Written by Rachael Lakhan, UAL Post-Grad Community Manager
You have finally arrived at UAL and have enrolled onto your Masters / PhD journey, attended and ticked off all of your inductions and gotten to know some of your course peers – great!
Deciding to further your study, sorting out the financing for it, and then making the effort to move to London and enrol is no mean feat – congratulations you have made it across the first hurdle. With such a big commitment it is now important that you get the most out of your time at UAL.
Did you know that UAL has the largest postgraduate art and design community in the whole of Europe? Your course peers are your collaborators and competitors when you graduate. You must use what UAL has to offer in terms of its creative community to build up your networks and contacts for when you start up professionally. Not only this but you need to stand out in your field, understand the issues in the world and learn how you can help to solve them with the help of a cross-disciplinary creative support network.
Putting the effort into your student experience and designing your own course to run alongside the one you are enrolled on will take extra time and effort but it will be worth it.
The Post-Grad Community programme offers you a chance to enrich your time at UAL. The team looks across UAL’s 6 colleges and beyond at the hundreds of events of a cross disciplinary nature, then hand picks the best of them ensuring they are open to all students no matter their course. We negotiate this access alongside any other opportunities. You will be able to attend events which are challenging global issues, seeking to improve the world or simply looking to provide new insights.
Through the Friday newsletter sent to your UAL email address you can find other postgrads looking to grow their networks with open calls for collaborations on their projects. You can do the same: whether you are looking to work with documentary film makers, textile designers, performers, journalists, animators, curators or bio designers you can reach out through the newsletter with the help of the Post-Grad Community team. You can also subscribe with your personal email address now and stay in touch after you graduate – once you are part of the Post-Grad Community at UAL it is a life time membership!
If you want to hold an open studio, a screening of your film or simply invite students from other courses and colleges to come and critique your work, the programme supports you doing this – it’s easy!
Why not attend a postgraduate Interest Group? These groups connect creatives with shared research/practice interests across different subject areas.
Interested in writing? Want to write about an exhibition you have seen or a personal creative experience or project? Why not submit your texts to the Post-Grad Community to be considered for publishing on the Post-Grad Stories web page – this is shared across the whole of UAL as well as publically on the social platforms.
There is also funding available to enable you to collaborate with others from different UAL courses and colleges: the Post-Grad Community Project Fund. Projects will only be considered if they include students from different courses and colleges, driving you to reach out to others to collaborate.
PhD students, whether they are part of a research centre or carrying their projects out independently, own are supported by the Post-Grad Community programme. We can help your practice be more visible at UAL, help you build your own community and audiences, start up your own interest groups for sharing your research, interrogating subjects, texts, exhibitions or generally support you with promoting your activities.
If you are an MA student wanting to learn about our PhD students then you can subscribe to the PhD Conversations monthly mailing.
The Post-Grad Community programme is always evolving and reacting to its current student community, own it, use it, steer it and be involved!! Come to one of the programme’s events or get in touch PGCommunity@arts.ac.uk.
To find out more visit Post-Grad Community on the UAL website.