practice and we very much encourage that within our delivery. As you progress through the units, it is clear there is an expectation to develop skills and knowledge with a career in the creative industries in mind. This compliments progression into the industry or onto university more than other qualifications we have delivered at West Suffolk College.

The UAL Creative Practice qualifications train students to have a diverse skillset. How do they support students to figure out what pathway they want to take after studying (e.g. more education or into work)?

The three units on the Diploma are there to ensure the students are delivered a broad and experimental first year of their qualification. The first-year projects we deliver, are structured so that each learner has been challenged and have built a diverse and capable skillset. By the end of their first year, the learners should have identified their strengths and specific areas of their specialism they want to focus on. The Extended Diploma guides the learner to make that decision on their progression route. They will build a solidified portfolio to support this choice, whilst still being challenged and building upon their skill set. With the links to industry and creative practices the qualification has, the students should have enough information to make the decision to either go into work or higher education. The majority of our student’s progress onto top universities and this is due to exciting and challenging portfolios of work.

What type of careers do students studying this qualification go on to have?

We deliver a wide variety of specialist courses in Art and Design as West Suffolk College under the UAL L3 Creative Practice qualification. From Conceptual Architecture, Computer Games Design and Development, Fashion Media and Promotion, Fashion and Textiles, General Art and Design, Graphic Design, Interactive Media and Model Making and Photography - there is an opportunity for any learner to go into a career in the creative industries from our wide range of specialist courses. When our applicants apply to study with us, we know that they have a choice of specialisms that split into the varied sectors. Anything is possible.

- Charlotte Davis, Course Director and Lecturer in Art and Design at West Suffolk College,

As well as speaking to Charlotte, we also asked our students some insights about their personal experience studying on our UAL Creative Practice qualifications:

What do you enjoy about studying UAL Creative Practice?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience studying UAL Creative Practice on the General Art and Design course. During my time at West Suffolk College, I've found that my artwork has rapidly developed and I've become more confident within my work. I have also built on my knowledge of the creative industries and possible progression routes and practices. Our tutors encourage us to explore a wide variety of skills, within traditional contemporary art, such as printmaking and digital studies and encourage us to explore these skills outside of college hours. As someone who had no previous digital skills, I have had an in-depth introduction into digital software which I use within all of my projects.

Find us at @leonardocreativehouse on Instagram

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