Colleges; good/bad/indifferent

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Colleges; good/bad/indifferent

Postby CM00 » Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:16 pm

Hi, I`m an Irish student in Second level education and I have applied to study architecture in the U.K, namely the Universities of Dundee, Liverpool and Cardiff.
As I can`t attend the open days, I was wondering if anybody could give me an objective insight into which of these courses would be the best option and what is the General impression of each of them. Much Appreciated.:)
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Postby FIN » Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:52 pm

Senior Member
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Postby aland » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:46 am

The reputation of the school of architecture in Dundee has greatly improved in the last five years and caught up somewhat with the visual arts courses. I lecture there quite often and there is a good buzz about the place. There are also many Irish students doing the architecture course, so you should fit in. Dundee though is bit of a cultural backwater and centered around the Contemporary Arts Building by Richard Murphy, a "too many notes" Building building that I can't stand.

We have a young architect working with us who trained at Dundee that I consider to be the best young designer I've come across.

I have also lectured in Liverpool, which has an open studio set up in an interesting building by Dave King and enjoyed it very much.....good students too.

Don't know anything about Cardiff.........sorry.
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Postby BTH » Sat May 08, 2004 10:18 am

I find Dundee to be a great place to study architecture. The course and facilities, particularly for the first three years, are excellent and standards seem to be getting higher and higher every year. The school places equal emphasis on theoretical/artistic and practical considerations so tends to produce good designers with a grounding in the realities of buildability. A slightly unfortunate side effect of this is that experimentation and innovation tends to be shied away from by most students, who instead opt for more tried and tested methods. The school also places strong emphasis on traditional 3d modelmaking but possibly at the expense of computer based presentational methods. The college is working hard to balance these aspects as they were raised by a recent RIBA visiting board.

As Alan says the place is full of fellow Irish people, both North and South. That's a great bonus in my eyes as you get the best of the freedom of being away from home yet you still have the back up of like minded people around you - essential when leaving home for the first time!

The city has its problems, but definitely isn't the hellhole that some people would have you believe! My main problem is the lack of culture... It has a great rep theatre, art house cinemas, a contemporary art gallery... but overall theres no buzz of creativity about the place, the kind I'm used to from living in Galway! Plus there are hardly ever any decent gigs!!

What attracted me to Dundee first was a combination of 1: Really impressive studio space - the studios are about 100m from end to end... 2: Very nice staff - I was interviewed by someone I really got along well with. 3: A good attitude - Grades were not the most important thing, the interview and portfolio were the keys to getting an offer 4: The fact that I had a completely crazy night out in the Union (the biggest in Scotlend!) when I visited and attended my interview hung - over... And they still let me in!!

So, that's my take on Dundee, the good and the bad... All the best with your choices anyway!!
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Postby CM00 » Sun May 09, 2004 4:57 pm

Hi, thanks very much for your replies, unfortunately I only applied to Dundee as an afterthought (having read a post on this site), and it seems I was too late. I`ve been accepted provisionally to Liverpool, though and it does seem to be a quite competent course, hopefully with some Irish students! .a plus tard.
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